Friday, February 27, 2015

"The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway

About this book:

  “It is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and used him mightily to preach the gospel despite horrific opposition.
Brother Yun is one of China’s house church leaders. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus. Interspersed with his personal account are contributions from his wife, Deling, made mostly during her husband's frequent periods of imprisonment. You will remember where you were the first time you read this life story. It's a watershed book that will turn the reader to prayer and praise.”

Series: Non-fiction

Spiritual Content- Over 250 Scriptures from title page to back-cover are quoted, mentioned or referenced; An huge, amazing amount of Faith, witnessing and praying; ‘H’s are not capital until the Repentance part at the end; The Lord speaks to Brother Yun many times and sends him visions as well; Many mentions of those in the Bible and book of the Bible; Many songs are sung and written out; Martyrs for the Cross and how they were killed; At very low times, the enemy would tempt Brother Yun.
*Note: Many mentions of other religions and demons; “Food was the god of the criminals in that prison.”.   

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: three forms of ‘stupid’ and four ‘shut up’s (though one I would overlook, see HERE!); Curses are said but not written; Blood & wounds (semi-detailed to can be detailed); Prison, Beatings, and Torture are all afflicted; Mentions and stories of those who were beaten and/or killed for their Christian Faith (it’s heartbreaking, and bluntly put); Mentions of murder; a couple mentions of drowning; Mentions of committing (or thinking about) suicide; Mentions of drinking; Mentions of brain out of it’s skull and feeling like your brain will explode; Mentions of human waste & prisoners urinating on Brother Yun; Pus and oozing sores;  

Sexual Content- Brother Yun calls the Three-Self Church a ‘harlot’ (it’s repeated and said a total of four times); A few mentions of prostitutes and seduction; A couple cell mates say they raped women (no details); A mention of two women who were kidnapped and used as s*x slaves; A few mentions of abortion and being force not to have any more babies; When talking about his wife, Brother Yun says “After our marriage Deling and I had thought about having a baby, but at the time my name and photo was plastered everywhere by the police so we didn’t get the chance to spend much time together. On one occasion before I was arrested I secretly sneaked home and during that visit my wife conceived.”.
*Note: A mention of a mother’s chest (“In those days I was just like a baby sleeping in the arms of his mother, peacefully suckling at his mother’s bosom.”); A couple mentions of private body parts (“The next morning the guards took me out from the cell and practiced martial arts on my body. They killed and pouched me to the ground and ordered several other prisoners to stomp on my chest and private parts.” And “As a result a horrible plague struck, causing many prisoners to die. Infection entered men’s bodies through their backsides and private parts.”)

-Brother Yun  
                                         P.O.V. told by Brother Yun and sometimes his wife, Deling. 
                                                       372 pages

Pre Teens-

New Teens-
(and a half)

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-

Wow. I could start off this review about five different ways. I’m not sure which one to pick. Maybe the one where I start off saying how my heart is in China. Or how I was so excited to read this book. Or that I shockingly didn’t cry at all while reading this novel. Or that I never write or underline in a book, but in this book I did. Or that I’ve never read a book with so many Scriptures in it—or beautiful songs. Or that if I ever meet Brother Yun (who I would probably slip up and call him “Mr. Brother Yun” and pump his hand like a well. And give him a hug. For inspiring me, for opening my eyes even more, for his worshiping through the awful prisons he was in. He says on page 187, “I didn’t suffer for Jesus in prison. No! I was with Jesus and I experienced His very real presence, joy, and peace every day. It’s not those in prison for the sake of the gospel who suffer. The person who suffers is he who never experiences God’s intimate presence.” (capital H mine). I love his look on this. He was beaten horribly every time he was arrested. But yet, he rejoiced become he knew that The Lord had put him there to be a witness. (Which reminds me of Ester 4:14 “And who knows? Perhaps you have been made...for such a time as this.” (VOICE))  And he was. I loved when Brother Yun pointed out this Scripture “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good...” (Genesis 50:20 NASB). That is...perfect for what Brother Yun went through. He was tortured, beaten, attacked spiritually and physically but he stood firm in the Lord, trust and waiting on Him. I want that kind of Faith.
I want to share one song Brother Yun sings that I truly love:
  “First comes blood, then anointing oil
  First we must be clean then we receive blessing from the Lord
  First we must experience Calvary, then will come Pentecost.

  Cross, cross, forever my glory
  His blood has washed my sins away
  Only through the blood of Jesus.”
I actually did some research and found the music online; you can listen to it for free HERE. Isn’t it beautiful?  (Link to sheet musics, words and different versions).

I could go on and on about this book. It’s definitely a keeper for me. It was a harsh eye-opening book, but it showed me how the Lord works and that Christ is being shared in a country near to my heart.

See y’all on Monday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Monarch Books) for this review.

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