Book 3: On a Stormy Day
by Andrew Woo Young Choi
PageTurner Press and Media

"People who are in bad health, having financial difficulties, or struggling in their marriages lose hope, not just because of their difficult situations but because they think negatively."

This work is a collection of five biblical studies connected thematically through the subjects of overcoming adversity, hope, and serving those around you. The book is divided into both an English language version and a Korean language version. The primary focus of the lessons is helping the reader through times of stress caused by disbelief, overwhelming odds, hopelessness, and depression. Most of the study is focused on the New Testament, but there are references to Moses’ trials and those of Job and Daniel. In fact, the discussion of Job’s trials detailing how Job was persecuted—not because he was a sinful man but to prove a point that even godly people suffer terrible hardships—is particularly poignant. The typical presentation has the author describing the situation to be discussed, applying the appropriate biblical passages with a brief description of how the two relate, and then offering a hopeful conclusion to the presented problem. Each study is concluded with a series of questions in hopes the reader will ruminate on the teaching and meditate on how the scriptures apply to this problem in their own life.

Choi has a doctorate in ministry and served as a U.S. Army chaplain for twenty-one years. His education and experience prove that he has a good understanding of his material. In fact, with his extensive background, it is surprising in some ways that there is not more of the author’s personal experiences included in the narrative when giving his advice and presenting the five selections he is focused upon. As a chaplain for troops, some of whom have been in combat and have dealt with situations that could profoundly affect one’s faith, it is highly likely that there were struggles that would have enhanced the teaching and made it even more relatable. All that being said, the writing is still smooth and easy to read, showing only occasional grammatical errors and irregularities in syntax. The reader will easily understand Choi’s teachings and conclusions. In addition, he often offers pertinent quotes from other inspirational leaders, like Churchill and William James, to strengthen his points of emphasis.

Choi’s work can be related to the writings of Max Lucado or, possibly, Steven Scott’s inspirational The Greatest Words Ever Spoken. In addition, those readers familiar with the preaching of Billy Graham or the books of Joel Olsteen will find similar tones in this work. Choi’s easy-to-read style makes this a good book for readers looking for general advice they might require when presented with similar challenges. In many ways, each topic reads exactly like a sermon, and one wonders if perhaps these were originally given as such to the people he has ministered to in the past. Like in the works of many Christian authors, the questions at the end of each topic are reflective and designed to cause readers to interact with the material beyond the initial reading. Despite the readability of the text, there is not a lot of deep interpretation of scripture or application. Instead, each topic comes across as a typical Sunday morning message divided into a series of points that can lead to further study later. Choi’s book offers much hope for Christians early in their faith or for those looking for some hope as they experience moments of doubt and struggle. It could serve as a useful source for inspirational self-study.

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