Black (The Blessing of Adversity), a retired U.S. Navy admiral and current chaplain to the United States Senate, aims this straightforward and intelligent motivational handbook at helping readers strengthen their spiritual practices in order to navigate life’s turbulent times. Seven overarching sections with such titles as “Prepare to Be Sent,” “Thrive in a Predatory World,” and “Persevere through Rejection” each include several chapters composed of “Fearless Principles” and a closing “Purposeful Prayer.” Drawing illustrations from the scriptures, contemporary culture, his own impoverished childhood, his Navy career, and his current work, Black conveys his message in an accessible and often thought-provoking manner: “Real love celebrates diversity. In fact, if we don’t like diversity, we probably won’t like heaven.” Expounding on the “Fearless Principle: Pray with adoration,” he writes: “How would you feel if you were a parent whose child only spoke to you when he or she wanted something?” Black’s theologically sound guidance and simple yet meaningful prayers allow this fine book to serve as a resource for study and contemplation as well as a devotional guide.
I might be considered unique in that I’ve been a member of the United States Senate for twenty-two years and have known Chaplain Barry Black for thirteen of those years. The application for me from this book, and from years of weekly studies with Chaplain Black, is to pursue humility and avoid self-importance—two qualities not typically found in a US senator. And though the ways in which I’ve been blessed by this book may not be meaningful to other people, you will find your own Fearless Principles in here that will give you the comfort and direction to lighten up, develop your God-given talents, and live fearlessly in a broken and dangerous world, placing your focus on Jesus.
Chaplain Barry Black has ministered to the military, to the United States Senate, and to believers and seekers everywhere. In Nothing to Fear, he speaks to a troubled and anxious time. He offers Fearless Principles designed not to eliminate the presence of fear in our humble lives, but to give us the perspective and strategies necessary to weaken the power that fear can hold over us. One theme running throughout the book—and it’s a challenging one amid the busyness of our days—is the need to simplify our lives. So much fear is created by trying to hold on to and manage what is essentially unimportant and unnecessary. Chaplain Black reminds us of what is truly important—faith and prayer, family, lovingkindness. And he gently chides us—why do we complicate things so much?
As problems confront us, how many times will someone say “that’s life”? From Scripture and a lifetime of experience and wisdom, Chaplain Black has written for us an excellent playbook dealing with life’s challenges.