Janice’s Review Blog

Qualities change author’s life

Posted on: December 22, 2012

Edward Grinnan, editor-in-chief of Guideposts magazine, writes his inspirational story of change, includes Guideposts stories of change and lists in each separate chapter the nine qualities of personal change. His book, “The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They can Transform Yours,” does a wonderful job of highlighting the nine qualities and shows how ordinary people turn their lives from ordinary or problem filled into extraordinary and inspiring.

Guideposts magazine Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan writes "The Promise of Hope."

Guideposts magazine Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan writes “The Promise of Hope.”

As Grinnan writes about the nine qualities, which include honesty, willingness, imagination, commitment, faith, forgiveness, acceptance, resilience and love, he tells a relevant Guideposts story or weaves part of his own life into the scenario.

When speaking of imagination, Grinnan uses Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the founder of Guideposts magazine, as an example. As a young man, Peale used a technique he called imaging to help with  his insecurities and self-doubt and it changed his life forever.

Grinnan writes that Peale described imaging this way: “It is a systematic reimagining of that aspect of ourselves that we want to change. When combined with faith and prayer, he believed it was one of the greatest powers human beings possessed to affect our future happiness.” 

Thoughout the book, Grinnan describes the tragedies in his life- the loss of his older brother, the death of his father, his desperate battle to overcome alcoholism, but he also shares the love and caring of those who stuck by him in his greatest times of need, and how the stories he covered and the interviews he obtained for stories in Guideposts gave him hope.

In his final chapter, Grinnan shows the importance of love. In his own case, he writes, “I was changed by love – but not to something different…. I didn’t become a different person. I had simply and finally become myself. Love does that.”

In the Guideposts story of love, a wife, Tonia Sargent, cared for her husband Kenny after he sustained a severe wound as he fought in Iraq. Her tenacity and her love helped her to do whatever she needed to do to stay by his side and to make all the decisions for his continued care even when doctors and nurses thought they knew better. Not only did she change things for her husband with her love, but she also changed things for other military families in the same predicament. She tells Grinnan, “I guess I went to war,” and she still speaks to organizations “about the challenges of life after active duty, for the wounded and unwounded alike.”

All of these stories, give the reader hope and sometimes bring a smile or tears or both, but that’s what readers come to expect from Guideposts stories, and with this book, the reader also gets to know the editor-in-chief much better as he continues his journey through life.  I highly recommend this book to anyone. As with the magazine, it leaves you wanting more.

Photo © copyright 2012 Janice Semmel

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