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Pennies from Heaven - Barrie's lessons from life 

“Money, Money, Money”, a popular song by Swedish pop legends Abba, is back on the airwaves with hit film ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ and Norfolk author, blogger and storyteller Dr Barrie Lawrence addresses the subject in his new book Pennies from Heaven.

The Abba lyrics tell of working hard, never having enough money, and dreams of living in a rich person’s world, all themes Barrie addresses in his new book Pennies from Heaven – How To Get Them and What To Do With Them.
Straightaway Barrie says: “We all need it” and goes on to state, “We cannot separate finances from the rest of our life”. This new book tackles austerity, giving, spending, borrowing, saving and prospering from a Christian perspective, illustrated by candid stories from his own life adventure and practical aspects gained from studying and practicing Biblical truths.
Readers will need to be prepared for Barrie’s challenges with heartbreak, wealth, financial devastation, time, relationships and “I would never have dreamed of the wonderful surprises that lay in store for me.”
“We were created for success.  We were intended to be healthy.  We were given the destiny of prosperity. Prosper the Biblical way, from the inside out,” says Barrie.
He has cultivated an attitude of gratitude and fulfilment. He warns “if you chase after wealth you will end up a disappointed person”, but chase (seek) after God and “you will know a joy that gives strength during life’s darkest hours, and which will bring satisfaction in this life, way beyond anything that you ever thought possible.”
His values were tested soon after becoming a believing Christian, with verses such as ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35), and ‘Seek first the kingdom of God’ (Matthew 6:33-35), and acknowledges that many people find the principle of giving as very tough. 
Barrie gives examples of others who live out Biblical prosperity, both receiving and giving generously.  Barrie and his wife Wendy describe giving “as an expression of love and gratitude and give because of relationship” – with God, themselves, others known to them or not known such as the hungry and oppressed.
The penultimate chapter is entitled “Be Happy!” Joy and fulfilment are gained through giving generously and making it a lifestyle.  “Giving time, giving attention, listening to people, giving friendship, and giving money. And if we give as God gives, and as Jesus taught, we will be blessed…and will have happiness and joy of a quality previously unknown.”
Barrie provides a myriad of illustrative Bible verses, recommending meditating on, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2).
This book is something of a departure from his five earlier titles, in that it is more serious, but does include brief stories from his dental career.  The style, empathy and honesty and practical wisdom should appeal to his growing following of loyal readers.  Overall this book makes for a worthwhile and reflective read on a subject which affects every one of us.
Available from Jarrolds, www.amazon.co.uk or signed copies direct from the author (£10, free p&p) at barrie@barrielawrence.com.
Review by Kevin Gotts

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