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Reviews (by Author)

Reviews (by Title)


Author:  Norris Burkes

Title:  No Small Miracles

Publisher:  Integrity Publishers

Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder

A Chaplain’s Common Sense Approach to Miracles and Faith

Many people in northern California may be aware of pediatric chaplain Norris Burkes who has been at UC Davis Medical Center and now works out of Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. What they do not know about this man could fill a book and that is just what he has done with his publishing this year of “No Small Miracles” an Integrity Publisher’s book. Chaplain Burkes has the distinction of being both a Military Chaplain where he serves in the Air Force reserve and at local civilian hospitals. In fact, he is getting ready to retire from his military life this year that saw him spend 8 of those years on active duty. This makes for a fascinating story because he shares both worlds with the reader.

I was pulled into his vortex right away with the reading of his Foreword where he talks about having to deal with a family who is being asked to “pull the plug” on their father. He quotes the nurse who has watched this body deteriorate for weeks with no sign of life. She makes the following statement: “Life support is a misnomer; it should be called mechanical maintenance. This man was not being supported; his body was being preserved.” At this point we see the compassion of this chaplain at work and how he deals with this issue and the family involved. It is a controversial issue to say the least but one that is faced daily by many baby boomers as they now have to deal with their parents.

The book is all about integrity and common sense faith. There is a touching story about a “small miracle” involving a new born baby that is dying. The chaplain is asked to perform a blessing for the child before he dies. He drops a few sterilized water drops on the forehead and delivers a blessing and prayer. The mother holds the hand of the tiny new-born infant and the way he describes that scene is almost like poetry but the good part is that at the end of that story we find out that the child did survive and left the hospital some 3 months later. It is a moving account and told in a very personal and compassionate way.

The book was written, according to the author, so that he could answer those people who always ask him the question: “How do you do it?” After reading all of the inspirational and emotional stories from his experiences, I think he did a wonderful job of explaining not only “how” but “why” he does his job. He is someone you would want by your hospital bed for yourself or a family member. I highly recommend this book for all families to read. It will uplift you and strengthen your faith.


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