BOOK REVIEW: Healing is a Choice, by Stephen Arterburn

Despite my misgivings of the title, Healing is a Choice  is not a quick-fix manual, in the style of certain tele-evangelists.  Stephen Arterburn writes his most current tome in a conversational manner, workbook style.  I was pleased to find a wealth of thoughtful material, presented for normal, hurting Christians, about topics that the mainstream Christian church typically shies away from.

Presented in a 10-chapter format, where healing choices contrast with the lies that have been sold to us, Mr. Arterburn does not avoid the painful elements of life when discussing either his own story or those of others he has counseled on his daily radio show.  The version I reviewed contained workbook pages with each chapter – an essential part of this book.  Not for gift-giving, (unless you are a counselor), but personal growth in subjects like “The Choice to Feel Your Life,” in chapter 2, contrasted with the lie that “Real Christians should have a real peace in all circumstances.”  This hit home: while going through my own painful journey, I heard this lie – usually from smiling people without the depth of a healing process.  In contrast, the knowledge that my emotional pain was valid became liberating, and brought me (slowly) to peace and forgiveness.  With every chapter, I sensed a need for deeper study, which is why this review has taken so long (I am still not finished, but I hope you get the gist: excellent stuff here!).

In Mr. Arterburn’s words: “Your healing may be physical or it may be emotional and it could be spiritual.  I don’t know what God has for you. I am confident, however, that if you make the healing choices presented here and counter the lies you need to stop living, you will experience some level of healing to a new degree.” (intro,p.15)  In every page, every chapter and especially in the workbook pages, you are encouraged to make this a spiritual healing, by interacting with our grace-filled Saviour.

My hope is that this book is the fuel for your joyful living!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review, as part of the Booksneeze review blogger group.  You can join also!  Just click on the button at your right.

Resources:

Stephen Arterburn’s online radio presence : New Life Live Show

Christianbook.com’s listing of his written works

Amazon’s page: Stephen Arterburn

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Book Review: Put Your Dream to the Test, by John C. Maxwell

In his 52nd book, the tenth of which I now have in my own home, John C. Maxwell brings the esoteric dream into living, breathing color.  Coming from the simple perspective that most of us have a dream, yet lack the tools to turn its greyness into the black-and-white of reality, he proposes ten leading questions to help us get there.  My version of this book also included its companion volume: My Dream Map, a 50-page workbook for personalizing, journaling, and living your vision.

As with any Maxwell book, the challenge comes early: Put your dream to the test.  Spiced with powerful quotes, energizing stories of common-name successes, he draws you through the 10 questions to uncover the gritty realities of a dream you may only have held to yourself.  From the beginning of the book, he encourages sharing with three people you are close to, for both evaluation and encouragement of this pursuit.  Whether you can only tackle small portions of this book, or are working through the entire thing with your goal clearly in mind, or even simply need inspiration to allow yourself to dream, Maxwell has provided it.  Consistently, he also points solidly towards Jesus as the author of our dreams, and the enabler of them to be accomplished.

I found his engaging style to be an easy read, perfect for myself, or a gift – Father’s Day?  I highly recommend it.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review, as part of the Booksneeze review blogger group.  You can join also!  Just click on the button at your right.

Book Review: The Grace of God, by Andy Stanley

Grace is a tough two-way street:  I want it freely, yet I struggle to give it abundantly, which makes this book required reading.  My empirical knowledge of this subject has recently been tried by characters in my life who require it – often at odd with my desire to bestow it.  Andy Stanley expounds upon this very concept with the living color of stories from Creation to God’s very Grace-with-us: Jesus.  His earthy writing reminds me of Eugene Peterson, writer of The Message, while giving the clarity and punch of Max Lucado‘s beautiful prose, and yet so riveting in doctrine, like that of Chuck Colson or Francis Schaeffer, that I could not stop reading.  Andy has married a hard concept with examples that breathe for my life today, and in the doing of it, I am encouraged to keep on, to improve, and to smile while on my walk.

He begins by pointing out that “grace is understood best within the context of relationship,” and proceeds to open our eyes to a masterpiece that has been painted for us, by the hand of our God.  Before we existed, He created: the creation continues and astounds us daily by the strength of His grace and relationship to us.  I would not have seen beyond a pretty nature scene to the care God bestows in it – to me! – without my eyes being opened by this book.

Another example of Andy’s depth comes in the explanation of  Matthew’s initial genealogy of Jesus: from the perspective of Matthew, a forgiven tax-collector, and further, from the astoundingly lurid female recipients of grace who pepper Christ’s lineage.  Finally, I could understand the inclusion of Tamar in my Lord’s past.

I am supremely grateful to have had the privilege of reading, absorbing, and humbly applying the lessons in this essential book, and joyfully expect it to become dog-eared in my library.  I cannot more highly recommend it.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Book Review: Good Morning, Lord:I Don’t Know Where You Are Going, But I’m Going With You; by Sheila Walsh

by Sheila Walsh

cover photo

Having read several of Sheila Walsh‘s books, I was not disappointed by her cheery perspective on women’s morning devotional books. Speaking to issues I have had, am having, and potentially will face each day, she redirects my thoughts to the One who began the morning for me. For example, page 72-73 focuses on God as my Deliverer: beginning with her story, space to list my specific fears from which I need deliverance, and then guiding me to a listing of the characteristics of my Deliverer (with more space to scribble, which I love), and finally a summary prayer based on the Scripture anchoring the final page. While I had hoped to make this a gift book, I am being drawn to it’s use myself!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Booksneeze review of The Portable Patriot

I review for BookSneeze

As part of my agreement to work up a review of each book Booksneeze sends me, I enjoyed the reading of The Portable Patriot, by Joel Miller and Kristen Parrish. The premise is simple – a collection of writings that give soul to the patriotic ideal, as evidenced by our forefather’s impassioned scribblings. As our family will be studying this section of our history in our little homeschool this year, I liked the review. In fact, it did more than review for me, it inspired further research! I would have liked more content in the beginning section (pre-revolution), but that only reinforces my point.