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BeScrooged: Imagining a Full Life of Generosity

By in Book Reviews, Generosity | 0 comments

BeScrooged: Imagining a Full Life of Generosity by Gordon MacDonald My rating: 4 of 5 stars Part storybook, part devotional, and part Christian teaching, this book is a fast-paced, enjoyable read with a serious message. BeScrooged follows the transformation of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. At each stage in Scrooge’s development, the authors provide Christian teaching on the subject of “full-life generosity” and devotional readings focusing on specific people in the Bible who exemplified either stinginess or generosity (or the struggle in between). According to the authors, we each need to reach our personal crisis that brings about life transformation, a point at which we have been BeScrooged. Just as Scrooge had a drastic and total transformation of his outlook on life, we each need to experience a similar moment that forever changes our hearts and lives. Full-life...

Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis by Brad Hoefs (@bradhoefs)

By in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

Fresh Hope by Dr. Michael Egger My rating: 5 of 5 stars When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness (bipolar disorder), I had an all or nothing approach that included Option A: a devastated life with mental illness, or Option B: complete and perfect healing by God. That was the only way I could think about it. And, in fact, I believe the church taught me to think about it in those terms. As I worked through the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, I came to realize there was a better choice. I could accept mental illness and overcome it through diligence on my part and faith in God’s part until I reached a point of recovery, which is not the same as healing. Recovery means living with it, but overcoming it with God’s help. That’s what I liked most about Brad Hoefs’ book, Fresh Hope. He emphasized recovery as the goal and that goal gives us hope and...

Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson (@aresimpson)

By in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson My rating: 5 of 5 stars During Amy Simpson’s youth, her mother developed schizophrenia. She knows firsthand the traumas and difficulties of families with mental illness. That’s why she writes with such passion and compassion for others who struggle with mental health problems. In particular, she points out the many ways the church has failed people with mental health issues. In her book, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission, Simpson addresses the practical and theological issues that feed misunderstanding about mental illness in church communities. But she doesn’t leave her message at “do better,” she goes on to share the success stories of churches who intentionally reach out to people through mental health ministries. She describes specific actions the church or individuals can take...

Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say To Themselves

By in Book Reviews, Writing & Marketing | 0 comments

I don’t often publish book reviews of general writing books, but here’s one I read last year so I included the review I posted on Goodreads. It’s not a Christian book by any means, but writing books don’t have to be religious. 🙂 This particular book helps discouraged writers reframe their negative thoughts into positive ones. This helps change momentum, optimism, and ultimately results. I should print the 299 thoughts on toilet paper so I could read them every day! (But the author might not like me saying that!)   Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say To Themselves by Eric Maisel My rating: 4 of 5 stars As the title sounds, Write Mind a list of negative things writers say to themselves and the positive statements to replace the negative ones. Eric Maisel’s concepts had resonated with me before so I thought this would be helpful and I was right....

Bipolar Happens by Julie Fast (@JulieBipolar)

By in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

Julie Fast’s book, Bipolar Happens: 35 Tips and Tricks to Manage Bipolar Disorder, is a quick read, but a thought-provoking one. She covers 35 problems people with bipolar face and describes not only her debilitating problems but her own tried and proven coping strategies. She covers everything from the fear of going to public events to bipolar spending sprees and more. For each problem area, she frequently offers a list of possible solutions. I had to pause to consider which problems I experience and which types of solutions could work for me. On one level there’s nothing earth shattering here. On another level, this small eBook does address a variety of concerns for people with bipolar disorder (and those who love them). One of the things I liked about her writing was her quirky and memorable analogies: The past is not a frog for you to dissect. Life is not a biology class....