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

By on Jan 30, 2017 in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

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 motivation. We can take steps, sometimes baby steps, towards...

Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson (@aresimpson)

By on Jan 23, 2017 in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

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 to help people who experience a mental health crisis. And she offers her vision for the future, in...

Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say To Themselves

By on Jan 18, 2017 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 on Jan 16, 2017 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....

Bigger than Impossible: Keys to Experiencing the Impossible through God

By on Jan 12, 2017 in Book Reviews, Christian Living | 0 comments

Bigger Than Impossible is a great title. The gist of the book’s message was that we won’t know God is bigger than impossible situations if we never put ourselves in impossible situations. She talked about rebuilding efforts after hurricane Katrina, going to the Philippines as a missionary (she had never even flown before), and her husband’s battle with advanced Parkinson’s disease. These are impossible situations where she has seen God work. However, the author talked most about her childhood, which seems to have been traumatic for her. She was raised in a strict fundamentalist family, but has since come to know the grace of God. She hasn’t quite broken free of a works mentality, though. For instance, she repeatedly refers to our need to “manifest the required works.” And she has a very negative view of the future. At the time of this writing, the Kindle version is free. Book Quotes...