Monday, November 21, 2011

40 Days To Better Living

OVERVIEW: You want to feel better― and this book provides clear, manageable steps to get you there, through life-changing attitudes and actions.

If you're ready to really live better, select one or more elements of the 7-step Model for Healthy Living: Faith, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends, Nutrition, and follow this 40-Day plan to improve your life ―just a bit― day by day.

With plenty of practical advice, biblical encouragement, and stories of real people who've taken the same journey, 40 Days to Better Living ― Depression may be the most important book you read this year.
(From The Back of The Book)

AUTHOR: This book is produced by the staff of  Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Scott Morris wrote the introduction. The book is small and has the feel of a magazine. The church has produced several books about healthy living. This one is about depression.

MY REVIEW: This is a good book, easy to read and helpful. It will help you manage stressors, get moving, work with your doctor, enjoy family and friends and connect with God. The part I like best is that it is filled with stories of real people and how they discovered healing. Each day is divided into Morning Reflection and Evening Wrap-up. Morning Reflection includes: Faith Life, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends and Nutrition. Evening Wrap-up is just that ― wrap-up! I personally believe that the best part of the book is the part that helps you connect with God.

I believe there should be a better way to state the fact that this book is about depression and yet I do not know how to do it. The title now is: 40 Days To Better Living  with Better Living in large letters on one line and the word depression in capitol letters but smaller letters on another line. It all seems to run together and the word depression doesn't stand out. Maybe 40 Days To Better Living as the title and Overcoming Depression as a subtitle would be better. Regardless, this is a book about how to overcome depression ―and a good one. I recommend it to all those suffering from depression.

(I want to thank The B & B Media Group, Inc. for giving me this book for review.)


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ten Decisions That Will Transform Your Life
Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them
By Stephen Arterburn

MY REVIEW: I'm not a psychologist but I strongly believe that reading this book can transform your life  if it needs to be transformed. The pain in his own life is what led Stephen Arterburn to write this book. The book has produced study groups around the world. Many have been "healed" and found hope for a future they had lost hope for.

Arterburn tells the story from the fifth chapter of the book of John about Jesus healing a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. We think the strange part of the story is that before Jesus healed the man he asked him if he wanted to get well. The man had a choice to be healed or not. He may have wanted to remain unhealed so he could just lie around, or he may have grown accustomed to begging and knew begging was easier if he had a health problem. He may have used his illness to disconnect from the world and the other pressures of life. There are many reasons that he may not have wanted to be healed. So this is not a bizarre question. 

Healing is a choice. If you are struggling or know someone who is--get this book and read it. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, said: "Steve Arterburn has written a classic on personal healing. If you make these choices your life will be transformed." I agree.  Like many books I read, this one has some things I disagree with but nothing that takes away from the books value. I recommend it to all those that want to be healed.

OVERVIEW:  This book was originally published in 2005, and there have been many changes, developments, and new insights since its publication. Arterburn is a strong advocate for marriage even after suffering a divorce. He is convinced that when there are marital problems and even betrayal, the first response needs to be steps toward reconciliation and saving the marriage.

The book deals with far more that marital problems and divorce. It's about the deep hurts of life and how to heal them. It's about God's presence, unconditional love, and provision in your life. It helps you to know that no matter what you have lost or been through, you can be healed.

AUTHOR: Stephen Arterburn is the host of New Life Live!, a radio and television program distributed across the country. He is a best-selling author with more than eight million books in print. He is also the founder of Women of Faith, a conference attended by more than four million women since its inception. Steve also serves as the teaching pastor of Heartland Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you have a question or a comment for Steve, you can contact him at

(I am thankful to Thomas Nelson Publishing Company for providing this book for review.)


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work
by Jon Walker

OVERVIEW: Jon Walker engages Bonhoeffer's classic work on Christian life in community, presenting its rich and vital themes for Christians in the twenty-first century. Christians were never meant to live life alone. Only "in visible fellowship" do we learn to love one another and to live like Jesus is real.

Walker brings a clear voice and powerful teaching to Bonhoeffer's classic work on the church enabling you to understand the great importance of the Body of Christ. Through life together we grow into authentic spiritual maturity. As we live out the life of faith together, the love, forgiveness, and power of Christ literally and visibly comes alive for the world.

AUTHOR: Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor at later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church. He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's HomeLife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox. he is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. His articles have appeared in publications and websites around the world. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more about his ministry at

MY REVIEW: When I picked up Jon Walker's first book, Costly Grace I did so not because I knew Jon Walker, but because the book was about Bonhoeffer and his book, The Cost of Discipleship. Costly Grace is a wonderful book. One of my favorites! 

I wanted to read more from Walker and subscribed to his daily devotions on the internet. When I heard that he had written this new book--In Visible Fellowship, I was excited. Now that I have read it I can report that I was not disappointed. I agree with Harold Harper who wrote: "In Visible Fellowship will help you understand the necessity of staying focused on Jesus throughout the day and compel  you to make a deep commitment to the people in your small group."

This book shows how Christian community is not a theory or an ideal, but an everyday practical reality. It is a practical, biblical treatment of the church as the Body of Christ. It includes discussion questions which makes it excellent for small group discussions.There are thirty-six chapters and the thing I like best about the book is that every chapter is brief and to the point. I recommend this little book to all Christians.

(Thanks to Leafwood Publishers for providing this book for review.)


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

As a boy growing up in Oklahoma I didn't know anything about security doors or screens. Today, we have security screens on three doors of our home.

The Oklahoma summers were hot and we left the front and back doors open to cause a draft through the house. The windows were also up or open. At night we always checked to see if the screens were "latched". Although I don't know why. If anybody wanted in all they had to do was pull real hard and the screen would come unlatched.

I never felt afraid! Dumb Okie? Maybe. But I was happy and at peace with myself and others.

At Halloween I went all over town with one or two other boys. No adults. We wouldn't have even considered it.

Last night here in Scottsdale. A few children were out. Their parents were only a few feet away. And for good reason.

Did I grow up in the "good old days"? I think so. There were a lot of things in those days that were not so good and many "good" things have come into being over the years. But generally speaking, if I had to make a choice I would go back to the days gone by.

Yes, I would miss the "good" things that have come to pass and the "progress" that has been made. Like this computer I am using right now.

But mercy me, I would love to pillow my head at night knowing that generally speaking all is well in Scottsdale and all points beyond. That women and little children are not being molested. And that all that "crappy stuff" I value so highly will still be there in the morning.