Recently I have been reading some really awesome self help books, and although this is a writing blog, these books have been written to help people navigate the tumultous spiritual and mental waters. I have read and reviewed these books on one of my sister sites, however I have taken notes from them and will(try) to apply the advice. These books range from living past mistakes in relationships, to worshiping God freely to learning about how your brain works in order to “train it”. So here goes:
Stephen Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Ministries-the largest faith-based broadcast, counseling, and treatment ministry and is host of New Life Live! daily radio. He also authored helpful books and manuals such as Being Christian, Every Man’s Battle, and Midlife Manual for Men.
What Arterburn Reminds Us
The first thing Stephen reminds us in the beginning is that we must take responsibility for our portion of the hurt. This is one way to live regret free and another way to become mature. One can not honestly move forward until they figure out what stake they had in a relationship gone sour. This is cleansing and it will hurt to own up to those responsibilities. Arterburn even mentions his own unhealthy patterns of always running away when he “felt someone was doing something to him rather than with him”(30). (Read more at Suite101: Live Past Your Mistakes With Regret Free Living | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/live-past-your-mistakes-with-regret-free-living-a386638#ixzz1Woyvuy2y)
Earthen Vessels is one of those books where the author uses scripture, “old school” theology, and many writings from philosophers in order to make the illustrious point that what we do and how we do things actually does matter to our faith. Matthew Lee Anderson speaks to the reader with brutal honesty when he says “I’m a white college educated evangelical from middle income”(16). This was to highlight that he will not be touching on issues of race at all (so I did not expect ideas on how Blacks worship although that would have been nice) and I also expected there to be some apparent American, western traditional beliefs sprinkled in the work.
A Purely Evangelical Background
What Anderson means by earthen vessels are our bodies in relationship to how we worship, what we listen to, and how we define beauty among other things. A little background on the author shows that he comes from a purely evangelical background, graduated from Biola University and spent a year at Oxford. Anderson shows off his research and arguing prowess within several disciplines within the book. However the book only gets interesting once he starts on tattoos. From there he hits on several topics which Christians should pay attention to and question namely: Tattoos, our physical bodies, and the online church. (Read more at Suite101: Earthen Vessels — A Bit Judgmental, Great Conversation Starter | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/earthen-vessels—-a-bit-judgmental-great-conversation-starter-a381978#ixzz1WozM2sxE)
Dr. Curt Thompson works out of his private practice office as a psychiatrist in Falls Church, Virginia and develops teaching materials and training manuals to help people explore neurobiology and Christian spirituality to help transform lives. One book in particular, Anatomy of the Soul has a wealth of knowledge brimming with medical data about the brain, the physical make up of the brain and he shows us how we can “pay attention to what we are paying attention to”(Thompson, 2010).
How can someone pay attention to what they are paying attention to? Dr. Thompson understands that each person has a battle going on within themselves, however if we are to know each others narrative we can begin to understand our problems and work through them. For instance, the book includes an activity within each chapter, and one particular activity calls for writing your own biography or narrative(just a page or so long). After you finish you would then look at it and reflect on how you have reacted to certain situations in the past which would explain some of your current behavior. The book gives a more precise method for this and it gets more technical towards the end, but for now knowing your own story is key to answering some of your life’s problems. (Read more at Suite101: Anatomy of the Soul, a Reflection of Your Brain and Narrative | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/anatomy-of-the-soul-a-reflection-of-your-brain-and-narrative-a381081#ixzz1WozpAsoY)
*Here is to hoping you will find the strength and motivation you need through the right words on The Write Web!