9 Books to Boost Your Faith and Help Your Thinking
I was given these books by Baker Book Publishers in exchange for my honest reviews. All opinions are my own.
How Joyful People Think
8 Ways of Thinking that Lead to a Better Life
“Some of the greatest activists in history were individuals who had the unique ability to both right wrongs and forgive wrongs.”
“How Joyful People Think is a good read. It did me no harm, and there has been research done here. It is laid out well and it didn’t take as long to read as some of the thinker informational books. However, it wasn’t quite what I expected. To be fair–I went into this thinking I would discover 8 Ways….that I didn’t really know about–which was why I needed to read this book. It wasn’t the case with me, but it could be different for you so please don’t take this review as two thumbs down or anything. It still has good points–just not as life-changing/mindset-altering as I hoped it would be.
Why? For me it’s about reading a book and being able to remember what I just read. I am forgetful, and a visual learner. There just weren’t as many “sticky statements” and visuals I think, for me. You still did a good job, Jamie. And to you possible reader, all you can do is give it a try.”
– Amazon review
Think. Learn. Succeed.
Understanding and Using your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life.
“When we understand our customized mode of thinking and how our brains are wired–that is how we are designed to move through the world–we will learn more quickly, think more clearly, process information more quickly, accomplish more and succeed!”
“Students are often made to focus on what they cannot do and are not given the freedom to focus on their strengths.”
And you’ll learn about Metacogs. C’mon–who doesn’t want to do this?!
Dr. Leaf has done a great job at taking some hard to understand things and breaks them down in more simpler terms.
I actually enjoyed this one more than I did Switch On Your Brain. I enjoyed the personal stories in this, and even some humor.
I received this book from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a review if I so wished, and all opinions and ratings are my own.
It’s Okay Not to be Okay
Moving forward one day at a time.
This is one of those books that I can try and write a review on all day but you just.must.get.one and read it for yourself. I am pretty picky when it comes to thick hardback books. This is one I would recommend, in fact, I titled my review: As a church member and worker in ministry with my own struggles–this is refreshing to read.
Right away she grabs my attention and though she talks of going through things in her sixties that differ from her younger years, where I am at in my thirties–much of what she talked about resonated BIG TIME. Why? Because struggles of life are not lumped. We all experience them.
It’s nice to read from a Christian perspective, raw story coupled with victory + a sort of map she gives us for how to climb out of the crap we may be in. It will look different for us all–but for most of us–the first step is so hard to take, and Sheila is like a friend walking you through, so you can accept, heal and grow. I love mostly that she starts this book out talking about why there’s the pain still, because so many of us ask, “Didn’t Jesus overcome evil? Didn’t he overcome the world?”
She gently yet boldly speaks the truth about how we are living in the in-between stage (my own words). We have been redeemed. Christ paid for our costly rebellion–but that we are in waiting, waiting for our Groom to arrive while he prepares the perfect Heaven and Earth for us to be with Him forever.
She talks about her faith walk from a young child until now and shares vulnerable family heartaches and stories. There’s humor in the mix too which is wonderful. This is a five-star book for me because it kept me locked in.
Grace in the Valley
Awakening God’s Presence to When He Feels Far Away
“…the word Christian should be a verb just as much as it is a noun.”
This book. You will cry. And learn. So just get the tissues–m’kay?
Green pastures, still waters….sure it’s easy to write words of flow and praise when you’re rolling the hills and frolicking in the sun with a spritz of blue water to cool you down. But what if there’s more to the Psalms than meets the eye? What if the verses can teach us something of a gritty hope–when we find out the writer(s) weren’t having fun in the sun, nor their surroundings usually paradise-like?
This author. Oh, my heart sings. She talked about going somewhere, somewhere so sad. But she let these kids climb all over her, though at first, she was hesitant. They needed to feel loved, and she had herself to give, as well as supplies and such. But in this chapter, she “visually shares the love of Jesus,” and tells us that, “..out of all my experiences, my understanding of God’s love and understanding of his presence was blown not by an amazing sermon or by listening to a well-known artist but by resting in that unlikely place and seeing what love is all about.”
Another favorite topic she talks about close to my heart and the issues I personally struggle with, is rest. I am the biggest advocate of the stuff (humor added there)–I know I need it, I love it–yet so often I pile on more and wonder why the rest isn’t coming. She also says this. “Sometimes we struggle to rest because we do not receive the provision of God in the duration of time we expect. We strive in our overconfidence while our soul becomes weary.” My mouth dropped the same time the mic did. Yours?
“God doesn’t walk away when we lie down. He lies down with us.” I’m telling you–this book gives the Shephard’s view. If you need to get reacquainted with our Father’s gentleness, add this to your reading list.
Navigating a polarized world as the people of God
“Our small congregation didn’t have a how-to problem; we had a want-to problem and only Jesus could change it.”
This was a great read. I would recommend it, I would. I must say I feel the best parts are in the first half which to me is a bit frustrating because I have invested my time in it. But the first half is so well written and thoughtful, I would still recommend this. (I just said that word three times–yes I did.)
“The faith I was introduced to at 18 was primarily a private experience.”
In Faith for the Moment, Rick draws us into how his passion for people and where he is coming from–began. If you have doubt you can have an impact in your local area, but want to–this read is for you. If you are able to see things from different points of views without putting a wall–this book is for you.
I believe there’s something each of us can take away from this one, and I see his heart in it and truly believe it will speak to many and be the nudge they need to step out in faith and serve where they are, picket fence or not.
“Liberals blame conservatives, conservatives blame liberals. People often find it easier to fight over issues they disagree on than hear the demands of the gospel concerning how we should spend our time.”
I chose this quote because it is powerful to me.
I feel it speaks what I have tried to put into words myself, what I want to say when I see well-meaning believers post back and forth online, almost like a ping-pong argument of who is right or wrong. And it’s disheartening when there’s so much to be thankful for and people around us who need to see love in us. This book is real. And though there may be parts you turn your head at, I will say I did not regret reading it at all. Get your copy here!
Welcome to Adulting
Navigating faith, friendship, finances, and the future
“..believers in Christ should do the most good”
This one is another favorite, hands down.
I know mostly my generation will enjoy this, but I think all can appreciate it and what Jonathan’s ministry for the Lord is doing to prepare and help young people along. I personally pray for people such himself, in today’s churches. I have seen firsthand the need for people who have more experience, to step up and be willing to share what they know–even if it’s not exactly convenient.
We need people and books like this. I pray I see more that are raw, real, funny, and full of truth. These are seriously my favorites because I don’t close the pages feeling condemned, but built up, and as if someone has handed me some unseen power–even if just a tiny snowball, packed tightly and ready to go.
If you have youngers in your life, 20-30’s this is for them. Even if you know of someone graduating high school, I say–stick it in a laundry basket with some household essentials for their future home or whatever–and wrap it up in a bow. They will thank you later. Maybe sooner!
I love how Jonathan shares openly his own rebellious path to true freedom in Christ, and how people who loved God gave him the grace to get there, and didn’t stifle or shun him. They welcomed him to a lakeside event and from there–he saw a new way to live.
Ah. Chills. This. I want this kind of ministry. Not for me. Not mine to have. But I love people. I want to fish with them, and love on them–and okay–I’ll stop.
Just put this on your list or get your copy today!
Fake or Follower
Refusing to settle for shallow faith
“All eyes on are the church to see if we’re really living out what we say we believe.”
Right away I was caught. A quote that won’t leave me be is usually a good sign. It read, “My prayer is that when I die, all hell rejoices that I am out of the fight.” – C. T. Studd
For the sake of this review, I feel it important I share the chapter titles with you because as you can see, they clearly tackle needed topics. If I were browsing books in a shop, flipped this open to find the chapters below–I would purchase it without flipping another page more.
And the cover is superb. People say we don’t judge a book by its cover, but we tend to, or by the back, or the first few pages.
I applaud Baker Books for this one. It’s funny to me too–how some of my favorite books have way fewer reviews than bigger named authors, but the quality of writing and subject matter are no less important. Thank you Andi.
1 ) Refuse to Fake It 2) Love out of Context 3 ) Identity Crisis 4 ) Crowd Pleasers or Mountain Climbers? 5 ) Misplaced Worship 6 ) Introverted Extroverts 7 ) Healing and Transformation in COmmunity 8 ) Posting It or Living It? 9 ) Reconciled Reconcilers 10 ) Living toward Eternity
This book was convicting. I knew right where it tagged me, and the Holy Spirit was like hey–I love you, but yes. Whew! I think every church should have this book on their shelf. I would love to do a study with it this year or the next, however God leads. The words are for today and tomorrow. All ages from teen through older adults will get something from this.
365 Readings for Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
This is such a great tool to accompany any other of Dr. Leaf’s books. Each day begins with a scripture, followed by a Brainy Tip, and is made up of a short, exhortation of truth and love. This thick little hardback is packed with punch and would make the perfect gift for older teens and adults of all ages. Caroline never does anything halfway–this book is awesome.
Add this to your church library, leave it on your desk to begin each day with, or maybe even include it as a starter for your highschooler’s school day.
I’ll leave you with some quotes to give you an idea of why this is worth your time, money and effort.
“If you suppress an emotion-it will explode somewhere.”
“We are designed to serve others. Serving others will change how our bodies and brains function right down to the level of our DNA and quantum energy.” (How’s that for science preachin?)
So..what are you waiting for? Grab a copy today!
God Over Good
Saving Your Faith by Losing Your Expectations of God
“Be merciful to those who doubt.” Jude 22 NIV
Um…this book completely caught me off guard. It was a page turner for me. Love this whole book. What a needed conversation. Here’s what another reader said about it. “Healthy spirituality acknowledges the inability of simple answers to remove all tension from the hardest questions of life, but healthy spirituality doesn’t walk away from wrestling with God.” – Brad Sumner
One of the chapter is Story, Not Answers–if that says anything. Wow. In the book, Luke talks about coming face to face with the things that cause us to doubt rather than sweeping them under the rug because we are afraid of what we might find. There’s stories to back up that there are people, Christians, who don’t want to engage past a certain point when something isn’t clear or makes them uneasy.
I love Luke’s heart. I am so thankful he stepped out and wrote this book. I have a strong feeling it’s going to get into many hands who need it, and maybe even help break down walls of fear the keep so many in the church quietly nodding without actively engaging and allowing those with questions who are unsure–to come into a safe space where we can admit we don’t have all the answers and just maybe, our expectations of God aren’t always perfect.
I want to share all the quotes y’all. This one made me laugh out loud in my daughter’s ballet practice, but it almost made cry. It made me stop and think. It made me feel understood because sometimes I want to say, “Am I the only one?” Please. Please. Get this book.
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