Book Review: Healing Is a Choice by Steve Arterburn

Healing Is a Choice 10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them

By Steve Arterburn
Published by Thomas Nelson

First of all this edition of Arterburn’s book is a great buy as it includes not only the main text but also has a supplemental workbook.  This bonus buy alone makes it an amazing resource.

Arterburn’s basis of his book is that there are 10 decisions that we can make that will transform our lives which are based on ten different lies about who the devil makes us think we are. The book is a thick read and when you do all of the supplemental work book items that are included it will take one time to read. Having an under graduate degree in psychology and a masters from a seminary I’d highly recommend this book to anyone that is dealing with hurt and issues in their life.  It will help the reader start their journey and process to finding healing for the hurts in their lives and to make the correct decisions to get them on their way.  Half of the challenge of healing is refusing to listen to the lies that are in our heads about our-self and the situations that impact us.

Definitely a resource I’ll be keeping for myself and others to use.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Acceptance…… “I just want to make you happy”

Having a toddler can help you reflect a lot on yourself….   I know I have always struggled with acceptance and who I am as an individual.  I am starting to see some of that in my daughter and it scares me a little.  When we tell her that she did something that made us sad or the like she will say, “I just want to make you happy”…..  It breaks your heart when you hear those words out of your child’s mouth.

We all have a part in us that so longs to be accepted, to be loved for who we are.   I think this is something that we as followers of Christ often forget to address in our relationships with others.  We forget that we are God’s hand and feet and a vessel in which others can feel and know God’s love.  As a parent I know that I need to make sure that my daughter knows that I love her, despite the times she tests my patience or disobeys.  I never want her to go to bed after a long day thinking that I don’t love her.  I am trying my best to invest time into her with “daddy dates” to show her that I care and love her.  I am trying to follow up discipline with a small chat, saying sorries and hugging with an “I love you” attached.

Part of my struggles go back to feeling loved and accepted.  Not just by my parents but by those who were “my friends”, older adults around me, people who I looked up to.  I think we need to all be aware that we ALL have the need to be accepted.  I want my daughter to grow up knowing always that she is loved and accepted.  I want her to have that confidence.

What can you do to instill that confidence in those around you?

Do you have friends who will pour that into you?

How has this battle for acceptance/love hurt you? What part has it played in your bad decisions?

We are always growing and changing.  We all will have times that we are strong and times that we are weak. We need to all know that God Loves us (John 3:16, I John 4:7, 10-11).  It is so easy to say and we all still desire for others to show us that we are loved and accepted.  We are humans in a fallen world.

Know that you are loved and accepted by the Father and giver of life.  Take time to ponder that, but also to ponder how you can spread His love and acceptance to those who need to hear it around you.


Learning to Worship….again

Its hard for people who are in ministry, have been in ministry, or have been involved in Worship Production to sometimes find a way to Worship.  In the last year I have transitioned not only from being on a church staff to being a lay person, but also out of all my technical/production related roles.  So for me I’m in a new phase of “learning how to worship” again.

For me being technical  I have to find ways and times that I can worship and either ignore the technical distractions (be it the use of technology, sound issues, lighting, ect) or move beyond them.  I had a recent experience where the technical distractions were almost too much for me to even continue to sit through the worship service.  Probably part of it was my mindset at the time, but has re-spurred me to a couple of things that I need to do.

Here are my thoughts on things to do to get into a mindset of worship:

1.  Arrive early.  The reason for this is multiple.

a) It allows you to have time to get your heart right, pray for God’s protection of your focus and to allow you to worship Him with your whole heart. We have to open ourselves to worship.  If there is a hurt or pain we must ask God for healing and to mend us, as this will greatly distract us from worship.

b) It allows you to get a seat where you can worship with the least distractions.  I’m finding more and more personally that this means closer to the front and center, which is contrary to what might be most “comfortable”.  I spent years sitting in the back of the church service because I had to be able to get out easily in a case i was needed, but that is not the case anymore so I have to learn to change.

2.  Find other ways or places to worship.  For me I have to find times like driving in the car listening to Music to get my heart and mind focused.  I have found places like North Pointe and Life Church’s online services to help greatly in allowing me to worship when I need it.  I get the actual worship experience as well as the teaching.   For some it may mean a major change, finding a new place of worship.  This can be hard, but depending on your situation it might be what you need to do to worship.  It can be either a permanent change or just a temporary thing to get yourself back into the Worshiping mindset.

3.  Close your eyes.  Sometimes what keeps those of us who are technical from worshiping is what we see.  So be willing to close your eyes to remove that one sense from your distraction.  Distractions can be the people around us, what they are doing, or the technology that is involved in the service.  Be willing to close off your eyes so that these distractions do not keep you from experiencing Worship.

4.  Make it a community experience, because well that is what it is meant to be.  If you have a group of friends that you go to church with, you may  need to ask them to surround you and help you to worship.  This may be necessary if your not actually going to church and need the accountability to do it.  If your hurting because of something that has happened you might need people to encourage you to be there, to worship and to be loved on by them.

For whatever reason that your life has changed and you need to re-learn how to worship, it is vital that we try to find a way to make worship a central part of our lives.

If your are actively serving on a church or ministry staff, you NEED to make time to worship.  If you do not find a way or a time to worship each and every week you will be doing yourself, those you minister to and God an injustice.  You cannot serve God fully if you are not opening your heart and time to worshiping and being feed by the Word.  You need to make going to a worship service happen.  If you find it impossible you need to beg those that you work with to help you make it happen and do the same thing for them.

Do not give up on worshiping God alone, but also with the community of believers God has placed you in.


Book Review: Daddy Dates by Greg White

Daddy Dates: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts: The Road Map for Any Dad to Raise a Strong and Confident Daughter [Hardcover]

Greg Wright

Daddy Dates was a timely book as I have a young daughter and needed the encouragement to continue to build into my relationship with my daughter. The general idea behind the book is amazing, however it seemed that the book didn’t really move past the idea that fathers need to build a relationship with their children.  He helps fathers see that a man must “date” his daughters just like he dates or dated their mother.
I believe that in our present times where so many fathers focus more on their career and providing for their family financially, Wright points out that we need to be there relationally and emotionally for our daughters.
In my mind the book could have had more practical ideas and ways for implementing the technique into the readers life.  The book was a quick read which was primarily do to the fact that it was a culmination of stories about his own experiences.  The book would have gained more in my rankings if it had more factual evidence or proof from others who have applied his techniques.
Overall it was a good read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Attitude and Words

Attitude and Words
Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
          “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And ever tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


Recently (not so recently as this was just found unposted, oops) I have noticed issues with attitudes and how people are being treated.  A lot of this is in my own attitude towards others, work, ect.  But I have also seen it in those around me and the way that others are treated and the way they react in situations.  It is so hard to sit by and watch as someone you care about it belittled or hurt by another persons words. It’s not just the words that hurt but it is the attitude behind those words that make such an impact.  I have had to withdraw myself from people and situations when I knew that my attitude was not right and that I could not stand to be near the attitudes of others.  I know that this may not be the most appropriate thing in some peoples eyes, but I know that in these situations if I do not withdraw that I will lash out and in turn my attitude will not be one that is pleasing to God. 

Tied into this is the issue of the tongue obviously.  James 1:26 (NIV) states, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”    I think that so often people do not realize how much the words they say hurt.  They may not think that they are hurtful and instead think that they are helping the person with the project or task they are working on, but instead the way that words are said stab the person deeply. 


I think that we all need to review our attitude and the way that we use our words.  I think that we often say way more than is necessary and in turn deeply wound and injure those around us.  As Christian’s we are meant to be God’s agents of healing, speaking the truth in love, and building the community.  By using words that injure we are not healing nor building the community.  Truth in love is not something that happens everyday but when we are dealing with a fellow believer who is struggling with sin or areas in their life which need to be corrected or dealt with as they are not pleasing to God.


So final thought:  When dealing with anyone, check the attitude you have and are using in your conversation, and also check, your words.  The psychological injury from words is a painful one, one that takes along time to heal from.  Be Christ with flesh on.



Book Review: The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America

The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America

By Gabe Lyons

Gabe Lyons really hits it home with The Next Christians.  The book itself was an easy read when it comes to the content and time it took to read, but it takes time to process and see how it is impacting you.  This book is not one to take lightly it is a book that challenges the reader to ask themselves, what are they doing as Christians to make an impact on those around us. This book has hit me at a time in my life where i have been asking myself whats next, how do I do this thing called my Christian Walk and living in Community with others.  After reading it I have no clearer answers but I do realize that there are others with the same struggle and battle.

Lyons talks about the fact that we are coming to a point in time that we must “reenvision” what our faith is, how it plays out, or should i say how it is lived out.  We need to find a way to help those around us to experience the Christian faith in such a way that it meets their deep spiritual needs.  Current or past Christianity does not necessarily do that.  Our church’s are making less of an impact on the people that attend and less of an impact on the communities they minister to.

Lyons discusses the 6 Characteristics that set “Next Christians” apart:  1. Being provoked and not offended. 2. Creators, not critics. 3. Called, not employed. 4. Grounded, not distracted. 5.  In Community, not alone.  6. Countercultural, not “relevant”

The points that I think resonate so personally to me are the Called and not employed and in community and not alone.  We are called to a life of ministry not just one vocationally, and we are called to not live our life out alone.  These are just two areas that I personally felt and seen God nudging me.  I know that there are others.   Take a further look into The Next Christians” to be further challenged and inspired to change.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How much do you push others?

Over the past few years I’ve had the problem with friendships of, ok you said you wanted to do something but you won’t respond…..

How much do we push/pull those we are in relationship with?  When do we just throw up our hands?

I don’t want to be the “annoying” person who is nagging people to do things they said they want to do.  But I also don’t want to be the friend who just doesn’t care and doesn’t do anything.

So I’m in a tough spot…..

I have friends who want to hang but show no motiviation to connect.  Friends who have mutual goals with me but don’t respond to trying to put a plan in action…….

What am I to do?   Is it the good old three strikes and your out?  Do I need to take a more confrontational approach (ie making phone calls instead of emails/text?)?  Do I just sit back and leave the ball in the other persons court?

I want friends that pursue me and care about me, and I thought the way to help nurture that was to do the same for them.  But apparently that doesn’t work anymore….  I don’t want to drive people away but I do want to encourage people to grow and to be in community.

Part of me again wants to throw up my hands and says who cares……

I know what I need to do when people pursue me.  I need to respond and be involved not just fluff it off……

So whats your thoughts? What do you do?