Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to Live in Fear by Lance Hahn: Book Review

I recently finished reading How to Live in Fear by Lance Hahn. 

This book discusses living with panic, anxiety, and fear disorders. The author, Lance Hahn, deals with severe anxiety and fear himself. As our temporary pastor while we read his book, Hahn talks about his own experiences with anxiety, as well as gives advice for living and thriving despite the disorder. I selected this book to review because I suffer from anxiety and panic disorders myself, and I thought it might be helpful (it was).

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are topics that are too often shamed and avoided in the Christian faith. Those who do come out with their anxiety or depression are told that if they just had more faith or were better Christians, they would be fine, which just is not the case. Unfortunately, way too many people are completely ignorant when it comes to mental health, and they end up doing more harm than good. The difficulty comes in because our problems can't be seen; we look just fine on the outside, so our disorders are not taken seriously.

In the first part of the book, Hahn describes his own experiences with his severe anxiety and fear, starting when he was six years old and lasting through adulthood. He does this so that the reader can see what he experiences and gain compassion and understanding. The reader sees that Hahn understands what they are going through.

Through the second part of the book, Hahn talks about the causes, catalysts, and triggers for anxiety, and the importance of discovering them. He also gives a ton of coping and management techniques, and talks about his experiences with anxiety medication.

In the third and final section, Hahn talks about anxiety as it relates to Scripture and spirituality. He talks about the common Biblical misinterpretations of the words "anxiety" and "worry". People like to tell us Bible verses telling us not to worry, which is great and all, but it doesn't change anything, since we aren't making the decision to panic or be anxious in the first place, the problem is in our DNA. When we panic, we often don't even know why or what caused it; it just happens. The worry and anxiety that the Bible most often talks about is worries about everyday things, not anxiety disorders. Hahn gives examples of Biblical support for people who do suffer with anxiety disorders, and what the Bible really says about them.

I gave this book 5/5 stars, and it is something that I would definitely recommend to anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who suffers from or knows someone who suffers from an anxiety or panic disorder. Lance Hahn is such a wonderful person to hear all of this from. He doesn't just rattle off some Bible verses and tell us to just cheer up, as happens way too often. Hahn really understand anxiety and that having the condition isn't our fault. He writes with such a caring and friendly voice, it's like getting help from a close friend. He shows us that we are not alone. I really enjoyed this book, and it was extremely helpful.

I read this as an ebook, which I found to be really helpful because I could highlight important passages and things that really helped or stood out to me that I can easily find again later. Personally, I am morally against writing it physical copies of books, I know it helps but I just can't do it, so having the ebook allowed me to highlight and take notes, what definitely came in handy throughout the reading of this book. If you read this book, I highly recommend highlighting and note taking.

I also just wanted to say that having anxiety is absolutely terrifying. Often, when I'm having an attack, I am scared out of my wits, and that doesn't go away even when the attack is over, and I don't have anyone to talk to or go to for help. If any of you deal with anxiety or panic disorders and need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to send me an email or come talk to me on social media.
Twitter: @alltimeheidi
Email: heidi.marie.730@gmail.com


*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Habits for our Holiness by Philip Nation: Book Review

Hello again! I just finished reading Habits for our Holiness by Philip Nation, and I want to share my thoughts on it. I received a copy of the book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book about living out the spiritual disciplines. Philip Nation not only went into depth in explaining the disciplines, but also gave advice and instruction in how to live out those disciplines.

Nation gives all kinds of insight on everyday things that we should be doing and thinking about, such as various kinds of prayer, worship, and service. He also dedicated a chapter to fasting, which is something I have never learned about elsewhere, and I found that to be very interesting. He mentioned that all of these disciplines, while very personal, do not necessarily have to be private. For each discipline, he gave examples and instruction for both individuals and groups.

Having never studied spiritual disciplines before, this book was really helpful and eye opening for me. Also, Nation writes with such a friendly voice, which makes reading, understanding, and relating to what he was saying much easier.

The physical book itself is really nice. It's normal paperback size and is of good quality. It's a pretty short book, I read it in just a day, but it is full of great information.

I gave this book 5/5 stars and it is something that I definitely recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about the spiritual disciplines or Godly living.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

NKJV Study Bible Review

I really love Bibles that are filled with all kinds of extra content. In my opinion, the more the better! I find it really helpful to have information, explanations, maps, questions to think about, pictures, and other references to help me understand what I'm reading, which is why I love study Bibles!

I recently received a copy of the NKJV Study Bible, printed by Thomas Nelson. It is filled with all kinds of useful information and extras. Obviously, I didn't sit down and read the whole thing, but the information that I've read so far has been very interesting and helpful, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more.

The book itself is made very well. The pages are soft, and it opens nicely so the spine doesn't break, a must with paperback books. There isn't much that I hate more than a broken spine. All of the images are in color and all of the information and study tools are useful. One thing that I really liked was a chart of prophecies of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus. There is also a large table of topics along with recommended Bible verses to help in those situations. Each book has a really nice introduction that helps the reader understand the context and the background much better.

The only thing that I didn't really like about this Bible is how bulky it is. It's a big brick of a book, and it's paperback, which makes it kind of awkward to hold and a little harder to read. I think the pages should have been made a little bigger if they wanted to go with a paperback cover, but that's not a big deal, and not enough for me to not like it overall.

I would definitely recommend this Bible to someone who is looking for a study Bible, and I gave it 5/5 stars.


*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

April Wrap Up 2016

Hey guys, another month has gone by and now it is time for my wrap up!

To be honest, I kind of feel like an idiot. I went on and on and on at the end of March about how I was going to stick to my TBR for April, and then I didn't do that AT ALL. The thing is, literally the day after I posted my TBR, I got a ton of review books in the mail. So, those became my priority. Since I never stick to it anyway, I won't be doing a TBR for May.

Anyways, here's what I read in April!

  1. Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan 3/5 stars
  2. Man, Myth, Messiah by Rice Broocks 5/5 stars
  3. The Inheritance by Michael Phillips 2/5 stars
  4. Radical Prayer by Manny Mill 5/5
  5. Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife 4/5 stars
It was an okay reading month. A couple of really good books but also a couple of really meh books. All but the first one were for review. Overall, I'm happy with my reading.


Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife by Ruth A. Tucker: Book Review

Hey guys! I'm back today with yet another book review! I recently read Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse by Ruth A. Tucker.

Ruth Tucker suffered years of domestic abuse at the hands of her preacher husband, who justified the abuse under the pretense of male headship. The issue of male headship versus equality in marriage is a heavily argued topic among Christians and Biblical scholars. Ruth Tucker uses her own experiences and her own work as a Biblical scholar to prove her point that it is more Godly to have mutuality in marriage. She does this by providing Biblical proof in examination of original texts and translation of those texts. In male headship, where do we draw the line? What about when a woman is abused? This is especially important in the face of the fact that 30% of all women murdered in the United States are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands, or lovers.

Tucker also points out that Biblical interpretation is subject to personal and cultural bias, and the vast majority of Biblical scholars and interpreters are male. This isn't to say that these interpreters are intentionally misinterpreting the Bible to suit their own preferences. It is unavoidable that our cultural and personal biases influence the way we view things. However, the fact that the bias exists is still there. She goes on to say that mutuality in marriage is the best and most secure foundation for a family. Doesn't it make sense that a husband and wife who both respect the other would have the most solid foundation? Also, only listening to verses that can be interpreted to restrict women and ignoring verses that promotes mutuality is an example of humans choosing which parts of the Bible are important and which aren't, which is a sinful human endeavor. Finally, masculinity and femininity are cultural constructs, not Biblical issues. There are so many more fantastic points made in this book in support of mutuality!

I would recommend this book to everyone, especially anyone who may have dealt with abuse in their lives. This book was incredibly impactful and important for everyone to read. Too many times I have seen Christian women use the concept of male headship as an excuse for men to treat them poorly, which just isn't right. Everyone needs to read this book! I gave it 4/5 stars.


*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.