Health Communications, Inc.
1988 Revised 2005
John Bradshaw is a NY Times Best Selling Author, Educator, Philosopher, Theologian, Lecturer, Counselor, Emotional Health and Addiction Recovery Specialist. In 1999 he was selected by his fellow mental health professionals as one of the 100 Most Influential Writers on Emotional Health in the Twentieth Century. His insights on childhood and family relationships and the effects of issues like abuse, addiction, co-dependency and trauma have helped millions of people including myself.
I first read Healing the Shame That Binds You in 2006 when I was in the early stages of sobriety. I was terribly confused about my internal pain, why I had acted the way I did, why I destroyed my family and nearly myself. John Bradshaw’s book answered many of those questions, helped me better understand my family of origin and how it affected me as a child, adolescent and adult.
Quick disclaimer: this book isn’t written from a Christian worldview but that doesn’t preclude the information from being critical to healing. Poignantly, Mr. Bradshaw shares much of his own story… a recovering alcoholic, abandoned by his father at a young age and later sexually abused by a Catholic priest, this author personally understands the pain and torment toxic shame causes.
Healing the Shame That Binds You is extremely well written and easy to read with great charts and graphs that explain the challenging topics. But don’t mistake the ease of reading for fast processing. Those struggling with emotional wounds can expect this read to be slow and probably painful.
If you or someone you know is in the early stages of addiction recovery, have been abused or traumatized at any time in life, please consider this book. Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw is one of the most important books for emotional healing.
Here is a sample of John Bradshaw’s teaching on YouTube. http://youtu.be/sr1vq5CfUYU
Healing is a Choice:
Ten Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and
Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them
Thomas Nelson Publishers 225pp
I had originally planned to review a different book for August, but had problems with the digital photo of the cover. So at the last minute before publishing my monthly preview, I decided, or rather, God decided, this was the book I was supposed to read. I’ve been reading Stephen Arterburn’s work for many years. His books always bring conviction and comfort and this one was no disappointment.
Let’s start with these challenging words from the author:
I am asking you to give up your life as you know it so that you can find the life God has for you. Take hold of your future today and make the choices that will lead to your healing. ~ Stephen Arterburn
With touching personal stories, Mr. Arterburn shows us why we should refuse the lies we’ve been believing and how to make needed changes that will bring healing if we choose to do the work. As always, it’s our choice whether we want to be healed or not.
Here is a sample:
- The Choice to Connect Your Life: We must branch out from the “I only need God” mentality; take a healing risk to connect with others who can help us experience life to the fullest.
- The Choice to Feel Your Life: We must press past the habit of numbing ourselves. Once we can define and acknowledge our feelings true healing can begin.
- The Choice to Investigate Your Life in Search of Truth: Take an honest look at your life in the past, where you are today and where it is leading for the future.
- The Choice to Heal Your Future: When we stop dragging our past into our future we lose weight that slows us down and can rob us of a healthy future.
- The Choice to Help Your Life: By choosing to reach outside ourselves we can help ourselves have the life God desires for us.
InterVarsity Press 2003
I first read Strength in Weakness in 2007 when I was in the throws of understanding my struggle with same-sex attraction. It helped explain the roots of my pain and answered many questions.
Although Andrew Comiskey writes about his struggle with homosexuality, this book isn’t just for people who are overcoming same-sex attraction. Strength in Weakness is for anyone, male or female, who have experienced broken relationships and need sexual healing.
We all suffer the consequences of the Fall and often don’t understand how that affects our relationships.
In Strength in Weakness, Mr. Comiskey lovingly navigates the wounded to identity, an identity not found in what our culture says we should be, an identity not found in who our childhood wounds tell us we are, but an identity found at the foot of the Cross.
Only through Christ will we find healing for our brokenness, only then will our weakness be transformed into Kingdom Power that reaches others with God’s love.
Are you hurting because of broken relationships? Struggling with areas of weakness?
Instead of falling backward into further sin, fall forward into Christ.
If you’re not familiar with Stephen Arterburn — check him out. He has been an incredibly important influence on me from the early days of my recovery. In fact The Life Recovery Bible, which he edited and produced with David Stoop, saved my life!
Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and is the host of the nationally syndicated “New Life Live!” daily radio program. Steve’s also the founder of the Women of Faith conferences and has written over 60 books. This isn’t a Stephen Arterburn advertisement, but I want to put into perspective the value you will get from reading his book.
In Feeding Your Appetites Mr. Arterburn shows us in the beginning, at creation, all our appetites were intended for good. It was only after the fall of man that our natural appetites took on unhealthy purposes.
The career we choose…
- the way we spend our money
- how often we want sex and what kind we want
- the types of friends we build relationships with
- the amount of champagne we drink at a party
- how we prioritize our activities
…all reflect our distinctive appetites and desires.
Our appetites motivate us to seek fulfillment, but they must be managed or they will lead us into a world of regret and tremendous emotional pain. When an appetite intended to help us survive is managed incorrectly, it may become a trap holding us in a deadly grip. Until we give ourselves and our appetites completely over to God, we will remain trapped. ~ Stephen Arterburn
While reading Feeding Your Appetites we will recognize the influences that have led to our poor choices, we will pave new pathways and learn how to fill these natural voids in healthy ways. We will begin to cultivate godly appetites and ultimately live a surrendered life. To ensure our success Stephen has a simple Twelve Step process to help us evaluate our circumstances and map the areas where we’re struggling. Also included is a study guide for use with family or small groups.
If you struggle with appetites that have grown out of control consider reading Feeding Your Appetites by Stephen Arterburn.
Power Thoughts isn’t a book just to be read. It’s a textbook that needs to be studied and used over and over again. Joyce frequently admits her own struggle in the area of her mind. And like a good teacher, she’s passing on tools she knows work, because they’ve helped her. In her traditional “Mama J” style, with review questions and Power Pack Scriptures placed throughout, Joyce gives us 12 Power Thoughts to help corral our mind. Here’s a sample…
Power Thought 1: I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ.
This one’s a biggie for me. It’s easy to get into a pity party about doing housework, thinking I’m not making a difference in the world. Then God reminds me that whatever I need to do today, is what He wants me to do and I can do it through Christ’s strength if I will keep my mind on Him!
Joyce encourages us to focus on one Power Thought for a week, posting it on a 3×5 card in visible places around our home or office. Then throughout the day it’s available to review, thus keeping it top of mind. I’ve used this technique over the years with Scripture and affirmations with great success.
Often we don’t realize our problems start with a thought. If we’re depressed, we need to stop and have a “think session.” By reviewing what’s been running through our mind, we’ll find negative thoughts are the culprits. Once we get control of our thoughts, we’ll change our attitude and eventually our actions. Then we can enjoy the life Jesus died for us to have!
No matter what your struggle, thoughts are critical to overcoming any situation. I encourage you to get Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Don’t just read it. Really do the work. It can and will change your life…
I offer you twelve “power thoughts” that can revolutionize your life if you will believe them, allow them to take root in your mind, and act on them in your everyday life. ~ Joyce Meyer