Good Books on Health and Wellness
Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry
by Amy Simpson
We are commanded not to worry, not only in the well-known words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 6, but also throughout the Old Testament and the epistles to the church. The Bible makes it clear that the future belongs only to God, who rules and is not subject to the limitations of time. To live with joy and contentment, trusting God with the present and the future, is a countercultural feat that can be accomplished only through him.
Challenging the idolatrous underpinnings of worry, former Christianity Today executive Amy Simpson encourages us to root our faith in who God is, not in our own will power. We don't often give much thought to why worry offends God, but indulging anxiety binds us to mere possibilities and blinds us to the truth. Correctly understanding the theology of worry is critical to true transformation. This is a book not just for people who worry; this is a call to the church to turn its eyes from the things of earth and fix its eyes on the author and completer of our faith.
Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness
Interweaving biblical insights and personal narratives, this eloquently written book shows how God often uses suffering and desert experiences to form us into Christ's image. Marlena Graves shares her experiences of growing up poor in a house plagued by mental illness as a means to explore the forces God uses to shape us into beautiful people in the midst of brokenness.
Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves
by Trillia Newbell
We will never be short on fears. Failure, rejection, sickness, losing a loved one, being alone—the fears we carry are many and heavy. Fear can be a tyrant, a bully we can’t hide from. It can paralyze our spirit, damage our relationships, and hinder our faith. Trillia is no stranger to fear. She has known its harsh grip on her life, but she has also known the gentle hand of God, a peace and a faith from the One who conquers fears.
In Fear and Faith, Trillia will encourage you as she reflects on Scripture and her own story. She will show you Jesus, who was tempted like you in every way. She will show you the character of God and how it inspires faith. And she will show you real women who have walked the road of fear—or are still walking it—and how they have found security in the Lord to be their strength. Whatever your fear, you are not alone, nor are you without hope. You have the One who can replace your fear with faith.
Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
by April Yamasaki
Is self-care different from being selfish or self-indulgent? Is it the same as caring for your soul? And what does self-care look like in light of following Jesus, who called his followers to deny themselves?
In Four Gifts, pastor and author April Yamasaki addresses these and other questions about self-care. Drawing on the ancient scriptural command to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, Yamasaki helps readers think about the spiritual dimensions of attending to your own needs, setting priorities, and finding true rest in a fast-paced world. She weaves together personal stories, biblical and theological insights, questions for reflection, and practical ideas for self-care. Four Gifts helps readers sustain their spirits and balance competing demands. Feeling overwhelmed by the pace and stress of daily life? Find respite from superficial definitions of self-care and move toward deeper engagement with God.
Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers: Finding Freedom from Hurt and Hate
Do you struggle with the deep pain of a broken relationship with a parent?
Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard invite you to walk with them as they explore the following questions:
- What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Why must we forgive at all?
- How do we honor those who act dishonorably toward us, especially when those people are as influential as our parents? Can we ever break free from the “sins of our fathers”?
- What does forgiveness look like in the lives of real parents and children? Does forgiveness mean I have to let an estranged parent back into my life? Is it possible to forgive a parent who has passed away?
Through the authors’ own compelling personal stories combined with a fresh look at the Scriptures, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers illustrates and instructs in the practice of authentic forgiveness, leading you away from hate and hurt toward healing, hope, and freedom.
Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness
by Kathryn Greene-McCreight
Where is God in the suffering of a mentally ill person? What happens to the soul when the mind is ill? How are Christians to respond in the face of mental illness? In Darkness Is My Only Companion, Kathryn Greene-McCreight confronts these difficult questions raised by her own mental illness--bi-polar disorder.
With brutal honesty, she tackles often avoided topics such as suicide, mental hospitals, and electroconvulsive therapy. Greene-McCreight offers the reader everything from poignant and raw glimpses into the mind of a mentally ill person to practical and forthright advice for their friends, family, and clergy. Her voice is a comfort to those who suffer from mental illness and an invaluable resource for those who love and support them.
Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them: Schizophrenia through a Mother's Eyes
by Simonetta Carr
When a son, sister or grandchild begins behaving in unexpected and disturbing ways, family members hope it may simply be a phase. For some, it is instead a lifetime illness - schizophrenia - which can bring shock, fear, and worry to everyone involved. In the midst of the numerous challenges, hope doesn't have to die.
Simonetta chronicles her experience of caring for a son with schizophrenia, along with all the struggles, questions, and fervent prayer that went with it. But this isn't one person's story. She has provided information and wisdom from psychiatrists, pastors, and people who successfully live with schizophrenia, uncovering the gospel in each situation and sharing hard-won insights on how to care and advocate for those we love.
The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament
by Aubrey Sampson
Grief won’t be contained. Grief disobeys. Grief explodes. There is a pathway through suffering. It’s not easy, but God will use it to lead you toward healing. This path is called lament. Lament minds the gap between current hopelessness and coming hope. Lament anticipates new creation but also acknowledges the painful reality of now. Lament recognizes the existence of evil and suffering―without any sugarcoating―while simultaneously declaring that suffering will not have the final say. In the midst of your darkest times, you will discover that lament leads you back to a place of hope―not because lamenting does anything magical, but because God sings a louder song than suffering ever could, a song of renewal and restoration.
Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality
by Rachel Joy Welcher
In the last five to ten years, there have been a number of books written about the damaging effects of the Christian Purity Culture. There's a predictability about them that typically includes testimonies about the harm it has done, detailing of faulty theology, and the author's unfortunate rejection of faith and/or church. Welcher's book stands out as notably different. Though she clearly articulates the problems with extreme purity culture teachings (including the use of shame and fear to corral teen/YA sexual longings), there seems to be no bitterness or rancor. Remarkably, she has found a way to dispute misguided PC teachings, acknowledge and grieve her losses, and continue to embrace Jesus and the broken yet beautiful church.
Hurting Yet Whole: Reconciling Body and Spirit in Chronic Pain and Illness
by Liuan Huska
How does Christianity speak to those of us who deal with chronic illness and pain? Can we find God amidst the sleepless nights, the agonizing pain, the seemingly unanswered prayers? Author Liuan Huska leads readers on a journey of hope. Rather than minimizing the struggles or offering cliches, she presses in, asks hard questions and in the process, helps all of us to understand that healing doesn't necessarily mean finding freedom from sickness or pain but rather becoming whole.
Companions in the Darkness: Steven Saints Who Struggled with Depression and Doubt
The church's relationship with depression has been fraught. For centuries, depression was assumed to be evidence of personal sin or even demonic influence. The depressed have often been ostracized or institutionalized. In recent years the conversation has begun to change and the stigma has lessened―but as anyone who suffers from depression knows, we still have a long way to go. In Companions in the Darkness, Diana Gruver looks back into church history and finds depression in the lives of some of our most beloved saints, including Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. Without trying to diagnose these figures from a distance, Gruver tells their stories in fresh ways, taking from each a particular lesson that can encourage or guide those who suffer today. Drawing on her own experience with depression, Gruver offers a wealth of practical wisdom both for those in the darkness and those who care for them. Not only can these saints teach us valuable lessons about the experience of depression, they can also be a source of hope and empathy for us today.