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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"Love, God" by Deborah J Simmons Roslak and Linda J Orber

This devotional is a must have for anyone who could use a good pick-me-up.  Each segment is two to three pages.  They start off with a quote, some food for thought, an inspirational message, and finish off with journal prompts.  This can be read one day at a time or readers can plow through it in a day or two (whatever the preference).  While the book itself is very short, I chose to take my time.  The words are short but the meaning is deep and intense.  The authors write from the perspective of God, so it feels as if God is speaking to the reader.  While there are some Bible verses, the book itself could be enjoyed by people of all faiths.  God is often referred to as the Creator and Love itself.  There are many references to putting more love in one's life, allowing oneself to be loved, remembering one is loved, remembering God is always there, and so on.  If more people thought like this, I do believe the world would be a better place.  Live in love for you were made in love.  Love, God.  

"Girl, Stop Apologizing" by Rachel Hollis

For all the women out there who have dreams they've not yet pursued, this book is for you.  Hollis goes into the lies and excuses that hold women back from being their best...most of which revolve around other people's perceptions.  If I chase my dream, I won' be a good mom, my husband will be mad, my friends will make fun of me, and so on.  These are awful reasons to live one's life in the backseat.  After the mental work is done, Hollis moves readers onto building skills and habits that will lead them to success.  These are all about consistency and hard work over time.  This book offers no quick fixes.  Hollis shares her own journey of success in this book, being candidly honest about what did and did not work for her.  She is also upfront about her own confidence in her image, especially about her extensions, hair coloring, eyelash extensions, and even plastic surgery.  Hollis' look isn't for everyone, but she does encourage women to find whatever look makes them happy and confident.  While I didn't agree with everything in this book, I found it to be overall motivating, inspiring, positive, and stock full of good intentions.  Girl, live your life, make your dreams come true, and stop apologizing for being who you are!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"The Biology of Belief" by Bruce H. Lipton, PhD

An instructor recommended this book to class after teaching a roomful of students about the heart-brain connection.  Lipton opens the book with a story from his own life, explaining how his unusual journey to reconcile science and spirituality began.  There is fascinating information detailed about cellular biology and whether or not matter is really all that matters (spoiler alert, it isn't!).  Energy, waves, vibrations, and more are discussed, as well as the placebo effect and religious miracles.  I loved the analogy of consciousness being like a TV station.  Even if a TV breaks, the station still exists.  It merely has to be played on another device.  In this sense, the window of opportunity exists for both reincarnation, as well as immorality.   Several fascinating studies are mentioned in this book, which has prompted me to order several others to learn more.  I will say this book spends more pages discussing the science of how cells work than going into case studies of the paranormal.  Still, I found it to be enlightening.  You are not destined to be whatever your DNA and genes are.  You can influence your future and change your cells today!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"You are the PLACEBO" by Dr. Joe Dispenza

I listened to this audio book because an instructor of mine recommended it.  This was such a fascinating book that really got me thinking.  The placebo effect is when someone is tricked into thinking they have a cure when they don't and their body heals based on that belief.  The most common experiments are people who get a sugar pill (that they think is a medical pill) and reverse signs of their illness.  More interesting studies are those where people had knee "surgery" that essentially did nothing but knee problems went away after patients were told the "surgery" was a success (they were put to sleep during the surgery).  There were people who were blind or bleeding profusely who were healed based on the placebo effect.  There are also stories of people with nacebo effects whose bodies declined when they were told they had a hex placed on them by a witch.  Dr. Dispenza discusses stories like these and more with the ultimate goal of getting to where people do not need a magic pill or surgery.  The goal is to make your beliefs so strong that you quite literally heal yourself.  This is rather difficult and meditation for extended periods of time is encouraged.  This topic is sure to get you thinking.  If you believe in the miracles of the Bible, were those really miracles or simply placebos?  Who knows!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

"Jewish and Christian View on Bodily Pleasure" by Robert Cherry

This book focuses on the history of views on bodily pleasure from a Judeo-Christian perspective.  The history of Jews and Christians is chronicled and the author goes from BC to AD and back again.  The garden of Eden had "be fruitful and multiply".  The pagan societies had sex slaves, prostitution, and degradation of women / men / children.  Modern day Catholic priests and nuns must take a vow of abstinence while Protestant preachers and rabbis of all denominations are encouraged to marry.  Where did all of these differing perspectives come from?  Cherry traces the history of sexuality in time and space and religion.  Intimacy in marriage between a man and woman was God's design from the start, but what then do we make of the celibate Jesus and the fact that our bodies are the temple of God?  Can one hear from God at all times or only when abstaining from bodily pleasures?  The questions go on and on.  I personally think both extremes are harmful--that of never marrying and that of promiscuity.  This book was very interesting.  My only complaint is the images in the book are x-rated.  I wish these were not included.  I found the book interesting from a historical perspective, but I can not in good conscious recommend it to others with the images inside.

"Bedtime Blessings" by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and Illustrated by Julie Sawyer Phillips

This children's book is hardcover and full-color on wooden pages.  It is designed such that it can be read all at once or in segments.  Each left-and-right page is a segment.  These have one Bible verse, followed by a rhyming poem.  The illustrations all depict a lamb, bunny, and chick.  These spring-themed creatures are all the best of friends.  They play together, get ready for bed together, explore the world together, go camping together, and much more.  Each poem and Bible verse and illustration are linked so that it all makes sense and isn't just random.  I found this book to be incredibly cute and whimsical.  I wish I had a book like this when I was growing up.