Holy Curiosity by Winn Collier–Book Review

If you read the gospels carefully, you will notice that Jesus didn’t just preach to people, he often asked questions.  According to Winn Collier,

“Jesus’ questions probed the soul, and they were not easily ignored.”

The questions Jesus asked usually required a person to examine themselves and get to the root of the issue being raised.  It was a teaching technique which served to lead someone to the right conclusion by their own reasoning.  Sometimes it revealed the true sin or faulty thinking that wasn’t immediately obvious.

Collier uses some of these questions as a jumping off point to discuss our darkest feelings:  shame, fear, hunger, denial, doubt, anger and more.  He draws heavily on his own life experiences as he encourages readers to unearth and confront their own emotions.  The book includes a few study questions for each chapter, and it could easily be used in a small group setting. CAUTION:   It would not be suitable for a newly formed group as some of the questions are deeply personal.

One thing I didn’t like was the failure of the author to cite specific Scriptural references.  That, along with the fact that the questions were sometimes paraphrased, would make it difficult, especially for those who are less biblically literate to locate the story or event being discussed. (I personally, think before jumping into discussion of the Scripture, it’s useful to read it for yourself.)

Overall, interesting, but not what I expected.  This is a book that focuses on personal spiritual formation rather than in-depth discussion of the biblical text.  It that’s what you’re looking for, you will probably enjoy it.

VERDICT:  3 stars

What Am I Feeling? by Dr. Josh and Christi Straub–Book Review

Parents and teachers will love this colorfully illustrated book about feelings and how to handle them.  Sam’s father tells him:

“…. what you feel matters, but it doesn’t have to control you.  Giving each feeling a name helps you know what to do with it.”

He then adds this piece of good advice:

“a feeling is just a feeling.  It’s not in charge of you.  If you feel afraid, take a deep breath, name your feeling, and ask God to help you with it.”

What Am I Feeling?

Many children (and let’s be honest, adults), struggle with controlling their feelings. Emotions can manifest themselves in physical ways (an upset stomach) and can lead us to say and do things that are destructive.  Sam and his classmates learn to recognize and label difficult emotions like jealousy, anger, fear and sadness as well as good feelings of happiness and bravery.  This is a first step in self-awareness and empathizing with others.

A great teaching tool, the book contains a pull-out  feeling chart that will be great for use at home in a classroom.

VERDICT:  5 stars

Want to purchase this book?  Follow the link below:

What Am I Feeling?

 

I have a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

 

Switched On

I’m reading a memoir by John Elder Robison who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of autism at the age of forty.  He describes undergoing an experimental treatment called TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) which gave him (temporarily) the ability to see feelings in others, a quality missing from his life due to his disability.  Instead of taking everything others said literally, he began to notice sarcasm, depression, hurt feelings, etc..  Looking back on his life he says, “I now recognize that many of the events went wrong because I failed to understand someone else’s feelings. … When I remember things I said or did, I cringe and wish I could go back in time and undo my blunders…Knowing what I did wrong is not enough to undo a lifetime of learned behavior, and my tendency to behave the same way is still strong.  Yet I’m doing my best to change.”  He described his experience as being “Switched On”, the title of his book.

 When we are spiritually reborn, a similar phenomenon occurs.  Just as John became aware of his lack of empathy, we become aware of our sinful nature.  However, like John recognizing our problem doesn’t mean we can reverse what we’ve already done or even eliminate it in the future.  It just means we now see (somewhat) what’s going on.

 I believe in the days of the second coming, we’ll be “switched on” completely.  1 Corinthians 13:12 says,

 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then, face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

 Right now, we’re all like John Robison when it comes to sin.  It is so much a part of us and every other person in the world, we fail to see how deeply it mars our lives.  When we’re resurrected in the last day, we’ll understand what made so much go wrong in our lives and in our world; we’ll also see ourselves and others in a new way:  without that veil of sin that distorts everything.  We’ll be disheartened by how we behaved, the sins we committed without even understanding what we were doing.

The good news for Christians is we’ll also see Christ as He really is:  our king, our master, our savior.  At that moment our dismay will be replaced by joy because 

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying nor pain …” Revelation 21:4

 I look forward to being “switched on” when Jesus comes again.  I hope you do, too!