August Bookshelf

August 12, 2021 | GNJ News

This month we are stressing the importance of getting healthy in mind, body and spirit! It’s up to you what makes you healthy! Discover the varied selection of books below that touch on life’s meaning, overcoming grief, the power of liturgies, learning from history and more.

Man’s Search for Meaning

(2006, Beacon Press) By Viktor Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning is the memoir of Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl who chronicles his life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory – known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”) – holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the 10 most influential books in America.

Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. His 29 books have been translated into 21 languages. During World War II, he spent three years in Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps.

Here If You Need Me: A True Story

(2008, Back Bay Books) by Kate Braestrup

Here if You Need Me is the story of Kate Braestrup’s remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness. Ten years ago, Kate Braestrup and her husband Drew were enjoying the life they shared together. They had four young children, and Drew, a Maine state trooper, would soon begin training to become a minister as well. Then early one morning Drew left for work and an oncoming driver lost control, and Kate lost her husband. Stunned and grieving, Kate decided to continue her husband’s dream and became a minister herself. And in that capacity, she found a most unusual mission: serving as the minister on search and rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing, and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with awful outcomes. Braestrup provides solace, understanding and spiritual guidance when it’s needed most. It is an uplifting account about finding God through helping others, and the tale of the small miracles that occur every day when life and love are restored.

Kate Braestrup is a community minister, law enforcement chaplain, and the author of Marriage and Other Acts of Charity and Beginner’s Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life.

Every Moment Holy

(2020, Cokesbury) by Bustard Ned, McKelvey Douglas

Every Moment Holy, available in a pocket-size edition, includes all the liturgies from the Volume I hardcover edition plus a new liturgy from the forthcoming book featuring liturgies for seasons of dying and mourning. There are over 100 liturgies for daily life (including liturgies for meals).

Ned Bustard is the graphic designer, children’s book illustrator, author and a printmaker. Some of the books he has written, illustrated, or edited include It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, Squalls Before War: His Majesty’s Schooner Sultana, History of Art: Creation to Contemporary, Bible History ABCs, Bigger on the Inside: Christianity and Doctor Who, A Book for Hearts & Minds: What You Should Read and Why, On Reading Well, and Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups.

Black People in the Methodist Church

(1985, Abingdon Press) by William B. McClain

Black People in the Methodist Church is a fascinating and insightful account of one segment of Methodism’s complex history. The early circuit riders, abolitionists, John Wesley himself, Harry Hoosier, John Stewart and Harry Evans are all featured. The book features a unique account of the struggles within United Methodism, the “uniting” conference of 1939, and the setbacks that forced a segregated faction to rise from its ashes.

William B. McClain, who died last November, was a Professor Emeritus of Wesley Seminary, in Washington, D.C., where he taught preaching and worship to thousands of students over 34 years. A celebrated, prophetic preacher himself, he also authored several books, advocated prominently for social justice and civil rights and served as lead pastor of several historic United Methodist churches, including Tindley Temple UMC in Philadelphia.

Influential Woman: A Fresh Approach to Tackling Inequality and Leading Change at Work

(2020, Hay House) By Dion Johnson

Influential Woman offers a development framework for senior leaders who want to initiate hard change without sabotaging their health or self-esteem. Dion Johnson has excelled in her field as a black woman in a white man’s world; facially disfigured in a beauty-obsessed world; a devoted Christian in a secular world. She knows first-hand how unequal the system can be. In 2013, Dion, led by God, began challenging women leaders to respond to the call to show up, speak up and shake things up in their industry. Since then, she has served passionately as a strategic ally supporting women to evolve, rise above leadership challenges, and be more influential in their role.

Dion Johnson, known as the “Womanologist,” creates exclusive opportunities for women in senior leadership to invest in their ongoing personal and professional development. She calls herself a woman in a man’s world, a black woman in a white man’s world and a Christian in a secular world. Johnson was also born with a pronounced facial disfigurement and spent a lot of time in hospital having corrective surgery. At the age of four she was gifted an artificial eye and dark glasses.

InterGenerate: Transforming Churches through Intergenerational Ministry

(2018, Abilene Christian University Press) by Holly Catterton Allen (Author), Jason Brian Santos (Foreword)

InterGenerate addresses important questions of why we should bring the generations back together, but even more significantly, how we can bring generations back together. In this edited collection, ministers, church leaders and Christian educators will find valuable, new generational theory perspectives, fresh biblical and theological insights and practical outcomes backed by current research.

Holly Catterton Allen is professor of family science and Christian ministries at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, where she holds a joint appointment in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Bible and Ministry. She teaches undergraduate courses such as Nurturing Spiritual Development in Children and Family Ministry and has previously taught at John Brown University, Biola University and Abilene Christian University.

A Grief Observed

(2009, HarperOne) by C.S. Lewis

A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments,” this book observed a truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than 30 books, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Health Journal For Women: Christian Health And Food Diary With Bible Verses, Christian Gifts For Women

(2020) Living His Story Designs

Health Journal For Women is a journal that will help to keep your spiritual, mental and physical areas of your life in balance, which is the key to longevity and health. As a bonus, in the back of the book you can find healing coloring pages–they will help you to relax and meditate on the Word of God concerning healing. This journal can also serve as a recovery tool, for you, or someone you know.