Tag Archives: Christian Self-Help

HOPE LINES: Modern Family Dilemmas and Solutions from a Christian Perspective by Neil Presley Cox

About the Book

What are your next steps after you or a family member makes bad choices, or experiences a personal calamity…such as divorce, addiction, abuse, incarceration, or infidelity? Serious challenges like these often affect an entire family and put you (and yours) under the microscope of an uncaring, over-burdened legal system.
Based on nearly a quarter century of helping individuals and families navigate the courts, while making liberal use of mediation, family attorney Neil Presley Cox offers a smorgasbord of common-sense solutions in his new book HOPELINES…with a bit of Christian perspective thrown in.
Rather than a dry, boring discourse on laws and legal maneuvering, Cox sends you these insights in creative form. After synthesizing the most common personal and family “disasters” in and out of the courts, he carefully pens 18 engaging and well-written quasi-fictional stories. Each acts as a template to help you identify with your situation(s).
In addition to these often gut-wrenching dramas—which can bring tears when they hit too close to home—every narrative includes a section on reflection (analysis), application (recommendations), plus a Resource Toolbox and a relevant scriptural verse. Also, HOPELINES offers a handful of “Calls for New Hope and Faith” which are motivationally worth many times the entire price of this resource, by themselves.

Avoiding the legal system and working things out, are a key piece of the message in HOPELINES, and include resources and suggestions for doing just that. Neil Presley Cox, the “lawyer with a heart” invites you, as well as therapists, counselors, lawyers, addicts and others involved in this growing legal quagmire get on board with the spirit and message of this landmark resource.
Do not give up HOPE!
Surviving life and family challenges—whether civil or criminal—is an energy-draining, depression-invoking process. And while the cliché “this too shall pass” is mostly true, it does not help when you are in the middle of it, and your world seems to be falling apart.
Cox spent seven years writing and re-writing HOPELINES to throw out a rope or “line” of hope, as you suffer through and survive what is explicitly implied in the subtitle: Modern Family Dilemmas and Solutions from a Christian Perspective.
While this resource is much more practical than religious, Cox feels that the erosion of family structure and values is a big part of what led us to the current crisis. Lack of personal responsibility and growing up into a life of dependence, co-dependence, or other failed attempts at independence, are now the status quo. Most people today don’t understand or even know that moving past independence, into functional INTER-dependence with our key relationships, needs to be a major life goal.
But that is water under the bridge. Our current reality sees individuals and families (and yes, even Christian families) torn apart by drug addiction, alcoholism, infidelity, divorce (with resulting step-families or “grand-parenting”), physical and mental abuse, child custody, an apathetic legal system, job and relationship stress, mental illness, single parenting, and today – even gaming addiction! All are touched upon directly or indirectly, in the 18 stories.
HOPELINES is a seminal approach by a rare attorney doing his part to stem this societal tide of unhappy results, to restore lives that all started with great promise.
Cox invites you to enjoy the results of his experiences and perspectives that only someone is his position (family and criminal attorney) can fully explore and explain. And he even shares his own story of beating alcohol addiction induced by his daily exposure to lives in crisis.
As you read HOPELINES, please also share your feedback in the “Reviews” section near the bottom of this page. Neil would love to hear from you, and will use your comments to shape future editions of this timely resource.

HOPE LINES: Modern Family Dilemmas and Solutions from a Christian Perspective, Neil Presley Cox, is divided into 18 Sections. Each section is further subdivided into five sections, which detail people’s experiences with custody disputes and self-destructive behavior like alcoholism, violence, or mental health issues. To illustrate his recommendations, Cox gives vivid accounts of people’s lives. The insights are helpful and ring with truth.

Cox is a family and criminal lawyer who saw a need to offer hope and a path out to people in need of assistance before they go to family court. For those already in family court, he provides practical counsel on how to navigate the procedures and what they should and should not do, ending each chapter with sections titled “Reflect,” “Apply” and “Resource Toolbox”. 

I believe most people enmeshed in the judicial system are past the point where some of the advice and resources supplied could provide much help. Cox, on the other hand, is doing an excellent job of enlightening and preventing future problems.

My heart aches for everyone caught in a seemingly unending trap, whether of their own making or not. There needs to be a way to address the problems long before they implode. High school students could, perhaps, have family life and dynamics training.

Having numerous family members that work for either CPS, law enforcement, the legal field or the mental health field, I all too often hear heartbreaking stories. The book by Cox is a ray of hope at the end of a long tunnel. A promising start.

HOPE LINES: Modern Family Dilemmas and Solutions from a Christian Perspective is an excellent resource for Christian and secular counselors, pastors, youth directors and anyone else looking for advice on how to help someone in any of these plights.

Thank you to Reedsy/Discovery and Neil Presley Cox, for providing me with a copy of HOPE LINES: Modern Family Dilemmas and Solutions from a Christian Perspective. I have provided an unbiased review.

Take Back Your Life by Levi Lusko

Description of Book:

A forty-day interactive journey that challenges readers to come face to face with the reality of their life circumstances, identify the internal battles they must personally declare war on and fight through, and become the difference-maker that God created them to be.

Simultaneous release with a video-driven curriculum perfect for group study.

Purchase the book HERE! (Not an affiliate link)

Every person has a mission and a God-given potential to impact the world, whether they recognize it or not. But the stuff of life—the loss of a job, the death of a friend or a loved one, the inability to focus due to bad moods or self-sabotaging tendencies—presents challenges and traps us in a helpless, hopeless loop of anxiety and fear. These are the kinds of things we face that turn on the dark for any thoughts of a future.

Levi Lusko

In this book bestselling author and pastor Levi Lusko gives a step-by-step process to take back your life, which includes 

  • a new introduction and perspective from Pastor Levi
  • stories and testimonies from those whose lives have been changed by his messages, and
  • an action plan with journaling space to turn your thoughts into real change.

With a unique blend of message and practical tools, using themes and teachings from his bestselling Through the Eyes of a Lion and the more recent I Declare War, Lusko gives readers an interactive forty-day journey of learning how to think right so they can live right.

Take Back Your Life: A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right, by Levi Lusko, is a great devotional, aimed at helping you realize your worth in God’s eyes and His immense love for you.

I valued Lusko’s candor. He addressed his battles, his struggles, and especially his anguish, agony and grief when his five-year-old daughter passed away five days before Christmas. I cannot imagine the sorrow or ache or loneliness he and his family faced. However, they also triumphed and became closer to God than ever.

The story of his daughter is a small part of the whole but was a very defining part for me. It helped to put my own grief over my losses into better perspective, which I am sure will help me heal even more.

Lusko’s devotional will affect and touch a different chord in each person who reads it. There are so many nuggets to glean from this self-help book, and I’m sure each one will make an impact.

One distraction for me was the style of the breaks in the chapter. For example, in one break it appeared as if someone had written something then scribbled it out. There were also page breaks with hand-drawn images. For me these took away from the gravity and solemnity of the message. I did enjoy the references to current culture.  Allusions to movies, music, television shows and other contemporary, cultural references brought the devotional themes to life.

The following site is a fantastic resource for parents and their children  https://bit.ly/takebackdevo, too!

I received Take Back Your Life: A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right through FrontGate Media. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

This is the Day by Tim Tebow (with A. J. Gregory)

My Review

I have been interested in and have followed Tim Tebow’s career since he first became known. I was saddened, as a football fan, when he left football. The vitriol he often calmly and professionally endured saddened me.

Tebow also has a resplendent program for the intellectually disabled, A Night to Shine. I have two family members who work with physically and intellectually disabled adults. Seeing how the men and women reacted to Tebow’s event brought tears to my eyes, but they were happy tears.

When an opportunity became available for me to review This Is The Day by Tim Tebow, I jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did.

Through experiences in sports and personal life, Tebow tells of his belief that “This is the Day.” He says, “Imagine when hearing the sound of the morning alarm, instead of groaning or slapping the snooze button, you awaken-mind, heart, and soul-to possibility…Imagine being fueled by a whisper: ’This is the day.’”

Tebow opens up about many of his life experiences growing up and as an adult. He relates stories of seemingly insignificant events, yet they have great significance, not only in his life but in the lives of those he (and others around him) have touched. He talks to readers as if we are sitting with him enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Granted, he has the money to do some things we, the average readers, cannot. However, that shouldn’t stop us from doing, being and experiencing all we can within God’s plans for us.

“This is the day to say yes to your dreams.”

I received this book from WaterBrook. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

The New York Times best-selling sports star and media icon motivates readers to stop postponing dreams and start making them happen now because–this is the day.

Beyond Tim Tebow’s exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel “stuck”–unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: “now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day.” In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from “pause” to “play” in finding deeper meaning and success. Tim illustrates the book’s themes with stories from his personal life that will delight all readers, including an update on his dream pursuit of a baseball career.

Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You by Kelly Johnson

My Review

Kelly Johnson’s book, Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You, is a 40-day devotional. The book is divided, counting the introduction, into six chapters broken into daily devotionals. Each day starts with Bible verses, followed by the devotional section, consisting primarily of personal insights or anecdotes. The day’s lesson concludes with perspicacious questions and a prayer for the day. She ends the book with an invitation from God to start an adventure and Scripture references relating to fear and courage.

Kelly delves into the life of Christ and those closest to Him during the last weeks leading up to His crucifixion. She focuses on His teachings to the disciples and His bravery, courage and unimaginable love for mankind.

Being Brave provides us with the necessary means to overcome our thoughts, doubts, anxieties and apprehensions and take the actions needed to move into a more significant and personally fulfilling life of bravery.

We, as readers, are challenged and encouraged to “Be Brave,” to let go of our fears and pre-conceived ideas of ourselves and become the person God wants and intends for us to be.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

God has made us brave, not fearful beings. In a forty-day devotional format, author and blogger Kelly Johnson invites you to consider a new way of thinking about what it means to be brave and challenges you to seek a greater intimacy with God and the people God has placed in your life.

Through Scripture, stories, prayers, and thought-provoking questions, you will recognize the seeds of divinely inspired bravery and learn the strength found in community. Using letters of the word brave as a guide, Being Brave highlights what God’s Word has to say about the characteristics of bravery: Bold, Resilient, Authentic, Vulnerable, and Engaged and Empowered by the Spirit.

Banish the fear that holds you back. You are a brave soldier!

Zip It: The Keep It Shut 40-Day Challenge by Karen Ehman

Zip It

Publisher’s Summary

Zip It empowers readers to put into action the advice and commands of Scripture concerning the tongue. The New York Times bestselling book Keep It Shut covered many topics, including anger, truth-telling, people-pleasing, our digital tongues online, and gossip. Because there are more than 3,500 verses in the Bible that relate to our words and our silence, Keep It Shut only scratched the surface of these issues. Karen Ehman now takes a deeper look and offers practical how-to’s that will inspire you to use your words to build, to bless, to encourage, and to praise.

Each of the forty interactive entries includes a Scripture verse focus for the day, a story or teaching point, and reflection questions with space for readers to write their answers and thoughts. Each entry ends with both a challenge that will help you carry out the directive in the verse and a prayer prompt. Rather than a traditional devotional, the entries in Zip It build upon each other, equipping you with new habits in how to, or not to, use words.

My Review

Zip It is a forty-day devotional on how to tame the tongue. Each day’s chapter ends with a wrap-up that includes Today’s Takeaways, Lesson for the Lips, Challenge and Prayer. In addition, there are spaces to write your contemplations and answers.

The book is easy to follow and understand in its approach and style. The author uses cute, but apt analogies and rewording to create a word that succinctly describes her message. For example, she uses wordrobe as a way to describe the words in our thought closet that we commonly use.

As I read the book, I was convicted in several instances. A lot of times we don’t stop to think of the true meaning of a word or Scripture verse. If we did, we wouldn’t react the way we do. Zip It does an impressive job of getting to the meat of the matter and explaining the fallacies inherent in not understanding the truth.

Zip It is Karen Ehman’s follow up to Keep It Shut. However, I don’t feel it’s necessary to read it first. In fact, I cannot imagine what gems and truths may be found within the first book since the second was so appositely written.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now You’re Speaking My Language by Gary Chapman


About the Book

This especially popular book from the multimillion selling author encourages husbands and wives to offer steadfast loyalty, forgiveness, empathy, and commitment to resolving conflict, thus encouraging each other in spiritual growth.

Quite masterfully, Dr. Chapman shows how communication and intimacy are key points in developing a successful marriage by focusing on these principles:

  1. Lasting answers to marital growth are found in the Bible.
  1. Your relationship with God enhances your marriage relationship.
  1. Communication is the main way two become one in a marriage.
  1. Biblical oneness involves sex, but also intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and social oneness.

My Review

Gary Chapman has written a self-help book for those who are married, be it newlyweds or long time married couples.

Now You’re Speaking My Language focuses primarily on communication and intimacy, with many practical applications and proactive steps for enhancing and/or improving your marriage. Each chapter includes a section of Questions to Ponder, and We Do – a section for couples to do together.

The book is written from a Christian viewpoint and has numerous applicable lessons and Biblical references. However, there are a few aspects, such as those alluding to spousal abuse, that seem a little simplistic.

Nevertheless, I feel this book could be a good tool for couples seeking to improve or enhance their marriage.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.