Stones Of Remembrance: Healing Scriptures For Your Mind, Body, And Soul, by Daniel G. Amen, MD
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Tyndale Blog Network. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
What you get out of this book and how much you enjoy it will depend at least a good deal on what you expect out of it. I came into this book without knowing anything about the author, nor realizing that this book was a supplement to a previously published book I had never hear of it, but the book has its own considerable virtues that make it a very interesting book, albeit not the sort of book I read very often . Mercifully not a devotional, this book is rather a targeted resource of biblical verses geared to specific situations of spiritual crisis and difficulty or mental health concern, or even to happy occasions where we want to give God the proper credit for his beneficent divine providence. This is a book that lives up to its title, seeking to use the Bible in such a way as to heal and encourage, and that is a good use of scripture. There is a minimum of preachiness in the author’s approach, and a maximum of scripture, and that is something to appreciate.
In terms of its contents, this book is a short one at just over 100 pages, and I was able to read it quickly on the morning of a very busy Sabbath. Even so, this is the sort of book that I could easily see myself returning to to read some of its chapters over again as the source of Bible study in certain moods. The first part of the book discusses twelve spiritual disciplines that improve the memory of believers: rest, exercise, meditation and prayer, eating healthy, meaningful work, bonding with others, relaxation, absolution (forgiveness), new learning, concentration, enjoyment, and socialization. To be sure, some of these are areas I personally struggle with, and the author includes scriptures that encourage these particular beneficial behaviors. The second part of the book contains twelve verses to remember when the reader is dealing with the following concerns: anxiety, gratitude, fear, depression, happiness, doubt, loneliness, sickness, anger, a need for strength, tiredness, hopelessness, impatience, insecurity, and a need for comfort. Again, many of these situations are ones I have to deal with and have had to deal with for long periods of time. The third part of the book is a brief one that gives twelve verses in the Bible that every Christian should know. After that comes some appendices that discuss tips for memorizing scripture, healthy snacks for boosting memory, and easy exercises to help one improve one’s memory.
This is a book that straddles the worlds of physical and spiritual health. Without knowing what the writer has to say about memory in large amounts, as was the case in the author’s previous work, it is hard to recommend that book. Even so, this book provides a use of scripture in order to improve mental health, and that is an area of massive personal concern. This book has a modest goal in terms of helping to improve mood and memory, but it manages to achieve those goals with excellence, and to serve as a modestly sized but worthwhile resource for believers. As there are many people with concerns about mental health, improving memory, and staving off dementia or other such illnesses of the brain and mind, this book has a large target audience, and one that will likely find improving memory and simultaneously improving one’s knowledge of the Bible to be a worthwhile task. While this book did not reveal to me a great deal of the author’s own original thought, the author’s approach in looking to scripture for improvement in many aspects of one’s life is one I wholeheartedly appreciate and one that makes me interested in knowing more about what this author has to say about memory and the Bible.
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