What I've Been Reading: Book Reviews "Between Heaven and Mirth" and "Think Differently, Live Differently"

Between Heaven and Mirth: why joy, humor and laughter are at the heart of the spiritual life was a welcome reprieve from the heavy spiritual books I've read this year. Every time I picked up this book, I knew I would end up smiling or laughing my way through a new passage. So many Christians are deadly serious about their faith. It is an unnecessary intensity that James Martin debunks using humorous stories from the lives of the saints. Martin makes it clear that God uses all kinds of personality types and that a life of holiness is ought to be full of "excessive levity." If Isaiah 62:4 is true, then the Lord delights in us. Taking ourselves less seriously and enjoying life is an important part of Christian spirituality.

There may be no better reason for humor than that it's fun. Not everything has to have a purpose. That is, God may be giving us humor as an outright gift. --page 117

God desires for us to be the freest, most mature, most loving, most alive person we can be. As the second century theologian St. Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is the human person fully alive!" --page 121

Joy, deeper than happiness, is a virtue that finds its foundation in the knowledge that we are loved by God. --page 214

Think Differently, Live Differently by Bob Hamp is one of those books you read and know to be instinctively, intuitively true. Bob's long experience in counseling has given him insight and the ability to understand the underlying problems that keep us in bondage. So many times we think our dissatisfaction with life is the result of a bad life-situation or circumstance. Bob's gentle, skillful guidance helps us realize that true freedom isn't dependent on external realities. True freedom lies within. This book isn't "new" revelation but it's the kind that has you nodding and agreeing and saying yes, yes! This is the truth!

**I received a complementary copy of these books. Positive reviews were not requested. All opinions are my own.**