Scott Kedersha Books

Today I share a few books I recently read and reviewed. I love to read, and I hope you do as well. I’m trying to not just learn and consume books for my selfish benefit, but wish to share some great books with others so that you too might benefit from some of the good stuff out there!

1A Small Book About a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace, by Edward T. Welch. 

I have a problem with anger and have my whole life for as far back as I can remember. I was the kid who threw his baseball bat and helmet in rage every time I struck out or didn’t get a hit, and I threw ping pong paddles at the wall, and yelled and cussed like a sailor. I’m not proud of my anger issues in the past.

And while I no longer throw things or yell and cuss (that often), I still struggle with anger. It might come in more passive and less volatile ways, like passive aggressive comments or subtle putdowns of my kids. Even though I know all the great verses about anger (i.e., Ephesians 4:26, Proverbs 15:1), I still, at times, struggle with anger.

For this reason, I was very thankful to come across this new, short, 50-day devotional by Welch. For 50 days, Welch provides a brief reading or meditation on something related to anger. At first glance, I wasn’t sure a short reading of a few hundred words each day would be helpful to me. Instead, what I’ve learned is spending a few moments every day, for 50 days, reading scripture about anger, praying about it, and walking through a devotional on anger has been a tremendous help for me. While I’m nowhere near “healed” of my anger issues, I’ve been much more aware of when I fall short and when I’ve experienced victory.

Where the book has been light on practical application, it’s been heavy on scripture. What I’ve realized is I don’t need tips and tricks to fix my problems. Rather, I need my mind to be transformed by God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2). This short book has helped my mind become transformed so that I’m not just a clueless angry person. The book has helped me see (among many other lessons):

  • My anger impacts others—it leaves a mark when I vent at my children. I need to become more aware of how my anger affects others.
  • Anger comes in many different flavors and varieties: sarcasm, grumbling and complaining, indifference, envy and jealousy, and much more. Even though I might not yell as much as I used to, I still struggle with different, sinful expressions of anger.
  • Anger prevents me from seeing my blind spots. I need better vision. 1 John 2:11

I’d suggest reading this book along with your daily Bible reading. Each day’s reading takes only a few minutes but will provide some practical, biblical wisdom on a problem most of us face.

Note: I received this book from LitFuse publicity for free. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

2. Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, by Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins has had a big impact on my writing style and my understanding of what it means to be a writer. His book, You Are A Writer, helped transform the ways I think about this little hobby of mine. I’m grateful for his impact on my life through his books and his writing class.

His newest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, might be my favorite book I’ve read by Goins. He shares a clear set of 12 principle traits of starving artists and thriving artists. Goins looks at the different mindsets of these two types of artists, and how those who create art (like writing) need to change their mindset about what they do.

He shares great stories that back up his points and provides a wide variety of examples of real artists. Personally, I enjoyed the stories and examples, ranging from Michaelangelo to former baseball players to astronauts. Unlike his other books, he doesn’t share a lot of personal stories in this book.

This was a timely read for me as I get ready to launch my first book. I still need to grow in my understanding of my creative gifts. In particular, I do a lot of writing for free. Outside of the context of using your gifts and time in the local church, we don’t expect anyone to use their gifts and time for free. But, I’m still of the mindset that I will write for free because I want exposure or because someone asks. I will, Lord willing, be a pastor in the church for as long as God gives me breath. But, it’s okay for me to use my writing gifts to make some money along the way. The end goal isn’t to get rich from my writing, but to be able to use money to help create more art.

If you’re someone who’s thinking about taking on a creative task and potentially making money from it, or if you’re already an artist part-time or full-time, I’d highly recommend Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins.

3. Reading People: How seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything, by Anne Bogel 

Anne might be better known online as Modern Mrs. Darcy. I have tracked with Anne the past few years because of her love of books and reading. As a fellow book and reading lover, I resonate with much of what Anne says and writes about. For this reason, I was excited to find out she had a new book coming out.

For the most part, I enjoyed the book, although it wasn’t what I expected. Instead of focusing on reading books, Bogel focuses on the importance of reading people. Essentially Bogel shares several different personality inventories and the importance of knowing how you’re wired so you can more effectively function in life and interact with others. The book also helps you appreciate the fact we’re all different, a principle we often discuss in the marriage ministry in our church. Bogel writes, “We are all different—in matters both serious and silly—and discovering those differences is strangely enjoyable.” I agree! I love learning about the differences that exist between Kristen and me.

On the plus side, Bogel shares some interesting personality inventories. For instance, I’m a big fan of Strengths Finder and I was excited to see it was included in the book. She also includes chapters on the extrovert/introvert, Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and the 5 Love Languages. Her love and knowledge of books come out throughout the book in her references to many different book plot lines and characters.

On the downside, I thought the book seemed disconnected at times. I found myself overwhelmed by the options, and even got confused when we bounced from one personality inventory to another. I guess the best place to start is to pick one personality profile and use the results to know more about yourself, your world, and the others around you.

Disclosure: I received Reading People free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

4. Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal For the Next Generation, by Champ Thornton.

 To be clear, I have not gone through or even started this journal, but I love the idea. For the past few years, I’ve gone through either the entire Bible or section of the Bible and journal in a new/different Bible. In each of those years, I’ve prayed and journaled in the margins for a specific child. For example, three years ago I read the entire Bible and prayed/journaled to my son, Drew. Last year I went through the four Gospels and prayed/journaled for my son Duncan. I plan on gifting them their Bible when they turn 18.

Champ Thornton, In his book/journal, Pass It On, provides a great way to do this for the book of Proverbs. The book has a nice, leather cover and the inside provides a Bible study and journal template for you to share wisdom with someone from a younger generation. The beginning of the book includes a “Bird’s-Eye View of the Proverbs” and then each chapter includes a Guided Tour, At-A-Glance outline, the text of the Proverb, Reflection Questions, and a Share Your Story section. I’m excited to start this study of the Proverbs.

I will do this for one of my children and pass it on to them when they get older. Hopefully, they can learn from my mistakes and successes in life.

Note: I received this book from LitFuse publicity for free. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Your Turn:

  • What have you recently read? Share below or in the comments on Facebook or Instagram.

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