Keeping God First
Back in the olden times of the 1980’s, I lived in a small city in Tennessee. I was a homemaker, aka, stay-at-home-mom with two kids under 7 years, and a husband who worked nights and weekends. I was also attempting to work in the music business, but my kids were my priority, so that faded away. One thing you should know about central Tennessee is the diversity of religious beliefs and spiritualism. My religious beliefs were always Judeo/Christian leaning, but I had not had good experiences in the various churches I had attended. I decided to learn as much as I could about religious philosophy. The New Age movement was growing and the town had a free public library. While my kids looked at books in the children’s section, I started searching the religion, self-help, and new age section. I think I started with the book by Shirley MacLain, Out on a Limb. It was an introduction into metaphysics that lead to years of reading about world religions and solidifying my own beliefs. Soon after I moved to Austin, I found my tribe and found God again. I just never found a church, but I was okay with that. I also got into therapy after a divorce and the passing of my mother. After T.D. passed, I found myself in need of a spiritual boost, and the following books assisted with prayer and meditation.
The Power Of No
This book came along at exactly the right time. It was the major transition and closing the door on TD’s passing to living for myself. The Power of No is part self-analysis, part spirituality, and part entrepreneurship. Written by James Altucher and Claudia Azula-Altucher, it delves into our need to please others, often to the detriment of ourselves and our goals. Welcome to my life. This is a highly recommended book for anyone who is in transition or desiring a transition in your life. When the transition is unexpected and unhappy as in the death of a soul mate, or the loss of a job, it’s good to find some space to ground and regroup. This book helped me start at exactly the right time.
The next two books are more in the vein of religion and spirituality, but have a place on this list, rather than on a list of specifically religious books. The first is The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. Although it is based on some biblical principles, it was helpful again at a time of some transitions. I decided to start a forty day pray challenge (and these are challenging!) and got a copy of Batterson’s companion book, Draw the Circle. It’s a helpful guide and provides a daily theme and reading to complete the prayer challenge. Although it could be done solo, it’s better with a partner. Our results were astounding. Those we prayed for were healed from injuries and illnesses, found new jobs, I found a beautiful new home, and years later, we still pray together once a week. It’s been healing for my family as well.
Prosperity and Abundance
Most Christians are taught to give and be charitable. But in my years studying philosophy, it became apparent that charity comes in multiple forms. If you’re struggling with money it’s hard to give to others. I stumbled on the Rabbi and was hooked. In his book, Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin relates some basic biblical principles about money and work. It goes through a Ten Commandments of business. Many people think that it’s bad to be rich, that corporations are ruining the world, but without them we would not have the life we have. I agree with all of the commandments, especially the last one, which is never retire! I plan to work until I can’t. What kind of work is still in question, but as long as I can write, cook and take some photos, I will work.