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The 4:8 Principle--The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life
Tyndale House / 2007 / Hardcover
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Living with joy can be difficult. We live in a negative, conflict-ridden world. When there are so many things set up to steal your joy, how do you overcome? Newberry believes we must first start with our thoughts. Using Philippians 4:8 as a guide, he shows how you can shape your thoughts and thereby influence your attitudes and actions. Take a moment to learn "The 4:8 Principle." By thinking on what is true, noble, just, pure and lovely you too can experience the joy-filled life! 176 pages, hardcover from Tyndale House.
Motivation speaker and life coach Tommy Newberry has given a biblical slant to classic motivation bromides in his compact 220 page book The 4:8 Principle. His title is drawn from Philippians 4:8, which directs Christians to keep their minds focused at that which is true, just, noble, pure and of good report while stressing virtue. Newberry believes that with this sort of mental discipline, people can weather any storms and sustain a feeling of self-confidence and personal joy.
In many ways this is a repackaging of motivation speeches that have been around for the past 75 years. Earl Nightengale's mantra was, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." Robert Schuller's schtick was "possibility thinking," which in itself was an echo of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's "the power of positive thinking," which reflected research done by Dr. Maxwell Maltz of self-perception. Newberry offers nothing very new in this book that you would not have already discovered in the writings of Napoleon Hill, Clement Stone, or even Stephen Covey. The one major difference here, however, is that Newberry insists that unless an individual has a right relationship with Jesus Christ, none of the other rah-rah hoop-la will amount to much.
To his credit, Newberry is organized and pragmatic. He provides readers with checklists, quizzes, tests, and discussion questions by which to assess levels of commitment, depression, life goals, and achievement marks. He also provides rich documentation of biblical statutes and lessons to support his claims about worthy ambition and stress free living. He has a sense of humor, too, both in jibes he takes at himself and in some of the comical examples and illustrations he provides. The reading is not philosophically heavy, but rather fast-paced, conversational, and encouraging. Each chapter ends with a prayer the reader and offer to God regarding a positive life change, followed by an action step to take in making the desire a reality.
The book ends with summary units, recaps, suggestions for biblical memorization, and offerings of exercises for the brain and soul. It's the kind of book readers will underline while reading and then turn back to randomly for an inspirational and motivational shot in the arm. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
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