Suggested Ideas / Readings

15 Suggestions for Staying Positive and "Keeping the Faith"

1. Count your blessings at the end of every day Do an inventory of things you have to be thankful for. Rather than focusing on problems you've faced that day, think of all the good things that happened and the happiness they gave you.
2. Think of others rather than yourself When you do things, even the smallest favors, for other people who mean something to you, you feel good about yourself.
3. Be proactive rather than reactive Instead of fretting over a problem and letting it stress you out, focus on how to resolve quickly and effectively. When your mind is busy trying to find a solution, you stop feeling sorry for yourself and start thinking positively.
4. Don't allow your mind to remain idle It may be clichêd, but it's also true that an idle mind is the devil's workshop. So stay busy and keep doing something or the other to prevent negative thoughts from creeping in.
5. Get an hour of exercise every day Even a brisk walk in the morning or evening will do your mental health a world of good.
6. Allow yourself some "me" time Set aside some time every day or every few days for yourself when you get to choose what you want to do; read a book, listen to music, catch up with friends, or just laze around. When your soul is nourished, you find that positive energy flows.
7. Stop negative thoughts before they form completely If you find yourself becoming depressed because your mind is taking a negative bent, stop those thoughts in their tracks and start consciously thinking of positive things.
8. Spend time with people who love you and make you feel good about yourself Quality relationships make life worth living.
9. Anytime you feel that the weight of your burden is hard to bear, talk to a friend or someone with a sympathetic ear Even if they cannot do anything to help you out, just the fact that you have someone on your side is uplifting enough.
10. Look around you before you start to feel sorry for yourself There are people in situations that are a hundred times worse than yours, yet they manage to get through each day.
11. Read helpful books Some good book resources are: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and The Bible of course (Philippians 4:4-13)
12. Who is on your frig? Post pictures of people who inspire you and remind you to be positive and to "keep the faith."
13. Spend time in solitude with God. We are "spiritual beings having a human experience." It's essential to spend time alone each day with God to recharge to connect with our spiritual Source.
14. Go to Church. Be a part of a faith community where you can be inspired, recharged, and have the opportunity to serve others.
15. Therapy The therapeutic process can be incredibly helpful. There's an old saying, "We are as sick as our secrets." It may be difficult to be positive unless issues are dealt with.

Suggested Reading List

James Allen
As a Man Thinketh

Karen Armstrong
The Bible

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Cost of Discipleship

Marcus Borg
The Heart of Christianity
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time
The Last Week

Cynthia Bourgeault
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
The Wisdom Way of Knowing

Martin Buber
I and Thou

Frederick Buechner
Telling Secrets
A Long Day's Dying
The Book of Bebb
The Alphabet of Grace

Diana Butler-Bass
A People's History of Christianity
Strength for the Journey
Broken We Kneel

Arthur Caliandro
Make Your Life Count

Will D. Campbell
Brother to a Dragonfly
Cecelia's Sin<
The Glad River

William Sloane Coffin
Letters to a Young Doubter

Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

John Dominic Crossan
The Greatest Prayer
The Last Week

Amy DeLong
The Loyal Opposition: Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality

Annie Dillard
Teaching a Stone to Talk

Meister Eckhart
Meister Eckhart from Whom God Hid Nothing
Selected Writings

Matthew Fox
Christian Mystics
Original Blessing
One River, Many Wells

Viktor Frankl
Man's Search for Meaning
The Will to Meaning

Daniel A. Helminiak
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality

Thomas Keating
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength to Love
All Labor Has Dignity
I Have a Dream
Testament of Hope

Anne Lamott
Traveling Mercies

Brian McLaren
Naked Spirituality

John J. McNeill
The Church and the Homosexual
Freedom, Glorious Freedom
Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair
Taking a Chance on God

Thomas Merton
A Year with Thomas Merton
Contemplative Prayer
The Hidden Ground of Love

Henri Nouwen
The Way of the Heart
Spiritual Formation
The Return of the Prodigal Son

Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Positive Thinking
Positive Imaging
The Positive Power of Jesus Christ

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled

Richard Rohr
The Naked Now
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go
Radical Grace
Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
Falling Upward
Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the 12 Steps

Tex Sample
The Loyal Opposition: Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality
Earthy Mysticism: Spirituality for Unspiritual People

John Shelby Sponge
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism

Homer Surbeck
The Success Formula that Really Works

Barbara Brown Taylor
Home By Another Way
Bread of Angels
When God is Silent
Leaving Church
An Altar in the World

Phyllis Tickle
Prayer is a Place: America's Religious Landscape Observed

Phyllis Trible
Texts of Terror

Howard Thurman
Jesus and the Disinherited
With Head and Heart
Meditations of the Heart
Disciplines of the Spirit
The Inward Journey
The Creative Encounter

Evelyn Underhill
The Mystics of the Church
The Ways of the Spirit

Walter Wink
Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination
Transforming Bible Study

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