Tag Archives: New Growth Press

Sexual Sanity for Women Edited by Ellen Dykas

Sexual Sanity for WomenSexual Sanity for Women: Healing From Sexual & Relational Brokeness.  Edited by Ellen Dykas, MA.  Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2012.  202 pp.  $17.99.  Purchase at Amazon or Kindle for less.

Introduction

Harvest USA is a ministry dedicated to bringing hope to a sexually broken world.  There mission is “to partner with and equip the Church in bringing the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the lives of those affected by sexual sin.”  Ellen Dykas is the Women’s Ministry Coordinator there and she oversees the ministry’s teaching and discipleship of women struggling with relational and sexual issues.

This particular resource guides the reader (individual or small group) through understanding why they they struggle with sexual and relational patterns that are destructive to their lives.  They share how the gospel alone brings the necessary change of life.

Summary

Instead of breaking down into chapters, this resource is comprised of 20 sessions that start a journey leading from brokeness to healing. They begin with the tree model (after an introduction) that shows where the heart of the problem lies regarding sexuality and our perversion of it.  The rest of the book uses the tree illustration to drive home the point of the importance of what we allow ourselves to intake through our eyes, ears, and thoughts and how the fruit of all of that will either be destructive or beneficial.  By the end of the 20 sessions, the reader will have learned the importance of renewing her mind, her desires, and what it means to have healthy relationships, since everyone like to have a healthy mind and a healthy body, that’s why sometimes they do health treatments as aromatherapy; click here for learn more.  Ultimately, and the book states this over and over, this will be impossible apart from Christ.

Each session is timed out at about 90 minutes to 2 hours per session to allow for discussion and thought and application.  Each session is broke down into four “sub-sessions”:

    • Review and Reflect (usually 15 minutes)

This section enables the group to discuss the previous week’s homework as well as the Key Concept from the previous session that should have been the basis for the homework. It is here that much confession may take place.

    • Exploring the Key Issue (60-75 minutes)

This is the main thrust of the meeting time. There are concepts to be meditated on and questions to be answered either as a group or as an individual. It is here where the women will be humbled and will discover they are not the only ones wrestling with these issues.

    • Making it Personal (10 minutes)

This section drives home the point and keeps the participant from acting as though they are not responsible or impacted by the key concept.

    • On Your Own (5 minutes)

Homework! Each person must continue to wrestle with what the Scriptures say and how they are to go about living a life of purity.

Review

First, I would like to thank Harvest USA for stripping away the veneer that this is only a male problem.  There are a number of women who struggle with pornography but go unnoticed and not helped because this is a “man’s problem.”  Sexual Sanity for Women is a Christ-centered, gospel-driven resource that offers real hope to the hurting.  At first glance, this may appear to be a bit too tedious, but once the women get into it, they will discover that it is well worth their time.  The writers of this resource make it clear that only the Lord can help and give full healing and that is essential to anyone dealing with such a problem as sexual impurity.

Furthermore, the women will be challenged on every page.  They will be directed back to the foundational element of our inherent sinful natures.  This can sometimes be difficult to deal with but ultimately will prove extremely beneficial as they move from brokeness to complete healing in Christ.

Recommendation

For any female struggling with sexual sin, I would highly recommend this book.  Be sure to realize, however, that this is not fool proof.  Many can lie to themselves about their standing in Christ, but after going through Sexual Sanity for Women, there will be no doubt in the reader’s heart as to where she stands.  Because of that and because of the gospel-centered nature of this resource, I have no reservations in my recommendation.

Heart of the Matter Edited by Nancy B. Winter

Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives.  Edited by Nancy B. Winter.  Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2012.  417 pp.  $19.99.  Purchase at Westminster Books for much less.

Introduction/Summary

The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) has compiled this devotional from within their own ministry.  In other words, if you have read the authors and counselors and ministers affiliated with CCEF, you will have read much of this work.

Each day’s devotion begins with a suggested Scripture reading followed by a meditation meant to drive home the “message” of the day.  There is obviously one devotion for each day of the year including Leap Year.

Review

Many devotionals have the snippet (I meant snippet) of Scripture already on the page.  Most of the page, however, is of the devotional writer’s thoughts.  Not so with Heart of the Matter.  In order to properly read this devotional, you will need a Bible.  The referent to the passage is all that appears at the top of the page and then the paragraph that follows enables the reader to meditate on the passage a bit more.

At the end of the book, there is a source index that will enable the reader to delve deeper into what a particular author (cited in each daily devotion) says more about a specific topic.  Also, there is a Scripture index that will take you to a specific day where a particular Bible verse is used.

Recommendation

As always, I must first state that we should never let a devotional replace the daily reading of Scripture.  If you are not reading your Bible daily, then do not read this resource.  First, get back into the Word and then move to a devotional.

There are a number of devotionals available and each has its particular niche.  Heart of the Matter is a devotional for the Christian who is hurting and needy.  There will be much counsel given and the best part is that it is all rooted in Scripture.  Ultimately, the counselors featured in this resource take you to the Christ of our salvation and in doing so enable you to receive the help you truly need.  I recommend this devotional resource to anyone looking to delve deeper into the word.  Furthermore, I recommend this resource as one that could be used by couples, families, and small groups to draw everyone closer together in Christ.

When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography by Vicki Tiede

Tiede, Vicki.  When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart.  Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2012.  289 pp.  $15.00.  Order at Westminster Books or Amazon for less.

Introduction

First, I must state from the start that I am reviewing this book though the book is written for women (more on this in my review).

Vicki is a homeschooling mom who has written one other book and contributed to five more.  Her joy is being able to share God’s grace and mercy and truths with other women from Scriptures.  In this capacity, she serves as the women’s ministries coordinator at her local church.

Summary

The book is written as a six-week devotional or study meant for women to better understand and handle the pitfalls after discovering their husband is addicted to pornography.  Each week offers a different topic over a five day period.  The first week looks at hope (a great place to begin when discussing this topic!).  Week two looks at the need to surrender.  That is, the need to surrender to your (the wife’s) need to be “in control.”

Week three takes on the important task of trust and learning to trust again.  Perhaps the important chapter here is the one on intimacy since that has been robbed from the marriage through the addiction.  Chapter four offers five days of identity while chapter five looks at brokenness.  The final chapter looks at the need for forgiveness.

Review

I’ll be honest, at first, I was not looking forward to reading this work as it seemed to me to be set up with a sociological/psychological bent.  After perusing and reading, I realize that I was wrong.  Vicki has written a much-needed resource for the “other side of the equation” in the battle against pornography.  This resource will help women to better understand 1) why and how men can become addicted to porn and 2) how they should biblically respond to such an addiction.

I am unable to review the work as a female since I am a male, but I can offer some perspective as a husband reading this book written for women whose husbands have fallen into the trap of pornography addiction.  I believe every husband who has wrestled with pornography or has hurt their wives because of pornography should read this book.  The insights gleaned from reading this book regarding the hell your wife is going through because of your selfish (let’s be honest!) addiction may be what it takes to break your habit.

Recommendation

Even though this book is written for women, particularly wives of men who are addicted to porn, I would recommend it to both men and women as either a resource to study alone, together, or in a group setting.  Perhaps a couples study would be extremely beneficial.  Regardless, Vicki Tiede has written a resource that women will find it to be invaluable.  Men may find it to be extremely insightful.  All will find it to be Christ-centered and an aide to helping couples navigate this dreadful poison to their marriage.

Old Story New: New Testament by Marty Machowski

Machowski, Marty.  Old Story New: New Testament.  Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2012.  433 pp.  $19.99.

Introduction

Marty Machowski serves as Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glenn Mills, Pa.  He also leads the children’s ministry, Promise Kingdom.  This is the third resource in this series.  You can find the other two here.

Summary

This family devotion resource is divided into 78 “chapter” which are then subdivided further into five days.  In other words, you have 78 weeks worth of week-day devotions for the family.  They are written in such a way that any age of children can take part in the devotional.

Each week’s devotionals subject is introduced with a short summary.  Each day’s devotion includes a “Picture It” or “Remember It” section that get’s the child’s mind working followed by a Scripture reading.   After reading the Scripture, there is a short paragraph to help everyone “Think About it Some More” followed by a few questions to “Talk About It.”  After that is finished, there are “Pray About It” guidelines to help reinforce the devotion through prayer.

Review

These 78 devotions build from the first book entitled Long Story Short in which are found 78 devotions rooted in the Old Testament.  I appreciate the intentional shortness of each day’s devotion as they can often times drag on for what seems like eternity.  The questions are worded in such a way that the children, regardless of age, can answer them and in doing so, they dictate the length of the devotion.  Some devotions may last longer than others on account of this.

Perhaps more important is the Introduction for Parents found in the front.  Here, Marty offers keen insight into how family devotions should look as well as what should be expected for children of various ages.  In other words, Marty removes the fear of actually doing family devotions.

Recommendation

My children have already enjoyed Long Story Short (they range from 2-8 years old) and I am confident they will enjoy Old Story New just as much.  We are indebted to Marty Machowski for the writing of this phenomenal resource.  One cannot find a better resource (though there are many that have become available in the past 5 years) to actually lead your family in family devotions every evening.  It is my prayer that those who read this review will pick up a copy and give it a try.  The truth is, your family will be the better for so doing.

How People Change by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane

Tripp, Paul David and Timothy Lane. How People Change. New Growth Press, 2006; 2nd ed. 2008.  223pp.  $17.99.

How People Change promises to be a worthwhile book for pastors and non-pastors alike.  The change of heart is so important when trying to give counsel to anyone.  More times than we care to admit, there is a sin problem at the root of many of our problems. Continue reading How People Change by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane