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Take No Thought


A motivating read for those seeking to use the Bible’s teachings to live a more satisfying, anxiety-free life.

This Christian self-help guide by a knowledgeable pastor aims to inspire readers to adjust their lifestyles by having faith in God’s plan. 

In his debut, Winfrey applies the Bible’s teachings to real-life scenarios to give readers practical recommendations for removing debilitating anxiety from their lives. The narrative centers on Jesus’ statement to his followers in the Book of Matthew to “take no thought”—or, as the author puts it, to not “get bent out of shape worrying”—about things that one can’t control. Winfrey draws lessons from his own experiences, such as when he was a disobedient child and tried to justify his actions. He notes that people tend to find ways to ignore the truth and do things that they know are wrong, as it perpetuates their idea of living a comfortable lifestyle. The author also shares stories of encounters he had with greedy people within the church who manipulated the Bible to get money and power. A particularly intriguing chapter details his experience with pastors selling “survival packs” to churchgoers in preparation for supposed Y2K-related disasters: “As I looked at this deception and misrepresentation of truth, my heart was saddened. I saw people being robbed without a gun while the leaders of this deception saw money and more money.” Winfrey’s wit, caring, and taste for humor come through in extended analogies, driving home his points while making them relatable and easy to understand. For example, the book’s second part begins by comparing people parking their cars as closely as possible to their destinations with too-comfortable Christians not wanting to leave the earth when they die. Overall, the book is full of enthusiastic slice-of-life moments, expressed in a refreshingly personable voice. It will surely resonate most with a Christian audience, but its central lesson about living a life full of graciousness and trusting in faith may be widely appreciated.

A motivating read for those seeking to use the Bible’s teachings to live a more satisfying, anxiety-free life.

Pub Date: July 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4759-9540-4

Page Count: 142

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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