Resilience in Life and Faith: Finding your strength in God

Resilience in Life and Faith: Finding your strength in God

Authors : Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker
£9.99

Discover effective ministry through faith-filled resilience

Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker encourage us to develop our resilience and to prepare ourselves for the challenges that life throws at us in an increasingly difficult world.


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Title Resilience in Life and Faith: Finding your strength in God
Authors Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker
Description

Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker encourage us to develop our resilience and to prepare ourselves for the challenges that life throws at us in an increasingly difficult world.

Through biblical wisdom and psychological insight, they show us how to understand ourselves better, appreciate our areas of strength and strengthen our areas of weakness.

Read this book if you want a faith that persists to the finishing line.

 

Details
  • Product code: 9780857467348
  • Published: 22 March 2019
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • Dimensions: 130mm wide and 198mm high

Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker encourage us to develop our resilience and to prepare ourselves for the challenges that life throws at us in an increasingly difficult world.

Through biblical wisdom and psychological insight, they show us how to understand ourselves better, appreciate our areas of strength and strengthen our areas of weakness.

Read this book if you want a faith that persists to the finishing line.

 

Tony Horsfall is a freelance trainer and associate trainer with EQUIP, a missions programme based near Doncaster. He is an elder of his local church in West Yorkshire and regularly travels abroad leading retreats and Quiet Days. His other books include Spiritual Growth in a Time of Change (BRF, 2016). He also contributes to BRF's New Daylight Bible reading notes. Dr Debbie Hawker is a psychologist based in Nottingham with a global reputation as a specialist in debriefing and trauma counselling.

 

The Reader, Autumn 2019. Review by Roger Thornington

The assertion on the back of this book - ‘Read this if you want a faith that persists to the finishing line – develop resilience and prepare for the challenges life throws at us’ sums up the authors’ intention. Does it do what it says on the cover? Debbie Hawker, a clinical psychologist, introduces the subject and contributes chapters on the psychological aspects of resilience using a model of resilience under the following domains: spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive and creative, and finally social and systemic. Tony Horsfall, a trainer and retreat leader, provides studies of biblical characters illustrating each aspect considered. Each of the 15 short chapters concludes with some questions. Finally there are two appendices – a self-assessment ‘Resilience Rating Scale’ using their model, and then a ‘Resilience Creed’, using scriptural truths to strengthen faith during times of hardship. For those of an investigative nature, 145 annotated references are cited. It is a readable book; I found several nuggets amidst the many referenced opinions and conclusions. In summary, the book should interest Readers keen to investigate and develop the psychological aspects of their faith.

Reviewed by Roger Thornington

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Church of England Newspaper, July 2019. Review by Carol Turner

In today’s world where so much is ‘instant’ and it is easy to give up and move onto the next thing, resilience seems to be in short supply.

As Christians, Tony Horsfall says, we should fix our eyes on Jesus and keep going. Resilience is what this short paperback is all about and I was amazed at how much is contained in it.

The two authors have collaborated well and the chapters really flow together to form one whole. The combination of the authors’ experience in pastoral work, psychology and mission serve to give the book’s content a real depth.

The book focuses on the spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive & creative and social & systemic aspects of resilience. Of them all as is stated (p167) spiritual resilience is the key and all aspects return to that; the spiritual is not able to be divorced from the rest of our lives.

The format of the book is excellent; the components of resilience are outlined and then applied to the lives of Biblical characters, and for us as Christians today. Practical suggestions are given as to how we can apply the teaching in today’s world. Of further benefit are the questions at the end of each chapter: these are challenging but do not result in readers being ‘put down, there are no wrong answers!

The book is well written and easy to read and understand, and will benefit the lay reader and those with more theological knowledge. I fully intend to re read this book, there is so much to recommend and it gives much food for thought.

Reviewed by Carol Turner, midwife with 20 years' experience in Morocco, Sudan, Afghanistan & Burkina Faso. Member of church leadership team in UK.

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Review by Tim Herbert, Director, SYZYGY Missions Support Network

Tony Horsfall and Debbie Hawker have combined their unique talents to produce this new resource. As one would expect from two authors with excellent track records, it does not disappoint.

Defining resilience not as merely 'bouncing back' (as I so often have done!) but helpfully quoting a variety of authors to demonstrate that the status quo in our lives may not be restored after a trauma, though what we learned in the process changes us for the better, they have come up with their own model for understanding the different facets of life which impact upon our ability. They call it 'SPECS' and I will not explain that here so that I don't have a negative impact on their book sales! Suffice to say it considers all aspects of our human being to ensure we have a complete awareness of how to balance our lives well.

The chapters explore each of these facets in turn, first the psychology (Debbie) and then a character study from the Bible (Tony). This useful pairing means that the theory, presented simply enough for the amateur to understand but deeply enough to be helpful and authoritative, is balanced with lived-out practice, which is thoughtfully and interestingly brought to us. Each chapter closes with helpful questions for reflection, which gives the book the feel more of a devotional rather than a textbook, usefully bringing together two genres. At the end is a quick but effective self-assessment to highlight the reader's current life practice and how it affects each facet of their resilience.

Reading this book I felt better informed about resilience, and inspired to maintain it. I commend this resource to practitioners of pastoral care for whom it is an invaluable addition to the bookshelf, and to all Christians who will find information to help them thrive in their daily lives'.

Review by Tim Herbert, Director, SYZYGY Missions Support Network

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Review by Phil Jolley of ECMI

This is a practical and helpful book dealing with different aspects to help develop resilience alongside snapshots of characters from the Bible that illustrates those aspects at work. The material that is presented covers building resilience in the areas of the spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive and creative, social and systemic (SPECS) parts of our lives and then illustrates those through the biblical record of characters like Nehemiah, Elijah, David, Joseph, the early disciples and Jesus himself. A whole chapter is devoted to resilient women in the Bible.

Questions at the end of each chapter help to move it on from merely information transfer to active engagement and application for one’s own life and at the end there is a personal resilience rating scale to help the reader assess their own level of resilience, as well as a resilience “creed” that is both challenging and inspirational and could be used in a church or group setting. Overall, the book is pitched at a level that any reader looking for help in dealing with life’s normal as well as extreme challenges will be able to respond to with gratitude for the insights and practical counsel given.

I could do worse than sum up the central message of the book through a quotation that the authors have added from Tim Herbert: “How do we develop these deep roots? To use a sapling as an analogy, trees develop deep roots by going through hardship… We know that we need to stake a young tree to stop it blowing over in the first place, but… if we stake it too tightly, it… will not develop deep roots. Only if it is allowed to wave in the wind will its roots go deeper in the ground to provide more stability. The more it shakes, the further the roots will go seeking rocks to hang on to. For us, those rocks are God and the great truths of our salvation.”

Reviewed by Phil Jolley Phil Jolley works for European Christian Mission International. Previously based in Spain, he now works in the International office as Director of Finance and Administration

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A very personal reader review. Name supplied.

Here is a book suitable for all different types of people: professionals, people with health issues or challenges in any sphere of their lives, and useful to people of other faiths or none. For an understanding of the psychology of resilience beyond its use as a ‘buzzword’ see the first chapter

Co-written in alternate chapters by a Christian clinical psychologist and a prolific Christian writer and theologian, it is based on a Biblical perspective of resilience, seeking to show that being resilient in the Bible sense does not mean being unflawed, just being willing to persevere and learn lessons from great hardship instead of becoming ‘hardened’ and not giving up!

Using as an approach a model called ‘SPECS’ (standing for Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Cognitive & Creative and Social & Systemic) the book helps identify key areas in each of these fields in which to grow in resilience and give oneself ‘margin’ and time to enable the change to take place and ‘take root’.

Now to become more personally specific. I was feeling quite low and not at all ‘bouncy’ when I did the questionnaire at the back of the book and to my surprise, given that I was coping with a very recent Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, I found that in the sphere of spiritual resilience my ‘score’ was surprisingly high. This is down to a very good family, friends and faith (i.e. Church) support network. It cheered me up just to realise I was not at the ‘bottom of the chart’ when taking all five areas into consideration, but ‘fair to middling’.  It helped me differentiate between the physical side and the emotional, social etc. and gave me a greater understanding of areas I could work on.

The book is almost like a devotional at times, with in-depth study of the Bible characters. For me, the ‘Resilient Women of the Bible’ chapter was outstanding. I thoroughly recommend it and I will be giving it to friends – Christians and others –- as I have already seen how it could be of help to people who are family/carers of people on the Spectrum.

It is also usable as a manual to help with daily life. Debbie Hawker has incorporated a great deal of resilience into her own life through her faith. This for me is the ultimate test of a self-help ‘system’: it works in daily living. Thanks to both authors, great!   

 

This is a really useful book - readable, practical and with sufficient supportive evidence and further reading to be authoritative and engaging. 

Ian Orton