Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Praise God and Thank Him (Servant Books)

Praise God and Thank Him is the latest book by Catholic Biblical scholar Jeff Cavins. I must admit the subtitle "Biblical Keys for a Joyful Life" gave me pause, but I trusted the author enough I gave his book a shot. Before I continue with my review, let me dispel any fears, and assure you that this book is not "prosperity gospel" at all. Instead, this book looks to teach the reader the keys to joy, not happiness, which is a shallow emotion, but true joy, which comes from God. Mr. Cavins reminds us in the introduction that there will always be problems. We can choose to respond to these problems negatively, or we can "Praise God and Thank Him!"

The book is logically divided into two parts - Praise and Thanksgiving. Each part is five chapters long and closes with a section of "Ten Tips." Mr. Cavins could have taken many approaches with this book. He could have done a strictly Biblical approach to this book, and it would have worked for me. However, he chose to add in some personal stories, Catechism references, and Patristics (always a plus) to give a more complete picture. Overall, I think the most interesting chapter to me dealt with the many Hebrew words for praise. We all know that there are several words for love in the Bible, but very few of us (myself included) know that there are many words for praise in the Bible. They are yadah, halal, shabach, barak, zamar, todah, and kavanah, There are also many postures for praise including standing, kneeling, and falling down to name a few.

Hands down, the most useful sections of the book are the "Ten Tips" at the end of each part. You'll be given tips like, "Start seeing qualities and deeds in others that are praiseworthy," and "Voluntarily fast from something you take for granted." With reflection questions at the end of every chapter, the book is structured in a way that you can use this for individual study or small group study. There are also appendices with Bible verses on praise and thankfulness. You'll have to look them up to read them, as just their citation is in the book, not the actual verse, but I recommend reading through them and finding a couple to memorize. They will prove most useful when life's problems want to weigh you down. I recommend this book and hope that I can take some/all of the tips to heart, so that I can live a more joyful life filled with praise and thanksgiving to God.

This book was provided to me for free by Franciscan Media in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!