Personal Writings And Book Reviews

This Is Your Brain On Joy March 27, 2009

Filed under: reviews — novelized @ 7:55 pm

This Is Your Brain On Joy
A Revolutionary Program for Balancing Mood,
Restoring Brain Health, and Nurturing Spiritual Growth
By Dr. Earl Henslin
Published By Thomas Nelson

I was not an overly health conscious person. I didn’t really watch my weight or worry about what I eat. I wouldn’t take vitamins. In fact, it would takes a lot for me to take a medication of any kind.
After reading This Is Your Brain On Joy by Dr. Earl Henslin all those statements have changed. I now take four vitamins daily and have modified my diet to eat foods that better equip my body for joy and mental health.
This book is an amazingly readable look into how our brains function and what strategies we can apply in our daily living to help us to reach our maximum potential.
Dr. Earl Henslin is passionate about brain science and the benefits of SPECT imaging. SPECT imaging (Single photon emission computerized tomography) has proved to be effective with his patients to diagnose brain complications like ADD, OCD, and varies forms of depression. SPECT is used by tracking the blood flow in the brain to help recognize areas of decreased function.
Don’t I sound smart?
The truth is, I have never felt so respected by a person with the title Dr. before. He modifies his speech to be reader friendly and makes his descriptions of brain function very basic and easy to grasp without belittling or talking down to the reader. He truly wants the reader to understand and he works very hard to meet that goal.
In This Is Your Brain On Joy you will mark a checklist (like taking a quiz)  of your weaknesses and strengths in the five mood centers of the brain. From that quiz you will discover possible areas of overactive or under active brain functioning. Each chapter then addresses each of these areas of the brain. Vitamin supplements and possible medication solutions are listed as well as nutritional advice, quotes for positive thinking, scriptures to meditate on, music therapy, exercise recommendations, and cinamatherapy.
This Is Your Brain On Joy is packed full of useful information to help you be the best you that you can be. With these tools you can be well on your way to better understanding and empathy for others as well as attaining optimal joy for yourself.
You can purchase or find more information on this book here
The cost is: $22.99

(It is currently on sale at for $16.99.  I’m not sure how long this sale will last).

If you want to know more about how your brain works and develop a strategy for obtaining deeper joy and a healthier you, pick this book up today.


Makoto Fujimura’s refractions March 4, 2009

Filed under: reviews — novelized @ 1:42 am

Makoto Fujimura was appointed by President Bush in 2003 to the National Council on The Arts.  He is a visual artist who works with light, prism and minerals to create refractions of art. After reading refractions, I am fully convinced of Fujimura’s ability as an artist and am certain of his dedication to art.

This book was a remarkable look into a creative mind that longs to capture the attention of the world through art, and yet bring glory to God.

Every chapter (or essay) reads like a devotion.  I found myself repeatedly sharing pieces from each chapter with my husband because it was so rich and deep that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

refractions is an insightful and beautiful read.  The writing is outstanding and the thoughts he shares are inspiring and intelligent.  I loved reading this book.

Usually when I read a book and see references to other writings or resources I just ignore them, but after reading Chapter 5, I was drawn to my computer to hear the music of William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops.  Wow!  Again and again I was inspired to know more about the artists and ideas he conveyed.  He gave insight and depth to art and faith that I would have naively passed over.

I loved Chapter Three about Bert’s Disappearing Weather Maps.  I laughed and learned simultaneously.

On page 96 he writes ” The Greek word in the New Testament for “believe” is pisteuo, which suggests belief not as a sheer intellectual exercise of having “blind faith” or to imagine and will us into irrational faith but belief as a relational axis of trust.  Good acting and good art moves one to a place of trust. What inspires us, after all is not being force-fed to believe in belief itself but to be moved to desire belief and expose our deep need for trust in each other.”

Fujimura is a powerful writer who eloquently conveys how to have an eternal impact on our world through faith displayed in art.  He is gentle with his Christian beliefs and doors are opened up to him because of it. 

I pray that many artists would read this book and capture a vision for the potential they could have to truly impact our world for Christ in the subtle, but heartfelt actions of creativity.  I am thankful for the opportunity to read and learn from his beautiful example of faith and art in action.

You can read more about this exceptional book at

It can be purchased for $19.99 and I highly recommend it.