Recent Reads: Hope Prevails by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

What the book's about: As the subtitle says, Hope Prevails shares "insights from a Doctor's Personal Journey through Depression." It emphasizes the spiritual nature of depression. 

Hope Prevails

Why I read this book:  As a youth worker, I always want to be aware of and sensitive to families that are dealing with mental illness. I am constantly searching for books that might be a resource for my ministry OR for families dealing with these situations. 

My favorite quotes from the book:

- "Denial never means something doesn't exist or didn't happen, just that the pain of recognizing it seems to outweigh the potential benefit of being vulnerable and seeking help." 

- "Even Christians get depressed. Unfortunately, Christians are often the ones who most feel they must hide their pain and pretend that nothing is wrong." 

- "Depression can turn us into a person we don't recognize." 

- "Some days I had to borrow other people's hope because it felt like mine had run dry." 

- "When we compare ourselves to others, we focus on all we do not have." 

Who I'd recommend this book for: Many progressive Christians will struggle with the language in Hope Prevails (in particular with its emphasis on how "Satan uses three primary tactics to perpetuate our depression... He seeks to kill our joy, steal our peace, and destroy our identity.") In contrast, many evangelical Christians will resonate with Hope Prevails and find it to be a useful tool in practically fighting depression. 
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor's Personal Journey through Depression in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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