New Christian formation books give spiritual lift

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Today's column features quick looks at two new books.

Both books are from Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson (

The first book is "Talk Yourself Happy: Transform Your Heart by Speaking God's Promises."

The author is Kristi Watts, a former co-host of "The 700 Club," where she interviewed public figures like Condoleezza Rice and movie mogul Tyler Perry. She runs Kristi Watts Ministries, where she offers Bible study tools and video blogs. She is a public speaker. Watts lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her son.

How do you recover from being beaten down personally or professionally? What impact do words, thoughts and beliefs have in determining your level of happiness? Watts asked herself these questions after her marriage fell apart and she left her public job at "The 700 Club."

Watts writes that, "The process of talking yourself happy is as much about the condition of our hearts as it is about the quality of our words." She references Luke 6:45, which says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

I'm a fan of bullet points and other lists. That's one way I can easily absorb information. Watts' book provides plenty of lists. It also provides some really cool meme-like pages with takeaways, making for a visually appealing design. One such meme is "Happiness is knowing that in God we are free from all the misguided standards placed on us by a broken society."

Watts' website is

The second book is "Destined to Win: How to Embrace Your God-Given Identity and Realize Your Kingdom Purpose."

The author is Kris Vallotton, the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California. According to his author biography, "His prophetic insight and humorous delivery make him a much-sought-after international conference speaker." He is the co-founder and senior overseer of Bethel School of Ministry, which has more than 2,000 full-time students.

The book says, "Christians are often told that they were born with a purpose that reaches beyond their human strivings, but most are not sure how to break past the daily struggles holding them back, much less how to fully step into their callings."

Vallotton writes, "I'm personally inviting you to join me on this journey as we venture to uncover the buried treasure hidden in the hearts of every reader."

He adds, "I want to remind you that when you have Jesus living in you, you have everything you need to rise above the trials of life and become the person you were created to be in God. Refuse to be reduced by your fears, restricted by your past, or derailed by your critics or your worst day. Instead, live as a believer who rises to the high call of God in Christ Jesus and thus becomes fully actualized in your personhood."

His website is

-- Jason Reynolds is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette. His email is

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