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Seven Things That Steal Your Joy: Overcoming the Obstacles to Your Happiness    by Joyce Meyer order for
Seven Things That Steal Your Joy
by Joyce Meyer
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Rated among one of the best inspirational authors, Joyce Meyers offers a place for joy in the believer's life. In Seven Things That Steal Your Joy, she examines pitfalls that prevent most people from achieving a joyful life. Meyer's no frills language and straightforward discussion prompts the reader into a self-examination process.

Each chapter of 'Joy Stealers' (including religious legalism, jealousy, anger and envy) is accompanied by a section on 'Joy Keepers', e.g. quickness to forgive, confidence in belief, and living a simple life. Enjoying your own life as God has provided, and not 'coveting' someone else's life is a strong joy-keeping concept. Each chapter backs up beliefs by quoting and interpreting scriptures. An important aspect of the book is the author's sharing of her own life experiences of abuse, illness, a fight with cancer and the realization that she could not 'change' others, especially those close to her.

Meyer focuses on her personal trials to change herself through her belief in God, and His promise for a happy life by 'listening to our heads instead of our hearts'. Even though Meyer's previous books have addressed some of the same topics, her new offering will appeal to many for its simplistic style of writing, terminology and explanations. Readers will appreciate the author's candid approach to the enjoyment of every day simple things and the wisdom of words like: 'Many rules do not come from the teaching of Christ, but are man-made religious ritual' (ergo, church rules).

Joyce Meyer's strength lies in the conviction and dedication extended from her established ministry through books, lectures and seminars. She approaches her subject with modest and honest simplicity, and an uncomplicated style that instils her thoughts gently into your mind, as in this reflection: 'Yesterday is gone forever, lost in the recesses of the past. Tomorrow has not yet arrived. So, live this day to the full.'

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