Thrusting Against Negative Forces
by Dr. Belinda Ball

"We live in a society that is unpredictable and spiritually detrimental because of opposition to God’s laws."

Targeting young people, this guidebook contains journaling techniques for personal examination in times of struggle with temptation and wrongdoing. Author Ball has organized her message in three parts: exploring God’s spirit and its power, detailing the character of Satan, and offering suggestions for serving God in all aspects of life. The author believes that today’s youth are increasingly led on a path to self-destruction and that they can be lifted up by meeting their problems head-on, using the power of scripture to combat them. She has created daily exercises that allow the reader to study a moral message or passage of biblical scripture and, for each, to record their conclusions in the sections titled “My Situation,” “Pray about Thoughts and Feelings,” and “Action Plan.” She vividly depicts Satan and his devious plans, while recommending practical means—a “spiritual toolbox,” a ninety-day plan for renunciation of specific sins—to defeat evil and find true joy rather than earthly, fleeting happiness.

Ball writes with sincere conviction and considerable knowledge garnered from her career as a counselor with a particular emphasis on Christian values and youth services. She has composed several engaging parables: three pigs seeking counseling from a lion disguised as a pig; an overweight rabbit discoursing on breaking bad habits while chomping a carrot; and two Christians so immersed in basketball lore that they use sports metaphors to describe their religious convictions. She presents a variety of insights into human behavior based on her understanding of scripture, all with the goal of helping her readers disengage from self-destructive behaviors. The segment centered on Satan’s methods for exploiting human weakness is especially compelling. Though geared for young people, Ball’s wise and well-organized manual could serve as a guide for people at any stage of life and would make an excellent focus for Christian study groups.

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