Thursday, July 28, 2011


Over the next few months we’ll be doing a series of Reviews on a group of books released by the Church Health Center of Memphis, TN. Today we’re looking at the first one of the group 40 Days to Better Living, Optimal Health.

Forty days is, of course, a Biblical number and I’m sure that was among the reasons they chose it. Following a regimen of exercise, prayer and contemplation for more than a month gets a person off to good start on a life-changing adventure.

Dr. Scott Morris founded the Church Health Center in 1987. Today, they handle 36,000 patient visits, have 120,000 wellness visits, and have a staff of 250. They are unique in that they provide all of this care without Government funds. The Center is Christian-based and espouses treating the whole person — mind, body and spirit.

The book is set up in daily increments. Each of them begins with a short Morning Reflection. Their message is generally low-key and not strongly denominational. They do, however, acknowledge the role of God in our lives and well-being. Prayerful living is definitely encouraged. They also encourage each person to keep a journal of their goals and progress. As a matter of fact, they provide space right in the book for it. Each day ends with an Evening Reflection. Regardless of where an individual might be in their spiritual journey, following this simple routine is bound to increase a person’s awareness of God working in their life.

Nearly every page has colorful illustrations and there are half a dozen “stories” scattered through the pages. Each one features an individual who came to the Center with a specific health issue and the progress they made due to the program. Rather than being a get-rich-quick scheme like so many books on Health, these books are part of a larger ministerial outreach and this is reflected in their modest price. The list price on Optimal Health is a thrifty $7.99 and I expect the others will be as affordable.

If I sound like I’m impressed, it’s because I am. Rather than tell you how great the book is, I’d rather share a personal story. I suffer from degenerative arthritis of the spine that has impacted the nerves in one of my legs. Lifting, bending and walking have become increasingly difficult. After reading the story of Eddie, a man who faced possible amputation of his legs due to an auto accident, I was motivated to do more. I decided if he could do it, maybe I could too. This past week I went for a walk. I wasn’t fast and I relied upon my cane, but I covered almost a mile. That may not sound like much, but it’s the greatest distance I’ve walked in months and I'm looking forward to making additional progress.

We thank Audra Jennings at B&B Media for providing us with a copy for an honest review.
—E G Lewis

Product Details
List Price: $7.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1616262648

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