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Publisher's Summary

Many Christians simply arent experiencing the abundant life. A focus on doing our duty and living by reason - when what we know trumps how we feel - can leave us feeling dead. We need to have our passion restored in order to live the life that Jesus came to give us.

In Feel, Matthew Elliott takes a critical look at what our culture and many churches have taught about controlling and ignoring our emotions. He contends that some of the great thinkers of the modern era got it all wrong, and that the Bible teaches that God intends for us to live in and through our emotions. Emotions are good things that God created us to feel. Matthew helps us to understand our emotions and equips us to nurture healthy feelings and reject destructive ones. So refresh yourself, drink deeply, and learn to live with a new, passionate heart.

©2008 Matthew Elliott; (P)2008 Oasis Audio

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Frustrating but good, a swing the pendulum book

God blessed me through the book. My pendulum needed a nudge, well maybe more than a nudge. But this is an example of what I call the 2 ditch method of getting off the road and away from God.

He basically calls the institutional western church to task for fearing the gift of emotions. And he goes back to scripture, to show that it doesn’t have the same shaming tone that you hear from a lot of pulpits.

I desire to receive emotions as the gift they are, and to remember that we have them because we are made in God’s image. I also agree with Longman and Allender in “The Cry of the Soul: What our emotions reveal about our deepest questions about God” that emotions have a purpose and it has to do with connecting with God. In a lot of ways, we should seek the truth to combine with the emotion, as a lot of people trust emotions rather than trusting God. But seeking the truth is a good start, as Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. A great illustration of needing truth with emotion comes from one of Steven Covey’s books as he speaks of perspective. He gives the example of riding a train in NYC when a dad an 4 children get on. The dad doesn’t exert any influence over his children who are going wild on the strain. Covey’s emotions are irritation and indignation. He finally speaks to the man, and the man admits that he is out of it, and says that they just came from the hospital where his wife and the children’s mother just passed away. Covey’s emotions changed to sorrow and compassion, only the truth was added.

So, all of this is simpler than it looks. Holy Spirit is the real power, and does work through emotions.

Asking Holy Spirit or Jesus for the truth is something He delights in, though you may have to wait for an answer sometimes, which will rub control the wrong way.

But loving is always part of it, and loving often includes emotion, but the emotion that comes from loving your enemy is not the one the i normally associate with love.

The bottom line is that He is interested in your/my emotions. We are told to pour out our heart to God. And we are treasured by Him, and that includes the emotions that He has given us.

God still met me in this book, though sometimes it was painful to read, because I feared that people would get derailed the other way, and miss the Lord invitation to connect. What it has done for me is to help me to hear God’s voice more clearly when I journal, as He will often ask me how I was feeling when something occurred to me or something happened. That is wonderful. And I look forward to hearing those types of questions more as I go about my day.