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Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry by [Noble, Perry]
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Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 255 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Good news—you’re not alone!

No one ever said life was going to be easy. Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the regular, run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. Well, don’t do it!

Perry Noble has stood at the edge of the abyss himself, and in Overwhelmed, he shares the keys to unlocking the chains of anxiety and despair once and for all. Building on the premise that when we shift our focus from our circumstances to Christ, everything changes, Perry walks readers through a life-altering plan for overcoming stress, worry, depression, and anxiety so we can be free to enjoy the abundant, joy-filled lives we were created for.

God knows we’re frustrated. He knows we’re tired. He knows we’re struggling. But He also knows how things are going to turn out. He is greater than anything you are going through . . . so don’t give up on God. After all, He’s never given up on you.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3807 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E1O6VG8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,950 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book started off well then unexpectedly (to me at least) turned into something very religious.... not what I was looking for in dealing with work & life stress
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tout en étant simple à lire , ce livre nous amène à découvrir que nous ne sommes pas seul lorsque la dépression , anxiété et les inquiétudes nous affligent .
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Practical advice for those who need it. Thank you
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4a3772c) out of 5 stars 328 reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48582c4) out of 5 stars Conflicted feelings about book, discussion of content April 28 2014
By A. Looby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I am conflicted about how I feel about this book. I am a worry-wart and was hoping that the book would give me ideas and strategies to overcome this in my life. Instead, the book was mainly about depression and not as much about worry. (I do not feel they are the same, but I do believe that worry, left unchecked, can help lead to depression.)

I'm conflicted because on one hand the author will say that he isn't going to give you "bumper sticker" theology (quick, simple quotes meant to encourage) but then he does. Statements like "God is good", "Don't give up on God because He didn't give up on you" and others that are similar are not bad or incorrect, but they come across as a "Sunday School" answer. It doesn't really dig into HOW to put these concepts into practice. You can tell me all day that I need to trust God (and I do) but for someone who is neck deep in a struggle, those words do nothing to help. All they do is make the person feel belittled.

I looked through the other reviews of the book to see if anyone felt like I do and found the information about the author's prescription for antidepressants. Of course, I checked the validity of the information on the authors blog. While I do not not begrudge him the help they provided, it would have been more honest and transparent if this was discussed in the book. Counseling is not put forward as a viable option in the book either. Most times, a person struggling with depression cannot get out of it by themselves. There should have been a statement in the book that this should not take the place of medical or psychiatric care. You cannot get out of a depression just by reading this book.

That being said, here is what you will find in the book:
There are 35 fairly short chapters, with in introduction as well as conclusion. The chapters are easily read in just a few minutes. The biblical characters discussed are Daniel, Nebuchadnezzer, Job, the Disciples and the men on the road to Emmaus, among others.

The beginning of the book is about what it feels like and means to feel overwhelmed. It does say that the journey isn't quick or easy and I appreciate the fact that was stated at the beginning. There are a few chapters on the nature of God and emphasis that we need to change our perspective to focus on who God is before we can focus on other details.

I like the "Can We Bring our Mess to Church" chapter a lot. As a pastor's wife I get frustrated when we aren't allowed to address a topic because it "isn't nice". Well, life isn't nice and we're all in it so the church needs to be realistic.

The book then goes into discussion of depression and the author's personal story (this is prior to the book, the blog posting by the author clearly states that he suffered twice with depression). I found his story, as told in the book, honest and probably pretty hard for him to write. These chapters are followed by chapters about being realistic in viewing where you are and what you're going through. It clearly states that you have to accept help, address what's broken and work toward a breakthrough. This chapter (chapter 9) is where the author should have dealt with, or even mentioned, counseling and medications.

There are lots of examples from the story of Daniel in the beginning of the book. I appreciate that the author writes as if the reader isn't completely comfortable and familiar with the Bible stories. I feel like this makes the book more approachable, in a way.

Side note: The personal illustrations are really funny. I can't imagine how silly some of these were at the time! I have been chased by a goose at a park too. But I'm also a small female and the shrieking in fear is a bit more acceptable!

There are chapters, based on Nebuchadnezzer, to show how God got the attention of an ungodly man and how these same things should get our attention. Good chapters. I've never thought of Nebs as an example as he did. Kudos for these chapters.

There are chapters that are about how we have barriers between us and God, using the "big three" of sex, greed and unforgiveness as things that we put before God.

The chapters on the men on the road to Emmaus are about trusting God and not being skeptical about His promises or presence in our lives.

There are chapters about John the Baptist regarding believing in God's love and friendship. Again, these chapters point out a few things in the Bible that I'd never noticed about how Jesus addressed the Disciples.

Then the final chapters are about Job. Good 'ole Job. He seems to be the poster child for "trust God, don't get too upset about things". The chapters flow as you would expect regarding the story of Job.

I like that at one point he says that "anxiety and stress can be traced to a point where we try to take control" because that control be the central theme with worry and anxiety. However, that's not always the theme with depression. I feel like the book tackles too much without going really deep on the main, titled, concerns.

It's not bad, and it can be helpful for someone struggling with worry, anxiety or depression. HOWEVER, this book should not be the only resource in the battle against these things. It's a good starting point and a good reminder, but it's not nearly comprehensive or complete.

Side note: I always worry about the content of a book like this when there are few footnotes and sited sources. There is room in a book like this for information from the scientific and medical community to support and enhance the discussion.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4858c6c) out of 5 stars Underwhelmed May 25 2014
By joseph k pfaff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As I consider my thoughts and reflect on my impressions of Overwhelmed I actually feel a bit underwhelmed. I had high hopes for this book, and life circumstances aside, it failed my expectations and I was unable to engage the content until I was in the last third of it. To be fair I did try to go into it with a blank slate and without many expectations, but my cursory knowledge of Perry Noble was that of a pastor who had battled anxiety and depression, and at one point I hoped it would be a bit more practical. I can't say that I know much about Noble's preaching style or personality, but I get the feeling his sermons are the sort that contain many quips and anecdotes shared around the back porch while drinking lemonade on a hot summer afternoon with friends - he is engaging and friendly, but I felt the stories often took too much focus. The stories were entertaining and did relate to the point he was trying to make, but there were too many asides and rabbit trails before the content started to speak and become applicable. I read Overwhelmed as a Kindle e-book, which allows for easy highlighting and note taking. Sitting here, while sorting my thoughts out, I see many yellow marks and note indicators that point back to quotes or paragraphs that hold some "meat" - but they are scattered and it feels that the bulk of the book is filler for a few choice thoughts and pieces of advice.

If you are looking for a solid book that will engage and carry you through from beginning to end, I don't think this book is it. Overwhelmed is great for group discussions and study, where people can critique and debate the points Noble is making. There are indeed solid gems of wisdom and I would lying if I said there wasn't some truth or value to his words, but I just can't help but feel there isn't a lot of substance. Noble writes from his own experiences and his encounters with anxiety and depression, which is a great start. For someone who is facing overwhelming pressure and the reality of depression, anxiety, or fear it is good to walk along someone who has traveled that path before. I know Noble isn't suggesting his book is a replacement for clinical help. Noble isn't even suggesting that Overwhelmed replace appropriate pharmaceutical intervention, if needed. Overwhelmed is full of scriptural references that point to God's grace, love, and offers encouragement, but that isn't enough and I wish he had spoken more on his clinical intervention or experiences. While many of the quotes I have highlighted and marked are memorable they seem a bit "common" and familiar, almost as if Noble read all the self-help books he could and inserted his favorite lines - Overwhelmed reads at times like a self-help book and I don't think that does the topic much justice.

The strengths of Overwhelmed lies in its foundation of the Bible as the basis of truth and the way Noble refers back to Old and New Testament examples. The best example I read of Noble using a Biblical example was in the chapter he discussed John, Jesus' Friend. I sincerely believe the Noble has a good start with this chapter and couple probably expand it into a standalone book, it was a look at John that I've never considered before and shows the love of Jesus for all his disciples, (loving them where they are with all their flaws). Noble also constantly points back to the goodness and holiness of God and the love of Christ. You can't read this book without knowing that Jesus is carrying us through and our strength lies is our relationship with Him. In God's goodness we also see our depravity, "One of the greatest gifts God can give us is the revelation of our own sinfulness." Despite reading like a self-help book I understand that Noble isn't sharing secrets to instant healing and relief - the challenges of depression and anxiety are not easily explained away or conquered and healing will take time. By the time I reached the last third of the book I got the feeling that Noble had finally begun to write the book he set out to write and was in his element. The first two-thirds of the book were too much like a long, jovial introduction that went on for longer than necessary.

Throughout Overwhelmed Noble constantly points us back to the idea we have to make a choice, a choice to seek change or a choice to allow our overwhelming circumstances and emotions destroy us - there is wisdom in this thread that weaves through each story and Biblical example, but the bulk of the book drags it down. As I said in my introduction, I was quite overwhelmed when I begun reading this book. Work, interpersonal issues, finances (I am a missionary that must raise support), and personal baggage from my own past were hitting all at once and it was stressful. As a trained counselor with a master's degree I had hoped to see a book that addressed his experiences in counseling as well as to share gems of wisdom and application from scripture. I got none of the former and plenty of the latter, which is why I feel this is a great book to read in a small group or book club. People need to wrestle with life and the brokenness we are all faced with and I think in a small group setting some issues and accountability might pop up in useful and miraculous ways. In closing I'd like to share the last highlighted quote I made and one of the best in the book -

"I'm so glad God loves me enough to wound me when necessary in order to remove what would destroy me if left untouched. And I'm so glad He has been teaching me to define His goodness based on who He is, not on my own limited understanding of Him."

[Edit, I forgot to add...Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's blogger guidelines. ]
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4858750) out of 5 stars From a pastor who bravely admitted online his need for antidepressants, I expected at least some mention of that here Sept. 9 2014
By dinglefest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I expected to write a positive review, having read really encouraging blog posts by Perry Noble about his struggles with depression. As I opened the book, I expected to only have one negative thing to say: that I'm not a fan of the cover. And I'm not, though it does have an overwhelming feel with the text upon text... but I like to read while out in public, like when I'm sitting in the lobby during dance class for my oldest four children, and I didn't want to do that with this book because it might cause others to think I'm at the end of my rope. Which is kind of true, to a degree, but I'm not at the "cry for help" stage, and that's what public reading of a book obviously titled" Overwhelmed" would elicit.

But.

He starts off with vulnerability. He admits he "wanted to kill myself" with the first sentence of the book. And then he dismisses or omits any suggestion of medical supports for depression and other overwhelming realities, despite the fact that he has publicly admitted on his blog that he began using antidepressants while writing this book. As a woman who is a better Christian, mother, and wife when taking antidepressants, I found his blog post about that to be both refreshing and encouraging, especially from someone of his stature in the Christian community. That's why I ordered this book.

But this book contradicts that.

Consider the contrasts below from the brave blog post and the book that didn't measure up or even start to meet that level of honesty:
In the book...
"Is there a way to reduce the stress and anxiety in our lives so we don't have to walk around in a medicated, zombie-like state of mind?"
On his blog:
"I can honestly say that making the decision to take an anti-depressant during this time period in my life has been one of THE BEST decisions I have ever made. It really has clarified my thinking, made me way less of an emotional basket case and allowed me to make better decisions."

In the book:
"If that's the case for you, I would simply encourage you to read your Bible." (the case for you, in context of this quote, is depression)
On his blog:
"The church has used, “pray and read your Bible more” as a “cure” for anxiety and depression for far too long.
And we have placed people who use medication to treat the issue in a category that is way less godly than those who do not use it.
However, as someone who has been on both sides of the issue I want to speak definitively on this by saying that it is NOT a sign of weakness to admit your need for medication in dealing with these issues; in fact, in many cases it may actually be a sign of strength."

In the book:
"If God can bring me through the three painful years of depression I went through, then God can bring you through whatever you're experiencing too."
On the blog:
"However, as a Christian and as a pastor I can honestly say that making the decision to swallow my pride and accept the common grace God has provided through medicine has made me a better husband, father and friend."

Did God bring him through his depression? Yes. But medication - and not the sort that puts us in a "zombie-like state of mind" - can be a tool God provides for that healing, and it's a tool that was part of Noble's treatment and turn-around. Unfortunately, readers of this book won't know that. His blog post acknowledges that he began to take antidepressants while writing this book and that their effectiveness changed his views about such pharmaceutical interventions, so this isn't the case of his change of heart and treatment occurring after he wrote the book. No, that wasn't the case. And while he acknowledges publicly that his "Anxiety was a fight, and I was losing" and that " I could not take it anymore and that I needed something to help me," his book just tells readers to read their Bible more and pray more and trust God more... and doesn't include the truth that those actions alone weren't enough for him and that antidepressants were a need for him to move from, in his own words, overwhelmed to overcoming.

In more minor problems:
-- He listed overwhelming situations and doesn't include positive yet overwhelming situations, except for "having your first child." As one who was overwhelmed by so many blessings that brought more to my figurative plate than I expected (ministry growth, multiple adoptions, a supportive community, and so on) and given that he felt most overwhelmed when he was in a positive season in life too, I think he missed out on many opportunities to emphasize that good things can be overwhelming too and that people - especially moms, as I think they feel the most guilt about this - don't have to feel bad if their overwhelming parts of life are good ones and not tragedies.
-- He, like a few other Christian authors, seems to think he's more relatable if he presents himself as a buffoon. After mentioning that his wife was valedictorian, he adds in a parenthetical "I beat up our valedictorian." Then after describing Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah as the best and the brightest, he adds in another parenthetical, "This is where the story would have ended for me, since I made a 790 on my SAT!" I don't get why Christian authors do this. I don't know any other group's authors who would make this a norm. How does presenting yourself as a violent simpleton give you any credibility to a reader? I'm not talking about admitting faults; that's important to emphasize our own fallibility in light of God's infallibility. Passing yourself off as unintelligent or a bully doesn't do that; it just makes you seem like someone I would never ever want to seek guidance from... which is counterproductive, as this book aims to give guidance to overwhelmed believers.
-- The opening paragraph to Chapter 4 was unsettling to me as someone raising black children: "I absolutely love living in the South. Despite the fact that some people can't seem to get over a war that was fought 150 years ago, it really is a great place to live." Regardless of whether he's talking about white people who keep waving their Confederate flags without apology or black people who are insulted by that or what, but turning a major issue separating people by race into a passing comment? That's just not wise.
-- He includes a paragraph that's condescending and overly simplistic in its dismissal of macroevolution. I agree with Perry Noble on the stance but not the delivery of it nor the necessity within that chapter.

Sadly, this book has some gems in the rough, like:
-- "The reality is that every person we lock eyes with on Sunday morning (including the person we saw in the mirror this morning) needs grace." Amen.
-- "Church shouldn't be the place we run from when we're feeling overwhelmed; it should be the place we run to. After all, church is the place where Jesus meets us and changes us into who we need to be."
-- "I don't understand how God can use bad things for good. I don't understand a lot of things about God. But when we can fully explain God, He ceases to be God. All I know it that He took a bloodstained cross and turned it into an empty tomb, and a God who can do that is worthy of my worship and trust."
But the rough is too prominent and the lack of honesty or guidance about medical supports too glaring for me to recommend this.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48600b4) out of 5 stars An incredible book May 15 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I was really blessed by this book. I hope a million people read it and pick up on the message! To be clear, I’m not a big Perry Noble fan, most days his speaking style annoys the snot out of me. However, I was blown away by this book (which I can only assume was based on a sermon series). Perry is an incredibly gifted writer (or he has an incredibly gifted ghost writer… who knows these days?).

I think what makes this book so good is that Perry takes you to the scripture in every chapter. This is really like an old school exposition on the book of Daniel. I think Perry also connects with readers as he walks through his own personal struggles. The book greatly benefits from Noble’s cheesy redneck humor (I was laughing with the giddiness of a school girl somewhere around page 159… so much so that my wife had to come check on me… Not bad for a book on worry).

"Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry" is a great book to have on your shelf and an even better book to read, especially if you deal with worry, depression and/ or anxiety. Perry doesn’t pull any punches and while he has you bent over laughing one moment, he’ll have you pouring your heart out to God in repentance the next. I gladly recommend it to anyone dealing with anxiety or looking for a practical level exposition on the book of Daniel. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa486027c) out of 5 stars Hope for the Overwhelmed April 3 2014
By Frances C. Mauney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading the Overwhelmed book has helped me grow in my faith as Perry gave specific scripture, fabulous analogies, and real life examples of his struggle with anxiety and depression. The advice he gives is biblical and truthful. I gave the book to 10 friends and we are all so grateful and appreciative that someone understanda how we feel and wrote a book to help us all cope.