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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
I first read this book several years ago. I was so impressed, I gave my copy away. Thus began a mission of sorts, to try and keep a copy, yet provide copies to others who struggle with pain in their lives. Many times I have faced crises and pain in my life and found help in Thorns in the Heart. It helps lead me to the One who loves us most and encourages me to place my trust, in all situations and circumstances, in Him. I have been learning that I don't need to carry pain in my heart.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
It is hard to begin to review this book as the title is a little misleading, as the book actually explains far more than what we normally think of as Addiction. When most people think of the word addiction, they think of both Drugs and Alcohol. However, Dr. Steven Stiles goes a step beyond his title and addresses hurting people from many walks of life. He also counsels people who are interfacing with people who are hurt, wounded and/or addicted. I bought the book to see if he had any fresh insight to my own educational background and counseling. However, I discovered that I had thorn hidden deep in my own heart, too, that I had buried so deeply, that I simply had forgotten completely about it. While reading the book, I discovered the hidden hurt from childhood and was able to work it through quickly and let go of the pain. I have shared it with dozens of others, who have found either a better way of coping with addiction and all the ramification, thereof or a hidden thorn in their own heart. I only wish that there was an explanation in the subtitle, or else where, that indicated the book had more to offer than just dealing with addiction issues. Had there been, I believe, that those considering this book would have had a better idea of why they wanted to read it. Many are hurting but there hurts are emotional or physical as I feel we are all walking wounded people.

As we look out at the masses, we see hurting people every day by the droves. I truly believe this book may set free many who are being held captives by many things other than addiction as we normally think of it. With the minor exception of the title lacking to fully explain his subject, Dr. Stiles, does a wonderful job of explaining his subject matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
This book has changed my life. It addresses the issues of addiction, pain, and human frailty with compelling and poignant depth. Similar to The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis, which searches the interface between human suffering and the meaning of life from a philosophical and spiritual perspective, Steve Stiles has put forth a practical approach that strikes at the heart of the human condition. At the same time his writing is accessible, to the point that people from all walks of life can put the ideas to use in their own lives, as well as when trying to understand and help friends and family members. The stories of heart-wrenching pain are written with beauty and grace, and serve to provide real-life examples that elucidate so much of the material. My spiritual life, view of addiction, and approach to my own pain will never be the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
Everyone deals with pain in life, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Thorns in the Heart has become, for me, almost a textbook for dealing with my own pain or for sharing with others as they deal with theirs. Many times, since I first read the book, I have opened it up and found pointers that helped me deal with issues I was facing. I am sure that will continue. It has made me more open and honest about pain in my life, it has made me a better listener to others in pain. :) It has made me smarter!
The book is intriguing - sometimes it is technical - but it is very readable. Dr. Stiles is a very good writer; he gives good examples, interesting anecdotes, great guidelines and challenges. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to tackle their pain and win. I will keep rereading Thorns in the Heart and keep sharing my copy and yes, giving copies away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
"Thorns in the Heart" by Dr. Steven Stiles is a must-read for anyone involved in ministry or who deals with addiction issues - whether the addict is oneself, a co-worker, friend, or family member. Even for general readers, Dr. Stiles' book is of interest simply from a scientific knowledge perspective regarding pain of any sort.

I have found it beneficial to myself in learning why all human bodies need moderation in activity... hoping it will help me work a little less. God instructed us to take a Sabbath day of rest for a couple of reasons!

I lent a copy of this book in its original form to someone who had just found out he had a family member who was an addict, and he found Dr. Stiles' book to be of great comfort in a particularly stressful time.

I can't recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2011
I read this book when I was a teenager. I was going through some emotional stuff and although I was not an addict, (although if you count anger as an addiction I may have been lost) it still let me see the recovery process that needed to go on between myself and God. This book will change your life! Written for the "everyman" to read it is full of bittersweet humor and anecdotes about people just like you and me. Buy it, read it, loan it, and change more lives.
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on November 7, 2013
I chose this rating because of its content and how Dr. Stiles discusses what thorns of the heart is on many levels. He talks about addiction, pain, suffering and God. He discusses various levels of pain from a clinical perspective, mind body connection etc. This book can be an awesome resource for your personal walk with God, counseling, addiction counseling, pastoral counseling and for the individual wanting to understand how do I overcome my personal pain, life challenges and how do I help others to understand their pain. He uses terms like pain addict, diversion from pain etc. Dr. Stiles account of Imprisoned by Pain is an excellent snap shot of how addicts and people who avoid pain can set themselves up to be addicted to relief. Dr. Stiles winning combo is his ability to take complicated life subjects both spiritually and clinically meshing them together to answer life's most difficult questions and addressing why some people heal and others do not. Dr. Stiles book is so all life encompassing, I feel in my review, I have only touched the surface. Blessed is the reader who is willing to be open to learn about pain and to be willing to process their own pain as they read this book.
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on June 18, 2011
This is one of the best books I have read. I read all kinds of books, sometimes two at a time. This book is very insightful, and I highly recommend it for anyone grappling with a related issue, or dealing with a loved one going through a similar issue. It is well written, well researched, and excellent advice. I believe it offers helpful insights for counselors who are advising others.
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on March 10, 2015
RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTIONS!

Being a local church pastor, it seems like every single counseling appointment I have, has some connection to unhealthy addictions! As I read through this book, I was not only encouraged, but I learned how God can use these "thorns in the heart" for good in our lives! I highly recommend this book!
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on March 8, 2014
The book read me. Not the other way around.
Must read for anyone who breathes and has a heartbeat. Enjoy.
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