I am grateful to be able to announce that my forthcoming book, Gratitude in Life’s Trenches, will be available in bookstores on August 18th. In the meantime, you can read the introduction and first chapter for free at Issuu.
From the book’s Introduction:
The good life is about finding a type of joy that only comes when we give up the pursuit of happiness and pursue meaning instead (chapter 1). The good life is about learning to be grateful in the midst of life’s problems (chapters 3 and 7), but it is also about learning to be present with God when we are too distressed to see past those problems (chapters 8 and 9). The good life is about improving our lives through baby steps and good habits—including making incremental strides to increase attentiveness (chapter 4) and right thinking patterns (chapter 6 and 7)—but it is also about learning to simply accept ourselves for who we are right now (chapter 2). The good life is about being able to look after our needs with proper self-care (chapter 2 and 9), but it is also about learning to forget about ourselves and live for others (chapter 10). The good life is about learning to get in touch with our feelings (chapter 5), but it is also about learning to see our feelings in perspective and not get swept away by them (chapters 6 and 7). The good life is about serving God by being weak for Him instead of being strong, through being poor rather than rich, and by attempting small things for Him instead of great things (chapters 5, 8, and 9). Above all, the good life is about allowing God to meet us exactly where we are, in the messiness, brokenness, and pain of the present moment. Sometimes we need to commit the ultimate heresy of our feel-good culture and actually lean into the pain we would rather be struggling against (chapters 5, 8, 9, and 11).
What Others Are Saying About the Book
“Gratitude is difficult in a real, broken human life and this is a book that does not gloss over the difficulties. Phillips shows that the classical Christian response of gratitude remains helpful in finding meaning and even happiness. This is a helpful book without falling into bromides.” —Dr. John Mark Reynolds, President of The Saint Constantine School and founder of Torrey Honors Institute.
“Phillips has a gift for making profound wisdom accessible to a wide readership. This book will open closed minds, gladden weary hearts and change people’s lives.” —Rod Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative and author of The Benedict Option
“This book should become a staple of the classical curriculum, and should be read by every young Christian before heading off to college.” —David V. Hicks, author of Norms & Nobility
“Robin Phillips is a holistic thinker who takes the gems of truth from neuroscience, psychology, sociology and theology to show how to experience the good life. His book is honest and accessible to everyone. This is a book that can change hearts and lives.” —Bishop John, Antiochian Orthodox Bishop of Worcester and New England
“Drawing upon a vast array of sources, both contemporary and through the centuries, Robin Phillips has gifted us with a brilliant guideline for human flourishing, providing much practical guidance for making real in our lives St. Paul’s axiom: ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).” —Dr. David C. Ford, Professor of Church History, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary, and author of Women & Men in the Early Church: The Vision of St. John Chrysostom.
“This is…not your ordinary self-help book because we are not being told to simply help ourselves, rather we are guided to a long-stemmed tradition, rooted in Scripture and verified by saintly ascetics. Phillips puts the empirical sciences in the service of Christian revelation, making spirituality practicable.”—David W. Fagerberg, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, author of Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology.
“Gratitude in Life’s Trenches is the rare spiritual wellness book which is filled with genuinely profound theological meditations that Phillips has made accessible to all.” —Joshua Gibbs, public speaker and author of How to Be Unlucky
“Gratitude in Life’s Trenches is a book I am excited to share with my entire community! Robin Phillips has brought us a timely, not to mention timeless, guide on finding true joy in our lives…. Please purchase this book not only for yourself but also for the wisdom it will give you when ministering to others who may come to you in pain.” —Cynthia Damaskos, Holistic Christian Life/Filled With Less
“In this book, Robin provides well-researched best practices for being overcomers rather than victims. Through these strategies, we can lean into life, manage our difficulties, develop our emotional muscles, and enhance our personal and collective meaning…. [Robin] has integrated truths from psychology, neuroscience, and Christianity into a holistic view of how we can live our lives with hope and victory, regardless of our challenges.” —Dr. Graham Taylor, Clinical Psychologist, Founder of the Taylor Study Method, Chief Learning Officer Triad Behavioral Health, and Host of Triad’s Behavioral Health Today Podcast
“Robin has offered a book of comfort and hope to those who are going through pain. For example, he discusses how we can train ourselves in gratitude even when everything is going wrong, and how hope, love and comfort can shine forth even in our darkest moments.” —Cherie Calbom (“the Juice Lady”), popular speaker, television celebrity, and author.
“Who among us has not, at one time or another, found themselves trapped in the dark, disorienting trenches of life? When we are at our lowest, what we most long for is not an end to pain, but a lens to help us locate meaning from within it. Like a luminous beacon, Robin Phillips’s Gratitude in Life’s Trenches guides travelers lost on the seas of stress, weariness, chronic toxic thinking, and despondency back to the harbor of gratitude and the peace only Christ offers.—Nicole M. Roccas, PhD, author of Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life
How You Can Help Spread the Word
As is often the case now, publishers expect authors to shoulder a large part of the marketing. This means that I need to make a shameless appeal to enlist your help. If you like the book, or the material in the sample pages, please help spread the word. Here are some downloadable images that can be shared on social media. Simply copy and paste any of these into your social media account, or save them onto your computer and then share them in the same way that you would a photo.