January 23, 2017

Books I'd Like to Re-Read


Other than the books of the Bible, I usually don't re-read books. I find there just isn't enough time for all the books I want to get too! But lately, there have been a few that have been calling me back.

These books had an impact on me at sometime in my life and I would love to read them again and see how I react a second time around.

I'm including 3 fiction reads and 3 non-fiction reads.


FICTION:

Not My Will by Francena H. Arnold



I read this as a young teen, maybe 14 or 15 years old. (I'm 48 now) It was a moving story of surrendering to God's will, which remains with me still. I'm looking forward to reading this story again.


The Last Sineater by Francine Rivers


This books deals with superstition. Superstition is when you put your trust in anything other than the Lord. Whether its a man-made item or a man-made idea. Superstition is something that gets a hold of all of us at some time in our lives.

This book deals with the superstitions of the Appalachia people in the 1850's. It was believed that a sineater was required to take the sins of the dead away, and so one man was appointed to live away from everyone else and only come into town when he heard the death bell.

This novel was extremely impactful for me as a young 20 something. It encouraged me, and reminded me that I need to put my trust in Christ alone.

*I actually just finished listening to this one on audio. And I loved it just as much the second time around. It's a novel filled with the Gospel, a rarity today. We need more novels like this one. Ones that share the whole of the Gospel, the precious saving Gospel.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


I read this in highschool and remember loving it. Though I remember only bits and pieces of the story, the impression it had on me was great. Racism is a powerful evil in this world and its worth fighting against.

I'm excited to read this again and dive into the lives of these characters.


NON-FICTION:

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers


This is my absolutely, hands-down, favorite devotional. It's filled with so much wisdom and it encouraged me to seek out the truth in God's Word. My love for Scripture grew after reading this and I now enjoy my time in my Bible more than I did before.

I'm looking forward to starting this again.


If by Amy Carmichael


This is a little book of what you could call 'poems of 'if's.' It is powerful and humbling, as you read of the depth of Christ's love for us, and how we fall so short. It made me so thankful for the Lord and what He has done.


The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn



This was a short and easy book that I recently read, but I would really like to read again. It had so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom when it comes to our money.

It's a book that reminds us this world is passing away, and what we do with our money has an eternal impact.




January 14, 2017

2017 Reading Goals

Last year I had 2 goals. One to read 55 books, which I accomplished and exceeded and the other was to read 13 books from different categories set by Tim Challies reading challenge. (You can read more about that HERE ) I read 12 1/2. So close, but I didn't quite make it.

I think it was because I left the harder theological books to the end of the year and didn't take into account how much time they would take to absorb. I'm half way through J.C. Ryle's 'Holiness' and have yet to read 'God's Love' by R.C. Sproul.

So one of my goals for 2017 is to get through these 2 books.

As well as setting my goal for reading 50 books this year, I've also make some other resolutions for the new year.



Firstly I'd like to do a little re-reading. I will be posting about that next week.

Secondly, I'd like to try and read more classic novels. At least one from Charles Dickens, One from Elizabeth Gaskell and one from Charlotte Bronte. These always take a bit more time but are often worth it.

Thirdly, I'd like to stick with reading mostly the books on my shelves. I've accumulated quite a few and need to focus on getting through them before purchasing others. Though I may buy one or two. : )

Fourthly, I'd like to read at least one biography, one history book and one memoir this year. I really enjoy these types of books so I will probably read more than one of each.

And lastly, but not least, I will be reading from my Bible. I just finished the Psalms and I'm onto the book of Hebrews. Here is what this book is about, quoted from the notes in my Bible:

"Many Jewish believers, having stepped out of Judaism into Christianity, want to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them to 'go on to perfection' (6:1). His appeal is based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. 

Christ is better than the angels, for they worship Him. He is better than Moses, for He created him. He is better than the Aaronic priesthood, for His sacrifice was once for all time. He is better than the law, for He mediates a better covenant. 

In short, there is more to be gained in Christ than to be lost in Judaism. Pressing on in Christ produces rested faith, self-discipline, and a visible love seen in good works."

I love the first few verses of Hebrews. They remind me that God is personal and that He sent His Son for all who will come. Jesus is the brightness of God's glory. He is all we need.

I'll leave you with these first few powerful verses:

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."


December 29, 2016

10 Great Reads of 2016


My reading goal for 2016 was 55 books and I was able to surpass that by 4 books to 59. It always amazes me when I get to the end of the year and see how much I've actually read!

Most on my list this year are non-fiction, with only two fiction favorites. It's always so hard to pick what I loved the most, but I really enjoyed all of these.

I've also been slowly reading through the book of Psalms this past year. Such a beautiful book. I'm hoping to do another post on some of them. Here is a link to my first post... The Psalms

I didn't blog as much this year (I took off about 6 months!) and so I didn't write about most of these books but the one's I have, I will leave a link to.

Now onto my top 10 reads of this year, in no particular order...


At Home with Jane Austen -  I really enjoyed this book! Filled with lovely photos and great information about the places Jane Austen lived. You can read my thoughts on this book... HERE




A. Lincoln - This one took me quite awhile to get through, but I really enjoyed reading about the political system in the United States and how it worked in Lincoln's time, as well as about Lincoln himself. Long read, but well worth it.



The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - Rosaria's story was fascinating. And I found her book lovingly and thoughtfully written, as well as humbling to read. She was a English professor who lived with her lesbian partner, when she encountered God. She says here of her conversion:

"Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos. I sometimes wonder, when I hear other Christians pray for the salvation of the “lost,” if they realize that this comprehensive chaos is the desired end of such prayers. Often, people asked me to describe the “lessons” that I learned from this experience. I can’t. It was too traumatic. Sometimes in crisis, we don’t really learn lessons. Sometimes the result is simpler and more profound: sometimes our character is simply transformed." 

If you are a Christian and would like to learn how to lovingly interact with the LGBTQ community, I highly recommend this book. As Rosaria's humbling words say here: "Homosexuality is a sin, but so to is homophobia." 


 
Parables - I'm just finishing this one, so I'm including it here. I love John MacArthur's books and this one is no exception. He thoroughly goes through several parables of Jesus in an easy and understandable way. I may write about this one in the new year.



The Magnolia Story - Loved this book! And love their show! You can read my thoughts.... HERE




Little Women - I can't believe it took me this long to get to this book! This beautiful novel is filled with the love of family, and the nostalgia of a time gone by. I've loved the 1949 version of the movie since I was a little girl, and now, I will treasure this book for years to come.



God's Pursuit of Man - Loved this one, as I always love Tozer's books. You can read some excerpts...HERE




Ruth - This classic novel was very moving and I really enjoyed it. You can read my thoughts... HERE




Prayer - This was an intense book! Timothy Keller does a great job defining true prayer from a wide range of Christian forefathers, such as Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and John Owen, as well as more recent Christians such as J. I. Packer, C.S. Lewis and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

He also looks closely at the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9–13. It took some time to get through this one, but definitely a book worth reading.



Dear Abigail - I really enjoyed this biography of Abigail Adams (the wife of John Adams) and her two sisters. It takes us from their childhood until their deaths.

What a time period to live in (the American revolution and the birth of a new nation, the United States of America) and what lives they lived, especially Abigail. This book was based on the many letters the sisters wrote to each other, and it was interesting to hear of their beliefs, their every day lives and their relationships with family and friends.




                                                              HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!









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