Completed this month:
- Cat & Dog Theology by Bob Sjogren & Gerald Robinson - I know what you're thinking: "what theology?" This joke helps explain it: "A dog says, 'You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.' A cat says, 'You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.'" The book goes on to explain how there are "dog Christians" and "cat Christians," the first focused on God's glory and what they can do for Him, and the second focused on their comfort and what God can do for them. Though not many people are completely one or the other, it will cause you to think through the cat-tendencies in your own life and in the church as a whole, and desire to have more of a dog's heart. The book is funny and very readable, while also causing you to really evaluate your own heart and attitudes. I highly recommend this book to every Christian. It is a fun read, but a challenging one.
- Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes - Having been recommended this book by two women I know, I was excited to find it at a thrift store for 50 cents! This novel focuses on the love story of Mary and Joseph as it could have happened. There are many different takes on how it could have been, but this one did a pretty good job of staying true to the Scriptural details, while adding in things for a sweet story. It makes you think about the hardships they had to endure. I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn't recommend it to those under 16 or so, for it includes some mature details.
- Miracle at Sea by Eleanor Anderson - This is a first hand account of the sinking of the Zamzam, a neutral Egyptian liner at the time of World War II, and of the rescue of a family of 6 children and a mother traveling to join her husband, a missionary in Africa. It is an exciting account of God's faithfulness and protection, and a touching story of a family's love for each other. The story is even more neat to me because the author knew my grandparents, who were also missionaries to Africa.
- Writing the Moments by Maria Lofgren Coble - This is the first, self-published book written by my inspiring sister Maria. It's a compilation of some of her best poems, essays, and short stories. Though I have a sister's bias, others agree with me that she's an amazing writer, and it is exciting to see and read her first book! I thoroughly enjoyed and was touched by her writings, on a variety of topics from identity, to parenting, to faith.
- Not Even a Hint by Joshua Harris - Subtitled "guarding your heart against lust," this book was later republished with the title Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is). It is a convicting challenge for both men and women to strive for not even a hint of sexual impurity in their life. It exposes the problems in legalism and the failures that happens when you try to just follow the right set of rules, while giving advice, guidelines, and questions to help you think how you can live a life of purity. It's a mature book for young adults - probably not for those under 16, and parents may want to read it first. But, it's definitely needed, especially in the culture we live in, and I recommend it to my peers.
- The Warrior by Francine Rivers - I found this novella in the "Sons of Encouragement" series very interesting, as it follows the Biblical Caleb, and I'm writing a musical that has him in it. There isn't a huge amount said about Caleb in the Bible, so the book added a lot of details to flesh out the story that may or may not have happened. However, it kept the details that were in the Bible accurately (though I'm not sure Joshua was as indecisive as they presented him, though he did have to be told again and again by God to "be strong and courageous"). It was an exciting and interesting story. Caleb was truly an amazing man who was used by God. There were a few things that make this a book for older teens/young adults.
- Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney - This book is challenging, encouraging, and grace-filled. It calls you to pursue humility, for the humble person is the one God can use most, and the one through whom God is most glorified. The book lays out well the reasons for humility, the challenges in pursuing it, and practical suggestions for cultivating it without turning it into a bunch of legalistic rules. I definitely recommend this book.
- Inside Ballet Technique by Valerie Grieg - Subtitled "separating anatomical fact from fiction in the ballet class" this book helped me do just that! It was well written, showing how the body works without getting too caught up in all the technical names for everything, and giving practical suggestions for helping your students learn things well and accurately. I recommend it to ballet teachers and/or serious ballet students.
- Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
- Reason in the Balance by Philip Johnson
- Faith Alone by Martin Luther, edited by James C. Galvin
Completed this month:
- Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes - I always enjoy it when an author takes a biblical story and weaves an engaging tale while keeping true to the scripture. I borrowed this from Anna on the plane trip home and really enjoyed this story. I realized that I had read the sequel to the story, not knowing that there had been a first one. While Two From Galilee follows Mary and Joseph on their journey from betrothal to Jesus' birth, Three From Galilee follows the early life of Jesus from 12 years old to the beginning of his ministry. I highly recommend both of the these books, but I second Anna on the mature elements in the first book.
- Priscilla and Aquila by Lois T. Henderson - I have read Henderson's interpretations of Miriam, Ruth and Lydia and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I was excited when I found this book at the same thrift store that Anna found her book. While keeping true to the little scripture that we have about Priscilla and Aquila, Henderson weaves a story that keeps you reading and expectant the entire time. If you have never read any of these books, I'll tell you that they are probably at the top of my list of favorite books. Due to some slightly mature themes, I wouldn't recommend it for those under 16, unless read by a parent first.
- The Curate's Awakening by George McDonald - McDonald has a way of writing a story that is engaging and highly spiritual at the same time. An apathetic curate is asked the question by an atheist, "Tell me the truth, do you really believe a word of all that?", meaning God and Christianity. The curate is struck with a realization that he hasn't believed it, but he wants to find reason to...so begins his search through the scriptures and his search for God. McDonald tackles the issues of evolution and the existence of a Creator with amazing evidence. I'm currently reading the sequel to this book and finding it just as enjoyable.
- The Lady's Confession by George McDonald
- Let The Nations Be Glad! by John Piper
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
- Reason in the Balance by Phillip E. Johnson
- Hood by Stephen Lawhead
Now, what have you read recently?