Monday, September 8, 2008

...across the room for some summer reading...

....ahhhh....those lazy days of summer beg to be spent with book in hand and so it was for me this summer again.  This is my collection of reading material these past two months.  I devoured "The Shack" by William P. Young in no time at all and loved it.  It's not that I agree with everything (do we ever, in any book?) but I did absolutely love his way of looking at the Trinity. Young wrote the book most of all to explain his long and painful journey of suffering and consequent healing to his six children.  I think he did it very well indeed.  The story is about a person who, like most of us at one time or another, asked the question "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?"  If you can keep yourself from getting hung up on some of the controversial theology you can't help but love this book.   Next book I breezed through was "An Irish Country Doctor" by Patrick Taylor.  A most enjoyable read of the life and times of a recent graduate in a small town in Ireland.  Love his writing style.  "The Memories We Keep" by Walter Zacharius is a page turner about a young woman in Poland struggling to survive World War II.  I surprised myself at my response to the ending of this book.  Mia, the main character, re-connects with the man she always loved and could not forget.  She never married but he did and he also had a child.  In the end they get together for a three day passion filled weekend (it's gets pretty graphic!) and you find yourself being happy for them.  Then you remember that this man has a wife! ... and a daughter! ... at home and what business does he have behaving like he does not?  And what about Mia?  How would she feel if the shoe was on the other foot?  Such a great book spoiled by the ending!  Sorry but I just like people to be strong and do the right thing!  Next I read "Walking With God" by John Eldridge.  Some of it was a little tiresome but a good read none the less.  My favourite quote from this book was:  "The only safe place for my heart is in God.  Understanding or not, that is where I have to land".   Learning to hear from God and learning to talk to Him is what he focuses on in this book.  It's a kind of  'year in the life of John Eldridge book'.  I really related to a section titled "Make It Happen" because that is who I am and I'm always needing to step back and see what it is God is really asking me to do and more importantly, in what kind of time frame!  Mostly He seems to direct moment by moment and not "this I want you to take care of next Wednesday at 2:15 PM!!)  I'm glad I read this book.  Then I made my way through a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, subtitled "Overwhelmed by a relentless God".  There is no room for complacency in the life of a Christian.  He says that everything changes when you are wildly in love with someone and therefore if we love God "wildly" we will be living a very radical life with Him as our focus and final authority.  It's inspiring, thought provoking and yeah, even a little uncomfortable!!  Good timing for me to read this.  Finally, but not lastly, I read my Bible.  Not from cover to cover.  In fact, I concentrated on the Psalms.  Psalm 17 caught my attention this summer.  I noticed how confidently David prayed and why he could pray that way.  We often hear comments like "Yes, I prayed but..."  David says to God "I am praying to you because I KNOW you will answer, O God!"  How can he be so sure?  God has tested his thoughts and examined his heart in the night.  Wonder why he says 'in the night'?  Could it be because we think we can hide from God in the darkness?  That in the night He won't see those little secrets, those little sins we try to hide?  Things no one else could know about us?   David says that God has scrutinized him and found NOTHING wrong.  He knew that his relationship with God was clean.  He had kept his heart pure and he had not wavered from following God. His prayer came from HONEST lips.  This Psalm changed my praying this summer.  I enjoyed every book I read but none of them can hold a candle to God's Book, the Bible.  I LOVE to read it!
What did YOU read this summer?  


Stacey said...

wow i got this really weird comment page. not sure this will work but we'll try it. i'm typing in a box that is about 1" by 1.5"! How annoying! Loved your photo shoot of your reading material! How creative! I read The Shack too (I finished it since I saw you last - I did push thru the middle of the book like you suggested)! I won't go into my long explanation but other than not agreeing with the "theology" I had some differing opinions then most people do. I have no problem reading fiction that I don't necessarily agree with but it still left me a little unsatisfied at the end. However like I mentioned on my blog the book makes you think and I can appreciate that and therefore recommend it. I just didn't feel the whole "change" that some described after reading it.

Some of your other reads sound good and when I get thru my current book (The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch) I will check out some of your suggestions. Thanks for the recommendations! Sounds like you had a nice relaxing summer!

Jobina said...

Wow, can you ever read a lot when you're on vacation! Not that you don't read quite a bit anyway, but that's a lot of books! I'm still making my way through my big bag-o-books, so maybe I'll have to revisit this post again later. Thanks for the reviews!