Books, Books, Books!
January 1, 1970Dear Friends,
Since summer vacations offer a chance to do what many of us most enjoy—read—I thought I would tell you about a few of the books we discussed this year at my church’s “Neighborhood Book Talk” group.
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver – This was our first selection, and it was a great book, but it would better lend itself to chapter-by-chapter discussion at a Bible study or for personal study. The author challenges the reader to apply principles that lead to a balanced life of meditation and service.
The Shack by William P. Young – This controversial novel portrays God in an unconventional manner. Critics say its theology is not sound. I maintain most people don’t form their theology based on novels. The book examines how a loving God can allow tragedy. Our group found The Shack quite thought provoking. During a Bill Gaither Family Fest, I heard Young speak. He told of his personal background of abuse, which laid the basis for his book. You can hear his testimony for yourself at http://www.godfire.net/The_Shack_Paul_Young_Testimony.htm.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan – In this nonfiction book, the author examines how Christians sometimes lead contradictory lives by professing one thing but doing another. He challenges readers to live out an authentic faith.
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck – Whether or not you’re a Glenn Beck fan, you’ll enjoy this heart-warming novel based on his life experiences. It centers on a sweater knit for him by his mother, which he failed to appreciate at the time.
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner – This was probably our favorite book. It’s the fictional story of Lauren Durough who works for an elderly librarian to type up the diary of Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials. Meissner weaves several stories together with surprises along the way.
The Good Nearby by Nancy Moser – This author also does a masterful job of weaving story threads to create a surprise ending to her novel.
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Don Miller – The subtitle of this nonfiction book says it all. The book is funny yet insightful; serious, yet a bit contradictory. Don Miller writes about his life as a Christian at a secular university where he engages in the culture while witnessing to it. I enjoyed the author’s style and insight.
So there you have it. May all your summer reads be enjoyable and draw you closer to God and others.
June 7 – I’ll be offering a dramatic presentation of the first 106 verses of the gospel of John at First United Methodist Church, Millersburg, at both 8 and 10:30 a.m. services.
September 12 – Friends of the Heart will lead a women’s retreat at Trinity United Church of Christ in Dalmatia.
November 15 – I’ll be speaking Camp Hebron’s Autumn Tea in Halifax.
January 9, 2010 – Friends of the Heart will present “Mary: Ordinary or Extraordinary” at Christmas Café, Community Evangelical Free Church in Harrisburg.