Friday, September 13, 2013

The Gift of a Good Book

I've always loved reading for as long as I can remember.  My all time favorite story from childhood is "The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher" by Robert Kraus.  Do yourself a favor and read it.  In elementary school I loved Nancy Drew, Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books.  Then in high school I got into Danielle Steel books - I think I'd read every one of them at that time.  Once Jeff and I got married I decided to get rid of all of them because I noticed that as I read those perfect-fairy-tale-tear-producing-love-stories I became pretty dissatisfied with my own knight in shining armor!  From there I discovered Christian fiction authors such as Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers.  Jeff teasingly calls them Christian Harlequin Romance books.

I have loved reading Christian non-fiction books ever since I've known they were available after I became a Christian.  I appreciate different opinions and views and what the author's sharing on what she has learned in her walk.  Reading these books are never to replace reading scriptures though!

We must keep up reading the Bible and praying that the Spirit would reveal to us what God is trying to say to us.  The Word is alive and speaks to us differently during different times.  Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."  It's truly amazing and can not be replaced.

Still, I love devouring a book written by a fellow brother or sister in Christ, who has been transparent and real enough to share his or her struggles, failures and victories - published for the world to see.  Being able to relate to the author and saying 'me too!' every few pages, wondering if she was in my head when she typed her book - I love it!  Being convicted by something written a while ago, but read at just the right time - God speaks to me through author's written words often.  He offers me peace and reassurance and tools to move forward or to tweak a bit of 'me' to become more godly. If you've read my blog for any length of time you've noticed that I've shared many of the things God's opened my eyes to through books.  I thank God for gifting these teachers who have written books to add to our learning more about Him and ourselves.

Proverbs 1:5 "let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance"

Apparently others share my passion of reading Non-fiction Christian.  Christian Living.  What do you want to call it?  I'm very excited about a new venture that God put on my heart months ago and is coming to fruition now - with two awesome, godly friends, Angie and Karyn!  We are launching a monthly book discussion/fellowship group at our church in less than two weeks!  It's been fun planning it and praying about it and watching God bring it together.

For this first month we chose to read, "Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life" by Emily P. Freeman.  It was neat to learn after we chose the book that the author lives in North Carolina and grew up in a small Indiana town.  After two chapters I've been hooked.  Relating with what she has to share.  Learning from her.

I've so related to the 'good-girl' mentality.  My past is riddled with wearing masks and hiding instead of receiving and believing who God says I am.  Hiding behind performing well, a good reputation, a fake 'fine', my acts of service, my strength and responsibility....anyone??   I especially relate to Emily Freeman's words about how she no longer hides as a good girl - "Now, I hide in the completeness of Christ.  I rest in his shadow.  I am hidden, but not behind a paper mask of false identities and try-hard religion.  Now, I am hidden in Christ:  safe, secure, and complete.  And when I hide in him, it is no longer I but Christ who is seen."  This scripture has come alive to me this week:  Colossians 3:3 "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."   I am safe.  I am hidden.  I am confident.  I do not have to make up ways to hide.

I won't go into any more detail about this book - you'll just have to get it and read it for yourself!

Feeling thankful for good books and for the gifts that God gives us; how He has blessed us with talents of many kinds to use to further His kingdom.  I pray that as He leads me in my writing and sharing that hearts would be softened and a little of Him would shine!

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to try this for the 2nd time tonight. It seems I can't post a comment. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I loved your post. You are a gifted writer and I'm glad God is using your talent to reach other women.