I wanted to tell you about a few books I’m working through right now and about a few blogs I’ve discovered that you might also enjoy in all your spare time. You know….for those down times when you’re not busy watching Lifetime TV, reading Vogue or pinning your next renovation project.
“Does This Church Make Me Look Fat”, by Rhoda Janzen, is hysterical!!!! It was the first book I read this year and it was a great read. Light and funny but serious too. I love to hear how people come to know Jesus and in this book, Rhoda shares her story in the most hilarious way. She holds holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997 so she’s like smarty britches. She’s in the academia world and her friends are skeptics, atheists and tree huggin’ earth lovers and she shares how in the middle of some difficult times she meets a church going guy named Mitch. That’s not his real name but it’s all true. She starts going to church with him and over time begins a relationship with Christ. It’s really awesome to see the progression of how the Holy Spirit changed her heart and life over time. I think I loved this book so much because it’s my heart beat. If I ever wrote a book this is the type of book I’d love to write.
So I went from light and sassy to a deeper book called “Significant Work” by Paul Rude. He talks about how every day work is actually more significant than we think. In our culture we tend to live with this thought that really significant work that truly advances the Kingdom is limited to missionaries, pastors and clergy when in actuality we are all called to something significant no matter what our occupation is. He says it much better than I can so just go ahead and get the book. I’m enjoying what I’m reading so far.
The other book I’m reading when I wait in carpool line is “The White Umbrella” by Mary Frances Bowley. This is incredibly eye opening and hard to read. Have you heard about human trafficking and how slavery is at an all time high in history? I’m only beginning to understand what this means and the reality of this in our world today. My friend, Amy Sullivan , has much more to say about this if you are in the dark on this subject like I have been. This book is short chapters of true stories of girls – many of them our daughter’s ages – that were sold into slavery….many in Atlanta. Ya’ll, that’s where I grew up. I had no clue until I started reading this book what has gone on around me and is still going on in that city today not to mention so many other places. The author of this book started a home for girls, in Atlanta, who were victims of such injustice. And this book is filled with stories from their counselors and Mary Frances Bowley. I’ll admit that I didn’t buy this book. It was given out at the Catalyst Conference Randy and I went to in the Fall. We entered a session with thousands of other pastors and church leaders and all of a sudden you see white umbrella’s going up all over the Civic Center. And then Mary Frances Bowley comes out and shares staggering statistics of young girls being sold into sex slavery. They gave every participant a copy of this book. I find it hard to read – and especially in line with all the other minivans picking up their children from Christian school. I cry a lot when I read it. It’s just sobering. So very sobering. I hope you’ll click on that link to Amy Sullivan that I listed because in her blog post there is a video by Laura Parker who talks to kids specifically about Human Trafficking. She never mentions sex slavery and she’s very discrete in how she explains it. I’m planning to show it to my kids tomorrow morning before church because she gives us a call to action – something we and our children can do to help. I like this. A lot. We plan to help. I hope you’ll give it a thought too.
Next on the reading list is Radical Together by David Platt. It’s sitting on the Pembroke table next to the little red paisley chair calling my name but I hate reading more than two books at a time. I know….I just need to get over it but I can’t quite seem to.
And a few new blogs I’ve discovered that you might like too……(I’ve added both of them to my side bar so you can find them there as well)
Laura Williams at To Overflowing has such a sweet and genuine heart for the Lord. You hear it in her posts and vlogs. A friend told me about her recently and I’ve so enjoyed catching a glimpse into her life and heart. I think you will enjoy reading her too. Her recent post on sacred spaces was so good and practical.
The other blog post that I recently discovered and thought was touching is by Ellen Stevens and it’s called “The Hoarder Inside”. I’ll just go ahead and warn you…..it has the potential of throwing you into the ugly cry so you might want to grab a kleenex.
Well, that about sums up the new stuff in my life as far as reading materials.