Friday, February 29, 2008

March Reading Challenge

It's your last chance to jump on the bus, folks! The March Reading Challenge is pulling out of the station beginning tomorrow, and here are the riders:

Grace: Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick and When I Don't Desire God by John Piper

Sarah C: Knowing God by J.I. Packer and Teach Them Diligently by Lou Priolo

Mark: The Odyssey by Homer and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and War and Peace (just kidding on those last 2!)

Karen: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

Christen: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Staci: The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

Rebecca: The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell

Donette: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis and Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

Morning Rose: Sold! by Patricia McCormick and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Gretchen: A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes, How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Books that Changed the World by Robert B. Downs

J. Ingold (representing the underrepresented men):
Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards and The Work of Christ by Robert Letham

Amelia: The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (late addition totally welcome!)

If there are any changes, please note them in a comment, and I will fix your goal. This challenge is for YOU, so it's okay if everyone has different lengths and numbers of books. If you accomplish your goal, you just might win a prize fit for a booklover! Possible prizes include vintage book plates, book tickets and a special booklover's gift item designed by yours truly (to be unveiled in a later post). Please do not begin your books until tomorrow. That said, buckle up and let's head out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More books for Sharon

Thanks, guys, for all the input on my list for Sharon. This list is shorter and even harder to define, so I am calling it "Just for you". Basically they are books to read for enjoyment, and do not necessarily fit in Marriage, Parenting and Ministry. This list is based entirely on my opinion, but then again, Sharon did ask for my opinion. :) I'm linking them all to Amazon so you can click and see what they look like. But please buy them from your local bookstore!

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House -- I love this beautiful book. It makes simple things like making beds seem beautiful and important.

Moleskin Notebook
-- this "legendary notebook of Hemingway" has become my new obsession. I love their clean lines and perfect sizes. Great for staying organized!

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens -- My favorite fiction story of all time.

Boxed Set Chronicles of Narnia -- This one really is the best. The collectors edition is worth the small increase in price because all the illustrations are in color, the bindings are made to last, and the pages are thicker and glossy. This is the set you must read to Gabriel (et. al.)

Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper -- Great ideas on how to make holidays about treasuring God, not just purposeless activities.

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit -- I know I mention her over and over, but I'm simply over the moon about her! Nesbit does to my funny bone what Elisabeth Elliot does to my soul -- they hit the very core.

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook -- I have no idea if this would be helpful to you in Brazil, but I can't tell you ho
w much I love this book. It is more than a cookbook, it is a handbook on all the subtleties of the art of baking.

I hope some of these suggestions were helpful to you. I certainly enjoyed formulating the lists. Happy reading, friend!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Essential Reading for Ministry Wives

My sweet friend Sharon asked me for some book recommendations to take to the field. She and her husband David, are preparing to leave this spring, and she left me this comment on a past post:

"I'm mainly writing to ask you for some book recommendations. Several missionaries have told me to make sure I take plenty of reading material because resources are limited once you're on the mission field. I would like to go buy some books and just put them in one of the boxes we're shipping down and it will be like a little Christmas for me throughout the year."

I am doing my recommended reading in two parts -- "Essential Reading for Ministry Wives", and "Just for You". This list is specifically designed for women, wives and moms to be applicable to their lives as they minister in a church in the US or abroad. There is no way this list is exhaustive, but I do want to give you enough options in case I list things you've already read. I'm focusing, for the most part, on books specifically designed for women. There are many others, that I would encourage you to check out, but I know your husband most likely has those! Most of the parenting books I am recommending based upon hearsay -- I've read very few of those. :) But good people have told me how wonderful they are, so I'll pass them on to you.

This list is for Sharon, but I know my dear readers have been wondering when I would write about books and reading again! So here you are, a true post in Gret Reads 24/7 fashion:

For All Women:

1. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Charmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
2. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
3. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
4. Discipline, the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
5. How People Change by Tim S. Lane
6. Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney
7. A Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God's Mercy and Our Pain by Elisabeth Elliot
8. Idols of the Heart by Elise Fitzpatrick
11. Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot
12. Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
13. Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp
14. The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith
15. Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
16. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
17. Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes

Books on Marriage:

1. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
2. The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
3. Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas
4. Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson
5. Fearlessly Feminine by Jani Ortland

Books on Parenting:

1. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (I'm reading it right now with Christen!)
2. Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman
3. Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay Clarkson
4. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson (I've had this recommended by several friends)
5. Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond (a woman I really admire tells me this is very practical and helpful. She buys it for all baby showers!)
6. Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
7. The Shaping of a Christian Family: How My Parents Nurtured My Faith by Elisabeth Elliot
8. In My Father's House by Corrie Ten Boom

Books for Your Ministry in the Church and to Women:

1. Free Grace and Dying Love by Susannah Spurgeon
2. Ordinary Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
3. Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
4. Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney
5. Women's Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan III
6. The Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God's Mercy and Our Pain by Elisabeth Elliot
7. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor
8. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Merry Christmas, Sharon! :) To save time and space, I simply listed the titles, but if you want more info on any of these, leave me a comment, and I'll let you know why I recommend it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Indelible Grace Concert

Last night, Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace had a free concert at our church, Clifton Baptist. What a source of Christian encouragement! In case you're not familiar with IG, they take old hymns that are beginning to be forgotten and write new melodies to them. The words of their songs are so rich! I really admire their dedication to these old songs, and the desire not to let them fall by the wayside, but to sing them on to another generation. Some songs have been changed around quite a bit, but others, like "Nothing but the Blood" and "Come Thou Fount" are totally unchanged. You can hear samples on their website.

Here's what it looks like when a row of Seminarians show up an hour early for good seats. That's Josh and our friends Kevin, Micah and Carrie.

Here's me and my friend Canaan. Can you believe we forgot books? We didn't show as early as the others, so we just chatted it up for a half hour or so. What I loved about this concert was how "church-family" it was. How gracious of IG to make the concert totally free so that everyone can come, even with their kids and babies!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because He Loves Me: How God's Love Transforms Our Identity and Life

I'm here with the facts about the Elyse Fitzpatrick conference! Wow! I had no idea it was actually going to be compatible with my work schedule. . . I am going to do everything I can to make it!

In case you are interested in coming, here are the details:

When: March 6, 2008 5:00pm-8:00pm
Cost: $10 (includes dinner)
Where: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of course! (which means you get to stay with Gretchen).
Contact: Lilly Park (502)897-4608
Deadline: March 1st (or else you get no dinner)

Please stay until the next day when you can get your books signed by Elyse at the bookstore where I work.

Now, who wants to come?

By the way, I'm still taking names and books for the March Reading Challenge. You can enter all the way until March. And I seriously am cooking up some sort of prizes!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who's In?

I found this vintage poster which gave me a great idea to promote in March. If you can narrow it down, choose one or two books that you've always meant to read. I think I'm going to go for my books about books: How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes.

If you need a suggestion, how about reading the Puritans? Timmy Brister, blogger extraordinare, and one of the best customers at my bookstore (after Dr. Mohler, of course) has developed a Puritan Reading Challenge. Complete with prizes and discussion, you read one Puritan Paperback a month. I'm a little late in the game to post about it, but I'm sure you can still hop on the moving train. I'll ask him next time he comes in for an enormous stack of books. Building that theological library.

Whether you decide to take up my March reading challenge -- to read something you've been meaning to read -- or to take up the Puritan reading challenge, please give me a halla back to let me know you are in on it!

Now let me see if I can cook up some sort of prize. . .

Nearest Book

Steph tagged me to write 3 sentences from page 123 of the nearest book to me. I think Shepherding a Child's Heart is about 3 inches closer than Josh's Greek New Testament, so I will go with that (not to mention, I'd be hard pressed to figure out sentences in that guy). Page 123 just happens to be the last page I read in this book, earlier today! Crazy!

Well here it is. Kind of a strange set of sentences. "These methods must be woven together in your practice. Your children need to be known and understood. Thus, rich communication is necessary."

I will tag Karen, Grace and my cousin Rebecca to do this next if they are interested.

Speaking of reading, I am working at that list of suggestions that you all gave me. My class reading and the books that I am reading with friends have slowed my personal time reading down quite a bit, but I did polish off The Fisherman's Lady by George MacDonald today (waiting to post a review until after I read the sequel -- The Marquis Secret.) Most of the others are either on their way or sitting on my BookMooch wishlist. I will do some real blogging in a few days.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Book signing!

*** EDIT: I was confused. Thanks, Heather, for pointing out that the 9th is a Sunday. The signing will be March 7th.

I am so excited! I am running a book signing with Elyse Fitzpatrick on March 9th at the bookstore! She has written several great counseling books as well as the very popular book Idols of the Heart and Love to Eat, Hate to Eat.

Let me know if you want a book signed that day. I'd be happy to add it to my stack!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Beauty of Adoption

Today I joined a throng of people waiting to welcome the Murray Family home from Vietnam, where they have been for the past 2 weeks, adopting two precious baby boys. The Murrays are an amazing family here at Clifton, our beloved church. They have 4 bright, adorable daughters who are mature, respectful and full of character. I just love how the Murrays saw that there was more room and love to give to more children, and embarked on this exciting adventure. It was an amazing moment when they walked toward the crowd, and their 3 youngest daughters ran to meet them (their eldest, Caitlyn, who is in our Jr. High SS class went on the trip with them). Everyone cheered, and I am sure I'm not the only one who shed a few tears. It was beautiful.

Why is adoption so beautiful? I think it is because our hearts are so drawn to the beauty of redemption -- our adoption in Christ. We, like these 2 little boys, were adopted by the Father from a world of darkness, sin, and spiritual poverty into the marvelous family of God -- made joint-heirs with Christ. What could be more beautiful?

These boys have been "rescued" from a world that was unloving, cruel, dirty and poor and welcomed into a family that will heap buckets of love on them -- those guys have absolutely NO idea. For one thing, they went from having no mother to having 5 mommies! Watching the process that the Murrays went through has deepened my appreciation for my own adoption in Christ. We cannot begin to imagine all that it will mean to us!