Two New Bibles

Jacob and I have both gotten new Bibles recently, and we love them!
For Jacob’s birthday I got him The Picture Bible, Deluxe Edition
It is the story of the Bible written as a graphic novel, or a comic book.  Yes, it is different than actual Bible verses, but I believe there is a time and a place for giving a child a Bible he enjoys reading!  (He also has the NIrV for direct scripture learning.)  He sits in church and reads through pages and pages of this one, where his other one was visually overwhelming for his maturity level.  And I’ve found him in his room reading through it because he likes it.  That’s good enough for me!

And I recently got the Holman Illustrated Study Bible.
I’ve been reading out of my New American Standard study Bible for 15 years and just needed a change.  Because I’m a very visual person, I needed it to look different when I read it so it would jump out at me.  I was sold when I saw the relevant photographs, charts, maps and time lines they have throughout the books (not all in one place in the back).  And because Beth Moore uses this one in her Bible studies, and I’ve liked how it reads I went for it.  I’m so happy I went with it!  I have enjoyed reading it again and it’s new to me in ways I needed it to be.  That sounds totally seeker sensitive to describe it that way, but that’s the truth!  When I’m reading familiar passages now they catch my eye and focus because they look new and are worded differently, as opposed to my eyes overlooking them because I’ve looked at the same underlining and notes for fifteen years.  The best part… I got exactly what I wanted for less than ten dollars at a discount store.  :)

What difference do it make?

This book is so good!

I was given this book to review a month or so ago, and with the chaos of life, just got to it this week.  I told you about Same Kind of Different as Me a couple of months ago.  This book is a sequel of sorts.  It tells stories of lives changed since Same Kind was published.  And it is every bit as good.   Not warm fuzzy kind of good, but convicting kind of good. We all have something we can be doing to serve those less fortunate in our lives.

My favorite story that is woven throughout the book is that of one of the authors and his journey of forgiveness toward his father, an emotionally absent alcoholic.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“Denver had taught me that to love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.  
I had developed quite a do-gooder reputation for myself by refusing to judge ‘bad sorts’- bag ladies and vagrants, drug addicts, drunks, and runaway teenagers who sold their bodies for money.
 Strangers.
 But I was just now learning to do it for my own flesh and blood.
 …was I so shallow, my do-gooding so superficial, that I could only set judging aside and help a person as long as his sins didn’t affect me?”
“Jesus said we will be judged by how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner, the stranger.  We are judged by our compassion, how we live our lives, not by how [a homeless man to whom we have offered help] ultimately lives his.  God calls us to love, not calculate the end game.”

It’s very much worth reading, as is Same Kind.  And it’s good enough that it was a one night read for me. Just to get started, you can read the first 35 pages online.  :)

Good books to recommend

You may remember this post awhile back, where I was rethinking how much time I was spending reading brainless novels.  While they weren’t inappropriate, they were not real by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve   read a couple of brainless novels since October, but I’ve been enjoying some non-fiction books lately.  While I have always loved reading, I’ve never chosen classic rich books.  As a kid I really didn’t see anyone around me reading them, so I really didn’t know what was out there.  But as an adult it’s just been my own poor choice.  I keep thinking when I have time, I’ll read that.  So I’m trying to give myself the home school challenge I never had!

God’s Smuggler has been on my sidebar for some time now.  It’s a great book I’d highly recommend!  

The Hiding Place is another one.  

I know these are books most people have heard of, but I thought I’d share them anyway just in case.  They’re both easy reads, but heavy with faith challenging trials.  I know we have it awfully easy these days here in America, and these books leave me wondering how I would handle challenging situations like Brother Andrew or Corrie ten Boom had to face every day.  They’re a reminder of how weak my faith is, and how un-challenged I am.

I also really enjoyed Same Kind of Different as Me.
It’s a non-fiction story set more recently than the other two, and the risk of the ministry was not nearly the same, but the result was still life changing.  And this one is a story that we can all relate to every day, anywhere in America.
 I also enjoyed my first Ted Dekker novel while we were out of town last week.  
It was really good!!!  One of my favorite things is to read until 2 or 3 in the morning while everything is silent, so it was exciting to find a brainless novel that wasn’t a romance one I’ve been trying to avoid.
If you haven’t read any of these, I’d encourage you to!  They’re well worth your time.  I have to say, I’ve enjoyed them every bit as much as a Karen Kingsbury or Lori Wick novel.  :) 
(You can click on any of them to read more about them.  I’m not good at summing a story up in one short paragraph!)

Scared

This book has been over on my sidebar for awhile now.  I finished reading it a long time ago, but I was afraid if I took it off I’d forget to tell you about it, and I didn’t want to do that!

The video speaks for it on it’s own.  It is a great book.  Not great because you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy and entertained, but great because it will shake you up.  Great because it will challenge you.  Great because it will stir your heart to do more for others who have less, so much less.

Here is the author’s blog where there is much information about loving the unlovely and needy, as well as information on several other books he has authored.  He has another novel coming out in June that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Here is an interview he did in Canada about Scared.

is the ministry of which the author is the CEO.  And here you can meet him.

Read it.  Share it.

A Severe Mercy

This is a fantastic book!  I’m not sure how this book ended up on my bookshelf, but I am quite certain it will end up one of my all-time favorites.
 
Here’s an excerpt I read last night that made me laugh at the truth of it.  Then I read it again and with a much deeper understanding, wholeheartedly agreed.  The author is speaking of himself as he tells of days gone by.

“He had been wont to despise emotions: girls were emotional, girls were weak, emotions- tears- were weakness.  But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain on a tower, nothing but a brain, wouldn’t be much fun.  No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky- no feelings at all.  But feelings- feelings are emotions!  He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions.  But then- this was awful!- maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life.  Shattering!  He checked himself: showing one’s emotions was not the thing: having them was.  Still, he was dizzy with the revelation.  What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion?  Courage, at least partly, is emotional.  All the splendor of life.  But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy.  Joy was the highest… If there were a choice- and he suspected there was- a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths…
Since then the years had gone by, and he… had had the love.  And the joy- what joy it had been!  And the sorrow.  He had had- was having- all the sorrow there was.  And yet, the joy was worth the pain.” 
Here’s a short description from Amazon:

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken, is a heart-rending love story described by its author as “the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers.” Vanauken chronicles the birth of a powerful pagan love borne out of the relationship he shares with his wife, Davy, and describes the growth of their relationship and the dreams that they share. 

While studying at Oxford, Sheldon and Davy develop a friendship with C.S. Lewis, under whose influence and with much intellectual scrutiny they accept the Christian doctrine. As their devotion to God intensifies, Sheldon realizes that he is no longer Davy’s primary love–God is. Within this discovery begins a brewing jealousy.   –Jacque Holthusen