From My Bookshelf - Summer 2014

Sometimes the reading urge strikes me at the oddest times. Like now. It's the middle of Summer, and the absolute busiest time of year for all of us. Food preservation is in full swing, Joel's away quite a bit more with seasonal job commitments, and the weekends are packed full of visitors, family reunions, camping trips, and church functions. Somehow, I find myself with the largest stack of books EVER, and the least amount of time to read. :-) Despite my wish to share ALL of them with you now, I'll give you a peek at what I'm slowly working on this Summer.

The Gift of Pain - Phillip Yancey

This is one of those books where every page brings a delightful surprise in it's writing style. It's not the devotional I anticipated from the cover, but rather the biography of Paul Brand - a skilled surgeon who dedicated his life to working with lepers in India.

The book starts off with the story of a four-year-old girl who had a rare disease which made her completely insensible to pain. Sound like a dream come true? Not really. The author describes the multitudes of problems related to this with several examples, one of them being a sprained ankle. Because there is no system in place to warn the body of the injury, protection is not offered to the damaged member.  This simple injury then turns into dislocated and permanently damaged ligaments and tissues.

Leprosy patients are another in this category that live in a world of painlessness, and the result is devastating. Phillip Yancy draws examples from Dr. Brand's 50-years of medical work to prove that pain indeed is a gift. A gift nobody wants, but nevertheless a gift. The applications to life are endless...

Jesus Calling - Sarah Young

My sister-in-law sent this to me shortly after we lost Hudson, and it has been a comfort and blessing more than just a few times.

Inspired by the book "God Calling," the author set out to spend a portion of time each day, simply listening to what God would say to her, and writing it down in that form. What came forth was a beautiful set of letters, inspired by Scripture, straight from the heart of God.

The July 21st reading was a good reminder for me in this busy season of life.

"Rest in My presence when you need refreshment. Resting is not necessarily idleness, as people often perceive it. When you relax in my Company, you are demonstrating trust in me. Trust is a rich word, laden with meaning and direction for your life. I want you to lean on, trust, and be confident in me. When you lean on Me for support, I delight in your trusting confidence.

Many people turn away from Me when they are exhausted. They associate Me with duty and diligence, so they try to hide from My Presence when they need a break from work. How this saddens Me! As I spoke through My prophet Isaiah: In returning to Me and resting in me you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength."

Proverbs 3:5 (Amp); Isaiah 30:15 (Amp)

Legend of the Celtic Stone

And finally, the book I pick up when I need some lighter reading. Light, as in the sense of fiction, not necessarily in depth and quality. :-)

My favorite style of fiction is the historical variety, and through it I find myself putting many pieces together of what should have been interesting in school but simply was not. Michael Phillips is a master at that, despite the fact that his stories are the farthest thing from fast moving. They contain a lot of historical detail that could prove tedious to some people, or, like myself, be the goldmine of knowledge that I find so intriguing.

I have just started this book, so I can't give it a thorough review, but Michael Phillips is an author I trust and can therefore recommend. His moral standards are high, his writing style engaging and adept, and his history well researched. This particular almost 600-page volume on the history of Scotland was nearly ten years in the writing.

There is a small peek at some of the volumes I've been perusing lately. More will be added, I'm sure, and I plan on sharing future gems with you as well. Happy reading!

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