Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Rest of my Top 10 Reading List for 2012

I started a list of my top 10 books read in 2012.  Then it was late at night and the internet was slow, so I gave up on it after five.  So here are the remaining five now.

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  In 2011 I read a biography about Bonhoeffer and was impressed with his life and with the way that he took a stand against what Hitler stood for, prophetically seeing where his regime would take the church.  He ended up in a POW camp and being put to death.  Perhaps what many don't realize is that Bonhoeffer also spent time in the US participating in a growing Civil Rights' movement.  When it comes right down to it, it was somewhat ironic that we were fighting for the rights of people in Europe and Asia while black people in the USA, at least in the South, during that time did not have equal rights (maybe they did in word, but certainly not in principle!).  After reading the biography, I decided to read something written by Bonhoeffer himself.  I did take my time reading this book, but it was well worth the effort.  Here is a great quote from the book:"By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are."  

The Rest of God (Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath) by Mark Buchanan is about taking a Sabbath rest.  Buchanan gives biblical explanations of the definition of Sabbath, why God gave the Sabbath to us as a gift, and why we should be careful to keep the Sabbath.  Does keeping the Sabbath for us today look like it would have for our Puritan ancestors?

Kay Washer,  writes about her and her husband, Dal's, experiences as missionaries first in Niger and then in Togo in One Candle to Burn.   Not only were they missionaries here, but they were also missionaries in the very town where we worked for 16 years.  It saddens my heart to know that while they were there there were people who followed Christ and when we got there years later, where were those believers?  We worked there for 16 years and what is to be shown from our work?  Humanly speaking for both the Washers and us, it would seem that our work was in vain.  Oh, God, please continue speaking to those who heard and who acknowledged Your Word as truth! I have met Mrs. Washer and she told us that she continues to pray for that town as do we.

The Old Wives' Tale is written by Arnold Bennett in the early 1900's.  I found it very difficult to get into this book and almost gave up on it before it got good. I'm glad I stuck with it.  He weaves the tale of two sisters whose lives follow very different paths.  It's definitely one of those books where you feel that you know the characters personally by the end of the book.  As is typical of writers from that time period he does spend a lot of what feels like unnecessary time on descriptions.  This book is free for your Kindle, though I read it in book form.

And number 10 is The School at Thrush Green (or really any book in this series) by Miss Read.  If you ever read and enjoyed the Mitford books by Jan Karon, you will enjoy these books as well.  Set in small town England, Miss Read spends time acquainting us with ordinary people with ordinary lives, leaving you wondering if these are people she actually knows!  If you're stressed and need an easy but good read, I would suggest these books.

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