Skip to main content

December 2017 Reading List

I feel like I didn't read much in December.  We traveled to the UK and returned home via Iceland and we were pretty busy while we were there, but I did read on the plane quite a bit.  Then we had family here for Christmas and I know I didn't read much that week.  Still, I did finish four books during the month!

The first was She Never Knew by C. J. Simpson.  I kept thinking, "Either I've read this before or the plot is pretty predictable."  Maybe both were true, but mostly it turns out I had read it before.  If you were brutally raped and had a child as a result of the rape, what would you do if the rapist re-entered your life years later? This is a story of hurt, of trauma, of forgiveness, of moving on. It's not all nicely wrapped up by the end with all problems solved. It's an intriguing story line, but the plot seemed predictable and the writing clunky. There were also a lot of details that could have been left out that had nothing really to do with the plot, such as the details of creating crafts for VBS.

The second book was The Color of Hope by Kim Cash Tate.  I loved the characters and I love how Ms Tate deals so well with racial issues. She gives us a lot to think about on the subject of race and she encourages believers to actively examine their lives and to live in peace with each other. What I didn't like about the book was that there were SOOOOOO many characters. I really had a hard time keeping them all straight. I think maybe the story could have been adequately told by taking a few people out of the story.

Next on my list was Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish.  This book is multi-layered and in some ways quite complex. In other ways it's beautifully straightforward and ordinary in a homey sort of way. Leisl runs a bakery/cafe. But as the story unfolds, we learn about her painful childhood and how it affects her present-day relationships. We learn more about each person who works in the bakery. I love that none of the characters are typical romance-fiction characters with their beautiful looks and steamy romances. They are ordinary: grouchy, overweight, slow with words, teasing, flirting, hard-working, and doubtful about their abilities or rights to love. Even the little girl is kept from being too cutsie by chewing on her braid and hiding behind her dad. They are such real people whose approach to life is just ordinary and normal. That is one facet of the book. Woven into the story is the history of bread and its spiritual significance. And the third facet is like a cookbook with bread recipes (which I skipped since I probably am not going to have a sourdough starter and make bread that way). I really enjoyed this book and I think anybody who likes thumbing through cookbooks and or understanding what makes people behave like they do will also like it.

Finally, there was N. T. Wright's book, Paul for Everyone, Galatians and Thessalonians.  I have been studying the book of Galatians, so I just read that section.  Once again, I found N. T. Wright's commentary on Galatians to be very helpful. Parts of Galatians are pretty complex, but N. T. Wright does a great job explaining them. I found this book to round out well my study on Galatians.


Popular posts from this blog

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  

The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 

The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Beyond Our Ability to Endure

I've been working on our home assignment audio-visual presentation.  It's been a lot of work, especially since it requires sorting through hundreds of pictures to choose the ones we want to use.  I was hoping to put together something that would be really "Wow!"  Well, in the end it's just a power point with some music and a few slides coming in with a fancy spin.  But it's our story, and our story is nothing more than God's story when it comes right down to it.  In fact, I have used Big Daddy Weave's song, My Story in part of the presentation.  If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here
As I looked over the past four years of this term there were days that we felt we had reached our ability to endure.  We started the term in July 2013 and we were still recovering from the flood of 2012.  We have all of our "normal" stresses such as living in an extremely hot climate, living in the poorest country of the world, livi…