Monday, March 29, 2010

Treasure Box

"Treasure Box" by Penelope J. Stokes

This was a good little easy read novel. It is about a women who has built walls around her life due to past hurt but when she buys a treasure box she discovers all that she has been missing. We shield ourselves from getting hurt but we miss out on all that God has for us. With life comes hurt but there is so much more. More love, more joy, more laughter, more of everything. And the risk is worth it. "In this new reality she had to deal with the painful rasp of heart against heart, mind against mind, soul against soul, as the people she loved sandpapered away her rough edges." I love the word picture of the people we love "sandpapering away our rough edges". I need help being all that God wants me to be and I am thankful that God put such loving people in my life to help me become that special person.

Blue Like Jazz

"Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller

This book is a look at the Christian faith through every day circumstances and how the author came upon his own conversion. I really appreciated the honesty and realism of this author. It was refreshing to hear Christianity defined and explained through everyday happenings and not lots of "holy" words. "I mean to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people. That is why God tells us so many times to love each other." It is hard to accept a God who IS love if we don't love ourselves and He created us! I have a lot of work to do in this area, do you? Loving people for who God made them to be, seeing God in them and not judging them. Good book for a fresh perspective on the things of God.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Postmarked Heaven

"Postmarked Heaven" by Jack Cavanaugh

This book is letters written from four different characters that have died and gone to heaven. They write letters to encourage those of us on earth to keep strong and to keep living for God. I thought it was an interesting concept so that is why I got the book. It lacked a little but it was insightful. It was fun to think about how great it would be to receive a letter from a loved one in heaven and how that truly would encourage me to keep on keeping on. I loved one letter that talked about heavenly treasures. It told of the woman going to Jesus to get her heavenly treasures and there was a room so full of people that she couldn't even see them all. She didn't know most of them or even recognize any of them. But one person stepped up that she remembered and he told his story of how he was encouraged by her. Then another person stepped up to say how they were encouraged by him and one by one they all came forward, every person in that room was her treasure! Because of one kind word all those people were affected and they became her treasure. It made me think about all the "things" we have in this world and how they mean nothing. I need to be more intentional with my words and actions so my treasure room in heaven is overflowing with those that I have touched through Jesus!

If I Get To Five

"If I Get to Five" by Fred Epstein, M.D.

This book is about a pediatric neurosurgeon and the patients that he treats. There are some amazing stories of survival and some heart wrenching stories of death but they are all laced with courage immeasurable. This is a doctor who decided he wanted to do "medicine" differently and treat his patients as people and learn from them. He never turned down a patient, he was always willing to operate, no matter the risk. His patients adore him, his staff looks up to him and the families praise him. He wrote this book after he himself had an accident that left him in a coma for a month. He fought to gain his life back just as so many of his patients do. "Compassion isn't a passive state. It's an act of will, an act of courage: the courage to cope with every parent's worst nightmare, the courage to be emotionally honest, the courage to risk having your heart broken, the courage to care enough to push yourself to do what's scariest." There is so much in this world that takes courage. Sometimes it is just getting out of bed, letting go of your children, saying what you have been keeping in your heart, loving again, and the list goes on. What do you need courage for today?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cape Refuge and Southern Storm

"Cape Refuge" and Southern Storm" by Terri Blackstock

This was a two in one book. A very large book that I couldn't put down and raced through. It has a little bit of mystery, crime-drama and love all thrown together. There are also two more books in this series that I am going to have to get my hands on. The books are set on a little island town. The first book is about a double murder then rocks the little town. The second book continues the lives of the characters when another murder occurs. The books also involve faith and how God is still present even in the midst of grief and heartache. The second book talked a lot about Numbers 35 in the Bible and the cities of refuge. It was very interesting to me and something that I hadn't read about and want to do more reading on. "...that God makes provision for accidents." I'm sure glad He does because I make a lot of them!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Choice

"The Choice" By Nicholas Sparks

Another great one by my favorite author. This story is about a man who has no time for love. He has it all and a serious relationship would only get in the way. Then he meets his next door neighbor and everything changes. When tragedy happens he has to decide how far he will go in the name of love. Sometimes love pushes us where we never would have thought we would go, good or bad. We do a lot of things in the name of love that we regret and other things that we are proud of. I personally have put my reputation aside, given up everything to be by someones hospital bed for months on end, thrown caution to the wind, forgotten who I was and moved from family all in the name of love. Most of these things I would do again without a thought. Love can make a person do that. This book asks how far you would go for love. I know that I have gone pretty far and now that I have been married for 9 years with two children I am not sure there isn't anywhere I wouldn't go. How about you?