What’s on your nightstand?—August ‘11

What's on Your Nightstand at _5 minutes for Books_The 4th Tuesday of the month we look at our nightstands.

Here are the books I’m reading.

Just started


The Cross of Christ
     by John Stott

I regret that it took the death of John Stott at age 90 for me to finally read one of his books.

This is foundational material about the centrality of Christ’s cross.

I’m reading with the Reading Classics Together group at Tim Challies’ blog. It’s not too late to join the group if you want to read along.

bonhoefferBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
     by Eric Metaxas

I’m so excited to be reading this exceptionally-written biography about an exceptional Christian man.

It’s weighty—in content and in length (544 pages!)—but it has been a joy to read so far.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is truly one of the stand-out heroes in one of the darkest moments of our world’s history.

Spiritual-DepressionSpiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
     by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This is another older book that I’m just now reading (although I’m reading it digitally—go figure).

But I’ve heard about it for ages. There’s a reason.

 “I am not good enough.” It sounds very modest, but it is the lie of the devil, it is a denial of the faith. You think that you are being humble. But you will never be good enough; nobody has ever been good enough. The essence of the Christian salvation is to say that He is good enough and that I am in Him!


The Millenials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation
     by Thom S. Rainer & Jess Rainer

I’m listening to the audiobook, free from ChristianAudio last month. (The free download for August is the novel Hannah Coulter.)

It’s about the personal, professional, and spiritual lives of the 78 million kids born between 1980 and 2000.

I have two children that are millenials plus nine nieces and nephews. This book is of interest on many levels. So far, so good.

Eat-the-Cookie...Buy-the-ShoesEat the Cookie...Buy the Shoes: Giving Yourself Permission to Lighten Up
     by Joyce Meyer

This one caught my eye at the library so I grabbed it since it fits in well with my 2012 spiritual resolution of Depend and Delight.

It’s typical Joyce Meyer: blunt, personal, funny.

I’m not really into shoes, but I have been known to eat a cookie (or two) quite frequently... :-)

Finished from July’s nightstand

MarginMargin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives
     by Richard Swenson

This one hits home. Too many of us live too close to the edge instead of allowing breathing room to be available for the unplanned. More about it here.

...Margin is semivisible. Living without it does not cause a sensory pain, but instead a deep-seated subjective ache. Because the ache and heaviness are only semivisible, the pain of marginless living is hard for us to talk about. We feel guilty and weak if we complain.

Harry-PotterHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
     by J. K. Rowling

Yeah, yeah, I’m slow. I didn’t read it for years because of the bad press it got in certain circles of the Christian world. But now that I’ve read it, I don’t see that it’s much different than any other fictitious story about magical worlds.

So now that I’ve read Book One in the series, I’m done. Curiosity satisfied and I don’t want to invest thousands more pages of reading in the remaining books. (Yeah, yeah, go ahead and hate on me if you’re a die-hard Potter fan. ha.) Jenna, however, totally enjoyed the books; perhaps that balances out my indifference. Maybe I need to watch one of the movies?

     Harry lay there, lost for words. Dumbledore hummed a little and smiled at the ceiling.
     “Sir?” said Harry. “I’ve been thinking...Sir—even if the Stone’s gone, Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who—”
     “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
     ~ J. K. ROWLING

Hinds'-Feet-on-High-PlacesHinds’ Feet on High Places
     by Hannah Hurnard

Now this is fictitious world I can get into. I’ve read it several times, and each time it means something new to me.

It was particularly meaningful to me as I started it again on the flight of my first mission trip out of the country. 

She began to understand quite clearly that truth cannot be understood from books alone or by any written words, but only by personal growth and development in understanding, and that things written even in the Book of Books can be astonishingly misunderstood while one still lives on the low levels of spiritual experience and on the wrong side of the grave on the mountains.

God's-Love-Letters-to-YouGod’s Love Letters to You: A 40-Day Devotional Experience
     by Larry Crabb

This is an easy-to-read but meaningful devotional book written from God’s perspective through individual books of the Bible. Its parent book—66 Love Letters—goes through all 66 books, but this one can give you a nice taste from the buffet table.

As I’ve said before, I’m not crazy about authors speaking for God, but if read cautiously, you can still get a lot of good out of this book.

     My Son’s mission was to change your life, to bring you into My kingdom of love by forgiving your self-worshipping rebellion that keeps you falling short of My way and by empowering you to bring My kingdom near to others. He never intended to keep you visibly good and pleasantly happy until heaven.
He came to reveal My nature for your sake and to change your nature for Mine.


The Next Story
     by Tim Challies

This was another freebie audiobook from Christian Audio, but after hearing it, I’m willing to pay money for a real copy.

Tim addresses critical issues about our ubiquitous digital use. I don’t really like to consider how heavily I depend on my digital devices, but I’m convinced that it’s worse to ignore it than to deal with it.

I want my teenage daughter to read this one too, especially before she heads off to college in a year and becomes even more engulfed in a digital world. It’s not necessarily a bad place, but one in which we need to keep our eyes open.

the-help-movieThe Help
(the movie)

Since it’s based on a book, I’ll put in a plug for the movie The Help. Having loved both the book and the audiobook (amazing readers!), I still really enjoyed the movie. While it wasn’t all-inclusive of the book’s material, it stayed very true to it.

And if you like the movie but still haven’t read the book, go read it. It’s even better.

[I would NOT recommend it for young children though. Have a conversation one-on-one with them about the themes instead.]

* * *

What’s a book you’ve been reading lately?


Beth in NC said...

First, I want to know WHEN you have time to read ALL of these different books. Mercy!

Second, I LOVE HINDS' FEET ON HIGH PLACES! I won't say anything about the ending because I don't know if you have finished it, but I just mentioned it on yesterday's post! That allegory truly hit home with me!

I want to see the movie, "The Help" soon!!!

Have a blessed day!

Lisa notes... said...

I really just read in snippets of time here and there, as well as early in the morning or late at night. Sometimes it takes awhile to finally finish a book that way, especially since I like to keep several going at once.

When I decided to take on Bonhoeffer, I made a goal to read just 10 pages a day because I don’t want to take all year to read it, and amazingly it’s working so far.

I’m glad you love Hinds’ Feet too! I think it’s the sweetest little book with more depth each time I go through it. I’m on my way now to check out your post…

bekahcubed said...

Every time I read your list, my list grows by...about as many items as are on yours.

My accountability partner and I have been going through The Greener Grass Conspiracy (which I picked up on your recommendation--Wow!) and we're getting down to the last couple of chapters. We started discussing what we'd do next when Ruth said "Well, what about that one that blogger-friend of yours recommended, about time?" So, yeah, we're reading Margin next. Thanks for keeping us supplied with good resources to challenge us in our walks! :-)

Amy said...

As usual, I have read or have on my list just about every book you have on your list. The Millenials is new to be and Meyers is not one I usually read but you never know. Did I miss Challis book free?

Enjoy your next reading month!
Amy @ Missional Mama

Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

I really loved The Help also, both the book and the movie were very good.

Anonymous said...

OK, I have Hinds Feet and I am putting it on my November list! I am going to get it read this year! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lisa notes... said...

So glad that you and your friend are sticking together with The Greener Grass Conspiracy. I will return to that one again myself—good stuff.

And I’m excited you’re going to read Margin. I hope you’ll like it. Not all parts are super applicable and some of it is common sense, but the overall message of the book is so good for people like us who tend to be project-driven. :-)

Lisa notes... said...

Challies’ book was the free offering in May (I think). Sorry you missed it; it was very god. I usually try to download the book of the month but I don’t always listen to them. I’ve tried listening to Hannah Coulter this month, but just can’t seem to get into it, so I’m giving up, even though I hear from good sources that it’s a great book.

I am really enjoying The Millenials though. But I tend to enjoy statistical facts and figures. :-) I know I don’t retain as well just hearing it versus seeing it, but I probably wouldn’t have “read” The Millenials otherwise.

The Joyce Meyer book is one that’s easy to skim so I’m moving through that one pretty fast. Hope you enjoy your reading month too!

Lauren said...

I am one of the few who hasn't read all the HP books (and I haven't seen any of the movies). I did think books 2 and 3 were better than the first, but I haven't decided whether I will finish the series. Glad to know I am not alone!

I read The Help, but haven't made it to the theater yet. Glad to know it's a good adaptation!

Happy Reading!

Lauren from 5M4B

Trish said...

Great reviews! The Next Story sounds especially intriguing.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Stick with HP (or not -- your decision). I read them for the same reason you mentioned. Some Christians were in such an uproar about the magic. My daughter was too young to read them, but I knew that she would want to eventually b/c she's such a bookworm. I wanted to decide for myself. Several (Christian) adults I knew had loved the series, so I picked up books 1 and 2. I was totally unimpressed by book 1, but they really do pick up. I liked book 2 and 4 - 6 are excellent (I STILL haven't read 7). When my daughter re-reads, frequently, she skips 1. She agrees with us.

Lisa notes... said...

Hmm…so maybe I should give HP one more chance and read book 2. I need another trip to the library now. :-)

Hopewell said...

"Hinds Feet" is fabulous--I read it before I was a Christian and it certainly planted seeds for me. I'm still waiting for the audio of the HELP before I go see the movie (probably be on TV by the time I get up the waiting list!!"

Nice post.

Cassandra said...

Bonhoeffer was an amazing book! So inspiring!

I still have not read Hinds’ Feet on High Places. I should get around to that one of these days. :)

The Help was a good book. I'm glad to hear you liked the movie!

Happy September reading!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how many books you read at once! :D

Anonymous said...

I want to read Bonhoeffer; I have it in my to-read list already.

I never read any Harry Potter books; I couldn't get into Book 1. So I never bothered. Hmmm...now I might have to re-try, knowing that they get better after the first one.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Wow...big list! I forgot to put Spiritual Depression on my ongoing list. I haven't picked it up in a while, but it's literally on my nightstand!

Rebecca said...

Sounds like you've had some great reading in August. The Joyce Meyer's book sounds interesting.


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