Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fall and Winter Reads

Like I said in my previous post, 2016 got away from me.  It was long and crazy but somehow I still found some time to read!  I lacked in getting my reviews out in a timely fashion but I am using the next few days to catch up on them so as to hopefully start 2017 off with a clean slate. I am not sure how I will continue these reviews but hopefully I will find a more efficient way to get them out with less time in between. 

Garden City by John Mark Comer

This may have been my favorite book of the year.  That's hard to say, though. I don't tend to finish books I don't enjoy so you can rest assured all of the books posted were ones I found intriguing at some level. :) Garden City: Work, Rest and The Art of Being Human, is a beautiful book in every way.  The book itself is artistically laid out in a modern design. Its thoughtfully put together to enhance the fantastic reading. Comer lays out the Biblical ideas of work and rest then ties it all together with how those two thing enhances your life as a human.  Grab it! Read it and put it on a shelf or coffee table to be seen because it's pretty, too!

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs 

Looking for Lovely is just that, lovely. Throughout the book the reader is encouraged to look around and find the lovely no matter what the situation that is at hand. Annie Downs shares deeply personal stories from her own life as she helps the reader "collect moments that matter." This book is a great bedside book to encourage your heart as you close the day. Annie's writing feels like you are sitting across the table from her at a coffee house hearing her heart as her stories transform yours. 

Univited by Lysa TerKeurst 

I put off reading this book for fear it would bring up (not so) old wounds and in some ways I am super thankful I waited, but in other ways I so wished I would have had this resource right in them middle of it all.  Lysa TerKeurst boldly goes where many female writers don't dare go, right into the middle of a common female insecurity, feeling "less than, left out or lonely." She approaches these areas with gentleness and understanding using her own personal stories, yet she leaves you feeling empowered to change your heart and mind and believe the truth about how God sees you and choose to believe the best about others. She uses the phase that my husbands says all the time, "Live Loved."  This book is for those who are hurting and alone, yes, but it is so relevant for all women. I am SO thankful I finally picked it up. 

This book grabbed my eye by the title. I have had that thought so many times, "How do I help my boys be grateful when everything around them screams entitlement?" When I saw this book I quickly snagged it up and jumped right in.  Kristen Welch lays out practical ways to help cultivate gratefulness and combat entitlement all in a sympathetic tone, as she is a mother herself.  The Welch's let us look a little into their daily lives and let us see how they have tackled issues from social media, Internet use, gaming, screen-time, devises and much more. This was SUCH a helpful book for me as we are starting these pre-teen years. I highly recommend it to all parents in America. 

 If you work in or want to be involved in the non-profit world at any level, I highly recommend this book. It is strategically divided into two sections, one that is written by Peter Greer and the other that is written by David Weekley. In the section by Greer, he outlines for us an beautiful Kingdom mindset on fundraising and partnership. He address the awkwardness of "the ask," and encourages you to see it from a different perspective.  The second half of the book, written by David Weekley, is a compelling perspective from the one who is being asked to give. Mr. Weekley graciously encourages non-profit leadership to pursue long time friendships and partnerships not just one-time asks, as well as encourages the asker that most givers see it as a gift to be able to give.  

This was a fantastic little book to finish the year off.  Tim Keller put together this short, sermon manuscript like, book that will indeed help thousands let go of their modern ideas of pride & humility and grasp a truer, beautiful form. Keller lays out clearly the difference between self-hating and true humility. He also articulates the pride involved in both over acknowledgement of self and under acknowledgement, encouraging readers to land in the middle which he calls self-forgetfulness. That place, he says, is where freedom lies. 

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