WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Is there a book that you just can't seem to put down, that's teaching you a profound spiritual lesson, or making you laugh amid your struggles? We want to hear about it!
There are two ways you can join us here on First Friday Book Faves! Tell us in the comments what you are reading or use the LinkUp below to share your blog post about a favorite book you've read.
All In by Mark Batterson
Batterson is my favorite author, so when his newest book hit stores, I couldn't wait to read it. I'm about halfway through, but already I am feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. One of Batterson's mantras is "playing it safe is risky," and that theme reverberates throughout the book. He encourages the reader to go all in in their walk with Christ. He reminds them that the Gospel doesn't cost anything, but demands everything. When we decide to go all in, our true adventure with Jesus Christ as our Lord will begin.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW, is one of the most powerful books you can read if you're caught in a crazy relationship where everything keeps spinning back to the hurt, disturbed, angry, and often deeply irrational feelings of only one person in the relationship...and that one person is never you!
We're not talking about the normal conflicts inherent in all healthy relationships. Whether you're a college student or a mother, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, wife, husband, or co-worker/employee/employer, you will find answers in this book. Some of the issues Hotchkiss addresses are control, envy, entitlement, magical thinking, arrogance, shamelessness, and exploitation. She gives great practical advice on how to not get caught up in the crazy making personal dance of the narcissist in your life. But perhaps the best part is that she puts a name on what you've been struggling with and validates that it's not you as you've been second-guessing yourself. (If you're in a relationship with a narcissist you may feel, angry, powerless, and just a little crazy a lot of the time.)
P.S. We all have narcissistic tendencies so we get a glance at the face in the mirror also.
One of my favorite books is the classic Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It's an allegory about a young girl named Much-Afraid and her journey with the Shepherd to the high places.
“When you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower Acceptance-with-Joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over you.”
Along the way through dry lands and rocky terrain, she encounters her relatives The Fearings (including Resentment, Bitterness, and Craven Fear) and learns lifelong lessons that enable her crippled walk to gain strength to climb the cliffs like a deer.
“Much-Afraid, don't ever allow yourself to begin trying to picture what it will be like. Believe me, when you get to the place which you dread you will find that they are as different as possible from what you have imagined, ... I must warn you that I see your enemies lurking among the trees ahead, and if you ever let Craven Fear begin painting a picture on the screen of your imagination, you will walk with fear and trembling and agony, where no fear is.”
This little book helped me identify and face issues that plagued me all my life.
Coffee Talks with Jesus: Intimate Chats with the Savior by Barbie Swihart is a newly released 31-Days devotional that invites you to spend one-on-one time with Jesus. Barbie has written this book in a way that finds you wanting to begin each morning with Him and a warm cup of coffee. At the end of each day she also includes time for reflection and a prayer. As an added bonus the book is filled with delicious recipe’s all including a coffee ingredient. Grab a cup of coffee and spend time with our Savior, won’t you?
Right now, I am in the middle of reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Set in 1850, it is a beautiful story of God’s redemptive love. Based on the story of Hosea, it tells the story of a prostitute and a kind farmer who marries her. My heart broke as I read the story of a young girl whose life turns out nothing like she dreamed after being rejected by those who were supposed to care for her. When true loves comes along she has a difficult time receiving it and lets fear keep her from the comfort it offers. I rarely read Christian fiction, but I find it a wonderful departure from what’s usually on my nightstand.