First Friday Book Faves and Link-Up - April 2014

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What are you reading?

That's the question we will be asking COF contributors and you, our readers, each month. 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! Tell us in the comments what you are reading or use the Link-Up below to share your blog post about a favorite book you've read.

Susanne Ciancio

Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer by Sharon Jaynes

This is a great little paperback that gives the reader/prayer a daily focus for praying for your husband. Author Sharon Jaynes does all the work, researching the verses and writing out creative Bible- based prayers. If The Lord is pressing you to focus your prayers a little more deeply on your husband, this is the book for you. She covers everything from what he's thinking, looking at, being influenced by to the steps of his path. Praying for Your Husband provides the structures we sometimes need to be consistent. It feels like I'm praying with a very well prepared friend!! 

Micalagh Beckwith Moritz

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith By Fred Bahnson

We were recently blessed to have the author, Fred Bahnson, as one of our visiting professors at our study abroad program in Belize. I picked up his book afterwards and have enjoyed reading about his journey from physical and spiritual burnout, to a deeper connection with God, people, and the earth. Through this process, he travels to four different faith communities, each committed to connecting people to the land. The communities come alive as he writes vivid stories about each location, and the lessons learned there. This memoir makes me want to jump into spring gardening, while deepening my prayer life, and having real conversations with the people around me. 

Susan Panzica

Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices By Julie Clawson

When my daughter was on a mission trip in Uganda, she visited a coffee plantation and was shocked to see moms with newborn infants strapped to their backs laboring in the harsh sun. And this was a field where the workers received a fair wage. Many more fields are harvested by workers who don't receive nearly enough to live on or are treated harshly. This was our family's first introduction to Fair Trade, a movement to ensure that workers are treated justly. As I got more involved in justice issues, I began to question who made the products I buy - from coffee to chocolate to clothes to cell phones, what were the working conditions, and was I contributing to the problem?

Everyday Justice by Julie Clawson addresses this issue from a Christian and a consumer point of view. In her introductory "warning," Julie states "To change the world, we need to start somewhere. It can be easy to sign a petition, wear a bracelet, put a sticker on our car, or simply give money to help with a cause, but to really start effecting change we have to actually start tweaking the way we live. And yes, I said tweak - not overhaul." She provides insight into industries where unfair labor practices abound and practical options for us to make ethical choices.

"As followers of Christ we are called to love our neighbors. But all too often our everyday choices support systems of injustice that oppress our neighbors instead. Everyday Justice is about discovering practical everyday ways we can seek justice instead."

Her website has a page of resources with links to companies that provide Fair Trade items. 

Kimberly Amici

Restless By Jennie Allen

Right now I am in middle of reading Restless. In this book Jennie Allen shares the restlessness she felt as a young woman. With the Biblical story of Joseph as her guide, Jennie walks the readers through recognizing the threads in their lives that when followed, help us discover who God created us to be. What I love most about this book is that throughout the pages, there are opportunities to stop and journal your thoughts about what you are reading. There are also questions, the answers of which will point to those things in your life that God wants to use for His Glory. If you are wondering if you were made for and feeling like you were made for morethis book is for you.

Elise Daly Parker

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

A page-turner that kept me reading late into the night, The Lowland is a novel of two brothers who are born 15 months apart in Calcutta. They share an incredibly close bond, inseparable until their lives take off on entirely different trajectories. During a time of deep political unrest, one son is drawn to fighting the injustice he sees all around himthe other leaves his homeland to pursue an education in the United States. There are dramatically painful twists and turns of life throughout the story, yet it is laced with hope throughout. The Lowland takes you on a journey through an historically tumultuous time, breathing life into it through rich and complex characters all the way. Summer’s comingThis is a great read!

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.

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