Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Need A Lift?

Read a good book!

Early in the summer, I determined to make myself set aside time for extra-curricular reading.  It's not always easy to know where to start when choosing books.  There are many great reads out there today, but one has to be fairly selective because time is valuable, and peaceful moments are few (at least in my house!). 

That said, there are two books I read this month that I would encourage you to read!
I'm going out on a bit of a limb here:   

Dr. Kevin Leman is one of my favorite authors because he brings authenticity and humor to every subject he touches.  The topic of sexual intimacy in marriage really has to be approached from the right perspective for a number of reasons, and Dr. Leman does it in an amazing way in his book Sheet Music.
If you are married and can enjoy a candid conversation about intimate topics, read this book.  Your marriage will thank you.  ;-)

And on a completely different note:

At church camp, I attended a ladies' meeting that was geared toward those who minister to children.  Mrs. Isabel Rundell is an amazing, high-energy woman, and she is pretty persuasive, too!  She recommended several missionary books, and in passing she mentioned The Circle Maker.  Although she really didn't hint to the direction of the book, it piqued my interest, and I purchased it as soon as I got home.  Let me just say that this is a book I will be buying for our church library, and hopefully I can convince some friends to read it!  I have always struggled with the issue of faith.  I know God can do anything, but I don't wake up every morning excited to see how God is going to work miracles because of my prayers and my faith.  I ask Him, I hope, and I move on.  A few weeks ago, a friend talked to me about a struggle she was having believing that God was going to move in a situation in her life.  She said something like this, "I've heard about other people's miracles, but I've never really seen anything like that in my own life."  I pondered this conversation for several days, and every time I thought about it I felt sad because it seems like we are missing out on a really big part of our walk with the Lord when we can't see Him at work in our troubles.  Yes, like many of you I took Doctrine and Practice of Prayer at Bible college, read the books, wrote the papers, kept the journals...all that.  But I can't say that any of that really touched me the way this book did.  After reading The Circle Maker, I'm challenged that God is just waiting for us for us to be specific in our praying and expectant in our living. 

"After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise.  He proved, once again, that His promises don't have expiration dates.  And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it." 
-excerpted from The Circle Maker

Mark Batterson has certainly expanded my view of what God wants to do for us and through us if we will persist and persevere in prayer!  If you read The Circle Maker, let me know your thoughts.

And now:

I'm currently reading Raising Motivated Kids, and am far enough into it to know that most moms (and dads) could use these wise words of inspiration and encouragement.  Some days it is so tempting to just do it all and leave the kids to their toys and recreation, but it is important that we raise our kids to live independently of us.  In bygone eras, children were seen not only as a blessing, but as a part of the wheel that kept the household moving.  So much of that has been lost, and many children leave home without a clue of how to do most basic household tasks, let alone any motivation to try to learn.  I haven't been great with chore charts, but the boys are doing the bulk of their own laundry this summer, and it's my goal to have them doing it completely on their own by the time school starts.  :-)  Score! 
The key, though, is that our kids are contributing because they are motivated from the inside.  They see and understand why things are important, and that propels them to put the effort and energy behind it.  This book shows parents how to cultivate a motivated spirit that will help kids to excel in every area of their lives.

Hopefully I will be able to digest another three or four good books before school starts.  We'll see...

What has inspired you lately?

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