Thursday, March 31, 2011

Christian Fiction Authors

There sure is a lot of Christian fiction available today. Back when I was building my library 25 years ago, it was slim pickin's indeed. There is a lot more to be careful about, too. I like to try new authors occasionally, but I tend to stick the old standbyes. I especially love older works from 1800-1900's. These are not always easy to find, but some are becoming available again after being out of print for quite some time. Get yourself a 3x5 card and jot a few of these down, stick it in your purse, and the next time you hit your favorite used bookstore (my personal favorite) you will be ready. I would love to hear of your suggestions, too. We need more books with a clear gospel message and a challenge to live godly in this present world. Here are a few -

Elizabeth Prentiss*
George MacDonald*
Janette Oke
Robin Jones Gunn
Grace Livingston Hill*
Christmas Carol Kauffman*
Francena Arnold*
Karen Kingsbury
(Authors from the past)

Enjoy! Let me your favorite Christian fiction authors.

Psalm 101: 2-3  "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me. I will walk within my home with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes"

Great Books for Moms

There are so many great books out there, and some better left on the shelf. Pick the ones that are going to really help you in your walk with the Lord. Skip the fluff, and challenge yourself. Here are a few every mom should try:

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
Aunt Jane's Hero by Elizabeth Prentiss
A Mom After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel
The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd

Great the word out about books that have really had an impact on you. It might be just what a friend needs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life

I've been doing a good deal of reading from Hannah Whitall Smith's The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life lately for research. She sure has a way with words. Her religious background is definitely unique, but I love her writing style. She can truly make an idea come alive to me.

Listen to this...
"Grace is the unhindered, wondrous, boundless love of God, poured out upon us in an infinite variety of ways, without stint or measure, not according to our deserving but according to His measureless heart of love. Put together all the tenderest love you know of - the deepest you have ever felt and the strongest that has ever been poured out upon you - and heap upon it all the love of all the loving human hearts in the world, and then multiply it by infinity, and you will begin perhaps to have some faint glimpses of the love and grace of God."

Can you say, Wow?!  I'm teaching about growing in grace tomorrow. This is something I can read over and over, and again and again. She definitely had a gift. It had been a while since I had pulled this book off the shelf, but I'm glad I did. I am about halfway through a biography about Hannah W. Smith. Quite interesting. I'll let you know how it is.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Plain Wisdom

Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud is the musings of an Englisher and a Plain woman on living and raising a family in light of God's truth. Although I am a Baptist by conviction, I've always had an affinity for the Amish lifestyle with the peace and tranquility that are so often missing in our lives today. 

Cindy writes in her book,
"Shortly after I accepted Christ, I felt so guilty I couldn't even enjoy praying. I kept rehashing every wrong deed I'd ever done. One day while wallowing in a melancholy state of guilt, I heard these words in my heart: What did I die for if not for sins?
"I'd heard this truth many times. But in that moment I saw the ridiculousness of lugging my guilt around. Christ was crucified for the very purpose of forgiving us and freeing us from sin and guilt. That revelation brought me great relief."

If we truly could grasp hold of that truth, what progress we would make in our lives for Christ. Truly letting go of the past, and living in gratefulness, and looking forward to the future that he has planned.

John 10:10
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

A Lifetime of Reading

Reading has always tied me to my family and my faith. Grandpa read me the "funny paper". Mom checked out Grace Livingston Hill books which I devoured before they were due back. They unknowingly fostered in me an early love of reading.

I suppose I've always been a little solitary by nature. Reading was my way to visit the world before I could actually visit it. I explored New England, laid back in the Deep South, survived the Canadian Wilderness, and roamed Great Britain to name a few. Later I discovered the value of reading for spiritual encouragement. Now, I don't know what I'd do without it.

Although I have now had the chance to visit many of those places, my desire for reading about them hasn't diminished. It has grown. Now it seems like I have more books than truly can read. They line the shelf; from bookstores, book sales, bargain shops and relatives. Some times I have to refrain, knowing that if I start something I won't want to put down that precious volume.     

Reading books about faith has been my mainstay for decades. Whether fictional or not, it is encouraging to see faith blossom, carry, and sustain others through the rough patches of life.  Of course, the Scripture is my best source of strength. How can so much wisdom be contained in the few simple words of a Bible verse? The Spirit breathed...that's how. The Creator has made such a beautiful world, surely He is the ultimate writer of poetry and prose.

This is a blog to share those words in written form that have captured my attention...perhaps even stopped me in my tracks. They say, "think about that for a moment". Really breathe it in. Don't we get so busy that those quiet moments can get lost. That is the beauty of reading. I've never been one who can read while doing anything else. I love it quiet, maybe soft instrumental music in the background, or no sound at all. To be carried along by mere words. Ah, that is tranquility.