A few book reviews

At the beginning of 2011 I said I wanted to start doing more book reviews.  What I meant were ones not actually connected to Book Sneeze, and after three months I'm finally getting around to it!  I've been able to get a lot of reading done so far this year, and wanted to share with you a few of my favorites, and my thoughts on each one.

The very first book I read this year was Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.  Beth had recommended this to me a few months prior, and I ended up loving it!  It was written in a similar style to Pilgrim's Progress, but was a bit easier to get through than that other old book.  It starts out with Much-Afraid being a timid, quiet woman terrified of just about everything and certainly not up to journeying to the Celestial City in her own strength.  But then the Good Shepherd leads her to follow Him, and the rest of the story is based on her traveling with the two guides he gave to her, Sorrow and Suffering, up the high mountains to His heavenly kingdom.  The story of Much Afraid challenged me to keep fighting and pressing on towards Heaven, and encouraged me by reminding me of God's great love and protection for His children.  Hopefully I'll be able to read this again soon!

The next book I wanted to write about was Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot.  For years I had heard about this book, heard it praised time and time again, and I finally got it at the end of January.  I know I've said this before, but Elisabeth Elliot is definitely one of my favorite authors, if not my absolute favorite.  She's just so straightforward and blunt, and her clear-cut view of just about everything is something I really enjoy.  Let Me Be a Woman is written to Elliot's daughter, who was about to get married.  So there's not really a lot directed to single women, but there is a lot about submission.  At the time I was preparing for my first Twelve Extraordinary Women Bible study that I'm leading, and the topic for that month was Eve.  In Twelve Extraordinary Women one of the focuses of Eve was on submission, and Let Me Be a Woman really helped me understand that more and, hopefully, present and explain the topic of submission more clearly to my Bible study girls.  The book also helped me understand more about who I am in Christ, and how I can live as He has called me to by making me who I am.  I would definitely recommend it to any woman!

The next book is A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur, which I finished about a week ago.  This was also a book I had heard about a lot in the past, and when I finally got around to reading it I was not disappointed.  The book I basically an in-depth study of Luke 15:11-32--the story of the prodigal son.  John MacArthur did a great job of bringing to light the feelings, personalities, and basic lives of the prodigal son, the merciful father, and the elder brother.  I was challenged to forgive others, to thank God for His tender mercies, and to see myself as the wretched sinner I really am, among other things.  Something else I liked about this book was that, while it was theologically deep, it was so clearly explained and well-written that I never felt like I was just muddling through trying to understand what on earth the man was talking about.  An all-around good book.

The final book I wanted to review is No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot.  This is the only novel written by Elliot, and as such I was eager to have it for my own and read it.  I received it about a week ago, and finished it this afternoon.  No Graven Image is the fictional story of Margaret Sparhawk, a twenty-five-year-old missionary to the Quichua Indians of Ecuador.  She arrives in Ecuador with high hopes of translating the Bible into Quichuan, starting a school, perhaps building a hospital, and ultimately winning multitudes to Christ.  But she soon realizes that this work will be much harder than she had anticipated.  Every step is a baby step, and she struggles with finding just how to begin her work and how to reach the people.  I enjoyed the unhurried pace of the story, but most especially the in-depth look into the life of a missionary.  Elliot was a missionary herself, so she knows exactly what she's talking about.  As I am hoping to go to India as soon as possible after I graduate college, I've been looking for a book that can begin to prepare me for the challenges I will face.  I thought this book was very good in doing that, and will definitely be reading it again.

And that's it!  I hope these reviews were enjoyable and that you'll go find these books and read them!

Another thing I wanted to share was that today I was able to pray with a young girl at Bible club, and she accepted Jesus as her Savior.  I'm thrilled!  As it's my last year working at the Bible club, this moment was especially poignant, and will definitely be something I treasure in my heart.  Please pray for this little girl and ask that God would continue to grow her in her faith and make her more like Him.

1 comment:

Dakota said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,
Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

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