Books from 2017.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Last January, I made a list of the books I hoped to read and purchased them all with Christmas money, stacked them on my nightstand, and started working my way through them. About half of them still sit unfinished - having a baby does that - but I wanted to share the ones I did finish. Instead of giving them each a star rating as I've done in the past, I will just say that I give each of these my recommendation. Do I endorse everything that's written in each one? Of course not. But they were all worthy reads, and I wanted to share a favorite quote from each to give you a taste. I'll be sharing my 2018 "to read" list soon. 

"If you are not experiencing His rest, if you are weighed down, put out, and resentful, you must ask yourself whether you're actually pulling under His yoke. If you're feeling burdened and heavy laden, you must question whether you're as humbly submitted to Him as you believe yourself to be."

From the author, about her novel: "I wrote about how you can love your child with something that surpasses logic and reason and words, and you can still screw up. Even with the best intentions and loftiest goals, sometimes, as a parent, you fail. I wrote about how so many of these moments stare back at you and say, See, you were told being a parent would be harder than you imagined, the hardest job in the world, and you didn't believe it. Did you?"

"We don't have to try to justify ourselves anymore. We don't have to try to make Him smile. He is already smiling."

"We need to lose the mental image of our pre-Christian state as a drowning person helplessly flailing about in the water, hoping upon hope that someone might throw us a life preserver. Outside of Christ we are, in fact, spiritual corpses rotting on the ocean floor among the silt and sludge." 

"Our home is not our refuge; God is our refuge. We nurture life in the face of death and leverage our homes for gospel work. For those whose hope is in the coming kingdom, our homes are less like retreats and more like a network of foxholes for planning and hosting kingdom advances into this present darkness. Our homes are centers of hospitality to show strangers and neighbors the light of Christ. And they are equipping centers for traveling ambassadors to help them on their way to doing the King's business." 

"There is no shadow in any valley so dark that his Word does not illumine. Sister, you're being followed. 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever' (Psalm 23:6). Held in our Shepherd's unflinching grip, we are safely his at all times and in every circumstance. Your constancy is Christ. And at the end of all things created, in the most beautiful paradox of the ages, the Lamb is shown to be the Shepherd, 'and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes' (Rev. 7:17)."

"The message we offer is not robust enough to address the opportunities, changes, and extremities of life in a fallen world. It is too small for successful women leaders in the secular world and too weak to restore full meaning and purpose who have been trampled. . . Instead of addressing the wide range of questions and situations women are facing today, we focus mainly on marriage and motherhood, and that within a two-parent, single-income family." 

"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, 
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."

"We are line-crossers, boundary-breakers, fence-jumpers, carrying inside us a warped belief that our heavenly parent wants to withhold from us something that is needful or pleasurable. Even as we enjoy his good gifts, we feel a hyperawareness of the boundaries he has set, and we question their validity. Though he gives us nineteen gifts and warns us away from one danger, we suspect that what is withheld is not dangerous but desirable." 

"Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world." 

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