Reading this Month…

30Jan10

So I’m hoping this will become something of a regular feature here.  :-)  I love to read.  And there’s nothing like having a good book to actually make time to read.  I did think up a list of books I hope to read in 2010 – and January brought some progress on that list!

Here are the four books I read and finished this month…

Prescription for Hope is a marvelous account of the founding of Esperanza Health Center, a clinic in North Philadelphia.  It’s short (150 pages), fast-paced, and powerfully illustrates the needs of the urban poor.  I especially loved reading the chapter about the Summer Medical Institute (SMI).  It’s exciting to be “joining the epilogue” (if I may be so bold as to put it that way), as I will officially be coming onboard at EHC on February 1 to coordinate the SMI’s return to Philly this summer. :-)  The Lord is weaving so many of my different life-threads together through EHC – I am so excited to see where this will lead!

Answering the Guy Questions: The Set-Apart Girls Guide to Relating to the Opposite Sex. Phew.  The title alone is a sentence unto itself!  Several years ago I went through a few of Eric and Leslie Ludy’s books (When God Writes Your Love Story, When Dreams Come True, and Authentic Beauty) in quick succession.  I’ve found all of their books to be (mostly) easy reading with a message that totally challenges the status quo.  In Answering the Guy Questions, Leslie continues to challenge the (low) standards we often set for ourselves where relationships are concerned.  I think perhaps what I’m appreciating the most about this book is that it is an encouragement to contentment – the contentment found in Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for Leslie’s message to young women (a category, I am beginning to think, that I may not be able to claim for much longer!) and came away from reading with a fresh hope in God’s love.

No Graven Image, Elisabeth Elliot’s only novel, was an interesting piece of fiction that I only happened upon by chance.  Of course I’m a huge EE fan (you have only to look at my bookshelf to realize this – A Chance to Die, The Journals of Jim Elliot, Passion and Purity, Quest for Love, Let Me Be a Woman, These Strange Ashesthese few that I own are all worth their weight in gold), and when I read the description of the book (essentially a 25-year-old single woman goes to the mission field and finds it’s not all it’s cracked up to be) I thought it would be an appropriate bit to read. ;-)  It was.  All I can say is that I found myself asking a lot of questions as I read – but, like Margaret in the book, by the end I was ready to lay the questions aside for the Answer Himself.  For those of you who like happy endings or clear resolution, this probably will not be a satisfying book to read.  However, the questions I had to consider even at a superficial level as I was reading were good questions.  I almost liked the fact that there was no clear ending point.  It was as if the book gradually faded away and I was left to consider what I would have done, had I been in Margaret’s shoes.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll be my shoes someday. :-)

And finally, the most challenging book of the month… Preach and Heal by Charles Fielding (aka Dr. Chuck).  All I have to say about this one is this – if you are even remotely interested in missions, you really need to read this book.  I’m serious.  Don’t be fooled by the word heal in the title – it’s not a book just for health professionals (though it is written by a doctor).  Nor (ahem) is it just a book for those who tend to focus on the other word in the title. :-)  The book has changed my view of how missions is done (again!) – and I’m beginning to grapple with what that means todayFor me. This is one of those threads God seems to be weaving into some sort of thing with my new job at Esperanza.  So excited to see what doors will open because of reading this book…

Yay for good books!

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