Have Books, Will Travel

It was just a four-hour jaunt to St. Louis for a family weekend, but I was prepared to be educated, entertained and inspired along the way.

Four books accompanied me, each one distinct from the others.  I’m sure I’ll write longer reviews on each in the future, but for now, I just couldn’t wait to offer you a glimpse into each of these inspiring books!  (I saved the best one for last..)

First up is Parenting on Purpose! (7 Ways to Raise Terrific Christian Kids) by Jason Free.  This book has been has been very motivating and helpful in thinking about how we can parent more effectively.  One of the things that stands out is the way this family verbally “blesses” their children.  Just the chapters on that topic are worth buying this book!

When is the last time you put your hand on your child’s head and said, “Lydia, I bless you.  I am so glad you are my daughter. I thank God for how He is working in your life. I praise Him for making you just the way you are.”  Or, said to your son, “Nathan, I love your life!  Spending time with you is such a joy.  God sure did an outstanding job when He created you!”

Imagine what a difference it could make if our families lived in an atmosphere of blessing each other!  This is a must buy!

Next is The Art of Neighboring, Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon.  DO NOT read this book if you want to continue just pulling into your garage every night, content with not even knowing the names of most of your neighbors.  However, if you want to be challenged and inspired to consider that Jesus actually MEANT it when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” then you should pick up a copy of this book!  It has been VERY convicting and life-changing for me and my family.  

The mayor of the city where these authors live said, “The majority of the issues that our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just figure out a way to become a community of great neighbors.”   The authors were rather embarrassed when they asked the mayor how they could best serve the city, and were basically told to obey the 2nd greatest commandment!  Imagine how our neighborhoods and communities could change if we made it a priority to care for one another.  I highly recommend this book to read as a family or in a small group or Sunday School Class.  Or, hey, maybe with a group of neighbors!!!

Immersed in Verse – An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet’s Life.  This book is AWESOME!  It is funny, creative, well-written, informative and super interesting!  I highly recommend that families purchase and read this if they want to get their children (or themselves) excited about writing poetry!  It is full of techniques and tips told in a very entertaining ways.

(Homeschool moms, you totally need this!).  It is written in a conversational way that pretty much any age would enjoy hearing.  Reading level is probably 3rd grade and up but just as engaging for adults as children.  I am thoroughly enjoying this book and feel inspired to get back to writing poetry.

Among the things discussed are the following:

  • What kind of poet are you?
  • The Nine Habits of Highly Successful Poets
  • How to Read a Poem
  • The Poet’s Decisions (tense, form, point of view, details, revision)
  • What to write about
  • Performing your poetry

I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST and I kind of want to say that teasing “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah!” because I already have this book even though it’s not officially out yet!  I am part of the launch team to get the word out about this incredible book.  This is another one you will NOT want to read if you don’t want your heart broken and changed for the lost, the abandoned, the needy,  the “least of these.”

Katie Davis Major’s first book (Kisses from Katie) details how God called her heart and life to the sick and starving children of Uganda.  What began as a “gap year” serving in an orphanage, turned into a full-time ministry (www.amazima.org) through which hundreds of children are fed, housed and clothed.  Oh, yes, it also turned into her adopting FOURTEEN Ugandan children.   Her devotion to God, as detailed in both of these books is mind-blowing and transformative.  She is changing the world, one person at a time.  YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!   Our family is almost done reading through the 264 pages of Kisses from Katie,  (http://amzn.to/2gZAOvK) and we look forward to reading Katie’s continuing story in “Daring to Hope,” subtitled, “Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful.”  These books WILL change your heart and life, so be ready!

Let me know if you decide to buy one or more of these books!!!  I would love to hear what you thought of it.

(If you choose to buy through clicking on the books/links above, I will receive a tiny bit of money which would be fun.  Regardless, I hope you will choose to check out some of my recommendations).

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