Recently I have been struck by how much I have missed reading. Or more to the point learning. I used to read ALL the time! When I was younger my parents had to take the bulb out of my bedside table so I wouldn't read late into the night.
There is something about reading that I love. Maybe it's the fact that I rarely read these days because I find it difficult to find time to stop and sit with a book, so when I do it's truly cherished time. Or maybe it's because taking in new information and mulling it over is what my brain has been made to do. I love thinking about things, learning new things, having my own ideas challenged, seeing things from different angles. I want to make more time for reading because whenever I do I enjoy it big time.
This is a picture of part of my bookshelf with a number of books I've read recently or want to read in the near future. I'm going to throw out a few I've enjoyed reading in the hope I might inspire you.
I'm in the middle of reading "Half The Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. It's a book about the treatment of women around the world and how they are exploited, degraded and treated as lesser citizens. Yet it's about hope and how women have overcome incredible obstacles to change communities. Its hard hitting stuff but good to be exposed to the realities for so many women universally.
About a year ago I read "Finding Sanctuary" by Abbot Christopher Jamison. It was part of my delving into the exploration of silence phase. It came as a resource to read along with a DVD serious called "The Big Silence" which I watched last year too. It's been a really insightful book into looking at how reflection helps self awareness and through that your relationship with God.
I think I bought "Stop Dating the Church" by Joshua Harris because of the title. But its a pretty decent book advocating real commitment to Church. The current culture is to never be satisfied so that you always want the next best thing...well Church doesn't work like that. This book talks about what being part of a Church is about and how to do it well.
"Thinking, Loving, Doing" by an amalgamation of people, is a book I bought at New Wine this last year. It's been a really challenging book on how each of us is inclined to either be people who are really intellectual with our faith, and can potentially become legalistic; or we love people a lot, which can mean we don't hold them to any standards; or we are do-ers, people of activity, which can mean we sometimes might miss what God is saying in all the activity. We all have a natural leaning but the book is about how to ensure our strengths don't become our weaknesses and how to be people of balance. Some amazing chapters which I'm thinking of blogging about at another date.
I was given "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis quite recently as a late birthday gift. I surprised myself that I hadn't read it already as I've managed to get through a number of C.S Lewis publications (mainly The Chronicles of Narnia). But reading this has helped me to get back to some basics of what faith is about. It's a bit of a tougher read in that you have to be concentrating to take in all the richness on the page, but its worth it.
I have yet to read "The Naked Christian" by Craig Borlase but it's up there on my to-read list...purely for the comedy title.
If you would like to borrow any of these or want to know anything further just get in touch.