You Gotta Read This Book!

I’ve been working through Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend and it’s been a really positive experience. Usually when I read psych stuff, I am either bored out of my mind or I start feeling guilty about being so screwed up. While there have been some convicting things said in this book, it has been really good for me overall. It has given me tools to deal with some of the junk that’s been happening in my life lately and it has also really helped my faith, as every point they make is grounded in Scripture.

So… you gotta read this book y’all!

“Girl Meets God”

When I had lunch with Dawn in November of 2003, she recommended “Girl Meets God” by Lauren F. Winner to me as a book that I might find interesting. I put it on my “to read” list and it unfortunately got postponed indefinitely due to my local library system not having it. (Technically, I could have gotten it from Concordia College on I.L.L. but I didn’t know that until today.) When I was in Sioux Falls last weekend, I finally got a copy at Barnes & Noble.

My thoughts: as a convert to Christianity who came to faith as an Episcopalian, I could sooooooo identify with what Lauren had to say. I found myself saying “that is exactly how I would have said that” when she was talking about a lot of her experiences in the church and it was actually comforting to know that my conversion experience was not the weirdest one in the world. Having also studied Judaism as a Religious Studies major, I also could appreciate the aspects of Orthodox Judaism that she spoke about.

I got on Amazon.Com and got Lauren’s next two books. I don’t usually buy books (since I can find almost everything I want within my library system) but I felt like I’d use both of them in my ministry life (when I actually am [God willing] ordained) and I didn’t really want to have to explain to my local librarian why I was checking out the third one (Real Sex: A Naked Look at Chastity — there are just some things I don’t want to explain to everyone in the small town where I live).

Books That Changed Me

When my friend Crystal interviewed me on LJ, she asked me the following question:

4. What are the top five books that have most influenced your life?

I decided to take my answers to that question in the interview and expand on it.

[+] The Bible: I’m Christian so this should be a natural answer. I’ve been asked before what my favorite book is (Psalms) and what book I hate most. My answer to the latter part of the question is that I don’t hate any of the books of the Bible. While that sounds all happy-clappy, it’s the truth — there are parts that mess me up inwardly and I would be worried if they didn’t. As I grow in my relationship with Christ, things that were difficult for me to understand become clearer and as I mold my will to be like that of Christ’s, those things that caused me conflict get reconciled and resolved. As one of my seminary professors said, “the Gospel is life-changing — the only problem is that it means that our lives have to change.”

[+] What’s So Amazing About Grace?: Another book that completely messes me up inside. I think that every Christian should be required to read this book. It is an amazing treatment of what grace_ is and what it would look like if the world showed grace_ to people in the same way that Jesus did. I read it yearly and I get something new out of it each time.

[+] The Jesus I Never Knew: This one didn’t move me as much as as What’s So Amazing About Grace? did; but it still has the capacity to cause me inner discomfort. I’ve read it twice now (it’s one of those “read yearly” books for me) and each time, I’ve been drawn to something new in the character of Jesus Christ.

[+] The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Prayer: This book is the BEST book on prayer that is on the market. It’s exclusively on Christian prayer but it does an amazing job of explaining what prayer is, why we pray, some ways of praying, dealing with problems in prayer, and even giving some sample prayers. I don’t think anyone is too advanced in the practice of prayer to read it.

[+] The Chronicles of Narnia: I constantly see examples from these books in my life. I’m starting to read them yearly as I get some pretty interesting insights about my faith from them. I also found that my professors used examples from them in my seminary classes.

Movies and Books

Michelle tagged me so…

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
No idea… they’re all Jon’s for the most part.

2) The last film I bought:
I don’t remember — it’s been a really long time.

3) The last film I watched:
Robin Hood: Men In Tights (I think)

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

The Third Miracle
The Birdcage
Forrest Gump
Les Mis (a version we watched in my French class)
any of the Austin Powers ones

Ten Things I have NOT done:
001. Shoplift
002. Backpack through Europe
003. Kill a man
004. Visit Asia
005. Visit Australia
006. Serve as a missionary
007. Learn Spanish
008. Read the whole Bible in a year
009. Eat blue paint
010. Streak through a crowd.

Tag: Drina, Kristen, and Richard.

OK… Rick tagged me for this one:

1. Total number of books I own:

2. Last book I bought:
Ummmm… I think some Calvin and Hobbes ones???

3. Last book I read:
“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini (well… still reading it)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
“What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Philip Yancey
“The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey
The Bible
“Christy” by Catherine Marshall
“The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis

5. Two major books when I was a kid:
“The Diary of Anne Frank”
“To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

6. People I want to tag: (copy/paste the questions and answer them on your blog…)
Ummm… whoever wants to do this?

Narnia, Health, and Other Things

Thanks to those who have commented or emailed or IM’ed me about my health. I’m recovering well and the cranberry juice that my wonderful and devoted husband got me made a huge difference — I was actually able to go for a walk on Friday morning without too much of a problem. My father-in-law was also here so I’ve been well-taken care of in my time of illness. 🙂

My appetite is also starting to return and the nausea is subsiding. I think my body is adjusting to the Lexapro. I’ll probably be seeing my P.A. in a few weeks to talk about continuing it or scrapping it depending on how I feel then.

I just finished re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I first read them 3 years ago on my way home from Summer Greek and they captivated me then. After all my theology classes, I’m still just starting to understand all the allegory in them. It was good “sickbed” reading and I am still amused that Narnia was sung into being. That is just such a beautiful way of creating a world.

Other Things
To Dick Cheney: Grow up! There are better words to use than “f*ck” to tell someone to go away, especially a high-up member of your rival party. You look like an idiot.

Book Meme

*bold those you’ve read
*italicise started-but-never-finished
*add three of your own
*post to your livejournal

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

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