catching up…

Ok, so between the trip to NC, catching up from the trip to NC, general business and then getting ready for the kids spring break…well, lets just say I didn’t exactly keep up with the reading plan.  I know, I know, being the one to initiate the “book a month” and all, you would think I would be motivated, but after I was already late I just kept putting it off and off and…you get the picture.

Good news is that though I didn’t write this post on schedule and I didn’t finish the book on schedule…I have been ready. It has been God’s grace alone and it has been such a blessing.

Here is my reading update:

Give them Grace by Elyse M Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
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This is a great parenting book. It is not a how to or a book on consistent discipline, but rather a book that went beyond children’s obedience and addresses their view of salvation. Not just addressing their heart, but making sure that through the way that we correct and train our children we are reminding them of God’s grace. It can be so easy to discipline to get good behavior and in the end just be training up self-righteous little hypocrites. Children need to be reminded that God doesn’t respond like parents (disobedience = loving discipline) as saved and adopted children of God (disobedience = loving grace). Obviously there is so much more to this, but it was a really good read for me and I want to grown in training and disciplining these children so they don’t see works based religion from us, but rather a beautiful picture of grace and never changing love.  Anyways, I didn’t even come close to explaining it, but I would recommend it to every parent and orphanage worker.

Audio Books: So, I have had several friends give me a kind of half mocking half bemused look as they went on to comment about how audio books are for old people. Maybe it is, I don’t know, but I have found audio books to be a huge blessing in my life. I have long drives when I go to El Paso and now I work 4-5 hours a day cleaning and doing laundry.  I used to listen to more podcasts, but have started mixing in books also. I don’t know if they count as books I “read,” but I think I remember more from these audio books than the last few books I read, so…

Note: Audio books are crazy expensive and you can’t find them at the thrift store, but christianaudio.com gives away a free book each month (which is where I got the following two books) and if the book is in the public domain you might find free audio for it at librivox.org (sometimes the readers aren’t great but sometimes they are great…hit and miss).

Knowing God by J.I. Packer
Wow. This is a great book. Knowing God is a classic on the attributes and character of God. I think I need to read or listen to it at least five or six more times…can’t wait! I don’t even know what to say since it covered so much material. Starting with the difference of knowing God and knowing about God it then goes on to work its way through God’s love, grace, immutability, judgment, wrath, jealousy etc then ending with the Gospel, our adoption, trials and God’s adequacy. I know that studying who God is, has been and will be what gets me through the hard times in life. In times of trials don’t turn to self-help books, instead turn to the God who was, and is and is to come and find peace and joy in knowing Him more.

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
Again, this is another Sovereign Grace basic that I can’t believe I have never read.  This was nothing new to me, but a great and systematic reminder of God’s sovereignty in every area of life. It is full of scripture references and covers so many questions that come up when talking about the sovereignty of God. It was timely and edifying for me and I thank God for making it available for free at just the time when I needed that reminder. Though someone told me they found it kind of dry and boring, I found it very enjoyable and easy to follow. I hope you all find time to read it and are blessed as I was.

I am working through two more books I will report on soon and am hoping to listen to Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle of Galations. Please pray that God will give me and extra bit of concentration for this one.

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