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Saturday, April 17, 2010

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges







For several years now, I have kept a 'to-read' book list in my purse. As it began to grow, that list found its way out of my purse onto a word document on my computer. Because buying books is not always an option (don't we all wish we had a $1000 to blow on books?), I often find myself going to my local library to look for all the books I desire to read. Unfortunately, as my love for Christian missionary biographies, church history, and specific Christian authors grew, I soon encountered the limitations of my local library. That's when I found out about interlibrary loans and ever since then, I've been applying for books through that route. It's quite handy!

Gosh, I love books. Who doesn't?
I used to be quite spontaneous in my selection of what books I read in my teenage years. However, as my taste for reading material has matured and grown, I find that I must be very specific and precise about what I read. This focus on specific reading material has become important to me as the Lord has grown me as His disciple. It's not that I will not read fiction, poetry, or classic literature, for I do read those from time to time and I greatly enjoy them. I also believe a good dose of those are healthy for one's education and creative taste. However, I believe my Lord wants me to focus reading books that are historical, Biblically edifying, and point to Jesus Christ. The best kind of book that usually does that is an in-depth, solid missionary biography. Nothing beats opening the pages of a life of one who has walked the narrow road with Christ. It's humbling and it draws me to reflect upon the words of Christ that one must 'deny self,' 'carry their cross,' and follow Him. I believe the reality of the Gospel in one's life and the depth of their love for the Gospel shapes them inside and out. Thus, it will shape how and what a disciple reads. If you click the Amy Carmichael tag at the bottom right of my profile page, you will find a post I made last year on a quote from her about reading and the Christian. She said that 'we are what we read' and I find that to be true again and again. It's about where we are continually placing our minds and hearts and if that place is bringing us into a deeper love for our Lord. Another reason I read specific Christian books on Biblical topics is not only for my personal growth with the Lord, but also for my family, my future husband and family (Lord willing), and my brothers and sisters in the Church. By reading such books on topics related to these various relationships, I can best learn to serve them in practical ways from wise Christian women/men who have gone before me on this same road. Also, I love to purchase books as gifts for those I love and I only buy them books that I know the content of. I think it's important to read the books that you buy for others. And lastly, I just love recommending reading material to others. :-)
The books I'm currently reading and hoping to finish before I leave to Ellerslie: School of Honor
(leaving May 29th with my family to drive all the way up to Windsor, CO! Woohoo!) are: A Sweet & Bitter Providence by John Piper (a study on the book of Ruth), The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (see my previous post on this), and Tramp for the Lord (Corrie Ten Boom's accounts of her life after she lived through the Holocaust).

Anyway, I have pasted my 'to read' list below to share the kinds of books I hope to cover in the next several years (in no particular order). The main topics are Biblical relationships/marriage/courtship/manhood/womanhood/love/Christian missionary biographies/History/Gospel/Evangelism/Spiritual Disciplines/Christian meditations/reflections. It's nice to have this list on my blog so that I can constantly refer back to it when I need to. If any of my readers would like to recommend more titles for me to place on my list, please feel free to share. :-) In the next month, I shall do a blog post with a list of all the books (of the same topics above) that I have read, love, and been inspired/shaped by.

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God - D.A. Carson
Love in Hard Places - D.A. Carson
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World – C.J. Mahaney, John Piper

The Scots Worthies - John Howie

The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit – Matthew Henry
A Church in the House - Matthew Henry
The Art of Divine Contentment - Thomas Watson
Family Driven Faith: Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God - Dr. Voddie Baucham
Family Man, Family Leader - Philip Lancaster
Be Fruitful and Multiply: What the Bible Says About Having Children
- Nancy Campbell
Reforming Marriage - Douglas Wilson
Her Hand in Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World - Douglas Wilson
Praise Her in the Gates: The Calling of Christian Motherhood – Nancy Wilson
My Life For Yours: A Walk Through the Christian Home - Douglas Wilson
How to Be a Lady - Harvey Newcomb
What He Must Be...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter - Dr. Voddie Baucham
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life – Joanna Weaver
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God – Jennie Chancey, Stacy McDonald
Legacy of Faith: From Women of the Bible to Women of Today – Lydia Brownback
The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers - Michael A. G. Haykin
When Two Become One - Christopher and Rachel McCluskey
The Excellent Wife – Martha Peace
Biblical Womanhood in the Home – Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism – F. Carolyn Graglia
Killer Angel: A Short Biography of Planned Parenthood's Founder, Margaret Sanger - Dr. George Grant
Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots - Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware
The Saving Life of Christ – Major W. Ian Thomas
A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life - J.I. Packer
Selections by Amy Carmichael: Toward Jerusalem, I Come Quietly to Meet You: An Intimate Journey in God’s Presence, Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael, Thou Givest They Gather, Fragments That Remain, Toward Jerusalem, Learning of God, Kohila, His Thoughts Said…His Father Said: Real World Answers to the Hard Questions of Life, Whispers of His Power
Love Has a Price Tag - Elisabeth Elliot
The Music of His Promises - Elisabeth Elliot
The Path of Loneliness - Elisabeth Elliot
Keep a Quiet Heart - Elisabeth Elliot
In Pursuit of God – James L. Snyder
God’s Pursuit of Man – A.W. Tozer
The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship – A.W. Tozer
The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life – A.W. Tozer
Reclaiming Christianity: A Call to Authentic Faith – A.W. Tozer
And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John – A.W. Tozer
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism Becoming a Contagious Christian – Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg
Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography
Once Blind: The Life of John Newton - Kay Marshall Strom
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life - C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
John Calvin: Man of the Millennium - Philip Volmer
Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby - Edith L. Blumhofer
Eric Liddel: Pure Gold - David McCasland
I Want to Live These Days With You - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Chasing the Dragon: One Woman's Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong's Drug Dens – Jackie Pullinger
Crack In The Wall: Life & Death in Kowloon Walled City – Jackie Pullinger
Hannah Moore: A Biography of Nineteenth Century Missionary and Teacher - Isabel B. Weigold
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - Maria Augusta Trapp
Henry Martyn: Pioneer Missionary to India and Islam The Truth War – John MacArthur
George Washington's Sacred Fire - Dr. Peter A. Lillback
Reformation and Revival: The Story of the English Puritans - John Brown
Relationships: A Mess Worth Making – Paul Tripp
The Crisis of Caring: Recovering the Meaning of True Fellowship – Jerry Bridges
Rees Howells: Intercessor – Norman P. Grubb
Touching the Invisible – Norman Grubb
Irresistible to God – Steve Gallagher
Dug Down Deep – Joshua Harris
C.T. Studd:Cricketer and Pioneer – Norman Grubb
The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
The Autobiography of George Mueller
Release the Power of Prayer – George Mueller
Answers to Prayer – George Mueller
George Muller: Delighted in God – Steer Roger
Missionary to the New Hebrides – James Paton
The Little Woman – G. Aylward
Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing – Bob George
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life – Donald S. Whitney
The Gospel for Real Life – Jerry Bridges

The Cross of Christ – John Stott
Christian Disciplines - Oswald Chambers


"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."Henry Ward Beecher

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

That's a great list of books! I don't actually have a list made up, but I am constantly reading! By the way, I am going to the Set-Apart girl conference at Ellerslie May 28-30. Will you be participating in that?

Gabs said...

Erika,

What a treasure trove of titles! Life is simply too short to waste time on shallow books. I look forward to reading some of these books. :) Buying books and checking books out from the library can be highly addicting. Seeing all the the possibilities I become greedy and check out more books than I could possible read in 3 weeks. Ahh... I hope we read in heaven. :)

Nolan said...

Wow, I feel overwhelmed with only 12 books on my list. I did notice that one of those books on your list needs to be moved to the top of the list though :P

Liadhan said...

Hi, i noticed you are the only other blogger on the planet to list jr miller as a favourite writer! have you read his book homemaking? i picked up a beautiful antique copy about 11 years ago. i think vision forum is reprinting it. a wonderful book you may also enjoy is the rare jewel of christian contentment by jeremy burroughs- as good a read as the title suggests!