Friday, December 18, 2015

Favorite Books in 2015

Reading is one of the ways I keep myself occupied while resting in bed. I have read 33 books so far this year, and I will probably finish another one or two before the end of the year. Today I would like to share my favorite books from this year. 

I would love to hear from you too! What have you been reading lately? Do you have a favorite book that you read this year? Is there a book you recommend for my 2016 reading list

My Favorite Books in 2015

My Favorite Books in 2015:

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard
by Kara Tippetts

In The Hardest Peace Kara Tippetts shares about her life, her joy in coming to know Christ as Savior, and her journey with cancer. Kara learned to see suffering as something to humbly receive from God, and she learned to see her cancer as a gift.

Kara said, “Cancer is a gift. There, I said it. I can say that cancer and suffering give the beautiful gift of perspective. It is the gift you never wanted, the gift wrapped in confusion and brokenness and heartbreak. It’s the gift that strips all your other ideas of living from you completely. The beautiful, ugly raising to the surface of the importance of each and every moment.”

Kara fought hard against cancer, and she fought to find joy, hope, and grace in life with cancer. She came to know the hardest peace—peace in the midst of hard suffering. Her book will inspire you to embrace the hard things in life, to see grace in suffering, and to courageously persevere.

Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together 
by Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn

Kara Tippets battled cancer for two and a half years. During that time, many friends came around the Tippetts family to support and serve them. Kara is now home in Heaven, but before passing from this life to the next, she and her friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, wrote a book about walking with a friend through suffering. Kara and Jill loved and served each other well, and their friendship is an example to follow. Their book, Just Show Up, will be a helpful resource to others who are going through a season of suffering with a friend.

It can be difficult to know how to be there for a friend who is suffering. In Just Show Up, Kara and Jill share practical ideas of ways to be there for, and serve, a family in need. They allow the reader a peek into the community that surrounded the Tippetts family during the past three years. They are open about the hard parts and the awkward parts. They share about the tension, the struggles, the insecurities, and the highs and lows. They share honestly about the fact that mistakes were made and that grace was needed. You may read my full review here.

Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time
by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

We all need to be reminded of the beauty of the gospel and the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. In this 32 day devotion book, Elyse Fitzpatrick takes the reader into the book of Romans and shows the grace, security, and comfort that is ours when we repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether you are a new believer or an older believer, prepare to be dazzled again by the amazing beauty of the gospel!

How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph: A Practical Guide for Growing Great Kids
by Linda Massey Weddle

How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph is filled with helpful information and practical advice for teaching our children and teenagers. It is written by Linda Massey Weddle, who has over 40 years of experience in children's and youth ministry. The wisdom she shares in this book will be valuable for parents as they seek to raise their children in accordance with God's Word.

The Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America
by Candy Gunther Brown 

The Healing Gods is a fascinating book. In this book Candy Gunther Brown evaluates various Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments. She explains the history and religious philosophy behind them and why they are supposed to work. She shows ways in which CAM conflicts with Christian beliefs as well as other religious beliefs. Her purpose is to show that CAM is religious and that it violates the beliefs of Christians and others who have a monotheistic religion. She presents compelling evidence, and her research is well documented.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine is something that I have been largely uncomfortable with due to the lack of scientific evidence of its efficacy. After reading this book and learning about the religious basis for CAM treatments, I have concluded that most CAM treatments are things that I cannot participate in with a clear conscience before God.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently using CAM treatments, considering CAM treatments, or wishes to better understand the nature of CAM. You may read my full review here.

Rose from Brier: A Priceless Treasury of Helpful Thoughts for Those Who Are Ill
by Amy Carmichael

Rose from Brier is a collection of letters by Amy Carmichael. She wrote these letters specifically for those who are ill, and she wrote them while she was ill and in significant pain. She said in the introduction to the book, "If I had waited till the harrow had lifted, perhaps a less tired mind would have found a better way. But then the book would have been from the well to the ill, and not from the ill to the ill, which I think is what it is meant to be - a rose plucked straight from the brier."

There is something especially precious about reading encouraging words from someone who is in the thick of physical pain and suffering. On my hard days I was grateful to read her letters to those who are ill.

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