Summer Reading Bucket List

I enjoy reading. It is something that brain fog effects for me, but has not been able to completely take away from me. Reading is a great way to take a miniature mental vacation, escaping the burdens of the spoonie life and complications. Not only is reading a great way to learn, but it can also provide us with inspiration, strength, and support.

I am finally done with school for the summer. This summer I am working through a few excellent books and I would love to share them with you. I tend to read about four books at a time. Switching helps me to stay focused and each offers me something unique.

  • Seamless by Angie Smith is a book I am currently reading with Proverbs 31 ministries online Bible study. If you haven’t read this book you absolutely need to put it on your book bucket list! In a few short weeks Angie teaches though the entire Bible! It is pretty amazing how she does this. I simply love how she has you take out your Bible. The book really makes the Bible less intimidating.  CBD.com has this description of this Bible study book: “In seven sessions, Seamless covers the people, places, and promises of the Bible, showing participants how the entire Bible – from Genesis through Revelation – connects as one beautiful, seamless thread. Each week of study features key information that ties all of scripture together into the seamless truth of the gospel message and is accompanied by maps, general Bible facts, and word studies.” Make sure to check out the Proverbs 31 ministries study blog.
  • Breathe: Making Room For Sabbath By Priscilla Shirer

This book comes with a workbook basically within it. I love the questions within the book. Once again I simply adore that she makes you take out your Bible. I have not begun this book yet but I am so excited to begin.

Who better to tell you all about the book other than Priscilla Shirer

  • Embraced: 100 Devotions To Know God Is Holding You Close by: Lysa TerKeurst is the devotional I am currently reading. It gets five starts out of five in my option. The devotionals are a bit on the longer side but so worth reading. Lysa has an amazing gift of assisting other to grow closer to the Lord. This is one of the very few devotionals I would do again.
  • Sunset Lullaby is a book in the Christy and Today The Baby Years which is an extension of the Christy Miller series. Robin Jones Gunn is one of my favorite fiction authors. Life changing fiction can bring one closer to the Lord.

CBD product description reads Christy’s life with Todd and their two little ones in their cozy Newport Beach cottage is everything she ever hoped for.

So why is it she can’t find balance and a sense of worth in this new season? Is it the crazy mood swings and self-image dips that keep taking her down? Or is it that Todd is about to leave and take a group of students to Kenya for three weeks? Christy would love to go with him and see her best friend, Katie.

As she tries to figure out what’s next, Christy’s brother asks for confidential advice on his love life. Christy is happy to help out. But as things go awry and Aunt Marti becomes involved, it leads Christy to evaluate her own marriage—for better or worse.

The friendship that sprouts with her neighbor Jennalyn becomes a lifeline. Their heart-to-heart conversations and play dates bring about some significant changes as Christy is approaching her thirtieth birthday.

On a very special night as the sun dips into the ocean, heaven seems to touch the earth. An unexpected Peculiar Treasure reaches for Christy’s hand, and in that moment, all her summer promises come full circle.

Lastly, the two books of the Bible I am reading are John and Psalms. Proverbs 31 has a five five app which allows one to spend the first five minutes of their day with Jesus.

Share a book you are reading, would like to read, or is your favorite. 

Advertisements

Love Story: A Novel

Karen Kingsbury has remained my favorite author for a few years now. I quickly discovered that her books were truly life changing fiction. Not only has each book been a rapid page turner but each book has uniquely drawn me closer to Christ.

679c8ff5a7ff67b59a1111465f0b6ca4

I was delighted when I had seen on my Facebook news feed that Karen Kingsbury has another book coming out. Love Story: A Novel (The Baxter Family) will be released June 6th. This book must be on your summer reading list.

I had previously met the Baxters on several occasions. I recently hung out with them in the Christmas novel. The family is an ideal overflowing with love and laughter. Additionally, they have a passion for pursuing Christ. This precious family is not without their faults or hardships.

I was pleasantly surprised with the story line in this book. I had not expected that John Baxter would share his love story (from his deceased wife Elizabeth)  with his granson. The story was captivating. It was discussed previously that they had a son who was adopted, but the details had not been previously revealed. Furthermore, why the family does not indulge in alcohol is included.

I simply love that all the characters from other books in this series are included. Such as Bailey Flanigan or now Bailey Paul. Bailey’s and Brandon’s love story continues as they welcome a precious child into the world making the beginning of a new chapter. Furthermore, Cody Coleman makes an appearance. He encounters hardships along with life altering decisions. How can he honor God in the midst of all the chaos? Each love story mentioned is priceless and precious.

Bottom line: I would most defiantly recommend this book to anyone. People of all ages can enjoy this book. My only disappointment, as usual, was that I finished it in under a week. You don’t need to read any other books related to this in order to read this one.

5146ae2piql-_sx324_bo1204203200_

Description:

“From the day they met, John and Elizabeth were destined to fall in love. Their whirlwind romance started when they were young college students and lasted nearly thirty years—until Elizabeth died of cancer.

So when John Baxter is asked to relive his long-ago love story with Elizabeth for his grandson Cole’s heritage project, he’s not sure he can do it. The sadness might simply be too great. But he agrees and allows his heart and soul to go places they haven’t gone in decades. Back to the breathless first moments, but also to the secret heartbreak that brought John and Elizabeth together.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try, or is it time for them to say goodbye, for good?

As school comes to an end, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the generational impact of love and the eternal bond of family.”

Check it out on Amazon

77602_alt1

What I’m Reading Wednesday

At any given moment, I am reading an abundance of books. Typically, I have two books for online Bible Study, a book for personal Bible study and/or Christian living book, one fiction book, and two textbooks. In addition, I read an Old Testament and New Testament book of the Bible. I have been eager to write this post for you.

Currently, for the first term of my semester, I am reading Caring for People God’s Way. Additionally, I am reading Theories of Personality.

The past several weeks, I have been reading the Armor of God by  Priscilla Shirer in my one online Bible Study. Then, in a few short days, I will begin assisting with my other online Bible Study using the book Discovering Hope: Beginning the Journey Towards Hope in Chronic Illness by Cindee Snider Re.

51cGaMd-62L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Recently, I finished reading Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible: Flawed Women Loved by a Flawless God. I was amazed at how well Liz taught with humor, clips of fiction writing, personal stories, and emphasis on the Bible in a unique way. I am a zealous fan of Wendy Blight’s writing and her teaching. Liz used a similar format in her book, which captivated my attention.I would recommend this book to any women. This book examines the lives of Sari, Haggar, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel. Be prepared to see these women as well as their stories in a new light.

Product Description From CBD.com is as follows, “Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible is the latest of Liz Curtis Higgs’ “girlfriend theology” Bible study. Combining contemporary fiction with a verse-by-verse commentary, she explores the “slightly bad” lives of a few Old Testament women. Far from evil, yet slightly bad, these women from the book of Genesis stubbed their toes along the rocky path of righteousness. Sound familiar? These ancient sisters aren’t a whole lot different from us. Laced with humor and built on solid research, this book will bring you to the realization that God loves you just the way you are. Flaws and all!”

276357

Fiction Book. The biggest downside to this book is in the fact that it is the final book in the Bailey Flanigan Series. This is a sweet ending to the series. I simply adore how Karen Kingsbury includes the characters struggles as well as their time with God. Even though it is fiction she has a way of not only pulling the reader into the story but also challenging and strengthening their faith as well. You feel as though you have become friends with the characters. Beautiful tear-jerking wedding was included. Without a doubt, her books are life changing fiction.

968478_1_ftc.jpg

This is my personal Bible Study book. I began it a few short days ago so I don’t have much yet to say about it. Book description from CBD.com, “The book of Philippians calls you to see beyond your present circumstances and discover the authentic joy awaiting you in Christ. Get ready to explore this uplifting book through the tried-and-tested inductive study method – with an added writing step to help you treasure each word!”

 

The Family of Jesus

I have been reading a lot lately; my newest author discovery is Karen Kingsbury. I noticed she has written many books, similar to Melody Carlson. Of course, curiosity got the best of me. Caving I gave in and brought the first book in the Angles Walking Series (by the way I highly recommend those books!) which I breezed through in a weekend. I enjoy Karen Kingsbury style of writing. She is creative and Christ-centered.

Typically, I read  contemporary  Christan fiction books with a pinch of romance. The Family of Jesus is a Biblical fiction book. I was not familiar at all with this genre. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about it. It was an amazing fiction experience that deepened my walk with Christ. The book is written from several points of view including Joseph, Mary, John the Baptist, Elizabeth, James, and Zarachria. Karen Kingsbury assists in bringing the Bible to life. Her words help the reader to experience God and his word in a new way – helping us consider details that are not included in the Bible. Especially, the emotions that must have consumed each of these individuals. It was like stepping into the Bible story and watching the events unfold such as Mary telling Joseph she was pregnant or John the Baptist convicting people and leading them to the Lord. The book was more than a good read, it helped me grow spiritually.

707372_1_ftc

While reading The Family of Jesus I had been doing some Gospel reading during my quiet time. I found myself going deeper in my time with God. I was encouraged to slow down during my Bible reading time and meditate more on the Scriptures.

God can use anything to bless us, bring Him glory, and bring us closer to him- even a fiction book.

Here is a short sample of the book:

“Jesus was not with them. “I know I saw Him.” Mary clung to Joseph, her face filled with fear. “He was with John when we left. He wouldn’t have stayed in Jerusalem, would He?” Joseph’s heart beat hard, his breath jagged and uneven. “We’ll find Him. Come on.” Together they searched the entire caravan, but Mary was right. Jesus was not with them. Terrified and begging God for answers, Mary and Joseph turned around and traveled as quickly as they could back to Jerusalem. They found Elizabeth and Zechariah first. Mary’s relatives were still in Jerusalem and John was with them. But none of them had seen Jesus.

Three long days passed and finally Joseph was out of answers. Never had he been so scared and confused. This time no angels spoke to him, no strangers came up to them to tell them things they didn’t know about their son. He was simply missing. Finally, on the third day, Joseph ran with Mary to the temple courts and there— sitting among the teachers—was Jesus. From a distance they watched, relieved and frustrated. The teachers seemed mesmerized by Him. He asked questions, but more than that, He provided answers. Tears filled Mary’s eyes as she watched their son. “Why would He do this?” she whispered. “Make us worry?” “Look at Him.” Joseph held Mary close, still at a distance from Jesus. “The teachers are amazed at His under- standing.”

Mary listened quietly. “Yes.” Her frightened eyes turned to Joseph’s. “But three days?” Jesus must’ve known they were there. He finished His conversation and then hurried over. “Son, why have You treated us like this?” Mary gathered Him in her arms, clearly as relieved as she was upset. “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.” Jesus looked from Mary to Joseph and back again. “Why were you searching for Me?” His face looked as innocent as summer. “Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” The words stabbed at Joseph’s heart. Though he loved Jesus with his whole being, this was the first time he truly understood his place. He was Jesus’s stepfather. Nothing more. Though Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and though He remained obedient, His words stayed with Joseph. Never mind the rescue from Bethlehem or Egypt. It didn’t matter what Joseph had done to protect Jesus or how much he loved Mary. Forget the reality that Joseph had been there from the beginning. Joseph would never be Jesus’s father. That role belonged to God alone. “He has a different purpose,” Mary said to Joseph one night after they returned to Nazareth. “He does not belong to us. I understand that better now.” “Yes.” Joseph pulled her into his arms. “It scares me, Joseph.” (From karenkingsbury.com)

The words stabbed at Joseph’s heart. Though he loved Jesus with his whole being, this was the first time he truly understood his place. He was Jesus’s stepfather. Nothing more. Though Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and though He remained obedient, His words stayed with Joseph. Never mind the rescue from Bethlehem or Egypt. It didn’t matter what Joseph had done to protect Jesus or how much he loved Mary. Forget the reality that Joseph had been there from the beginning. Joseph would never be Jesus’s father. That role belonged to God alone. “He has a different purpose,” Mary said to Joseph one night after they returned to Nazareth. “He does not belong to us. I understand that better now.” “Yes.” Joseph pulled her into his arms. “It scares me, Joseph.” (From karenkingsbury.com)