One of my overarching prayers for this year is that God would burn in me a desire (and the grace) to be a better friend. Like many, I love people and love having friends. But I have been convicted lately that if I want to have friends I need to be a friend. For the last two years I have used the excuse that life has been crazy trying to adjust to parenthood (and with twins, no less). However, I am not the first (nor last) woman to mother twins--so I can only use that excuse for so long.
Every year I am amazed at the privilege we are given to have such an abundance of books at our fingertips. While this list isn't exhaustive, nor is it reflective of books written just in 2014, it is a list of books I really liked last year. I hope you will find something in this list that you can enjoy yourself in 2015.
Earlier this Fall I received a copy of Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More--Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist. I couldn't wait to read it. I had been hearing about this book from Karen Swallow Prior for a while, and the more I heard about Hannah More, the more I wanted to get to know her. I think you will too. Here are some brief observations about her life that really stayed with me.
I received a copy of this book at the bloggers gathering at TGCW14 over a month ago. The title, Extravagant Grace: God's Glory Displayed in Our Weakness, by Barbara Duguid (P&R), caught my eye immediately. I feel weak often. I am overwhelmed by my sin on a regular basis. This book, I thought, must be written for me.
I don't know about you, but I struggle with the way I look way too frequently. Even before I had the twins, I was constantly worried about if my hair looked good enough, if I looked thin enough, if my outfit was cute enough. It's an endless race that no one ever wins.
The subject of race has been a polarizing topic in our country for longer than any of us have been alive. In many ways, the lasting effects of the racism that divided us are still entrenched in many communities. If we move into the church, we find that even among God’s people, diversity and freedom from race divisions is still a longed for reality.
People prepared me for a lot of things before the birth of my twin boys last year. I received advice on everything from sleep training, my own impending lack of sleep, the difficulty of learning to be a parent, and that in reality you are never really prepared. I was fully prepared to feel completely unprepared when those two little ones burst on the scene. And they did with complete surprise (eight weeks early!). We were as unprepared as we were ever going to be.
I have admired Nancy Guthrie and her writing for a while now, so I was honored to be able to interview her for The Gospel Coalition. The topic was her most recent book, the next installment of her bible study series called Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. I have had the privilege of reading all of these studies and The Lamb of God: Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy did not disappoint. When our church is able to have a women's bible study, I really hope we can use these studies. They are excellent. They are rich with biblical truth, engaging, and open up a less often studied part of the Bible by women. Here is a taste of the interview, but you will really want to go and read the whole thing.
The school that I teach at assigned every teacher a book to read over the summer. One huge benefit of teaching at a Christian school is that they can assign us Christian books to read. We had the option of choosing between two books, so I chose John Piper's Think. When I went to Bethlehem, one of the advantages of being a member was that we received his newest book as a token of appreciation for freeing him to write. I must say, I miss those days. I'm fairly behind on my Pastor John library! So I was really excited to have the opportunity to read Think.