It’s the first Monday of May and time for the monthly check in on what I managed to read last month.
Before I get to that, last night we were looking for a movie to watch and landed on The Notebook.
We first saw it on a cruise ship with all of three of our kids and, then fiancé, Zach. The cruise was a much needed get-away after settling my mom, dad and aunt in their various locations for the level of needed care.
My dad was deep into Alzheimer’s and so when we found ourselves sitting close to the front in the movie theater of the ship and watched this story play out on the screen, let’s just say the Reimers were ugly crying. Watching it again this many years down the road only enhanced the tears for me last night.
It was a strong reminder of that season in our lives. And I wanted to make sure I take a minute to say to all of you who are caring for a spouse or parent or child or friend in whatever health situation it may be, you are doing such a good work.
There is no greater trial nor blessing than to care for a loved one whose body or mind is failing. Your physical, emotional and mental sacrifice to love and care and tend that one is a precious offering to God and you are not forgotten.
I urge you to continue to eat right, get rest when you can, don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t feel bad when you have to laugh, because your soul needs to do that along with all the tears. Get outside when you can and just walk or sit and let God minister to you through His creation. What you do on the daily is hard and if you are weary, I pray you to be refreshed today.
I pray for each of you that God would send every day some sweet reminder that He has not forgotten you or your loved one. Be it a butterfly or hummingbird flitting across the way or a heart tucked into some rock formation or leaf…whatever it is that speaks to you, I pray for that to happen regularly in your life.
May God bless you and refresh those of you who are caretakers. You are precious and deeply loved.
Okay…now here are the books I managed to read:
I plan to share a little more about each on this week, but here is a summary.
Moving Beyond Depression: A Whole-Person Approach to Healing by Gregory L. Jantz, PH.D. with Ann McMurray is one you all know I have been working on for several months. The reason it has taken so long is I began to read and underline the chapter and then go back and jot down notes and actually do the suggested exercises.
The copywriter date is 2003, but I found almost all of the material to be relevant especially in light on the past couple of years. If you have ever struggled with depression OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS/DOES…this is a very insightful and helpful book.
I do want you to come back tomorrow as I will be discussing it in more detail and I had one caveat on it.
The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-Chan Rah was a good and challenging read. I do not know how I came into possession of this, and if you loaned it to me please let me know.
I had my toes stepped on in a good way and I was encouraged to see that some of my own observations and concerns about “Church” have a strong basis of validity. I plan to discuss this book on Wednesday so will share more about this at that time.
Written, or at least published in 2009, again the issues the author discusses are still extremely relevant in the Church around the world. I wanted to make this book known to our pastor team and when I spoke to our Missions Pastor, B. J. Leonard, he actually knows the author. They serve on an Urban Ministry Team ( I know I don’t have this organization name right…but this is my best remembrance)
B. J. has talked with him and heard him speak. Soong-Chan Rah has also been a speaker at the Urbana Missions Conference. His voice is valid and important and I look forward to giving you a glimpse of some of the topics that caught my heart and mind. We would do well to listen to what the non-white church is trying to say and what they have experienced around the world.
The last book I read I confess I finished the last two pages this morning.
Breakthrough: Rediscovery of the Holy Spirit by Alan Walker is a very old book that I am thinking was one I saved from my Aunt Lizzie’s collection. The pages are yellowed and the copy write date is 1969, but again the material is relevant to our day and age.
This is true for two reasons.
One is the never-changing nature and character of God and the other is the never-changing nature and character of mankind. Apparently this is now out of print and as I am looking it up to tell you more about the author, I find it is available for $50.
Alan Walker was an Australian theologian, evangelist, social commentator and activist. I will be sharing more about this book on Thursday, but this author also addresses the role of the Church in dealing with issues that are currently playing out in volatile ways in our modern day.
As I pulled that worn out book off of our shelf that has sat collecting dust for so many years, I did not imagine that it would be such a strong follow up to the book by Soong-Chan Rah that I had just finished.
I hope you will join me as I discuss some key takeaways from the April reading list. See you tomorrow <3