The start of any new school year always seems to throw off my groove. Survival becomes the name of the game. For the last couple of years, I haven’t found my footing again until close to Christmas. Even with the craziness of COVID and the lack of students here at school, the months have been beyond busy. Honestly, I was nervous for a bit about reaching my “20 Books in 2020” goal, but it looks like I’m gaining some balance as the year finishes off. Here are the books I was able to finish between August and November!
I finally wrapped up Churchill: The Power of Words, which I’ve been wading through for.ev.er. This compilation by Martin Gilbert takes a look at dynamic snippets of Churchill’s speeches/writings that he shared over the course of his political career. It took me awhile to get interested, but when the war hit, things obviously took off. The man had such a compelling way of inspiring his countrymen (and much of the world) to hold on in the face of adversity. I’ve recently been wondering what he’d have to say about the world’s current events if he were alive today…
Together, we ladies here at Freedom are working through The Beautiful Fight by Gary Thomas. I went ahead and finished early. Gary’s big point is the importance of living an “incarnational” life. What difference does Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension actually make for me today? Am I resisting the urge for complacency in my daily walk with the Lord? While this fight is a difficult one, it’s so completely worth it – it’s beautiful, in fact!
My wonderful Grandma Vi suggested a favorite series of hers, the first book being At Home in Mitford. A couple of my Goodreads friends rated this one highly as well. This long but pleasant read is based on the happenings of small-town characters who live in cozy, little Mitford. Much of the book focused in on the life of Father Tim, the bachelor rector of a small, country church. It took me awhile to really get invested, but by the end, I’d fallen in love with each individual’s quirky personality.
Orphan Train was part of my birthday haul this past January. (Yes, I read slowly, and yes, I was gifted a lot of books last year!) I loved learning about this little piece of history from the early 1900’s. Apparently, a social experiment called the Orphan Train Movement was started with the intention to help homeless children find new families. I’m sure there are some other cool historical reads out there that cover this topic, but this particular book was full of a ton of foul language. From that standpoint, I don’t recommend this read.
I’ll leave just a few good quotes I gleaned from my reading this fall. Enjoy!
It is only by studying the past that we can foresee, however dimly, the future.1 Among our Socialist opponents there is great confusion. Some of them regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is – the strong and willing horse that pulls the whole cart along.1 We apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments… into the Reality — from Christian apologetics into Christ himself.2 If we allow the world to steal our hearts, we have all but lost the battle.2 When I refuse to face the pain of transformation, eventually I must endure the misery of my immaturity.2 Never yet was there a laborer in God’s vineyard who was not overpaid.2 In the brilliant words of Dallas Willard, grace is opposed to earning, not effort. Indeed, Peter tells us to “make every effort” (2 Peter 1:5). Some people mistake “letting go and letting God” as a call to simply stop trying. But grace doesn’t remove human effort; it focuses and empowers it.2 We have to remember that the Beautiful Fight is not eternal; one glorious moment, it will all come to an end. And in that instant, we will be fully like Jesus, our hearts’ delight. The moment of that rest is different for each one of us, but it is as certain as anything can be.2
1Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
2The Beautiful Fight, Gary Thomas