January – February Reading

This post is horrendously late – so late that I have already finished one book in March! That said, right now finding time for reading is rather tricky – after finishing school for the day, I rarely fancy sitting down with more books. Thus these posts help keep my reading motivated – always a good thing! – and also cause me to examine my reading material more carefully – in short, what I don’t want to admit to reading to other Christians is not what I should be reading.

Books Finished

  • What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge
  • What Katy Did Next by Susan Coolidge

I must admit to liking the ‘what Katy did’ books! I re-read these right back at the beginning of January as light relief whilst suffering from sinusitis. They are lovely stories.

  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I eventually finished this book. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it is my favourite Jane Austen story.

  • The Holy War by John Bunyan

This lesser-known of Bunyan’s allegories is as well worth reading as his better known allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress. It follows the fortunes of the town of Mansoul through its first rebellion against its Lord, through to the salvation of the of the town, then through a period when the Lord was absent from Mansoul on account of Mansoul’s sin. Finally, it ends with Mansoul restored to its former place of favour with its King, and the defeat of the Diabolians. There are allegorical portrayals of many aspects of the Christian life – well worth reading!

  • Joy Unspeakable by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

This book contains a series of sermons given by Martin Lloyd-Jones on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I found refreshing his view that baptism with the Holy Spirit is not synonymous with conversion, having heard teaching to that effect in the past. I personally agree with his view that baptism with the Holy Spirit comes after conversion, and was challenged to seek after such baptism. Though its main topic is baptism with the Holy Spirit, there are also other valuable spiritual lessons incorporated. And as a total side note, there are recordings of his sermons available over the web – listening to them helped me read his style – which are worth listening to!

Currently Reading

  • Among God’s Giants by J. I. Packer
  • Conformed to His Image/The Servant as His Lord by Oswald Chambers

November – December Reading

Now I have finally got over the majority of my cold, and my ears have unblocked  and I am almost feeling totally myself again, I have eventually got round to writing up a list of the books finished in the last two months of 2010.  I have been planning this post for the last two weeks, but it has taken me this long to actually write it!

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Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

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Books finished…

  • A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot

A Chance to Die is Elisabeth Elliot’s biography of Amy Carmichael. The copy I read back in November I checked out of the library, but since then I have been given my own copy. It was very good and thought provoking. I did not know much about Amy Carmichael before I read the book, although I had read some of her books. The story of Amy Carmichael’s life was an inspiring and challenging testimony. The book also contained many quotes from Amy’s writing, which definitely pleased me!

  • Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

This was C. S. Lewis’ autobiography (courtesy of the library again!). I had a little trouble finishing off the book… C. S. Lewis’ writing style was not the easiest for me. However, it was an interesting read.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read a good deal of this book when I wasn’t feeling too well one day. I have read it before, so it was a bit like visiting old friends. :-) I enjoyed re-reading it; it would seem that each time I re-read these books, I understand them better!

  • Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Another old friend and one of my favourite books. There are many important lessons on Christian growth interweaved into this story. I find especially encouraging Katherine’s struggle with her quick temper – I also have a quick temper, which I am slowly learning to control. Throughout the book one is reminded of their heavenly goal – that each day we ought to be ‘stepping heavenward’ and growing more like our Saviour.

  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

I checked Agnes Grey out of the library last time I was there and read it in the holidays. Agnes Grey is the story of a young lady who left her humble home to be a governess to the children of rich families – it is believed to be based on Anne Bronte’s own experience as a governess. The difficulties she encountered, her trials and disillusionment (she found ‘governessing’ very different to what she had imagined) are all portrayed, along with the faults of the families in which she was governess. All in all it was very good; I must say I am almost at the stage of preferring Anne Bronte to Jane Austen…

  • Edges of His Ways by Amy Carmichael

This book of daily devotionals written by Amy Carmichael is very good; I read through it (more or less!) in 2010. There was so much to encourage and challenge. My only complaint would be (and this is a fault seemingly all too common in devotional works) that there were some Scriptures pulled out of context. While I do not deny that God’s Word is still living and fresh today and that the Lord can use a sentence or phrase of His Word to comfort individuals, it is important to take the verses in context.

Currently Reading…

  • Joy Unspeakable by Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones
  • Cheque-Book of the Bank of Faith by C. H. Spurgeon

September-October Reading

I used to post these posts on my old blog (as those of my readers who read my blog then may well remember!) and have decided to restart them on my new.  These lists encourage me to read more and keep me accountable for my reading, which can only be a good thing!

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

It is my (albeit new; not that I didn’t aim in part before) aim to read those things ‘true,… honest,… just,… pure,… lovely,… of good report.’  As Christians we are temples of the Holy Ghost.  Ought we not be careful as to what we read and thereby allow to enter into our minds?

But without further ado (and I am late enough already!) here is what I read in the months of September and October…

Books Completed:

  • Mimosa by Amy Carmichael

A beautifully written true story of an Indian girl who clung to what tiny amount she had heard of Jesus Christ despite difficulties and persecutions. Though simply told, never did it strike me as childish. Mimosa’s prayer – “I am not offended in Thee” – when things were hard struck me as especially beautiful; it was so childlike and trusting, even when things were against her.

  • The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins

A lovely story from that time when many books were written with the aim to build up good character (or so it seems: how many books could you say that about nowadays?). It was a lovely read, and one which I would definitely read again.

  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

I read this book partly on a recommendation, partly because I was interested. It was interesting and – dare I say it? – humerous. However, it is not to be taken lightly, and I hope it did a little more than tickle my ears. Some of C.S. Lewis’ observations through his devilish character (forgotten his name) were scarily true.

  • Beric the Briton by G. A. Henty

The third book by G. A. Henty I have read, I enjoyed this book. It tells about the conquest of Britain by the Romans, and thus has quite a lot of war and bloodshed in it! It also touches on the fire of Rome, the reign of Nero and the persecutions of the Christians under him. I must say, though, that there is definite resemblance to Henty’s other two books which I have read.

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Does this book count? I have reread the vast majority of this book in an attempt to write an essay on it for school. The essay is being troublesome, and for some reason reading a book for an essay assignment takes some of the enjoyment out of reading it. If I can’t stand Pride and Prejudice in the future, you will all know why!

  • Nurse on Call by Edith Cotterill

I picked up this book on a whim at the library whilst waiting for the librarian to fetch me a couple of books. A true story of a district nurse in the 1940s & 1950s in England, it was an interesting read, though it wasn’t always good on language.

Currently reading:

  • A Chance to Die: the life and legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

From my reading…

As a belated birthday present from my parents, I was given two books: the one, Mimosa by Amy Carmichael; the other, The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins.  I am entirely satisfied with the content of both, but the looks of the latter leaves much to be desired; suffice to say, it is cheap and ugly (all the blame here goes to me, however; I chose the copy on Amazon).  To get to the point, I am reading through The Lamplighter at present, and I found this which I have decided to share.

“…I think the world is full of trials, and that everyone gets a share.”

“It is the lot of humanity, Gertrude, and we must not expect it to be other wise.”

“Then, who can be happy, Miss Emily?”

“Those, only, my child, who have learned submission; those who, in the severest afflictions, see the hand of a loving Father, and, obedient to His will, kiss the chastening rod.”

-from The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins

Quote for Today

DSCF0053_1What if the great enemy of souls should for a while triumph over us, as he has triumphed over better men than we are, yet let us take heart, for we shall overcome him before long. We shall rise from our fall, for our God has not fallen, and he will lift us up. We shall not abide in darkness, although for the moment we sit in it; for our Lord is the fountain of light, and he will soon bring us a joyful day.

– C. H. Spurgeon

I have personally found the above quote of comfort lately, and decided that I would share it with all those who visit and read my blog. Also, thank you to all those who have commented recently; I appreciate your comments and mean to reply to them soon (that will be Monday now!).

Have a blessed weekend,

Anna

From The Diary of David Brainerd

I have been meaning to share this quote for some time now! I am at present slowly reading through my copy of his diary, and am finding in inspiring, encouraging, challenging, convicting, and at times even strangely familiar.

Thursday, April 1, 1742. I seem to be declining with respect to my life and warmth in divine things; had not so free access to God in prayer as usual of late. Oh, that God would humble me deeply in the dust before Him! I deserve hell every day for not loving my Lord more, who has, I trust, loved me and given Himself for me. Every time I am enabled to exercise any grace renewedly, I am renewedly indebted to the God of all grace for special assistance. Where then is boasting? Surely it is excluded when we think how we are dependent on God for the being and every act of grace. oh, if I ever get to heaven it will be because God wills, and nothing else; for I never did anything of myself but get away from God! My soul will be astonished at the unsearchable riches of divine grace when I arrive at the mansions, which the blessed Saviour is gone before to prepare.

-David Brainerd

March/April Reading

pinetreesBooks finished in April and March:

  • Foxes Book of Martyrs by John Foxe

This book is a must read for Christians! The stories of these courageous early Christians humbled and inspired me, for what have I suffered in comparison to them? Many of the persecutions and torture endured were horrendous, yet the steadfastness and courage of the persecuted were an inspiration and a testimony to all.

  • He Made the Stars Also by Prof. Stuart Burgess

My father brought this book at a Creation meeting some years ago now. I have actually heard this man talk on two occasions: once on the hallmarks of design and again on the meaning and purpose of the stars. It was the second talk that made me want to read his book, for there was one section of that talk on the purpose of the stars. This subject was also talked of in the book and that part of the book I enjoyed reading most. The book also dealt with the question of extraterrestrial life and the creation.

  • For the Temple by G. A. Henty

This is the second G. A. Henty book I have read, and I found it as good as the first (which was In Freedom’s Cause). It dealt with the fall of Jerusalem and was well written (must have been, for although it dealt with historical information, I was able to read through it without any difficulty!). Reading about the fall of Jerusalem was sad. The beautiful city ran with blood and corruption, and God sent judgement upon His people.

  • Gladys Aylward by Catherine Swift

I remembered reading this book when I was younger and enjoying it, but reading it again, I found it less enjoyable. May this was partly because the book was written quite simply, making it (in my personal opinion) more suited to younger readers. However, the story was inspiring, being about a woman (namely Gladys Aylward!) who went to China as a missionary despite being rejected by the missionary society and in spite of difficulties she encountered.

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I found this book better than I did when I read it several years ago. I understood it better and thus enjoyed it a lot more. I try to keep my light reading down, and although Jane Austen’s books have good morals and I personally believe are acceptable reading, a diet consisting entirely of them would not be good for you!

  • God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

This book is the story of Brother Andrew, beginning from when he was a little boy during the Second World War, moving through his younger years, in which he joined the army and went to fight in the Dutch Indies, right through to his finding his life work in strengthening and smuggling Bibles to believers in Communist countries. Inspiring and enjoyable; also shows how the Lord can touch the heart of those, who in the world’s eyes seem the most improbable to do His work.

  • Secret Believers by Brother Andrew

This book dealt with the lives Muslim Background Believers, or Muslims which have converted to Christ, in the Middle East. It gave insight into the Muslim world. We must pray for the persecuted Christian Muslims in the Middle East.

  • Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
  • Night Birds in Nantucket by Joan Aiken

These two books were lent us by some friends. They are fictional books, both having plots against King James III by the Hanoverians, which were foiled. Enjoyable reads, though the second especially was very unrealistic!

  • King Solomon’s Mines by Sir H. Rider Haggard

This book by H. Rider Haggard was apparently written following a bet that he couldn’t write a book as successful as Treasure Island. That explains in part the style and subject of the book. It was written in first person about a man and his two companions and servants (African natives) who went across Africa in search of King Solomon’s diamond mines and one man’s brother. To cut a long story short, the reached the mines after many difficulties and escaped safely and pretty much miraculously. They even found their companion’s brother. Not really my sort of book, but I still enjoyed reading it!

Currently Reading:

  • The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (edited by Jonathan Edwards)
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie TenBoom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill