Thursday, December 15, 2011

Two great books calling me onward!

Someone once said “you are what you read.”  I do find it true that what I read about, I think about and what I am thinking about, I am more likely to be acting on.  So while I love a good fiction book, I love to be challenged and inspired by non-fiction as well.

While on my many shopping trips at local thrift stores, I am always drawn to the book section.  Even though my mom and her partner Larry bought me a Kindle so I wouldn’t have to lug a ton of books around (Larry always says I am packing anvils!), I can’t resist the .50 cents or 1.00 books and the treasures they contain!

I bought two winners recently and I wanted to share a little about them.  They are both similar enough in nature that they complement one another.  However, one was written in 1975 and one in 2009!

Open Heart, Open Home: The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome & WantedThe first, written in 1975, is called Open Hearts, Open Homes by Karen Burton Mains. (sorry, you can’t click and look inside, I got this cover photo from Amazon!) Her subject is biblical Hospitality.  Not matching plates and the latest impressive recipe, not a spotless house with cool new decorations.  But a home that says, “Come in world, you are welcome here, spots and wrinkles and all!”  The book is all about the biblical call that our lives, our hearts and homes would be used to share with people around us who are in need of help or encouragement or prayer or just friendship.  I loved the broad vision of this book mixed with the practical ideas as well.

Although Hospitality has often been relegated to the realm of women who like to entertain, this book broadens that application to include the biblical charge for men to participate in this as well. It isn’t only women, or excellent cooks, who can use their lives at home to change the world around them!

ref=sib_dp_ptThe second book is called The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.  I am not finished with it yet but it has already brought me to tears more than once.  It begins with the story of his journey of surrender of his position of CEO of Lenox, a fine china and porcelain manufacturer, that provided him with a Jaguar, a ten room home on 200 acres and every luxury money could buy.  He left that position to become the president of World Vision, attempting to help the poor all over the world – what a radical departure!

He writes about how often and how easily many Christians neglect the portion of the Bible– the huge portion of the Bible– that calls followers of Christ to minister to the poor, the needy, the widows, the orphans, the abandoned, the captives, the “least of these.”  He does it more eloquently than I can!  (He calls it the hole in our GOSPEL, which I take some exception to, but I agree that this focus on the poor, so prominent in Scripture is largely missing in most teaching on discipleship.)

While neither book is perfect, if you read either of these books, you will be challenged to ask God what He would have you do with your time, your finances, your heart and your home.  Not that you aren’t already doing that, but we all could use the inspiration to ask that daily and with an open heart, ready and willing to obey what we hear in response!

Have any good books to recommend in return?  On any subject!  Please feel free to share in the comments, I love recommendations!


Jennifer said...

I first read Open Hearts, Open Homes when I was a newlywed but only recently began applying the principles to my home and life. My book has been passed to another wife who needs it. Glad you discovered it too!

My current favorite read is Parenting Is Your Highest Calling & 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt. I think it could easily apply to your situation.

Marcia Francois said...

This has nothing to do with Christianity or anything like that but I just got MWF Seeking BFF (it's about a search for friendship) and I'm LOVING it. I have loved her blog for months and months and finally, the book is here!

Laura said...

Jennifer that is so cool you've read it too! I looked at the book you're reading, it looks interesting! I will check it out next time I am home. Marcia, who's blog is it that you read that the book came from?