What's On My Shelf (June 2022)
The changing seasons cause the scenery of reading to shift: From the couch to the patio chair, from your living room to the beach, or in front of the fireplace to the campfire. Here on the prairies, we finally begin to enjoy the outdoors and our time gets filled with yard work and gardening.
I think it's one of the reasons to become more intentional with what we read. So whether the summer season provides you more time between pages, or less, take some time in prayer as you consider the content you're taking in and how you can take one step toward purposeful growth.
And, as always, I enjoy sharing a stack of recommendations with you with the hope that something may catch your eye.
What's something you've enjoyed reading lately?
* When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H. Gabhart
Rose is receiving treatment at a sanatorium while her two girls live in an orphanage, desperate for them to be together again, her last hope is her brother-in-law, Dirk. He turns out to be their answer to prayer…not that he believes in prayer anymore.
This is a gently paced story, and the tone feels much like wandering in an open meadow, reminding us how the grace of God is a healing balm on our souls giving hope to the lost, wandering and weary. 4 stars!
* Where the Road Bends by Rachel Fordham
Norah King, engaged to be married, lives on her family farm and finds a man beaten up in the field, without a hope in the world. Nursed back to health, Quincy is given a second chance in life, and by the grace of God he takes it. His business becomes successful, and he uses the resources he has to help the broken that come his way start a new life, the same way Norah did for him.
An unexpected turn of events finds them together again, but secrets and threats will shake their world. Forgiveness and restoration are themes at the forefront of this story as the gospel shines through. I really enjoyed this novel! It's the first one I've read by the author and highly recommend it! 5 stars!
* Sunburst by Susan May Warren
Here's the second book in the Sun King Ranch series. Starting out with the rescue of his brother from a terrorist camp in Nigeria, Ranger collides with the woman he's never forgotten. The rescue turns into a run from danger and a family reunion for Noemi, along with a little lie that will spin their relationship. Having lived in Africa for a few years alongside Nigerian friends, I enjoyed reading the cultural aspects with fond memories of "fufu" along with other party traditions.
This series should be read in order, because the events build on those from the previous book and we end on a cliffhanger leading into the concluding book in the series. 4 stars!
* Blessed: Experiencing the Promise of the Book of Revelation by Nancy Guthrie
The book of Revelation is mysterious and often misunderstood. In this book, Nancy teaches us how Revelation shows us the blessed life through the images and descriptions in the book. There's an accompanying study for deeper study available on her website. Read my full review here. If you're looking for a small group, or individual study, this one is timely!
* Humble Moms: How the Work of Christ Sustains the Work of Motherhood by Kristen Wetherell
Maybe you're thinking, "what? another book on motherhood?!" But I'd encourage you to take a look at this one. It's not a how-to parenting book. This is an invitation and admonishment for us as mothers to accept our present role as one the Lord is using to direct us to model our Savior in humility. She takes us through the gospel of John to highlight the humility of Christ and to help us fix our eyes on Jesus in our day-to-day. My full review is here. 4 stars!
Transformed by Esther Engelsma
Changing sinful habits or behaviours is one way our internal beliefs manifest outwardly. It can also be one of the most challenging. We are unable to accomplish this on our own, but by the grace of God and the help of the Spirit, the author shows us how to renew our thinking for us to become more like Christ. in our actions. This is a short, powerful book to encourage your own spiritual growth or in the discipleship of others. 4 stars.
* He Is Not Ashamed: The Staggering Love of Christ for His People by Erik Raymond
Have you ever felt ashamed? In this book, the author takes us through the Jesus' family portrait to remind us that Jesus is not ashamed of our past, our weakness, our struggles with sin nor our lack of social status. He redeemed his creation who opposed him, were far from him and who had nothing to offer. This book will draw you toward the deep love of Christ when you're struggling to truly rest in his love. 4 stars! Find my full review HERE.
* Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World by Jennie Allen
If you feel lonely or isolated, or find yourself struggling with friendships this book will be an encouragement for you. Jennie shares from her own experiences in relationships with a lot of vulnerability to remind us that she’s there too. The church is the aroma of Christ and in the failures of our relationships it may not smell as sweet. Yet there is hope for transformation in us and each other if we seek to grow and learn together how to build each other up in Christ. 4 stars.
*The Lord's Prayer: Learning From Jesus on WHen, Why, and How to Pray by Kevin Deyoung
In this book the author takes us line by line to look at the instructions we glean as Jesus taught his disciples how to pray: how the first three requests are focused on God's glory-his name, his kingdom and his will; and the second three on our good-our prison, our forgiveness and our protection.
While the Lord's Prayer isn't new model for the Christian, the author helps remind us of our approach to prayer and particularly how Jesus was more concerned with what we pray, rather than how often, where and for how long. 4 stars.
Set Ablaze: Fanning the Flame of Your Soul and Service by J.R. Raines
Written by one of our team leaders overseas, here’s a devotional study of 2 Timothy filled with illustrations from the authors experience in ministry. There’s 36 short chapters, with a point for reflection and application at the end of each, as he encourages our faith, and subsequently our ministry, to be set ablaze for the kingdom of God, in whatever-and wherever- he has called us to. 4 stars.
*Denotes books received by Netgalley or the publisher with the opportunity to post an honest review.