Books I’ve been reading and what I think…

Posted on March 10, 2008. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Joy A. Kennelly

Just finished the third of the four books I’ve been reading this morning. If you are a Christian and really want to grow in your understanding and intimacy with God, I highly recommend reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.

I’ve been reading it along with my devotions in the morning when I get up early enough to include it and every single time it has directly applied to what I’m going through in life. Every single time! It’s like God tells me when to read it so I hear His voice through her wisdom.

Here’s some of the verses she refers to which helped me understand her elaboration of “the painful process of partnering with God in our Christian growth:

James 1:2-4:

Trials and Temptations

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

She says, “We all want a testimony, but we’d rather skip the test that gives us one. We all want a product, but we’d rather skip the process.” Man, aint that the truth!

What I love about her writing style is that she quotes a lot of other author’s to get her point across thus introducing you to some other great books like Ken Gire’s Intense Moments with the Savior, Mother Teresa’s Life in the Spirit, Jan Johnson’s Living a Purpose-Full Life, Claire Cloninger’s When God Shines Through, and so many more.

Joanna herself has written other books as well which I can’t wait to read. I feel like I’m in school right now trying to learn as much as I can from wiser teachers because I feel so inadequate sometimes.

What I learned through reading her book is that she has felt the same way that I feel which was very comforting. “When we come to the end of ourselves and our abilities, when we relinquish our lives, Jesus promises to use them. Little is much when God is in it. Especially if that little something is you and me.”

“When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we release the Lord of the Process to his work. For it is in our weakness that Christ is strong. It is in our inadequacy that we find him more than sufficient. And it is in our willingness to be broken that he brings wholeness – more wholeness and completeness than we ever dreamed possible.”

Isn’t that encouraging? The whole book is filled with stories from her life, other people’s lives, the Bible and wisdom gained from being a pastor’s wife for the past 18 years and counseling women.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book and hate to have finished it so quickly. However, I can always re-read it when I need some refreshing of the concepts. I want to share it with friends of mine too. Since you’re reading this blog – read Joanna Weaver’s book! You’ll be so refreshed and renewed in your spirit if you do.

I also finished reading Seducing the Boys Club by Nina DiSesa. What a contrast! I will never aspire to the ball breaking, ladder climbing, (fill in adjective here – words are escaping me) leader Nina is.

There’s a reason I don’t like game playing and although this book will probably help a lot of women who aspire to be top of their field, it just wasn’t the way I want to do it.

Since one of her friends has read my original posting and knows her, I won’t review it in the way I would normally not knowing who I’ll offend because now I know who I’ll offend. I found it entertaining, sad, and a little discouraging to realize in order to get to the top she had to sacrifice so much. I guess I’m not meant to be on top in the same way this author is.

Nor do I aspire to. I’m sure this will appeal to a certain demographic, but in contrast to all the spiritual books I’ve been reading it didn’t resonate. However, I’m sure others will love it! Just not me. There’s a reason I’ve stayed out of the corporate world for so long.

What I realize is that I’d rather start a women’s club and develop a community of support to counter-act the boys club than try to compete. It’s just not worth it to me like it was/is to this author.

Enough on this though.

I also completed Khanteya – My Courageous Quest for Love and Freedom by Julietta Khanteya Thong. This woman survived the reign of Pol Pot in Cambodia and attends my friend Kirsten’s church. She was a guest speaker at a recent conference I attended.

I bought the book to give as a gift to Kirsten, but when I gave it to her she said why don’t I read it first because she was familiar with her story.

I thought, why not? I really enjoyed hearing her talk and was curious to learn more about her experiences. They were so horrific it’s amazing that she’s as well-balanced and normal as she is.

However, she too is a Christian and I believe her faith in God took her through this horrible experience to allow her to share her amazing life story and help others.

It’s a fast read and I enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me a little was to learn that someone I know from the entertainment industry who I don’t respect at all (I’ve left rooms he speaks in when I’ve heard he’s the next speaker), was someone she thanked in her foreword. It caused me a little hesitation, but I’m glad I went ahead anyway.

What an amazing story. Really makes the refuge experience come alive. My family had helped sponsor a similar family back in the 70’s or so and that family to this day gives my parents really wonderful Christmas gifts out of gratitude for helping them start a new life over here.

After reading Julietta’s story I understood why a little better. It was so sad to hear the conditions she had to endure. It’s really amazing, I know I keep using that word, but it really is to see how normal and well-adjusted a woman she is after all she and her family went through.

I liked her sense of humor about her love of eating and the love story between her and the doctor who took care of her and her family along with all the other refugees at the camp. What an amazing testimony to love, courage, truth and discipline.

Very simply written, it is very fascinating to read her testimony. Kind of puts everything I’m going through, or have gone through, in perspective!

I’m currently reading A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson which is very enjoyable. I needed something fun to read at night and a friend recommended him as an author.

Bryon’s dry, witty, intellectual, entertaining and informative. Just the type of book I’m in the mood to enjoy at night now.

Okay, that’s all for now. Have a great week!


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2 Responses to “Books I’ve been reading and what I think…”

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have you read Princess Bubble? I saw them on the harvest show and was impressed.

No, I haven’t. Thanks for the suggestion. What’s it about?

My friend has recommended The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma. Let’s stay in touch and keep comparing notes because I love good book referrals!

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