Because I love books, I have a special fund designated for books to expand the library at school as well as my personal library. But not just any book–not all books are of the same quality. Because there are far too many good books easily available, I prefer buying or borrowing books highly recommended by others as “beyond good.” Sometimes I wonder why a certain book was recommended, but usually I agree that it was indeed a book well worth reading.
In this post, I wish to recommend two books I consider outstanding, ones I am still rereading. The kind I want to hang onto. The kind that renew my mind. Neither of these are light reading, nor are they heavy reading. At the same time, I can’t sit and read large portions because there is too much to ponder, process, and practice.
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
This was a birthday gift from a homeschooling friend. Although the book is specifically written for homeschoolers, these God-given principles for living from a heart of rest are easily applied to my role as a classroom teacher. After reading only a few of the first pages I was hooked! The first chapter is entitled “Whose ‘Well Done’ Are You Working For?” If that is not enough to whet your appetite, how about this excerpt: “Our job is not to be successful – success itself is entirely beside the point. It’s faithfulness that He wants.” So when we define how success must look, we are sure to experience frustration and plenty of it – and it our own “Well done” we are working for rather than His. I need to hear these truths again and again.
The Power of Blessing by Kerry Kirkwood
This was recommended by a friend in prison who has found it to be life changing. When I ordered the book, I wondered if it would have that power of positive thinking flavor I have grown to distrust. It doesn’t. This book has redefined for me the meaning of blessing and cursing and moved me toward accepting my calling to bless. Peter says God has called us to bless so that we may inherit a blessing (I Peter 3:9). That is His heart – to bless, not to curse and condemn. We are to do the same. Although you know that words hold the power of life and death, if you are like me, you often unwittingly fall into the trap of thinking and speaking condemning words, both about people and circumstances. This book calls me to continuous repentance, and offers encouragement and hope. Let me rephrase that: through this book, God frequently calls me to repentance, and shows me a path forward. The renewing of the mind, is His work, not the work of His servants who write excellent books.
As always, we are to read with discernment. I certainly reserve the right to not agree with all the ideas these books present. At the same time, I pray for godly humility that grants me permission to continuing growing and changing.
What books do you recommend?
CONTRIBUTOR: Betty Yoder