Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Books I Read This Summer

Instruments In The Redeemer's Hands: People In Need of Change Helping People In Need of Change by Paul David Tripp
For me, this was the second time reading this book. I read half of it over a year ago when Ken came home raving about it. I got bogged down after the first four chapters and set it aside. I have since heard so many people speak highly of this book that I felt I owed it a second read. The book is part of a growing canon of books and resources in what's called "Biblical Counseling." Biblical Couseling is helping people grow and change and face life's trials by passing their issues through a grid of scripture, helping them see their life within the framework of creation, fall, redemption, new creation. Biblical Counseling is in many ways contrary to modern psychological counseling, which is founded on a humanistic, postmodern worldview. Instruments In the Redeemer's Hands paints a poignant picture of our need for change, my need for change, because I live in a fallen world and am myself a sinful person. My sin messes up my relationships and my thinking and my doing. Furthermore, Tripp writes that every interaction we have with people is a form of counseling. I give advice, I am counseling. I sympathize, I am counseling. I approve behavior, I am counseling. The gist of his book, then, is that we should approach these casual counseling settings with a Biblical worldview to help people change for the glory of God.

Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom by Howard Dayton

Written by the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, this book is filled with biblical principles for managing your money. Did you know that the Bible has 2,350 verses on how to handle money and possessions? God certainly cares about how we manage our money, and it goes far beyond just tithing. I found this book easy to read and extremely practical.

Shopping For Time: How to do it all and not be overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw

The four authors of this book are also known as "The GirlTalk Bloggers." A mother-and-three-daughter quartet, they are mothers, pastors' wives, and ministry leaders. They write in their book about the many demands on a woman's time and how to live victoriously in the midst of those pressures. The book is based on Ephesians 5:15-16, which warns us to be wise in how we live, making the most of every opportunity. They write with humor and grace, with encouragement and not condemnation. A brief 94 pages, it is a worthwhile and manageable read for busy women.

Lose the Halo, Keep the Wings: Great Advice for Ministers' Wives by Virginia Wilson

I read this in preparation for a Seminary Wives Institute class, Essentials for the Ministry Wife I and II. Virginia Wilson writes from many years of experience. She doesn't hesitate to share her embarrassing moments as a pastor's wife as well as her more victorious moments. A common thread through the entire book is that God has made each pastor's wife unique, and she should use her own gifts and strengths to bless her church, never trying to imitate another minister's wife. I especially appreciate the thoughtful discussion questions at the end of each chapter, and I hope to have opportunities to discuss with my classmates!

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