Before a friend left for vacation this week, she asked me what books she needed to have in hand.
I promptly handed her "7" by Jen Hatmaker because it is a non-fiction book that has gotten under my skin like no other besides the Bible. Hopefully it doesn't ruin her ability to have fun on her trip. This read shades your perspective on everything, including how you spend money. If you haven't read it, do. You will be better for it.
Then I gave her the name of two fiction books no one should go without reading.
First is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I lent my copy to someone and don't know who it is so I promptly re-ordered on Amazon to start reading it again. This beautifully written fiction piece is based around the Scriptural book of Hosea. Taking place in the California gold country, Angel is angry and wants to keep men from her heart. They've already used her body. Sold into prostitution as a child, she doesn't believe in a character male or that men could see beyond what is on the outside. And then Michael Hosea enters the picture. Unlike the other men Angel has come in contact with, he loves the Lord and seeks only to live His will, which includes marrying Angel and loving her with an endless love. Given her past and resentment, she doesn't make this easy. In fact, the dance of wanting to believe in a pure love versus past history makes life altogether painful for both of them. But, through this love story, she finds herself in an even greater love story through the eye of Jesus. You won't be able to put this down and I'm sure you will read and re-read just like me. It should be on everyone's bookshelf.
Second is another you can't put down, but lucky for the reader it is much smaller in size so you can easily finish it in an afternoon. It is Andy Andrews's The Noticer. Andrews says, "Many people ignore the 'small stuff,' claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed entirely of small stuff." And that is what this book highlights. Taking place in Orange Beach, Alabama, readers come to know different residents and the fears and obstacles they face - everyday obstacles that you and I will relate to. But, as each individual's story surfaces, an old, unkempt man named Jones shows up and carefully encourages them to consider perspective beyond what is immediately noticeable to the human eye. Since we are a culture quick to judge and people who easily lose hope, this book is one we all need. Jones will rise from the pages and give you new perspective that will encourage you in your walk and make you a better friend to the people around you.
Don't miss these, people. Inside these pages you might set a new record for the quickest you've ever read a book :)
And, speaking of things you don't want to miss, be sure to enter the giveaway for my book NOBODY TOLD ME. All you need to do is comment for a chance to win this book on dating, purity, and sex to make your job as a parent discussing these issues easier and encourage the t(w)een you love. Click here to enter.
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