Saturday, January 24, 2009

The 16th Thing I Love.

#16 - Books.

I LOVE reading, and I LOVE books. You might not know, but those are not in fact the same thing. People who love to read might love reading anything - magazines, captions, street signs, who knows. But then there are people who love books. I am one of those people. I love their smell, their feel, their sound. Yes, their sound. When you open a new book and the pages come apart for the first time, there is a sound. I judge books by their covers (sorry), and I get practically giddy when I have time to wander aimlessly around a book store (comfortable shoes and clothes you can sit on the floor in are a must for this to be a truly worthwhile experience).

I love books so much that my sister has forbidden me from buying more until I have the room (and the money) for additional book shelves. I own dozens of books that I haven't read and I've read dozens of books that I don't own. My favorite kind of book is probably a memoir. I love reading true stories of people's lives and cultures. I love learning from the way they deal with and analyze their experiences and emotions. I feel connected to the people I read about (whether real people or just really well written fiction).

Some of my favorites, you ask? I'll give you a couple from each section. Yes, my bookshelves have categorized sections. Go ahead and make fun.

Memoirs/Biographies - The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, When Invisible Children Sing by Huang Tang, Mother Teresa by Kathryn Spink, Night by Elie Wiesel, Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski

Christian Living - The Chase by Jerry Bridges, Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend, Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti, Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper, God's Big Picture by Vaughn Roberts, The Externally Focused Church by Russaw & Swanson, No Future without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu, The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

Fiction - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I have other favorites listed under "favorite books" on my Facebook profile, as well as a list of what I'm currently reading, just in case you are interested.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The 17th Thing I Love.

#17 - Snow!!!

Oh my goodness, I LOVE snow. There is such magical excitement in the air when it snows. It's like being a small child on Christmas morning all over again. I look up in the air and just feel pure joy and magic as the flakes fall on my face, clothes, and hair. And if we're lucky enough to get any accumulation whatsoever, it is impossible not to be struck by the way snow changes things.

I never cease to be amazed at the profundity of Christ's illustration that he will make our sins as white as snow. Everything is beautiful when it snows - even things that have no beauty by themselves. When snow falls, the ugly structure it falls upon is still there. It still exists. It is still ugly. But under a blanket of pure, white, perfect snow, it is made beautiful. It has no inherent beauty in itself, but because the snow covers it, it becomes beautiful.

Today I am thankful for not only the snow falling outside, but the snow of Christ's blood that makes us beautiful in him. Snow changes things. Christ's love changes things. I hope you experience that life changing love in a new, deeper way today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just for fun...

This might drive you crazy, or you might love it. But someone gave it to me and it drove me crazy, so I thought I'd pass along the fun! :-)

Find 15 books of the Bible in the paragraph below. Don't let punctuation or word separation distract you. Good luck!

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu - kept people looking so hard for facts. To others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam, especially since the names of the books were not capitalized. But the truth finally struck home to numbers of our readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them, and there will be lamentations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now, there really are fifteen names of books of the Bible in this paragraph.

Let me know when you get stuck and need a hint! :-)