School is out for most children, vacations are planned and raring to go, and it’s time to encourage our mental growth. What are you reading this summer? If you check out the latest bestseller list, you can be overwhelmed and wonder where to start. Each bestseller has raving reviews, but not all bestsellers are great books to read. Here are some things to keep in mind when picking something to read this summer.
What Not to Read: Continue reading
Like some, we choose a book to read based on a situation that you may be currently facing and it comes recommended. A Small Cup of Light is one of those books for me. For almost the past year, I have been dealing with some stomach ailments. I have had numerous tests done but all came back negative. Though I am thankful that nothing serious was found, still, not knowing what is causing these problems has been frustrating. What I deal with feels like having a constant stomachache—the feeling when you have the stomach flu and your stomach hurts, but it is constant. I know my affliction is so minor in comparison to others, and by no means do I want to compare, but it is my affliction nonetheless.
It’s a new year and it’s time to start thinking of all those challenges you try to accomplish within the next year. I try to set a goal on how many books that I would like get through in a year. I didn’t come close to my goal for 2016 but I will still shoot for a similar goal just for 2017. I view a reading plan as a way I can have direction and encouragement without feeling obliged to stick to it knowing that there are some things that can happen in the year that may hinder reading. One area that I am always wanting to grow in is not only the quantity of books but the quality of books.
I just picked up my copy of J. C. Ryle’s autobiography printed by Banner of Truth. I love the writings of Ryle. Though I have not ready everything by him,I hope to one day. One of his books that have impacted me more so than many other books is his book Holiness. I have read Iain H. Murray’s biography on Ryle, Prepared to Stand Alone and am drawn to Ryle. I love his insight and though he lived in the nineteenth century his writings still have weight today. I look forward to reading this book and giving a review once I finish.
I like books, more specifically I like biographies on Christians. I am drawn to reading about men and women who have gone before me. The author of Hebrews writes, “We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).” The author was referring to those mentioned in chapter eleven, the “hall of faith” chapter. But, I also believe it is referring to the believers who have gone before us in church history. I find myself as if I am a fly on the wall of their lives. I am drawn in, seeing their lives, God’s plan for them unfolding before me. Granted, when you read a biography it can somewhat be biased but a good biographer will share the good and the bad of that person. I am thankful that the Bible does that. It shares the flaws and the faith of those who are the examples before us. Ultimately they are pointing to Jesus in their lives and we should desire the same thing. You learn from them. You are inspired by them. You are thankful to God for them.
Let me encourage to read the lives of the saints before us. Let it be fan to your flame of faith and we can learn from them. Let the Lord use it to inspire you, challenge you, and encourage you. What Christians have impacted you and why? Please share, I would love to hear from you!