Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reading Challenge 2012 ~ December and Year End Wrap-up

Reading Challenge 2012

My goal for reading this year was to read 52 books or more in 2012. That is one book a week.

I DID IT! I read 53 books. I am so happy. I worked really hard in December because I had terrible reading months from September to November.

 I am currently reading 8 books and if you are interested to know what they are, check out my Goodreads profile. If you are on there send me a friend request.

 I love reading!
You can explore so much of our past and present and gain so much knowledge and encouragement! Also, reading is and can be Fun!

Read A Book Today!

Each month for the Reading Challenge we are supposed to do an update and link up. This month I read....
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey by Wayne Jacobsen 192 ppdidn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Nov 11, 2012 - finished Dec 02, 2012

What to say about this book??? We were given this book by friends of our ours. They keep copies of this book to give out to friends who need them. Jessica saw this book on their shelves and mentioned to them that she would like to read it and thought it might be good for our whole family. One of her friends went into a room and came back with a copy for Jessica to bring home. My husband read it in record time, and he doesn't read much except his Bible and stuff online like the news. Then he started reading it aloud to us as a family. Now, I want a copy of my own because Jessica won't let me underline this one and I want to read it again and underline my favorite portions.

When given this book they told Jessica that "it wasn't what we expected, but it was what we needed." Maybe you've felt unsatisfied in your church family and have considered leaving. We have for a long time. Or maybe you are perfectly happy where you are. Either way, reading this book is an eye opener.

This book is a story, a walk along with someone on a journey to find out how God can be real in your life in ways that you cannot find in a church. It shows how the Christianity of the church often fails to supply what people need because the church is too interested in keeping the business going and the status quo and not really concentrating on helping it's people find a deeper, personal relationship with Christ.

I highly enjoyed listening to this book and while it may be controversial to many people, I found that it was "just what I needed". I found so many wonderful little gems of wisdom in this book... which I wanted so much to highlight, so I could remember them.

Here are 2 quotes that may help you see some things about the book... but you really need to read it for yourself.... these quotes were found by randomly opening to a page and reading a bit to try and find something to share. Unfortunately they are probably not my favorite quotes from the book but to find them I would have to read the whole thing again and I don't have time for that today. I hope these perk your interest and cause you to desire to read this book.
"... God looks past the institution and deals with people. He wants them to know him and experience real community with one another. He'll keep inviting them into that their whole lives." pg. 161.
 "Once people are in love with the program and grow dependent on it as the spiritual component of their loves, they won't see it's limitations. it cannot substitute for their own life in him and it can only produce an illusion of community because it is based on people doing what it takes to sustain the institution." pg. 161

The Face of God by Bill Myers didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Nov 18, 2012  - finished Dec 08, 2012

Wow! It is "funny" how God directed me to start reading this book... just one week after we started reading "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey" See my review of that HERE... in case you missed it. It is such a God-incidence.

This Christian fiction book takes you on a journey with Pastor Daniel, his son Tyler and a cast of other characters including a terrorist and his buddies. On the journey they try and find the lost stones from the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel as well as the Urim and the Thumim that are supposed to help you hear the audible voice of God... if you don't get struck down with fire first.

Along the way Daniel discovers many things about himself, including his pride and prejudice toward others of his church, of other faiths, of others countries, of other colors, even toward his only son. What a story this was... it kept me "on the edge of my seat" more times than I can tell you. What a wonderful, thought provoking tale of spiritual discovery and action to keep you guessing and reading.

Here is a quote from the end of the book that sums things up and shows you how this book relates to the things I learned in "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore."

""Do you see the difference? It's service. I'm no longer interested in creating the perfect machine with the perfect programs to serve my dreams. Now I'm interested in finding out what the people's dreams are about and how I can help them achieve them. It's so simple but so incredibly different. The church is serving the people to accomplish their goals, instead of the other way around."

"Can't that get a little frightening?" Helen asked.

It's terrifying. Every second. But it keeps me alive. It forces me to keep turning to God instead of my programs. Because the programs, the rules, and regulations, the religion... let's face it-it's a thousand times safer to follow those than a relationship.""
pg. 352-353

My son Nathan, age 18 also read it, and liked it, and now I think I will see if my son Christopher would like to read it... he is 16.

My Utmost for His Highest: Classic Edition by Oswald Chambers  didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing started Jan 14, 2012 - finished Dec 09, 2012

So... how did I like this book??? I gave it 4 stars out of 5 and I sticky noted 48 pages out of the 365 days as my favorites! I would say that is pretty good. I did not give it 5 stars because I have to admit that some of the devotionals just didn't apply to me and some I was left dumbfounded by. Some of those that I didn't understand my hubby was able to explain to me. I am thankful that we read this together or I probably would have quit before we finished, and there were some gems in those last months.

We started reading the book in January and finished it December 9th. We did not read every night be we read 2 devotionals on most of the nights we did read, and so had no trouble finishing the book this year.

This book is a daily devotional taken from the sermons and class lectures of Oswald Chambers. If you don't own the book and are interested you can read each of the devotionals one day at a time at this website...

Here are a couple little quotes to show you some of the gems this book has.

“In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," full of sustaining and comfort and strength." May 24

"His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God." July 28

"Do not look at someone else and say "Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why cannot I?" You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God." Dec. 29

I did a post on this book on my blog...
you can go read that also if you are interested.

Tempest in a Teapot (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #17) by Judy Baer didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Dec 18, 2012  - finished Dec 20, 2012

This, as it says, is one of the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series. I love this series. The topics are varied and keep my attention, there is always an element of faith in each book, the quaint town is lovely and the people are as varied as the topics.

The three sisters and the townfolk of Acorn Hill are fighting to keep Fairy Pond when a developer comes and wants to put a gas station on the site. Will they save Fairy Pond for the present and future generations of Acorn Hill to enjoy? Can they find a legal way to stop the developers?? Should natural spots be preserved or should businesses be built that might bring jobs to the town? Will the gas station be a blessing because of more jobs and traffic for the businesses in town or a curse of more traffic in the little town bringing in "riff raff?' Read this series/book and find out the answers to all these questions.

Life is a Three-Ring Circus (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #18) by Rebecca Kelly didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Dec 20, 2012 - finished Dec 22, 2012

In this tale from Grace Chapel Inn a circus comes to town. Some of the people of Acorn Hill are prejudice and make false judgements and generalizations about "all circus people."  The circus owners are getting older and having physical difficulties, but they don't want to close the circus, all their friends would be out of work. Can the three sisters do anything to help? This was a fun read and it was great to see the older 2 sisters having fun and getting involved in things that would normally be outside their "comfort zone."

Promises, Promises: Understanding and Encouraging Your Husband by Denalyn Lucado didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing   started Jul 04, 2012 -  finished Dec 29, 2012

This was a good book written by the wives of 12 prominent Christian leaders. Some of the chapters were great, applied to my life and a real help. A few of the chapters did not apply to me or were just not so great. Not that they were terrible, they just were average, OK. You know what I mean?

One of my favorite chapters was ch. 7 - Building A Strong Marriage. It suggests that you, and I, get to know "what tickles him (our own husband that is, what makes him laugh), what makes him tick, and what ticks him off." Do you know those things about your husband. I realized that I don't know how to make coffee for my husband. I don't drink it and he and my teen boys all make the coffee, my daughters both know how to make the coffee also, they drink it occasionally but not as often as my sons. Me, I never drink coffee and I don't know how to make it. I would like to surprise my hubby with a cup of coffee just how he likes it some day. I want to know things about him more, study him. The movie Fireproof talks about this.

I don't know if I have my college degree on my husband either.... I need to study him more... even after 29 years.

There was also a portion of that chapter that talked about showing him respect. This is an area I struggle with. The book quoted the Amplified Bible Eph. 5:33 "...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]." Wow! I have a lot of work to do.

That is 6 books for December. That makes 53 of 52 books read for the year. I accomplished my goal. If I had not had bad months of reading in September and November, and worse in October when I read NO books, I would have done even better. I will be upping my goal for 2013... but only by a couple... probably. Though I would really LIKE to set the goal at 75, I don't know if I could make that. I will probably do somewhere between 52 and 75. I am thinking and praying about it.

Here are the previous updates if you are interested:
Reading Challenge ~ January Update
Reading Challenge ~ February Update
Reading Challenge ~ March Update
Reading Challenge ~ April Update
Reading Challenge ~ May Update
Reading Challenge ~ How I did in June
Reading Challenge ~ July's Book
Reading Challenge ~ August Amendment
Reading Challenge ~ September Reading
Reading Challenge ~ October Oops (no post, because no books read)
Reading Challenge ~ November notes

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1 comment:

Cristi said...

Wow! Good job. I used to read a lot more than I do now. I fear it's because I spend far too much time online. I need to start picking up real (or electronic) books again instead of just jumping between blogs.


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