Because He Lives (& More February Reads)

To Kill a Mockingbird and other February Reads

I finished six books in February: my own Because He Lives (which I go through again every year about this time) plus five others. Read on for my impressions of each:

Read to Lead by Jeff Brown and Jessie Wisnewski

Read to LeadThe authors give practical advice for getting the most out of your reading:

✅ How to choose the books you read
✅ How to find more time for reading
✅ How to increase your reading speed
✅ How to retain more of what you read
✅ How to start a book club, etc.

I listened to the audiobook, but was wishing I had a hard copy. There were so many passages I would like to have marked and revisited! The authors also include some great-sounding book recommendations and some free printable resources at their book’s website.

Cherish by Gary Thomas

CherishI’ve read lots of marriage books in my lifetime. I enjoy thinking about ways to nurture my marriage and build up my spouse. I want to be an encouragement and a helpmeet to my husband. I want to love and respect him. I want our marriage to mirror Christ’s relationship to the church. And I want to be obedient to Scripture in the way I respond to him.

But I don’t know that I’ve ever given much consideration to the concept of cherishing him. Until now. God calls husbands to love their wives as they love their own bodies:

“He who loves his wife loves himself. Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”

Gary Thomas spends 13 chapters delving into what exactly that term “cherish” means, and how it looks in a modern day marriage. Furthermore, he examines it from the perspective of both husband and wife. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and gleaned some great tips for making sure my husband feels cherished by me.

Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel Beeke

Parenting by God’s PromisesThe scope for < a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Parenting by God’s Promises is extensive.

It covers a wide range of topics, including:

✅ philosophy of parenting
✅ parental responsibilities
✅ teaching and training children in godly living
✅ setting rules
✅ exercising discipline
✅ fostering good relationships between siblings
✅ equipping our kids to resist negative peer pressure

What’s more, all these subjects are discussed from a reformed Christian perspective.

As someone who was raised in a church where we “dedicated” babies but never “christened” them, I did not agree 100% with the authors’ opinion on infant baptism, but his explanation did help me understand and appreciate the practice better, even if I’m not ready to adopt it myself.

The Prodigy Project by Doug Flanders

The Prodigy ProjectMy husband re-read The Prodigy Project aloud to our family in the evenings last month. The storyline follows an American spy with a large family who drags his unsuspecting wife and children along with him on his latest assignment.

It reads like a cross between Mission Impossible and Cheaper by the Dozen and kept us on the edge of our seats throughout the entire book. The kids and I kept begging Doug for “just one more chapter — please?”

My husband wrote this novel himself way back in 2010. At the time, he marketed the story — which centers on a bio-weapon being developed in China — as something “torn from tomorrow’s headlines.” Twelve years later, we’re amazed at how prophetic it proved to be, both on a global and personal scale.

Amazon has currently dropped the price by 21%, but I’m not sure how long that will last. So if you’re interested in a fascinating, family-friendly read, now would be a great time to check it out.

My Vertical Neighborhood by Lynda MacGibbon

My Vertical NeighborhoodMy Vertical Neighborhood reads more like a memoir of the author’s life in her large Toronto apartment building than a how-to book for sharing the love of God with those around us. Yet the story of how she proactively reached out to the neighbors who shared that apartment complex and formed lasting friendships with many of them is nothing short of inspiring.

Big cities can feel so impersonal, and I admire the way MacGibbon fostered community in the midst of all the hustle bustle: opening her home, partnering with a like-minded friend who lived a few doors down, sponsoring weekly, no-strings-attached dinners, movie nights, starting a writers’ group.

All these activities helped her get to know her neighbors in more than a superficial, passing-in-the-halls, exchanging-niceties-on-the-elevator way. Rather, she invested time and energy into the growing friendships in a way that forged deep bonds and honored Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I deeply enjoyed reading about her experience, which fostered all sorts of wonderful ideas for reaching out to my own neighbors.

Because He Lives by Jennifer Flanders

Because He Lives: A Devotional Journal for EasterI re-read Because He Lives, my devotional journal for Easter, every year during Lent. And every year, I complete a dozen or more pages in the journal.

I do the word studies. Use the journaling prompts to jot down my thoughts. Look up Scripture verses. Paint page borders. Use my Prismacolor pencils on the beautiful vintage artwork.

I color in it while I listen to my husband read aloud before bedtime each night or in the early morning as part of my quiet time before the Lord. Although I designed this journal for Easter, it can be enjoyed all year long, as one reviewer rightly noted. It covers prophesies pertaining to Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection, miracles He performed during His earthly ministry, events of the passion week, His promises to His followers, and the work we should be doing as we await His return.

Because He Lives - Devotional Journal for Easter and the Lenten Season

More Fun Resources for Book Lovers

Do you enjoy reading as much as we do? I’ve gathered all my best resources for bibliophiles into this post, or you can read more of my book reviews by following this link

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