I only finished four books in the month of June. We still have WAY too many boxes to unpack to allow me my preferred medium for reading (hard copies), but I can listen while I work. So with the exception of my God Bless America journal, all the titles I completed last month were audiobooks. Read on for my impressions of each:
The 4 books I finished in June
She Who Laughs Lasts! compiled by Ann Spangler
As you might guess from the title, She Who Laughs Lasts! is full of funny tales and side-splitting stories told by some of today’s top Christian humorists.
In the introduction, I learned that our bodies burn six calories every time we laugh. If that’s true, I got the equivalent of s full-body workout every time I tuned in.
If you love reading uplifting prose delivered with a big dose of comical flair, you should enjoy this collection as much as I did.
God Bless America by Jennifer Flanders
This patriotic primer is another in my series of devotional journals.
I pull my own copy of God Bless America off the shelf every year about this time and re-read it cover-to-cover.
Each time I go through it, I respond to a few more writing prompts and color a few more pages filled with vintage artwork. It’s a fun way to reflect on what a blessing it is to live in this great country.
This year, what with all the moving and unpacking and putting away I’ve had to do, I only managed to color two pages. But I did read through the entire text again. It’s rich, both in scripture and in quotes from our founding fathers.
Free to Thrive by Josh McDowell and Ben Bennett
Josh McDowell was a well-known name in my youth group growing up, but this was the first time I’ve ever heard details of McDowell’s turbulent childhood. In light of his own personal history, it makes sense that he would devote time and energy to writing a book called Free to Thrive.
I was encouraged by the book and enjoyed listening to it, although it does draw heavily on human psychology. I think psychology can be helpful up to a point (think hierarchy of needs, stages of grief, etc). But I’ve seen too many authors and pastors give equal (or sometimes even more) time to psychological theories as they do to scripture, which is a big red flag in my book.
I’m not saying that’s the case in Free to Thrive. The authors did a decent job backing up and/or balancing such theories with the Word of God. But there’s a reason the Bible warns us, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, NIV) And I’ll want to keep a lookout for that tendency should I decide to read any more of McDowell’s books.
Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Either my husband and I have never read this classic before, or we completely forgot what it was about. Either way, it isn’t at all what either of us were expecting.
We were expecting stalwart soldiers and admirable deeds of bravery, but got something closer to the other end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, the book paints an agonizingly accurate picture of the conflicted emotions many soldiers must’ve experienced, especially during America’s Civil War.
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