Saturday, May 6, 2017

What I Read- April 2017

Yes, I know that is six days into May. Sorry. I apologize profusely and I promise that I read last month.

Only two books though. But they are both really good books.

The Insanity of God (Nik Ripken)
Insanity of God

I wanted to write  a separate blog post about this book, but I restrained myself. But it was SO good and SO convicting...
This is one of those books where you are totally sucked in from chapter one. If you are a reader, you know what I mean. It is one of those books that you just can't put down.
On the other hand, it is also one of those books where you experience so many mixed emotions that you don't know what to do when you reach the end. It is one of those books that you get to the end and you close the book and say (maybe out loud) "What now?"
When I finished, I said, "Something about the way I live out my faith needs to change...but what?"

It describes the personal journey of faith for one man, Nik Ripken, and in the process tells the stories of many persecuted believers- believers who experience persecution "like the sun coming up in the east". It makes me want to meet these people and hear their stories in person. And it makes me wonder how I can live a life like theirs- because they have REAL, ACTIVE faith!
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to you.

(Side note: In my opinion, the best quote in the book was this one: "Perhaps the question should not be: 'Why are others persecuted?' Perhaps the better question is: 'Why are we [in America] not?'" [page 311])

The Golden Braid (Melanie Dickerson)
Golden braid

This is the sixth book in a series of fairytale rewrites. It is set in Medieval Germany. This particular book is based on the story of Rapunzel. It was easy to figure out...the main character is Rapunzel, and her 'mother' is Gothel.
Anyway, Rapunzel grows up under the strict control of "mother." "Mother" won't let her wear her hair uncovered, talk to men, or sing in public. Anytime a man begins to show interest in her, "Mother" moves them to another village.
Eventually, she meets a man named Gerek who agrees to teach her to read. (That is another thing "mother" won't let her do) She secretly learns to read German and begins to learn Latin, but then "mother" finds out. Rapunzel ends up working as a maid in the castle of Duke Wilhelm, where she discovers that she is actually the long-lost daughter of Duke Wilhelm and his wife Rose and was kidnapped as a child by "Mother" Gothel!
Yes, she ends up in a tower, and yes, she is saved because of her long golden hair. She ends up marrying Gerek, and it is happily ever after. :)

Have you read anything good recently? I'm always looking for suggestions...if you have ideas, post them in the comments! :)

reading quote


  1. "Why are we [in America] not persecuted?" That's a good question, and I think I have some (potential) answers. America was founded on Christian principles by Christian men (for the most part, anyway), and one of our main standards is "freedom of religion". This is a pretty unique privilege for us Americans... most other countries don't have this as a principle. So maybe we aren't persecuted as much here in America because it's actually still lawful for us to be Christians.

    But, I should point out is that we ARE persecuted for our faith. Maybe not in the same ways that Christians experience in other countries like Africa or Asia or the Middle East, but we still do face lots of hate and opposition. Businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby get attacked for standing up for their principles, such as not supporting the homosexual agenda or abortion. Christians get ridiculed and labeled with nasty names. Creation is forbidden to be taught in schools, and we can't even say God's name in the classroom anymore. All this isn't as bad as it could be, but I would definitely still call it persecution.

    Anyway, that's my input. Thanks for the post! :)

    1. I would agree with you, Lizzy, that we do experience persecution to some degree here in America. However, I personally do not experience the name calling, etc. that you mentioned. Why? Well, after I have done some thinking, I think it is because I don’t stand out. I don’t tell others that I am a Christian, I don’t stand for my beliefs, like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a do. Another quote from the book explains what I mean: “One of the most accurate ways to detect and measure the activity of God is to note the amount of opposition present.” The point is, when Christians are doing God’s work, sharing the gospel, standing up for their beliefs, and living the counter-cultural life that we are called to live, opposition, a.k.a. persecution, will be great. And yes, certain groups or individuals are standing up for their beliefs, but as a whole, I think the American church has gone rather Lukewarm. And I am guilty of it as well. I don’t think I really stand out like…a sore thumb for lack of better analogy. It isn’t comfortable to go against the culture, to be called names, to have religion forbidden in schools and workplaces, etc. But, as I read more about my persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, I am learning that to be persecuted is the greatest honor. That is another thing I am guilty of. I have the wrong perspective on persecution. I often think of persecution as a thing to be avoided, not a thing to be counted as a joy. I mean, when you suffer for Christ’s sake, you are blessed (See 1 Peter 3:13-17)! So, yes, American Christians do suffer persecution to some extent…but only when they really stand up for what is right.
      That’s my opinion!  Thanks for sharing yours!

    2. I'm sure the book was speaking to each reader individually, rather than the Christian population in America as a whole. ;)

      And I am guilty right along with you when it comes to the way I view potential persecution... I automatically think "oh, no!" instead of how it is an honor. But then again, I haven't ever been personally persecuted for my faith, so I have yet to react to an actual circumstance...

      Thanks for replying to my comment! :)

  2. I agree with you that the church isn't doing all it can to stand up for its Head. I'll have to check into "The Insanity of God." Incidentally, since you asked for suggestions, I really enjoyed "The Robe" by Lloyd Douglas. It's the story of the Roman centurion who wins Jesus' robe and his quest to find the truth behind the Man who wore it.

    1. That sounds like a fascinating book! I'll have to check it out next/

    2. On second thought, be careful. I caught "brief mild language" in there, but since the author was a pastor, I think it was just put in there to make the reader dislike the Romans. As I recall, that was the only problem with it.

    3. Thanks for the warning. I'll be careful. :)