Reading…

Well, I started out life as a reader… I spent the 3rd grade at Zion Lutheran School unchallenged by the curriculum, and reading a Nancy Drew book each day.
But the last 8 years of motherhood have not been conducive to reading. I always had a list of “to do’s” that competed for my attention.

Now, I have caught up! My “to do” list is not backed up, and my mind has regrown all the braincells I lost in child birth.

And I started reading again.

The funny thing about my reading so far: I am not the least picky. Or maybe I have just been lucky enough to read all good books?
Joel has teased me over the past 8 years that each time I read a book, I love it and recommend it, because I don’t have much to compare it with.

It is time to challenge that theory.

I have figured out several things lately:
1. Most of the books I tried (and failed) to read over the past few years were heavy theological stuff Joel scarfs down every day… I don’t like this style of reading. I want more personal reflection. I think this is why the devotional, Devotional Classics, given to me in India by Courtney remains a favorite… you get to know both the writer of each devotion and the editor of the book in each devotion.

2. I enjoy reading a story and “listening” to the interactions between the characters and God… practicing discerning their worldview just like I do in real life. I learn alot this way. I prefer this to the person/character specifically laying out their beliefs for me.

3. I love biographies. When reading fiction, it bugs me to know that this is just made up – this great experience is only as real as a dream. I love to see the amazing things that happen to people for REAL.

4. I do not know much history – especially foreign political and spiritual history.

Based on these realizations, I am making a game plan for my reading:

  • Find missionary stories/biographies to help me learn about various countries. I would like to be orderly, so I may concentrate on Latin America first, as I am in the middle of an account of a Martyr in El Salvador.
  • Find biographies that help me travel through Church history in order, possibly following different branches of faith as they split and converge.
  • If reading fiction, read historically-set fiction, rather than modern.

I welcome recommendations. I found the current and previous books just searching the card catalog at the library. I now have a little list from Marti’s blog because she reads lots of books about missionaries and church history, and I really enjoyed the book she wrote, Through Her Eyes.

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2 responses to “Reading…

  1. Hey Shanti! Just found this through your other blog. Gives me some idea what kind of things you might be looking for. Some things I think you might like:

    Vincent J. Donovan’s Christianity Rediscovered. Bridges between theology/strategy and biography, written by a Catholic priest working with the Masai of Tanzania in the 60s/70s. Classic. Bit challenging, but he’s a good writer, deep thinker.

    Mary Pipher’s The Middle of Everywhere, about refugees in America. She’s a humanist, not a Christian, but explores cross-cultural relationships with a great deal of insight and sensitivity.

    Check out Brian Hogan’s “There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub.” It’s self-published and non-conventional, but a good, recent mission biography, about his family’s years in Mongolia.

    You might also enjoy Thomas Hale’s books, from Nepal; most popular is “Don’t Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees.”

    YWAM’s International Adventures series includes some good stories, both men and women.

    There are several missions-y devotional books out now, including the one that bears Beth Moore’s name, if your a fan of hers (“Voices of the Faithful” – volume 2 due out in Sept). I enjoyed “Screams in the Desert,” by Sue Eenigenberg.

    And if you haven’t read the books by Isobel Kuhn or Amy Carmichael, you might look ’em up. Go to http://www.missionscatalyst.org and type in “books” or “biographies” and see if any of those we’ve reviewed for our ezine sound interesting.

    Have fun reading!

  2. Oh, and get yourself a copy of Ruth Tucker’s “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya” if you don’t have one. It will help you fill in gaps and discover people or topics about which you might want to learn more.

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