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If you’re new around these parts, Recent Reads is a monthly blog series where I recap the books that I read the previous month. I’ve been an avid reader since I was 6 years old and I’ve read thousands of books since then…. but reading so many books can be a problem because I tend to forget what I’ve previously read! I believe that life is too short and there are too many good books to spend time re-reading books, so I created this blog series as a way of recording which books I’ve read and to inspire others in finding new books to read as well.
I used to read anywhere from 5-20 books per month, depending on my life situation at the time. Right now, my goal is to read 2 books per month, 3 on occasion. You’ll notice that this month, I read 3 books but only reviewed 2 of them. As a reminder, I provided a summary of the books (either from Amazon or GoodReads) in italics with my review beneath that.
There’s a lot of bad information in our culture today about wealth―and the wealthy. Worse, there’s a growing backlash in America against our most successful citizens, but why? To many, wealth is seen as the natural result of hard work and wise money management. To others, wealth is viewed as the ultimate, inexcusable sin. This has left many godly men and women confused about what to do with the resources God’s put in their care. They were able to build wealth using God’s ways of handling money, but then they are left feeling guilty about it. Is this what God had in mind?
3.5 years ago, when I first started my debt-free journey, I was working part-time at LifeWay in addition to my full-time job. Dave Ramsey had just released The Legacy Journey and I remember telling myself that when I finally became debt-free, I would buy a brand-new copy of his book as a reward for finally reaching my goal. Although my husband and I became debt-free back in November, I just bought this book in May since it was my first trip to Minneapolis on a day that LifeWay was open. (We don’t have any bookstores in our small town in Iowa!)
Y’all. This book was so good that I read half of it on our marriage retreat weekend (while my husband was doing homework) and then finished the book the same night that we arrived back home in Iowa. Even though I followed Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to get out of debt, I don’t agree with all of his teachings. Namely, I thought it was hypocritical that he is rich and claims to be Christian.
Reading this book was a smack in the face that you can be wealthy and still be a Christian. I don’t consider Andrew and me to be rich by any means, but our income is very high compared to people living in third-world countries. Too many people (myself included) have felt that what I have is a “good” amount of money, but more than that is “too much.” Now, don’t misunderstand, you aren’t automatically blessed financially by being a Christian (just like you aren’t automatically blessed with good health if you’re a Christian, etc.) But, Jesus did not say you must make less than X amount of money to follow Him.
I could write on and on about what this book taught me (and how it pointed me to Scriptures that I looked up for myself and studied on my own.) All I can say is that this book has changed my way of thinking about wealth and generosity and I highly encourage everyone to read it.
In this whimsical yet inspiring book, Shelene tells the stories of real-life paths God took her on to learn some simple truths that changed everything in her life―everything for the better.
By loving how our Creator made us to love; skipping comfort and safety to help those who can never repay us; and taking a risk to jump into the epic journey God has for our lives, the reality is we are all just one yes away from changing everything. Don’t miss out on the incredible adventure God has for you. Say yes to God―love, skip, and jump your way to his plans for you!
When I first picked this book off my bookshelf, I hoped that I would enjoy this book. While I did enjoy the overall theme of the book, the book itself fell flat of my expectations. The stories of how Shelene listened to God felt choppy, as she would sometimes skip (pun intended) between stories, time periods in her life, etc. I struggled to connect and apply her stories of saying yes to God to my own life. Her message of saying yes to God was inspiring, but God also calls some people to live “quieter, less adventurous” lives to share the Gospel with those around us. Both are callings and are much needed, but they’re different callings.
Becoming Compatible by Mark Gungor
We received this book at the Strong Bonds marriage retreat. It is based on the “Flag Pages” assessment that we did to learn more about our personal motivations and what motivates our spouses. I’m not sure I can give an accurate review of this book since it ties into the Strong Bonds retreat (hence why there’s no image or link to the book– you can’t buy it on Amazon), but I’m adding it to my list since I did read it 😉
What did you read in May?
Do you have any book recommends that I should read in June?