12 Months of Reading

This past year, I made some goals for myself in the area of reading. I greatly enjoy sitting down with a book, but I find that all too often I pick fiction rather than non-fiction. I decided to try to read at least one spiritually beneficial book each month of the year, and I was greatly blessed by this exercise. Here is a list of some of the books that I read:

*Your Family-God’s Way – Wayne Mack

*The Faithful Parent – Martha Peace/Stuart Scott

*Worldliness – CJ Mahaney

*Quite a few missionary biographies (some of my thoughts of them have been stated in previous posts)

*Living the Cross-Centered Life – CJ Mahaney

*Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – JD Greear

*Who is Jesus? – RC Sproul

*Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ – Elyse Fitzpatrick/Dennis Johnson (One of the best on this list!)

*Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God – Noel Piper (Free in pdf from desiringgod.org)

*Loving God with All Your Mind – Elizabeth George

*When Sinners Say “I Do” – Dave Harvey

*The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Jerry Bridges


I would encourage you to look up some of these books and read them as well!

Ministry of Marriage by Binney

Binney, Jim. The Ministry of Marriage. Greenville: JourneyForth, 2003. 

Paperback: 232 pages

Point: Binney wants to give couples hope for marriage, whether their marriage is struggling or whether a couple is thinking about marriage in the future. He shows how solutions to problems in marriage must be Christ-centered. Marriage must be looked upon as a ministry in our lives.

Agreement: Binney has some great chapters on what real love is, myths about love and marriage, why some people marry, and different aspects and ministries in marriage.

Disagreement: There are several chapters in which Binney seems to merge into the popular lingo of using “needs” for certain aspects of marriage. I would agree that what he calls “needs” are important, but we must realize that we can still have fruitful lives doing what Christ calls us to do without having our spouse or others in our lives fulfill what many call “needs.”

Personal App: Am I working on loving my spouse, since love is more than just feelings?

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it with some reservations.

If this review was helpful, let us know here.

Bear Baiter’s Manual by Bernie Barringer

Bear Baiter’s Manual: Innovative Black Bear Hunting Tactics and Strategies 

by Bernie Barringer

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Moving Mountain Publishing

Point: The author gives a wealth of information to help others know more about bear baiting (and hunting).

Path:  Bernie Barringer does a great job bringing the reader (even one with almost no knowledge of bear hunting or baiting- like myself), to a thorough understanding of some factors involved in baiting and hunting bears. The reader will learn more about understanding bears and their environment (I found an explanation of how bears use their senses very helpful), how to choose and prepare bait locations and what bait to use, and many other interesting and helpful things that would be involved in not only baiting but hunting bears.

There are many pictures used as a learning tool to explain concepts and help the reader to visualize specific aspects of baiting. The author includes many real life stories and examples that make the book easy to read and understand.

Although I do not have the ability to bait or hunt bears at this point in my life, I found the book very interesting and worth the read. If you are interested in baiting, hunting, or even being able to talk with someone who is interested in either of the two, I would recommend you pick this book up and read!

Stars: 5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

Corrie ten Boom: Heroine of Haarlem by Sam Wellman

Corrie ten Boom: Heroine of Haarlem by Sam Wellman 

Product Details

Paperback: 207 pages

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. 

Point: The author traces Corrie ten Boom’s life from early childhood through her death. Her experiences are shared in a story format.

Agreement: This book was a good glimpse of what her life was like. It was written in an easy to read way. Containing much heartache and sorrow, this biography shows how Corrie ten Boom was able to see God working in her life in many ways. I felt that it probably showed realistically some of her struggles in life and how she didn’t always feel super spiritual or like she wanted to do what was right, but she continued in her progressive sanctification throughout life.

This book also contained many good reminders of the evil of which man is capable, and the goodness of God. It was a good reminder of what went on in WWII and how God’s people (among many others) were unfairly treated.

Corrie had to learn to forgive many people who had sinned against her, and I thought that this was also wisely brought out in the story.

Disagreement: There are quite a few mentions of visions, how God showed Himself to Corrie and one of her sisters through visions. They believed that they saw the Lord or that He showed them specifically what they were supposed to do, etc.

Also, I don’t know if this is how the author portrayed it or Corrie, but I don’t agree with the concept of asking Jesus into your heart. Using this terminology can be quite confusing or misleading when trying to explain the Gospel and salvation.

Personal App: Do I find joy in my trials?

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

If this review was helpful, please let us know here

John Newton: The Angry Sailor by Kay Marshall Strom

John Newton: The Angry Sailor by Kay Marshall Strom 

Product Details

Paperback: 125 pages

Publisher: Moody Press 

Point: Strom shows how God can change lives and save sinners.

Path: Through story format, the author tells the story of John Newton’s life, starting with his childhood and sharing experiences and struggles and blessings up to the point his death.

Agreement: This is an easy and quick read. John Newton is shown how he really was before conversion. I appreciate how the author also shares struggles that Newton had in his sanctification after salvation.

My favorite quote is from John Newton as he was in his last days, “My dear friends, my memory is now almost gone. But there are two things that I can still remember perfectly well. I can remember what a great sinner I was, and I can remember what a great Savior Jesus Christ is!” (Page 124)

Personal Application: It is a blessing to read over the words of the hymn “Amazing Grace” seeing where the author had been and how he had seen the truths of the song in his own life. It is humbling and encouraging to realize that God’s grace is just as great and amazing in my own life.

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

If this review was helpful, please let us know here.

Your Family~God’s Way by Wayne A. Mack

Your Family~God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack 

Product Details

Paperback: 227 pages

Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company

Point: God wants to help each of us have family relationships that honor Him.

Path: Wayne Mack starts his book with several chapters on the roles of different family members, covers communication for the next eight chapters, and ends with several chapters on family conflict.

Agreement: This is a great book to use as a tool whether you are a new believer or someone who needs to refresh over biblical principles and be encouraged to follow God’s Word and plan for life. Mack uses a great deal of Scripture and includes helpful “study and application assignments” at the end of each chapter. These assignments include surveys to test your own heart and also many Bible passages to read over and questions to ask yourself. This would be a great book to study as a group or as a couple.

Personal Application: As I read through the chapters on communication, I was challenged to check my heart and actions to see if I was honoring God through my communication habits. There are many ways that we may not even realize we are sinning and/or impeding good communication in our relationships, and this was a good reminder of that.

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

If you found this review to be helpful, please let us know here

Ladies Camp

Ladies Camp was really nice. I was the life guard and did a few other things, but I had a lot of time to study and to think about things that God is working in my life and teaching me. I really enjoyed the week!! The ladies were super friendly, and if they had their way they would have me married before this year is out and back here in Peru as a missionary for ever. They were very enthusiastic and they really encouraged me with their hearts that were so willing to participate and to serve.