2016 Favorites (Part One)

As weird as it may sound, when I look back at all the books I consider my favorites from last year, I’m reminded of God’s love for me. Most of these books carried an encouraging message I needed to hear at the time. Others, the story was purely an adventure! Either way, I have to look up and say, “Thank you, God because I know that was You.”

If I could give one novel to every person on earth it would be Penelope J. Stokes’The Wishing Jar.  Everyone has gone through their share of struggles; everyone has gone through their share of life. We all experience the same tippy top highs and the darkest of pits. We rejoice in these highs, but what hope is offered during the lows? If each person has gone through them, why can’t we find anything better to say than”Everything’s okay,” or “These trials will help you grow stronger.”  We are not “okay” during a trial neither do we feel strong. The author…she gets it. She’s not a Job’s friend if you know what I mean. Instead, she takes a drastically different approach in admitting that there is no good answer why we go through what we do. Despite this sobering truth, she still offers a generous dose of hope. And the hope she offers is summed up by this one simple quote:

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Secondly, she teaches you how to be a strong woman. And I don’t mean the emotionally immune, has strong muscles sort of strong. (that’s called being a robot) Instead, she demonstrates how to harness God’s strength.

We can’t do life on our own. We quickly succumb to the gales and are blown over. But with God, He is the steady arm that keeps us standing. We maybe bowed over and our petals wilted but we are not dead. With His gentle breath, we will rise to see another dawning. (Psalm 30:5)

 

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Words of Truth

When you’re looking for some quick words of inspiration, who is you’re go to supplier? The great poets, philosophers, or politicians? The list of wise people could span to eternity. Yet, among these great thinkers, Agatha Christie doesn’t often appear at the top. Oh, of course she wrote brilliant novels and constantly boggled our minds, but as far as wisdom goes, she didn’t excel at it like others in her profession. Or did she? She may not be any Socrates, but have we completely underestimated her?

To be honest, she’s never been high on my list either. (Now ask me about G. K. Chesterton. That’s a completely different story.) But sometimes I am astonished by the gems implemented throughout her writings.

This is one example:

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Isn’t this a beautiful quote?

Even though hideous when faced pointblank, isn’t truth a relief when ultimately found?

For instance:

Truth may come in the form of a medical diagnosis. You found out that something is indeed wrong with you. (and that can get pretty ugly) But isn’t it a relief to know what it is instead of living in the dark? Now you can work on a cure!

Truth may come in a spiritual form. You realize that you’re not as perfect as you thought, (speaking of ugly!!!) but isn’t it a relief to know there’s One to save?

 

What is your opinion on Agatha Christie? Do you consider her a hidden Confucius or one who had the talent to surprise us in more ways than one?