Here are the books I found most enjoyable or profitable during 2013. They are not in any particular order, because it would require too much thinking to figure out the order of enjoyment.
If there are any stand out reads for you from last year why not share them with us in the comments section
Supernatural Living for Natural People (studies on Romans 8) by Ray Ortlund
I first heard Ray Ortlund in October. Since them I am a fan of his preaching and writing. Clear, insightful and greatly encouraging
Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
Life in North Korea is unknown by the rest of the world. Shin is a young man born in a North Korean labor camp. His story is a shocking view of the depravity and isolation of life in that country.
Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being by Zack Eswine
We unwittingly try to be “like God” when we think we can have an answer for every difficulty, be there for every person, and fix every problem. Zack tells us to stop and value how God does use us
The Admirals: the 5 Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea by Walter Borneman
For those who are fans of history, WWII or the US Navy. This is an interesting look at the lives of Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
A personal history out of the horror of the Khmer Rouge’s bloody tyranny in Cambodia
The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge
A short and enjoyable book on contentment that I’ve read a couple times. I highly recommend it for small group discussion.
Captive in Iran by Maryam Rostampour & Marziyeh Amirizadeh
This falls under the MUST READ category. Story of two young Iranian women imprisoned for their faith. This is a highly inspiring story!
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
A quirky novel for those who like the highly descriptive style of Charles Dickens. Don’t feel bad if you hate it from the beginning
Jack: A Life of C.S.Lewis by George Sayer
A good biography for C.S. Lewis fans by a former student and close friend of Lewis
Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss
If you are a fan of the Olympics and 20th century history this will be interesting to you
Inside: One Man’s Experience of Prison by John Hoskison
Join a former British professional golfer who finds himself in prison. Most of us know someone who has been in prison, do we have any idea of what that experience is like?
I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer
Another MUST READ to understand what it means to be part of our local church
Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung
We are all busy, but is it really a condition that we cannot control? How does our view of God and of life affect our sense of busyness
Multiply: Disciple Making Disciples by Francis Chan
All disciples are meant to be disciple-makers. This book looks at Why and How
Found In Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick
One of the most important truths of our salvation is our union with Christ. Elyse Fitzpatrick begins with God’s union with a human nature followed by our union with Christ.
On the day Debbie and I were married; friends went around our outdoor reception with one of those big old clunky video cameras and asked people to share their advice for the newlyweds. After our honeymoon we received the fun gift of that video tape.
There were many words which meant a lot to us, (and a few that were forgettable). However two comments stood out to us. Actually it was one comment shared by two different people. Those two individuals happened to be our mothers! Without knowing what the other had said, they both gave the same advice which was to quote Ephesians 4:26:
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”
Over the years there have been many lessons in our marriage that have been slowly (by me) learned. But I can say that we have been faithful to keep the wisdom of Ephesians 4:26. That by itself has protected our marriage from lists of offenses or hurts taking root and becoming bitterness.
Debbie in her wisdom, has taken this counsel a step further and faithful shares the words “I love you” before we go to sleep. When I have been in sour moods, those words are almost magical in the immediate affect they have had on my heart. I am reminded that yes I do love her, and I have only good reason to act that way.
I hope you will follow the good counsel of our mothers AND God’s word.
by Debbie Huber
Today our youngest child Elyse graduates from high school. I remember when she was young and I was feeling overwhelmed with raising three children that others would say to enjoy it now because time goes so fast. Even though I believed them, it did not seem real because of the busyness of the moment. So here we are today, on the verge of a new phase of our lives – and it really did go too fast.
Elyse is the daughter who would always give hugs. She would chatter persistently on every car ride, happily maintaining the conversation even if no one else was talking! I remember times when I may have been too busy for hugs or talking and those are regrets now, but God has given me a gracious daughter who still seems to enjoy hugging and talking to her mom. She is a joy to Kyle and me with her constant sweet smile and encouraging disposition.
God is revealing to us the gifts he has given to Elyse and it is exciting to begin to see how God will use them for His glory. He has provided many godly influences in our church, from the Sunday school teachers to her friends in the youth group to give her a love for missions and serving others. I am excited to see how God will use her passion to be a sign language interpreter to reach the deaf community which is considered by missions’ organizations to be an unreached people group. Christian deaf ministries estimate that only 1 percent of American deaf children will attend church as adults. Less than 7 percent will ever have the gospel presented to them in a way they can understand.
We know that her future is in God’s hands and much of the day to day responsibility of raising her is done for us. I am praying that this will cause me to have an even greater love for and a dependency on spending time in prayer and God’s word because He loves her more than we do! Because she is now an “adult”, it will not stop us from being a strong influence for godliness in her life. We will encourage her to use the gifts God has given her and we will do all we can to lovingly help her. We will still strongly encourage her in spending time with God and serving Him faithfully in church because there are few voices in the world that will do that. We will speak the truth in love if we see that she is pursuing a sinful path. But we will trust in our great God who plans for Elyse are greater than our plans.
Congratulations Elyse! We love you.