Friday, January 06, 2012

Making a List . NaBloPoMo

I didn't post yesterday.  And I feel guilty about it!  I had high hopes for posting every day for at least a month, but it's not been a month yet and I've already blown it.  Well, I'll do two one of these days to make up for it, right?  Right!

Today's thought about Beginnings is that I am beginning to make a list of the 15 books that have made the most impact on my life.  A former student, now pastor and published author, put the challenge out on his blog this afternoon and I immediately knew I would have to do it.  I love making lists.  I love reading.  I love reading books that make a difference.  So...what's not to love about this challenge?!  Only trouble is that this kind of thing takes time.  Sifting time.  Sifting through the many books I've read in my life that have made an impact.  So today, for now, I'm beginning the list:

1.  I Love the Word Impossible by Ann Kiemel.  I read this book in my early years of teaching after having heard Ann speak at a  Festival of Faith weekend.  There is nothing complicated about what she shares.  Just an open and loving exploration of the God who loves us beyond all measure.  Simple, yet oh so profound.
2.  Christy by Catherine Marshall.  This book and Robert Specht's Tisha are two true stories of young women at the beginning of their teaching careers, facing incredible challenges--Catherine in the Appalachians and Tisha in Alaska.  Gave me inspiration for my first job in the nowhere land of Michigan.  I could relate to much of what they experienced and wanted to make a difference to my kids the way these two did to theirs.
3.  Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.  I read this book in one sitting and cried throughout the entire thing.  Made me want to cherish every moment of my life...and reminded me of the power of my influence as a teacher.
4.  36 Children by Herbert Kohl.  The true story of Kohl's heart-wrenching experience teaching in an inner-city school.  Inspired me even before I had taught a single day.  Helped me understand the inner-city kids in my first couple of teaching jobs.
5.  The Message Bible.  This Bible made the Word seem fresh and new to me as an adult the way the Living Bible did for me when I was a young teenager.  It made me want to sit down and read it through, beginning to end.
6.  Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.  A powerful treatment on what it means to be a Christian.  My favorite chapter is "The Shocking Alternative" which gives an incredible discussion on free will and how logical Christianity is.  It just makes sense when you read Lewis!

That's it for now.  I will add to this list...perhaps over the weekend.  I'd be interested to know from any of you what books made the biggest impact on your lives.

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