Several weeks ago, I decided that all of my children were old enough to read the adult Christian books that I had on my library shelf and that we ought to be discussing them. With one child in college, two busy in outside activities, and my husband trying to juggle full-time work and the farm, the only time I could be sure all of us would be home was Sunday morning. I told my family that I'd get up bright and early to make a nice breakfast if they would get up in time to discuss the week's reading.
We started with A Slow and Certain Light: Thoughts on the Guidance of God by Elisabeth Elliot. (I think this title has been changed to God's Guidance: A Slow and Certain Light.) I divided the book up into readings of something around 20 pages. Although they all wait until Saturday night to read it and the discussions are a little sleepy, I think I've found something that is working well. I'm enjoying my family reading and discussing the thoughts and ideas of deep people.
We just finished The Mystery of Pain by Paul Lindell. I knew Paul when I was a child; he had cancer and did not survive it, but he was the most inspiring of men. I was 13 years old when he was head of the World Mission Prayer League (WMPL) and led a study on 1st Corinthians 13; that was when I felt the scriptures burn within me for the first time, finding faith something that was vibrant and alive. This small book talks about all kinds of suffering--not just physical pain. It caused us to ponder the In Between stage--that time after the Garden and before the New Earth--in which we are now living, a time when pain and suffering is "the norm" and not something unusual or unexpected, a time when our weaknesses show God most visible. This little gem use to be available through WMPL, but I do not find it available on their website now. Several sites sell it used: Amazon and abebooks.com.
This Sunday we will discuss the first two chapters of O. Hallesby's Infant Baptism and Adult Conversion. I borrowed this old book from my pastor a few years ago and loved its discussion on the faith of a child who is raised in a Christian home and the importance of his knowing his imperfections. It gave great insight into the difference between the person raised in faith and one who converts to it when older. When we finish it, I plan to move into Becky Pippert's book, Out of the Saltshaker and Into The World, and we may do a book by Tozer. There are so many wonderful options!
I've been reading ahead of my family during my daily meditations, choosing books that might be interesting, tossing others that don't seem to be a good fit for us. This has been an excellent reason to get myself back into several books that I read years ago.
And breakfast on Sunday morning is a lot better, too: pancakes, waffles, apple panakukan, omletes. Care to join us?