Saturday, January 15, 2011


Over winter break, I've been trying to catch up on my reading. When I was in high school, I was always baffled by the college students who said that they were so busy that they didn't have time to read anymore. "Well, I'll make time!" I declared adamantly to myself. Well. Confession. Didn't happen. I, too, have been clumped into the category of busy college students whose best attempt at reading is completing homework assignments. Thankfully, this isn't all bad, as most of my college textbooks were quite enlightening and unquestionably beneficial. Still, it's not quite the same as sitting down with a small paperback book that doesn't take all the weight in your arms to keep positioned correctly. So, as I've been reading this past month - books both old and new - I've been reflecting on those books that have meant the most to be over the years.

So you, dear reader (I assume you exist, of course. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who reads this, after all. But I have quite decided that even if I am speaking to a blank void, this blogging business is still worthwhile.) will be hearing from me more frequently (hopefully) these next couple of weeks as I attempt to post some of my favorite books, or as happens to be the case today, one of my favorite books of poetry.

The first book, then, is not necessarily my favorite, but it was quick in coming to mind. Simply put, I love Amy Carmichael. If you're looking for a book that is both convicting and encouraging, pick up her collection of small poems titled If. It is a small book that has no more than seventy pages, yet it is not a quick read. I find the best way to absorb it is to read a poem a day in order give myself time to mull over the ideas that she expresses. Here's a poem to give you a little taste.

If there be any reserve in my giving to
Him who so loved that He gave
His Dearest for me;
If there be any secret "but" in my
"Anything but that, Lord,"
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

(Amy Carmichael)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Choosing Joy

"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take away that away from us. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing - sickness, failure, emotional distress, opposition, war, or even death - can take that love away."

[Henri Nouwen]