You are invited to Join us In A Summer Book Club!
I read more in the summer, and I’m always looking for a good book.
This week we’re going to get ready to read a good book together.
What book, other than the Bible, has been applauded by Christians more than any other?
What book brought sanity to the world in a time of Hitler’s insanity?
What book caused Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship,
to pull his car off to the side of the road and surrender his life to Christ?
What book caused Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza,
to stop building his dream house when it was 1/3 done?
What book convinced me that I needed to take the claims of Jesus Christ seriously?
Without looking ahead, can you give a guess?
If you are new to us, you can be a silent reader, or better yet,
join in on the discussion. All you have to do is click here for
the easy “getting started” directions.
1. What book do you think we’re talking about?
2. It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)
I’ll tell you the title of the book in a bit, because if you don’t have it, I want you to purchase it, however you prefer: hard copy or kindle — because you are going to want to highlight and make notes in it. I’m sure you can get it from any library, but I’d prefer you have your own copy. We’re going to try a five week adventure, beginning next week — and then assess. This book was originally given as four radio addresses during World War II — we are going to take Part I of the book, which has 5 chapters. It’s not light reading, but we’re taking it in small pieces, and doing it together, which means we are more likely to succeed. I know so often I do better at accomplishing good goals when I have support. My hope is that the reflection questions here will ripple out into your family and friends, causing you to be a fountain for good and rich discussions.
What is it? Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
If you are game, please get the book this week and we’ll start May 20th. You can buy it in any bookstore or on any book website. This week we’re also going to give you a chance to share some of your favorite books, for what we put into our hearts and minds, Jesus tells us, shapes who we are. Each day there will be a different category of book for you to list some of your favorites, and why. The books I’m going to choose will all be related to World War II, as this is the backdrop for the writing of Mere Christianity. You may want to pick up one of them to read along for your summer reading.
Monday: We Are What We Put Into Our Hearts
3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.
A. What principle does Jesus teach here?
B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?
C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?
I am looking forward to having grandchildren with me this summer, and I plan to read to them. For those interested, here is an article on why we should be reading even to older children.
You might want to consider reading Narnia, or just The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to your children this year. Four is not too young. When my daughter Sally read this to her 4 and 6 year old, they kept guessing who was doing to have to die to rescue Edmond from the slavery of the white witch. They were aghast when they realized it was Aslan. The setting of this series is in World War II when the children had to leave London for safety to go live with their uncle. Many of the truths in Mere Christianity are illustrated in Narnia.
4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.
Tuesday: Historical Fiction
This is one of my favorite genres, for knowing that a story is based on truth heightens my interest. A well-written book based on the stories of three women who lived during World War II is “Lilac Girls.” This would be easily available from inter-library loan – definitely in print, and you may be able to download it onto your kindle from your library at home if you have a library card. My library gives me a choice of 7 to 21 days to have it on my kindle, and I always choose 21 days, and often still, can renew.
It’s title is based on the fact that lilacs bloom more beautifully after a hard winter, for indeed, suffering can produce beauty. This is not a Christian book, but I do think it is a book worthy of reading, giving us insight into the human heart. One of Lewis’s objectives in writing Mere Christianity was “pre-evangelism.” He wanted to demonstrate that there is a right and a wrong, and the human heart knows it. Either we can stuff that knowledge and quench that spirit, or we can agree with it, and allow our conscience to flourish. Lewis said he wanted to renew a sense of guilt.
5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?”
6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?
Wednesday: Fiction and Audio Books
When I’m multi-tasking, I like to listen to sermons, books, or music. Because I really appreciated the reader, Sarah Zimmerman, who did my audio version of He Calls You Beautiful, I have been listening to a few of the fiction books she has read. One is called The Girl from the Train — not to be confused with the dark and trashy Girl On the Train. This book has to do with a girl from Poland who lived during World War II. This is a Christian book loosely based on some historical incidents. It’s also a lovely book on adoption.
7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why.
8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to?
Another genre I love is biography, and biographies of men and women who have been so filled with Christ that they changed the world have been so stimulating to me. I’d love to hear your recommendations of well-written biographies. The one I will recommend that goes with our theme is Eric Metaxis’ Bonhoeffer. Though it starts a bit slowly and is mammoth, it is absolutely wonderful.
Hitler distorted Christianity and formed a new German church, so Bonhoeffer returned to America to stem the tide of lies, even establishing a seminary. Bonhoeffer knew that our thinking shapes our actions.
9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?
10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.
11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.
12. What’s your take-a-way this week and why?