Reading Well

My old profile on Know & Believe shed some light on why I was doing a book review blog. When I created That Good Part, I lost the profile and couldn’t figure out how to get it back. Okay, being a technophobe I didn’t really try, and I couldn’t remember everything it said so I let it go.

In a nutshell, it said that I preview books for the Women’s Ministry at Calvary Chapel Vista and do the recommendations at our annual Women’s Retreat, as well as serving our churches current version of a book store. This makes me the logical choice to ask the question, “Hey, what’s a good book?”

On the way to discovering good books, I read an awful lot of bad books. Not necessarily heretical, blasphemous books, although I’ve hit my share of those. Usually they are just lame books, in the sense of the definition found on dictionary.com; Lame: weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy. In one way, these are worse than heretical books. Heretical books are like pouring milk on your cereal and having it look like cottage cheese-it is obviously yucky and you throw it away. Lame books are like meals that come to the table looking like something out of a magazine-and they taste that way, too. Bland, tasteless, disappointing. They will, as my mother says, keep body and soul together but they are in no way a sumptuous repast.

There are tons of great books out there, more than I will ever have time to read this side of heaven. They are, however, rarely very popular new books. Sorry. My criteria for a great book and Christian Retailing Magazines criteria for a great book are decidedly different. And that, my book loving friends, is a post for another day.

Today, I beseech you who would recommend what you think is a great book to reflect a moment on the process. Just a couple questions before you recommend it:

Did you read the whole book?
Did you pray before you did?
Did it change your walk with God or only stir up your emotions?
Are you still living it?
When you read it, did you ask the questions “who would this be good for, or bad for?”
Did you ask “Was this book just for me to learn from, or would the Lord have me recommend it at all?”

In the next couple days, as the Lord allows, I want to share a couple insights from Warren Wiersbe and others on the subject of profitable reading. Since I don’t know any one with time to waste, I can only assume you want to choose well the books you invest both money and time in so join me for a little summer series on “Reading Well.”

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