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Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 Books that Have Changed My Life

1. A Man Called Peter (Catherine Marshall)
Having seen the amazing movie A Man Called Peter several times before (and literally sobbing each time), I decided to read the book for a school report last year. It is the true story of a devout Chistian who became the Chaplain of the U. S. Senate. He was poor. He was humble. He was nervous to leave his beloved Scotland for America. But he possessed unfathomable faith in Christ. The book was written by Catherine, his beloved wife, and is the most moving story I have ever read. I will never forget the night I finished the book. I sat in my bedroom floor crying for more than two hours. I cried out to God that he would instill in me such faith, such devotion, such love...I prayed that I would become as strong and wise a woman as Catherine Marshall, and that I would someday be worthy to marry a man such as Peter Marshall. If you never read another book, read God's Holy Word and A Man Called Peter. For more on A Man Called Peter, read my previous post: Peter Marshall: A True Hero

2. Christy (Catherine Marshall)
Another amazing story by Catherine Marshall, Christy is based on the true events Catherine's mother experienced as a teacher in the early 1900s in the tiny, Smoky Mountain town called Cutter Gap. This is a story of redemption, of healing, of love, of God's grace and divine providence...It is filled with unique, delightful characters and touching incidents. Also, don't miss the wonderful television series Christy, starring Kellie Martin, based on this book.

3. The Scottish Chiefs (Jane Porter)
Another story that prompted tears, The Scottish Chiefs is the awe-inspiring story of William Wallace. He was truly an amazing man, and a man of strong faith in God, as well. He was courageous, strong, wise, daring, and devoted. And on top of all of this, he was a Scotsman, a definite plus in my book. For more on The Scottish Chiefs, read my earlier post: The Scottish Chiefs

4. Emily of New Moon trilogy (L. M. Montgomery)
I will never forget the first time I was introduced to Emily Byrd Starr, heroine of the Emily of New Moon trilogy, written in the 1920s. I immediately recognized in her a kindred spirit. She was so much like me, it was shocking. My wonderful mother had told me that she thought I would like the books, so I decided to begin reading them one late, sleepless night in my seventh grade year. It was during Thanksgiving break. I stayed up most of the night on the living room couch, curled up in a blanket and completely engulfed in Emily's world. I cannot explain the magical way the story lures me in and causes me to want never to leave. I have since reread the trilogy three times, and it has never lost one fragment of the wonder it initially struck within me.

5. Set-Apart Femininity (Leslie Ludy)
It was this book which opened my eyes to the dangerous world of feminism, and renewed within me my love of being feminine, modest, and virtuous in every area of my life. It showed me how important it is that I please my Heavenly Father by embracing the special role he has given me as a Christian young woman. Other wonderful books on the subject, also by Leslie Ludy, are Authentic Beauty and The Lost Art of True Beauty.

6. So Much More (Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin)
So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God covers a variety of topics, all dealing with becoming the virtuous, visionary daughter that pleases God. It contains scriptural advice and instruction on father/daughter relationships, college vs. stay-at-home daughters, joyfully serving others, courtship, and...so much more. 

7. The Bravehearted Gospel (Eric Ludy)
Fearlessly proclaiming the true gospel message, this eye-opening book discusses the lack of "manly grit and growl" in the average modern church. It exclaims that our churches are sadly missing true men and women of God--men and women who will proudly share the gospel message, who will "man up" and live lives poured-out for Christ and who will disciple others to do the same. My dad and I recommend it to people every chance we get.

8. When Dreams Come True (Eric and Leslie Ludy)
The true love story of Eric and Leslie, this is a touching tale of genuine, God-written romance. It established even more firmly my decision to wait for courtship and for that one perfect man God has chosen for me. Yes, I cried several times in the midst of this story. No romance can compare with the true love stories that only God could orchestrate.

9. Do Hard Things (Alex and Brett Harris)
Awakening me to the dangerous consequences of accepting the expectations our culture has for young people my age, Do Hard Things (as well as its sequel Start Here) challenged me and gave me a new perspective. I now view the teenage years as marvelous gifts from God that can and should be used for His glory, to accomplish "big things." Alex and Brett Harris, the authors, were only teens themselves when they wrote these books, and they have been an inspiration in my life.

10. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy...the delightful March sisters of this beloved novel, possess varied personalities, and I love them all. Meg, the eldest, is motherly and longs to be a proper young lady. Jo, the tomboyish writer of the family, inspires me in my literary goals. Beth, like me, loves music and playing her pianoforte. She is timid and sweet-natured. Amy, though she can be quite spoiled and selfish at times, is the humorous youngest sister who often mispronounces words and commits social travesties while trying to be elegant and refined. And the story would certainly not be complete without the dear German Professor Bhaer or the fun-loving neighbor Laurie. Many lessons can be gleaned from this story, as the four little ladies and their mother ("Marmee") attempt to become the best they can be in God's eyes. (Just a side note: My favorite movie version is the 1949 one starring Elizabeth Taylor. It is splendid, and my mom and I watch it so often, we could almost quote it word for word.)

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