My First (Self-help book) Love

Do you remember your first self-help book? 

Mine was How Full is your Bucket? by Tom Rath. 

I read it at the tender age of 13 and it is the reason I love self-help books so much today. 

The book teaches you how it truly is the everyday interactions with those around you that determines how you respond to the good and bad circumstances of life.  

  1. Every positive interaction adds a drop to your bucket. 
  2. Every negative interaction dips (takes away) from your bucket. 

Looking back now, nothing Rath discussed was earth shattering, but it was presented in such a unique way that I was fascinated. 

Plus, Rath had 40+ years of research from Gallup Polls and his stories were mesmerizing. 

Did I mention that he gave readers access to his Strength Finders test?

What about the cool resources to help implement the new information?

This nerdy chick, way back when, fell in love with self-help books and I’m still a bit starry eyed today. 

If you want to wax nostalgic with me, give the book a read (it’s on hold for me at the library).

And if you want me to wax nostalgic with you, let me know the title of your first self-help book. 

Advertisements

The Giver

The Giver is a wonderful book. It’s a must read for kids and parents alike. 

I remember when it was part of the curriculum for our 5th grade class (at least I think it was 5th grade?).

A few years ago, The Giver was adapted into a movie and it really does the book justice. 

What intrigues me most about the story is how it approaches history and its affect on community. 

A world without color, without memory of the past, is unfathomable to me. 

A world without deep feelings and emotions sounds like a great idea, but it strips us of what it means to be human. 

These are not easy topics for a young adult fiction book to tackle!

Lois Lowry’s ability as an author to talk about tough, complex issues in a way that kids can understand amazes me. 

To watch Jonas, filled with the hopeful optimism of youth, bring history back to his world was an exciting journey to see on screen–just as much as it was to read!

I highly recommend the book and the movie. Just be prepared afterwards to think about the world and your part in it. 

I walked away with the same sense of awe after reading the book as I did when I watched the movie. 

Reading and Hope

There’s a little girl who comes to Thursday Night Lights who has captured my heart. 

We’ve talked about Joan before (I’ve changed her name) but seeing her this week gave me an idea…

She’s out of school for the summer, so I know Joan spends most of her time alone. 

Several weeks ago, I was given some books by a friend who moved back to Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of them were young adult fiction books. 

I asked Joan if she likes to read and she does! Next Thursday I’m bringing her a few books. 

Joan’s 11, which is around the time my own love of reading took off. I bet Joan will have the same experience. 

No matter how bleak the circumstances, the settings of a good book draw you in.

 I’m not recommending reading as a method of escapism, but more as a method of seeing that there’s a world beyond your circumstances. 

Imagination is a powerful force. 

My hope for Joan is that she doesn’t look at her circumstances and think, “This is it.”

Obviously, a relationship with Jesus is what Joan really needs. And I plan on talking with her more about that. 

I just remember how much reading impacted my life as a child. 

If you live in the Tulsa area and have some books you’d like to see go to a good cause, I have some friends who would greatly appreciate your generosity. 

Winter’s Bone

“I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back.”

Ree Dolly is 17 and responsible for her younger brothers and her mentally ill mama. 

Her daddy, Jessup Dolly, skipped bail and can’t be found. 

As part of his bond money, Jessup put up their homestead as collateral, which means Ree has to find him. 

The setting is the Ozarks. 

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. 

It’s not a young adult read, so don’t give it to a kid, but I highly, highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure why it felt familiar to me until I read the interview with Daniel Woodrell at the end of the book. 

If you enjoy works by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, you will like Winter’s Bone. 

The story doesn’t shy away from the cold, hard facts. Nothing is white washed. 

Maybe this sounds weird, but the rhythm of the story draws you in…

Not every book does that to me. I almost skipped church because I didn’t want to stop reading. 

The movie is also really good. 

The Knowledge Gap

I’m amazed at how much information there is in our world in relationship to how little I know. 

Does anyone remember the website Stumble Upon?

In thinking about this topic, I did a quick Google search and it turns out they’re still around! 

Back in my college days, one of my many procrastination tools was to check out cool new websites via Stumble Upon. It was possible to be on that website for at least an hour…

There are websites that I still enjoy today that I found using Stumble Upon. There’s no way that I could’ve found them on my own, either. Think about the amount of new content that we have access to everyday:  

  • Websites
  • YouTube videos.
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Games
  • Books

I’m reminded of the words of King Solomon: 

 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no end to the releasing of new content.As one of my English professors put it:

The only thing that makes your writing original is that you wrote it. The various devices of storytelling and poetry have been around way before you were around and will continue way after you’re gone.

This is a topic that keeps me humble and also shows me just how big God is. Imagine what He thinks! He created everything and knows everything and sees everything.

My brain started smoking just by thinking about all of this….

While my goal is to learn as much as I can, it’s safe to say that there will always be a large gap between what I know and how much more there is to know. 

 

 

My library addiction

I have an addiction…

The public library.

There. I said it.

Any excuse to go to the library gets me excited.

The librarians probably dread to see my name on the hold shelf because that means I will most definitely call them to see if my materials have arrived.

Before I hit up Red Box, I go to the library.

If I fall in love with the music in a movie, I go to the library.

And now my new habit of being a total fan girl that makes me want to see every movie my favorite actors/actresses have ever been in…

Not to mention all of my leadership stalking (we’ve talked about this before) that causes me to hit up YouTube to check out all of a leader’s public talks and the library to check out all of their books…

Sigh. 

At least library materials are free, right? Because I just can’t stay away.

Plus, libraries are just cool places to hang out. Did I mention that most libraries now sell coffee? 

You guys think I’m exaggerating about my library addiction, but I go to the library 3-4 days a week.

Here’s my question to you: 

Are there any local places you enjoy hanging out?

 

Living out the story

Aren’t cliff hangers the worse? 

To be Continued…

No one wants to see this at the end of a TV episode. And don’t even get me started on movies with 50,000 parts. Or book series where the next book isn’t coming out for another 18 months. 

Just tell me what happened!

Thankfully, the Bible tells us the whole story of Jesus. 

This is also why I’m trying to take it easy on the apostles as I read through the gospel. They didn’t have the full story like I do.

Come on, Peter! 

Thomas, what’s your problem?!?

James and John, did you seriously just ask Jesus to give you the best seats in the house? 

Here’s how I look at it: When I start doing everything Jesus asks me to do–without running my mouth first–I can pick on the apostles. 

By tracing the the faithfulness of God throughout His story, I am learning how to trust Him when I don’t have the full story (which is a lot).

Marvin Yoder, my teacher for Bible Interpretation, taught us about the Principle of Application today. I loved Mr. Yoder’s thoughts on seeing ourselves doing the works of Jesus and the early church. 

As Christians, the Bible is the final authority in our lives. However, if I never apply it to my daily life, it’s still just a story.

If Jesus healed, so can I.

If Peter could stand before a crowd and know exactly what to say by the Holy Spirit, so can I.

If Paul and Silas can sing praises in jail after being beaten for their faith, so can I.

 I’ve reached the point in my faith where I’m convinced that not taking the Bible to heart, that not living out the scriptures as practical, do-able truths is the number one reason the world sees the gospel as powerless.