Blogger: Michelle Ule
I’m filling in for Rachel Kent, who is on a much needed vacation away from the computer.
As I was beginning to write this blog post, a friend sent me an article entitled “Has Any Book Ever Changed Your Life?”
Since this is a holiday weekend, I’ll ask the same question and give you a few answers of my own.
For the Christians reading this blog, we’ll assume the Bible and ask for other choices.
Here are a few of mine:
My brother gave me this book, and after I got over being insulted that he thought I needed it, I read it with laughter, pleasure and real insight. I was a young naval officer’s wife who found herself in curious social situations, and I needed a guide.
Miss Manners taught me I don’t have to explain why I’m not attending a function. I could smile politely when asked awkward questions and turn the conversation without feeling guilty.
I learned that sometimes not saying something is more important than finding a soothing remark.
And I should always send thank you notes.
She also provided instructions on eating unusual foods (who would serve artichokes at a formal dinner?), explained what all the cutlery is at formal meals, and described how to address my “superiors.”
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I read this book while spending the summer in Europe with Swiss relatives who were . . . not like me.
Bonhoeffer hammered home the concept of “cheap grace,” that I could not willfully sin knowing I could ask for forgiveness later. This meant I had to treat my challenging relatives with respect even when they did things I didn’t like. It made for a better trip, even if I was embarrassed by their behavior a lot of the time.
It also asked me what I really believed and was I ready for the words, “Christ bids you come and die.”
I had a lot on my mind that summer, and Bonhoeffer’s book changed how I saw my life and where it would go.
The Tapesty by Edith Schaeffer
I’ve written elsewhere on how this book changed my life, but the story boils down to: When given a choice, do I take the easy way or the hard way?
The hard one walked in the door an hour later and that was the hinge of my life. Be careful what you pray for . . .
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
I’ve been reading this devotional for a dozen years, and nearly every day “OC” nails me to the wall with some pointed insight that makes me squirm. I’ve read the question about being “broken bread and poured out wine,” and sometimes remembered to claim that designator as my own. I’ve been brought to task for questioning the value of prayer by a simple question on August 28; “What’s the Good of Prayer?”
The book starts my morning, and the good it has brought me is invaluable.
And from a friend of mine…
C. S. Lewis’s books changed the life of a friend in a Borders bookstore one evening. She was looking at C.S. Lewis’s fiction–stories she’d read countless times. A man noticed her interest, struck up a conversation, and she ended up marrying him.
When Borders went out of business several years later, he returned and bought that specific bookshelf.
Just loving C.S. Lewis’s work changed her life.
So here’s the question: What book changed your life? Click to Tweet
Enjoy the holiday weekend!