I love words. I have been a lover of words, both spoken and written, since I was a little girl. Words, when captured on a page, can create wonders in the mind. Because of my love for literature, it is no surprise that I chose to study English in college. In both high school and college, I was introduced to so many great works of literature and some weird works as well. Thankfully, I had some of the BEST English teachers and professors around. They too had a great passion for fine works of literary art. I loved discussing, analyzing, and understanding the authors intent or hidden message. Words are powerful. They can be used to make profound statements, change the course of history, and create an emotional responses that inspires people to act. Or, they can take you places in your mind that you would otherwise never travel, encourage you to do things you would otherwise never think you could do, or give your heart a taste of peace and understanding that all is going to be well with the world.
It is to no surprise that the Bible, the greatest piece of TRUE literature, spends time discussing how powerful words are to us. It even compares our tongue to the rudder of a ship, directing the very course of our lives. Words move us, they shape us, they direct us. In this thankful blog, I am going to list 27 pieces of literature that either moved me, inspired me, changed the course of my life, or created an emotional response in my life. Besides #1, they are in no specific order. And, I have read 100s of pieces of literature and books. There are more than 27 that I could be thankful for, but the 27 I select for this blog are the ones who quickly came back to my memory.
My 27 Thanks:
1. The Bible. It is truly the foundation of my life and I base my world on the Words in this most precious book.
2. The Little Matchstick Girl. I read this when I was a little girl. I would love to find this book again. It stirred within me a heart of compassion. It truly changed my life as a little girl. If you haven’t read it, you should. And, if you find a copy…let me know!
3. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I used to have all of my students read Chapter One of this book on the first day of school. Everyone has been given a dream, a purpose.
4. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. A beautiful read about friendship and care. This book made me laugh and cry. It is a beautiful memoir that teaches many powerful life lessons.
5. The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Great American play about the Salem Witch trials. I read this in my Junior year English class. I also loved my teacher, Mrs. Harding. She may be part reason why I loved this piece of literature.
6. Hamlet by Shakespeare. I love so many of Shakespeare’s work. But, this is my favorite.
7. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I love Great American Novels rich with history.
8. Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Great, inspirational read about Joshua’s “Sun Stand Still” prayer to God. Oh…to have that kind of faith.
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. What can I say, I love American literature.
10. Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels. A book about letting your “Holy Discontent” fuel you to solve problems rather than frustrate you!
11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I wanted to name my child, Scout. But, Gary wouldn’t have it, so we named our dog, Scout. I loved the character Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. I think she reminded me of me!
12. Smith Wigglesworth Devotional book. Rich with the Word and stories of the miraculous.
13. Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems devotional book. Rich with the Word and meaning. I have learned so much about the Bible through reading this devotion.
14. Jesus Freaks by DC Talk and the Voice of the Martyrs. Some risk it all, even their lives, to serve our Lord.
15. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. I give out this book to families who have lost loved ones. I think it brings some comfort to those who are mourning. It portrays such a vivid and sweet picture of heaven. I cried through a majority of the read.
16. Axiom by Bill Hybels. Powerful leadership proverbs.
17. The Intercessor by Rees Howells. Great read about the miraculous.
18. Start by Jon Acuff. Inspiring and fun. I love Acuff’s writing style.
19. The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris. Great read about women in the Bible.
20. The Federalist Papers. I love reading about our History. Our forefathers amaze me.
21. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book is inspired by the book of Hosea in the Bible. It is a story of love and redemption!
22. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
23. Under Cover by John Bevere. There is a great promise of protection when we submit to authority.
24. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. A great study through brokeness.
25. Visioneering by Andy Stanley. A great read for developing and maintaining vision.
26. Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. Keep igniting your personal time with God.
27. Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. A great read for a team.