My Top 5 Most Life-Changing Books

mXHFQp41vWKpWIHQkZbZbGw#5 – The Naughtiest Girl in the School – Enid Blyton

I received this book as a gift from when I was in primary school. I instantly judged it by its cover. What a boring gift. I don’t know what circumstances led me to finally open its pages, but it was the point of no return for me. This was the book that made me fall in love with reading.

To_Kill_a_Mockingbird#4 – To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I’ve read this book at least six times, and every time I find something new in it. To me, this is the perfect novel. The first time I read it, as part of my high school’s year 11 curriculum, I didn’t love it, but since then it has become a big part of my love affair with teaching English.

knowledge_of_the_holy_tozer#3 – The Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer

This book was first lent to me about five years ago by a faithful, elderly man in our church, who has since passed away. It has not only taught me profound truths about my God, but was a sustaining rock and beacon of hope during one of the most traumatic times of my life.

stepping-heavenward#2 – Stepping Heavenward – Elizabeth Prentiss

A girlfriend told me that this is a book that every young, Christian woman should read. She was right. This book gave me a godly example of a woman who walked daily with her savior, and it changed my perspective on suffering.

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mpIV6hqxzOkf3MbQk9LnTzw#1 – The Holy Bible

The living Word of God and source of all truth; this book has changed my life forever, and continues to do so. Its depths are unfathomable, its mysteries remarkable and its message unstoppable.

Which books have changed your life?

A Love Affair with Letters

Photo Credit: AusPost Ad Campaign

I’ve always loved letters; real ones of course, on real paper written with a real pen. As a child I had various pen pals. We used to send each other stickers and cheap necklaces, cramming as much into the envelope as we could, anticipating the day when the reply would arrive; a treasure in the mailbox.

In high school, my friends and I used to write each other letters; copious sheets of A4 note paper, containing secrets about boys and folded into tiny packages to be passed discreetly beneath desks.

As email rose to power the traditional letter gradually faded like a flower, and I would hardly know how long it’s been since I received one, that is, until last night.

Church was about to start when a long-time friend of mine handed me an envelope. Accustomed to receiving various birthday invites at church, I quickly opened it, only to discover two sheets of lined paper torn out of a notebook, covered with hand written words. Even before I read it I was touched. After I read it, I was speechless. This friend had taken the time out to write me a letter of encouragement; telling me that she was thinking of me and of ways in which I had inspired and encouraged her, and she’d done it, quite intentionally, by hand.

I was reminded, once again of the beauty of this almost-lost art.

This week, why not encourage someone with a hand written letter? I’m going to.

Autumn Leaves

Railway-Autumn

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with autumn.

As Children we are, for some reason, required to choose favourites; favourite subject, favourite colour, favourite number, season, month, friend. So, when presented with four seemingly equitable seasons, I chose autumn. I liked the wind, I thought the colours were pretty, I liked the sound of the name and it wasn’t cliché. (Most girls liked spring because of the flowers and butterflies and bunnies.) So I chose autumn.

But that was as a kid. Since then, experience has taught me that I do have a favourite season: Summer. And autumn not only marks the end of summer, but heralds the dreaded winter with its ever increasing plunges into dark frigidity.

Despite this melancholy, one thing remains. Autumn is beautiful. I love that as a crisp, fresh chill descends onto the hills, the leaves change, almost overnight, to the most vibrant shades of red and orange. And then, almost more than ever, God is a painter.