On my bookshelf
Every now and then I meet an author through a book who really connects with me, whose personality seems so much like mine that I feel like we could easily be friends. Such a book (and author) came to my attention through an interview I saw with Rick and Kay Warren. Kay's newest book Choose Joy sounded encouraging and something I needed to read. So one night when I was feeling blue (and spent the weekend alone watching a movie that made me cry), I also decided that joy was a good topic to explore. We all want joy, right? And yet too often, I focus on happiness, which depends way too much on my circumstances. What happens to that happiness when someone leaves or dies, jobs fail, kids struggle, or your health falls apart? If you're like me, happiness tends to go with the circumstance. But joy! Joy is different because its focus is Jesus. Jesus doesn't change or leave us. And the future with Him is bright and full of everything we don't see here and now. But sometimes I forget that focus.
So I bought Kay's book and started reading. I'm in the middle of it, so I can't tell you how it turns out, but so far, the book has blessed me. I am encouraged, and each morning when I wake up and tend to let my mind wander to a big to-do list or worries I can't do a thing about or one thing or another I see through glass-half-empty eyes, I am reminded that God asks us to trust Him. And Jesus kept the joy of the future when we could be with Him in the forefront of His thoughts. That joy is what got Him through the cross. (Hebrews 12) And the cross was a lot worse than anything I will ever face in this life.
Here's the blurb on Kay's book:
Choose Joy by Kay Warren Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough
Bible teacher Kay Warren shows women that a joy-filled life is within their reach. In this inspiring book, she teaches women what joy is, where to find it, and how to choose it in both good and bad times. Perfect for small groups or individual reading,Choose Joy will empower women who feel like their emotions and well-being are at the mercy of others by helping them understand the life-giving truth that joy is within their grasp - every day.
Next up on my fiction list:
(Tessa is a fellow biblical fiction author - I'm looking forward to this one!)
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar Harvest of Rubies
The prophet Nehemiah's cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, and solve perplexing mysteries---and she's a woman! When Sarah's forced to marry the queen's nephew, her career disappears but not her skills. After discovering irregularities in Darius's books, she finds herself in grave danger---and learns that she has more to offer than her talents.