In kindergarten I learned to decode the mysterious squiggles and began to read for myself. The Rogers Free Library in Bristol, Rhode Island, became a magical place. As soon as I was old enough for my own library card, I’d walk the mile to the library and check out as many books as I could carry. Lugging them home, I’d grin with anticipation. Over the next few days, I’d devour them as eagerly as most kids devoured Pop Tarts.
I’d read at the dinner table, in the lunch line, in bed, and even in the bathtub. When my sisters got in trouble for playing too much and reading too little, my transgressions were the opposite.
In middle school, when social interaction was awkward and filled with adolescent nonsense, I found warm and welcoming companionship in books. Although part of me wished to be popular, the greater part of me loved my quiet life filled with reading, writing, and thinking.
Today, several decades later, my heart still beats faster when I open a new book. Ever since my first book was published, I’ve approached books a little differently. When I read aloud to my granddaughters, I always begin by reading the title AND the author’s name. I know now what it costs an author to birth a book. Skipping over his or her name is like enjoying a delicious meal without thanking the chef—it’s ungrateful and rude. I read the introduction too, and the forward. These places give me a glimpse into the author’s heart.
This year, as I welcome in the new year, three books sit on my nightstand. One is a perpetual favorite, and the other two have already begun to change my life. I want to share them with you in the hope that you might consider adding them to your list of Must Reads for 2017.
Happy New Year, and happy reading.
Book #1: New Morning Mercies, a Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp
Every morning at breakfast for more than ten years, my husband and I have read a brief selection from a devotional book. In the past we’ve read various couples’ devotionals, several of John Piper’s works, and even a daily devotional app. This year, when I heard a friend talking about a new devotional, I took note and bought it.
New Morning Mercies found its genesis in daily Gospel tweets Tripp would send out to his followers. The well-received tweets caused several readers to suggest he use the tweets as a basis for a 365-day devotional. Tripp took the challenge, and New Morning Mercies is the result.
Each one-page devotion begins with one of Tripp’s famous tweets. Here are some examples:
“Your rest is not to be found in figuring your life out, but in trusting the One who has it all figured out for your good and his glory” (Jan. 2).
“Hope is not a thing, not a location, not a situation, not an experience. Hope is a person, and his name is Jesus” (Jan. 23).
“God is unwilling to be your means to what you call the “good life.” Your relationship with him must be your definition of the good life” (June 24).
Tripp’s words are wise, biblical, and applicable to the challenges we encounter every day. I’m very much looking forward to my husband and I starting our days with his truth-filled challenge to find God’s mercies in every day.
For Part 2 of "Three Books on my Bedside Table," CLICK HERE.