Ruined by Ruth Everhart
Ruined is a gut-wrenching memoir of a woman who suffered rape and violence as a college student and how she reconciles her faith in God with the utter abandonment she felt in the experience of that crime. Everhart is so real and honest. She allows you to sympathize and feel angry on her behalf, but never pity her and her friends. I grew up in the city where her story takes place, the “Dutch Mecca” and Christian Reformed Bible-belt of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I can relate closely to Ruth’s descriptions of well meaning and faithful people who seem wholly unwilling to engage the difficult and gritty parts of belief in God. Everhart asks the questions that most of us have had at some point, particularly those who have suffered. Why me? Where was God? Why did God allow this to happen? What am I being punished for? But she doesn’t stop there – she engages these questions thoughtfully and asks the reader to do the same.
Love, the Sum of All Virtue by Jonathan Edwards
The sermon is part of a series entitled, “Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love Manifested in the Heart and Life“. Edwards’ makes this point throughout: “All that is saving and distinguishing in a true Christian is summarily comprehended in love…love is the sum and substance of them.” Love should be the very essence of a believer. If someone asked your friends (or colleagues or family members) to describe you in one word, what would they say? Would it be “loving”? That’s what I’m striving for, not only in word but in deed and truth.
To-Read Pile: You & Me Forever by Francis Chan & Lisa Chan
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
I’m a big history buff, and I find it compelling when people frame history in interesting ways. In this book Tom Standage tells the history of six different beverages that helped shape human history. He starts with beer production in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, tells the story of wine, spirits, coffee and tea and ends with the modern era drink, cola (or pop as we call it in the Midwest). I’m excited to finish this book probably while sipping on a piping hot cup of tea.