Book Recommendation: My Father’s Dragon

Books, Leaving a Mark, Reading

This week, my son Knox and I read a fabulous book called My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. The narrator tells a fun tale about her father, a young boy named Elmer Elevator. Elmer travels to Wild Island at the recommendation of an old alley cat for the purpose of rescuing a baby dragon. Laughs and giggles from you and your family are sure to follow as you tag along with this clever boy on his journey.

Our intention was to read the book over several weeks by reading a chapter each night. However, Knox and I were so enthralled that we read the book in two sittings. He could not wait until we had time to sit down and read it. I must admit that I worked a little faster at putting the dishes away to have more time to finish the book (okay a lot faster!).

If you have little ones and love to read out loud to them, this is definitely a book that you will want to pick up. The story is witty, and the dialogue is perfect for reading with children (giving unique voices to each character of course!).

Pick up a copy here  or check with you local library.

A Few Good Books…Something for Everyone

Books, Leaving a Mark, Reading

I have tried to keep a number of books on hand to read. Here are a few that I have read over the last several months. Some of these may be helpful to you and others not.

The Soul Winner by Charles H. Spurgeon – This was a book that was recommended by Mark Dever at Together for The Gospel Conference that I went to in April.  This is a collection of lectures by the famous preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon. Within these lectures, Spurgeon talks about the importance of leading people to Christ and how to lead people to Christ. Spurgeon has a way of being forcefully encouraging. If you are serious about leading people to Christ, then this book needs to be on your shelf or on your kindle.

Church Membership and Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman – “Jesus did not die on a bloody cross to gather a loose collection of souls bound for heaven, but to create a new community as proof of his gospel to the world (Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, 109).” The church is God’s new community to show his gospel to the rest of the world. As members of a church, we are to image God to those who are outside. If you are a member of a church or planning on becoming a member of a church, I encourage you to read these two short books.

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs – A book about reading for those who like to read (or want to like to read). Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College, offers “an insightful, accessible, and playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers.” You could find this book helpful if you have lost direction in your reading.

Leepike Ridge by ND Wilson – I love to read all kinds of books, but one of my favorite types of books to reads is adventure/fantasy. A young boy named Tom who lived his entire life beside Leepike Ridge finds himself trapped underneath it.  This an adventure of a young boy, a castaway, a dog, treasure hunters, and the quest for a buried treasure. If you are looking for something for your 8 year old to 12 year old to read this summer, check out this book. If you need a little childhood adventure yourself, you can read it too! You are never too old for adventure.

10 Who Changed the World by Danny Akin – Stories of missionaries are always inspiring. Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has combined the stories of ten missionaries in this book. He intertwines the lives of the missionaries and scripture to show the powerful and transforming affect of scripture on their lives. God does amazing things in the lives of those who have been transformed by his word. Dr. Akin tells the stories of David Brainerd (1718-1747; missionary to Native Americans), George Leile (1750-1820; missionary to Jamaica), William Carey (1761-1834; missionary to India), Adoniram Judson (1788-1850; missionary to Burma), Lottie Moon (1840-1912; missionary to China), James Fraser (1886-1938; missionary to China), Eric Liddell (1902-1945; missionary to China), John (1907-1934) and Betty Stam (1906-1934; missionaries to China), William Wallace (1908-1951; missionary to China), and Jim Elliot (1927-1956; missionary to Ecuador). Be encouraged to follow hard after God and to let his Word truly affect your life.

The Wingfeather Saga

Books, Leaving a Mark, Uncategorized

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

Over the last three years, I have fallen in love with the world of Aerwiar.  Oh that’s right, you probably don’t even know what the world of Aerwiar is do you?  That means you don’t know what a toothy cow or a Fang of Dang is either.  You haven’t even heard of the Jewels of Anniera nor do you know of the mysterious goings-on in Glipwood Forest.  You haven’t sailed the Dark Sea of Darkness or ran for your life from the Stranders of the East Bend, have you?  You can’t imagine the taste of the fruit that grows in the Green Hollows, and I bet you aren’t even afraid of what lies in the Blackwood Forest at the edge of the Killridge Mountains.  I feel sorry for you.  It is time for you to go on an adventure, I encourage you to take your wife and kids along.

Aerwiar has been under the attack of Gnag the Nameless for many years.  His awful Fangs of Dang have made their way across the Dark Sea of Darkness to the land of Skree and Glipwood Township where Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby make their home in a little cottage on the edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.  They spend their days with their mother, their pirate Grandpa, and Leeli’s dog, Nugget.   Their lives are at peace until the dreaded Fangs of Dang begin looking for the lost Jewels of Anniera.   An adventure ensues like you would not believe.  The first book in the Wingfeather Saga, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, is loaded with action, adventure, peril, creatures of an unknown sort, pirate tales, sea dragons, and a story so riveting you will not be able to put the book down.  On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is also available in audio format.

After reading through On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, you will quickly want to pick up the second installment of the Wingfeather Saga, North! Or Be Eaten.  This tale follows the Igiby children north to the Ice Prairies as they try to escape the clutches of the ghastly Fangs of Dang. With the children now on the run, North! Or Be Eaten offers another wild adventure that will keep you turning pages.

The Monster in the Hollows, the recently released book three in the Wingfeather Saga, is the most introspective of the three.  The children, their mother, and Podo their pirate grandfather have found peace again on the other side of the Dark Sea of Darkness in the Green Hollows.  There aren’t many Fangs or physical enemies with whom the children must contend.  However, a more fierce enemy arises when shame and guilt plague some of the characters because of decisions that they have made.

I was excited when I got to the end of The Monster in the Hollows and found out that there was going to be a fourth book, The Warden and the Wolf King. I don’t want the adventure to end!

If you have children I suggest that you get this book and read it with them.  I guarantee it will be time well spent.  Andrew Peterson is a masterful storyteller who is able to weave Christian truths and values into a stunning tale of sibling adventure.  My children are too young to know what is going onwith this tale, but I cannot wait until the day that I can break out the Wingfeather Saga and read it with my family.

If you don’t have children, I suggest that you get these books.  They are masterfully written and appropriate for anyone who can read or listen to a story being read.    You can buy the books from The Rabbit Room or Amazon.

In the famous last words of Radmer Oglesworth from the second epoch in his book For What It’s Worth, “Read with your family and read with your friends.  Don’t stop reading until the adventure ends!”

New Old Books

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The development of the Kindle, the iPad, and other eReaders has lead to an eruption of reading.  One of the things that is exciting is that now many old books are becoming more easily available at an inexpensive price.  Deep Roots Library exists to make old books available in new formats.  Go to their website this week and take advantage of their book giveaway.

A Lover of Books, a Lover of God

Books, Leaving a Mark, Uncategorized

In April, I went to a conference in Louisville focused on the power of the gospel. Besides worshiping with over 7,000 people and hearing the Word of God correctly handled and boldly preached, one of the things I was looking forward to most about the conference was the books that would be given away. Over the last several years, I have become a collector of books.

Not all of them are great books. Some of the books that I have accumulated really should have never been published. It really is a wonder sometimes to see some of the books that get published. Do people read this stuff? I guess they do because people keep writing them, and publishers keep publishing them.

I have grown to love reading. I would rather read in my spare time than do pretty much anything else. I usually read with a pen in hand so that I can comment on pages, underline things that I want to go back and record for future use, or make notes that will help me to remember what I have read. It is still taking time for me to get over my contempt for writing in books. However, thanks to Lit! by Tony Reinke, I am learning to get over it. Although, I still have a deep conviction that pages in books should never be dog eared! This one I will never get over.

I can only hope that my children will one acquire this love for books that I have grown into through the years. I have tried to surround them with books. We read together before naps and bedtime. One day I look forward to reading The Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings trilogy with them. But until then, The Poky Little Puppy will have to do. Knox has begun to enjoy this Bible before bedtime. Reading this is always one of the highlights of my day.

I have a bad habit of leaving any book that I am reading on the coffee table in our living room. I also usually leave the pen with it. My son, Knox, is just the right height to reach the pen and the book. Recently, I have begun to notice that in all the books that I am reading, all kinds of great artwork is beginning to appear. The haphazard lines look to be drawn by tiny little hands and fingers that lack fine motor skills.

The first time this happened, I was tempted to get mad. I could not figure out why anyone would scribble such wild and insanely unintelligible things inside a good book. Then I realized that Knox was two years old. This seemed to be a satisfactory explanation. But as I began to think again on why he would do such a thing, it hit me that he was only doing what he had seen me do time and time again. I have spent countless evenings laying with him in his bed as he drifts of to sleep. A lot of these nights I grab a book and a pen. He falls asleep with the lights on, while I work my way through various texts. He watches me as I underline and make notes in the margin. All those times that I thought he was drifting off to sleep, he was watching. All those times I thought I was simply killing two birds with one stone (putting a child to sleep and getting some reading done) I was really teaching him about something that was important to me.

So, when my mom was keeping him and informed me that he was writing in my books, I could not get mad at him or scold him. I had to tell my mom that he was only doing what he had seen me do multiple times.

Children are fast learners. Early in their lives and throughout their childhood, they will learn what is important to their parents. Because of this it is crucial that parents model things for their children that are important. I am thankful that my parents did this for me. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but I learned many things from my parents that I did not even realize that I was learning. I learned that family was important. I learned that church was important. I learned that the Bible was important. They would probably tell you that they would have done many things differently in raising my brothers and me, but I am thankful that God used them to teach me about who He is.

I can only hope and pray that the Lord is as gracious to my two children as he has been to me. I pray that they would put their faith in Jesus Christ and follow after Him. I pray that their identity, their pleasure, and their hope would be found in Christ alone. I also realize that the Lord has given me the incredible task and amazing privilege to teach them about who he is.

I do not care if my children are the greatest athletes, smartest students, or talented musicians. My strongest desire for them is that they are lovers of Jesus Christ.

Parents, if you say with your mouth that loving God and being a part of a church is important, but you spend a majority of your Sundays during the year on a field or in a gymnasium somewhere, your children will learn what is important. When the field or the gymnasium is out of their lives, it’s a pretty good bet that the God you talked about and the church you occasionally attended will not be much of a priority. We cannot only try to teach with our mouths, we must also teach with our actions.

Your children are learning from you. What are you teaching them?

Some good resources:
1. “5 Ways to Make Your Kids Hate Church”

2. Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley

3. “The Duties of Parents” by JC Ryle –