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Reviews & Recommendations – August

Keeping Place by Jen Pollock Michel

The subtitle to the book is “reflections on the meaning of home”. Having moved often the author reflects on home.  What is it?  How is it expressed by God?  What is the “work” of home?  How does it express holiness?

Since retiring I have been “down sizing”–that means sorting, giving, trashing. And all of that means making decisions about home.  I recently visited a long time friend and mentor who is now 90 years old.  She had just moved from a four bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment at a seniors housing.  I walked in and there it was;  with well chosen simplicity, her home.  It looked like her.  The essence of her expressed in this tiny space.  Her former home was now extended to those who chose a piece or two.  I now have the wicker chair where she taught me to pray.  It is part of my house–my spiritual home.

What is home? Read “Keeping Place”  to discover for yourself.  Jen will take you from our first home in the Garden to the home called Tabernacle and on to the home called church with a table called communion.  Then finally to a new heaven and earth.  I guarantee you will enjoy the journey.  May your home (not house) express the essence of Christ.

A little extra: If you want to explore your heart as Christ’s home, then get the little booklet:  My Heart Christ’s Home by Bob Munger.  It was written in the ’50’s by a pastor.  You can get it from Christian Book Distributers or down load it from the internet.


Improving with Age by Stuart & Jill Briscoe

Written by two leaders in the church who are in their 80’s, it is full of wisdom and humor. It is a great read for those about to retire or who are retired or who have retired persons in their circle.

Stuart and Jill share the joys and struggles of learning to age with grace and continue to be used by God in God’s work in our world. They also share the modern malady of seniors feeling marginalized by the church and what to do about that.

While there is no retirement for a follower of Jesus,  there are ever changing ways in our call to be his hands and feet in the world. Each chapter is followed with questions and reflections.  It can easily be used in a small group or Sunday School class.

One of my favorite chuckles: An old lady was pulled over by a policeman who asked her, “Do you know how fast you were traveling?”  “Oh no,” she replied, but it was very fast.  You need to understand, young man, that we older people have to drive very fast before we forget where we are going.” p.190


The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

A great beach read from a Christian mystery writer…

If you want to learn about Greece and antiquities while living an adventure through Nick and Carey, then this is the book for you. You will learn about the Isle of Patmos, where John the Apostle wrote the Revelation, while experiencing the closeness of families in Greece.  You will see how Greece has changed with history and live through the struggles of a charter boat business.  While all this is going on,  there is intrigue and mystery.  Have fun!


The Book of Hours by Davis Bunn

This book is full if mystery, hidden clues, dealing with grief, and coming to faith.  Seven churches and their bells cause the reader to wonder if we still need the ancient tradition of bells to call us to hourly prayer. Clues lead a grieving widower on a journey of healing.  It is all there for you to savor!

Davis Bunn (1952) is an American author and grew up in North Carolina. He became an international financial expert and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Bunn and his wife live in Oxford now. He is a novelist in residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.   Bunn is writer of historical fiction and legal thrillers, in which Christian faith plays a big part. (from Wikipedia)



The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

This would make a long summer read of excellence. By excellence, I mean well written, well researched, and keeps you reading.  Now I must confess that I did not read it.  I listened to it on CD’s while I drove on long and short trips.

This is a story of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, during World War II in France. The journey you take is one of family, choices, the dark side of humanity, courage, and persistence.  If you read the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (her family’s resolve to hide Jews) , then you will want also to read this.  It will cause you to think, to laugh, to cry, to rejoice, to lament.  Again if you read the Hiding Place this will give you an in depth picture of the hard choices that were made.  Unlike Corrie’s book, this is not gospel oriented but it is a picture of how I believe God used people to work to save in the midst of war.

God still works that way today. Where people are in dire straights in the world, pray for God to work through his church and through those in the world who will make courageous choices.   God is always at work even though we cannot see it!

Of course, if you haven’t read The Hiding Place, then please read it as well!


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