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Reviews & Recommendations – June

The Inquisitors Tale by Adam Gidwitz

If you have a child or know a child in late elementary or middle school, you now have the perfect excuse to read to them without them knowing it is reallly for your enjoyment!  Steeped in his understanding of the history of the midieval ages, Adam Gidwitz unfolds a story that has God, a dragon, saints, a nun and a story of truth that runs through it.

Our first “member” of the church is a story of three magical children and their holy dog. The story takes place in an inn with the character of a story teller wanting to collect the stories of this group.  It unfolds from character to character as each person in the inn tells what they know.  You will hear about a saintly dog (and there actually is a dog that was a saint), a dragon, curious adventures, and ordinary children with gifts.  If you listen to the story, you will learn about truth, about the song God sings through creation, about grace and forgiveness,  and about love and acceptance.

The chapters are short so that it is a good before bed read or a read in the car while travelling.

The Art of Breathing by Gina Roes

My next “member” of the church is Gina Roes. In the Art of Breathing, Gina goes to the heart of all our desires–intimacy with God.  Knowing it or not, we all are wanting to go back to Eden where they walked in the garden with God and enjoyed that intimacy that meant life in all its fullness.  This side of Eden – we are all trying to survive.  In our survival we try to do it ourselves and we try whatever means are in front of us:  power, control, possessions, achievement, whatever will make us feel better about ourselves and keep us safe.  We try to numb the pain of  broken relationships, be that a relationship with ourselves, our family, and people who abuse us.  We numb the pain with sex, drugs, constant work, or the neatest and cleanest house in the neighborhood.  Gina takes the reader on a journey through it all to the heart of God.

This is not an easy read.  The reader needs to pause, to listen, to reflect, to soak it in.   The journey is more than worth it.

not R & Rbut added for flavor

Do you wonder what version of the Bible to read? You and I have been blessed with the Bible in our language and translated into our culture.  Like many things there are too many versions from which to choose.  Here is a suggestion:  The New Living Translation.  It is a translation from the original language, it is geared to a certain reading level, and it makes the text read in a way comfortable to modern language.  However, you may be more comfortable with another translation and that’s ok.

A means to enhance your bible reading is to go to Bible Gateway on your computer put in a text that you are reading and then read if from the variety of translations offered to you.  The variety of translations will help you to read more deeply and fully.  Here is an example: The King James Version (KJV) gives a verse this reading:  Be ye saved.  Now when you utilize other translations and resources from Bible Gateway you’ll see the greek word “saved” is a continual action verb and so is translated:  Keep on being saved.  So who we are with Jesus is not a once and done event but an ongoing journey.  Isn’t that lovely?  Be ye saved = Keep on being saved.  Reading the bible more deeply and having a fuller understanding can only be a benefit on our individual journeys!


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