Thursday, April 13, 2006

The List and The Yada Yada Prayer Group

Last night my church held its annual Holy Week drama. This year the pastor asked me if I could put a skit together. I had no idea what I was in for when I agreed. The evening ended up with two dramas and two vocal solo's. And God is good. I've been so worn out the last several weeks that I really failed when it came to getting things together. I didn't organize practices, didn't get articles written for the local paper, and I was really stressed out by my inability to pull it together. But then I realized that the night wasn't supposed to be about me and what I accomplished: the night was to glorify God and what His Son did for us. I gave it up to Him in my prayers and asked that all the glory be His. Everything fell into place beautifully. The soloists were amazing. A man from another church sang Ray Boldt's Watch the Lamb and reduced many of us in the audience to tears. The skits were performed wonderfully by the actors, and the whole night glorified the Lord. Because I had so little to do with it, I was able to sit back and really enjoy it and feel His presence there. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the Lord is get out of His way. On to the reviews.

The List by Robert Whitlow is a fabulously plotted book. Renny Jacobson is stunned after his father's death to discover that he inherits nothing but a letter, an old trunk, and membership in The List. It's hard to say much more about the plot without giving away the mysteries within. Whitlow does a wonderful job of only giving out so much information at a time. This is definitely a book that will keep you up at night until you finish it. Sometimes Jo and others in the book come across as proselytizing, but Renny's walk toward faith in Christ is just as compelling as the fast-paced plot. This is a great suspenseful thriller whether you are a believer or not. Impossible to put down.

The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson has got to be one of the best books I've read recently. I expected it to be the light Christian version of chick-lit. The depth of the characters blew me out of the water. Although we don't get to know all of them intimately their characterization and vividness makes them each stand out. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Jodi Baxter goes to a Christian women's conference to grow closer to God and get to make some friends. She's thrown into a prayer group with women who make her uncomfortable, women she doesn't like, and women who aren't even Christian! But once thrown together, they find that they don't want to be apart and friendship and faith grows between them all. I really enjoyed the relationship between Florida and Jodi and the message of grace that Florida emphasizes to Jodi really struck home with me. This is not lite fiction; this is a story that could change your life if you let it.

Two more books tomorrow: Coincidence or Godincidence and A New Kind of Christian (yay! I finished it!)