Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Call

Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
by Os Guinness
2003 / 292 pages

I picked up The Call because I had read a reference to it in another book I reviewed in this blog. I admit that I did not find Os Guinness an easy read (see Caution # 2 below), but he did get across the crucial distinction between our primary calling and our secondary calling. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to discern "God's will for my life," as if He is obligated to provide us with a road map showing our spouse and/or our ideal career, that we forget that God's first call on us is to follow Christ as Lord.

In a life lived following Christ, Guinness reminds us, we walk before "an audience of One," and so we are freed from concern about what others think of us. A life lived in Christ is also free from endless self-improvement, and instead focuses on the power of God to make us like Him. Finally, Guinness concludes over twenty chapters of reflection with his own inspiring call to follow Christ until we reach the final call that welcomes us into God's presence.

Two Cautions
  1. At least one of the historical anecdotes mentions some disgusting behaviour by one famous but arrogant artist that makes this book not suitable for immature readers. The use of such anecdotes is another reason for limiting the reading of this book to discerning readers, since Guinness includes anecdotes about non-Christians that do not always condemn their failure to understand and respond to God's call.
  2. The book is set up more as a series of essays than as a single connected argument; it is also not a "how-to" book. It is intended to be read slowly, a chapter a day, to provoke reflection rather than giving you a list of steps to follow. I recommend that you read a chapter one day, then the study guide questions and recommended Bible passage the next day. Reading it this way makes it a fruitful source for Biblical self-reflection.
If you believe that Os Guinness's book can help you find and fulfill the call of Jesus on your life, you can get it here, or here in Canada.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Janet's Thingamajigs

by Beverly Cleary
32 pages / 1987

While I thought this book made a good case for the beneficial application of spankings – both of these kids could have used one! – my Grade Oner thought this was a really good read. So here is her book report.

*****

Thingamajigs was a word that Janet's Mother always used when she was excited or in a hurry. When Jimmy, Janet's twin brother skinned his knee, Mother would always say "Where are the thingamajigs? What happened to the thingamajigs?" 

Janet wanted to know what she meant so she found things like a red paper clip, a little wheel, and a shiny bead. She would ask her Mother, "Are these thingamajigs?" And her Mother would say, "Those could be thingamajigs."

I liked this book because I just like the word thingamajigs. Janet is a really fun character because she is a little bit silly. I also think that Janet is very creative. I like that Jimmy just doesn't give up about taking Janet's thingamajigs.

This is a good book. You should read it!