This week's challenge in the Christian Homemaking Community‘s Summer Reading Club is to share with you 3 secular authors that Christian readers should consider. I have spent hours this week looking through my bookshelves trying to figure out what I should recommend to you and I think you will be amused by my selections. They definitely reflect what I think is important in life!
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew was the first gardening book we read. We found a VHS video at the library, watched it and thought, “Hey! We could do that!” Little did I know that our foray into gardening would lead us to owning a farm! Now why do I think that Mel Bartholomew is an author Christians should read? Because frankly, I think it's a book everyone should read, Christian or not. If you've been to a grocery store lately you know there's not much real food there. I really believe that in an ideal world, everyone would be growing at least some of their own food. I'll never forget one man who ate dinner at our home. I served him the typical salad from our garden that we always eat and he told me, “Wow! This is the best salad I've ever had…. and I buy the expensive stuff!” Home grown food tastes fabulous, it's fresh, it can be grown without chemicals and it is so good for you! Mel Bartholomew teaches a step-by-step method of gardening that is very effective. He also starts small, with a little 4 foot x 4 foot garden. So it's not overwhelming and it's truly a gardening method anyone can do.
A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. After selecting this book I remembered that technically, Will Bowen is a Christian pastor. But his book isn't preachy so other than the occasional reference to a person he met at church, it doesn't come across as a religious book. He has written some other books, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much as this book, but I'm including Will Bowen in my list anyway… because A Complaint Free World is THAT good. Will Bowen challenged his church to go 21 days without uttering a complaint. Sounds easy? You'd be surprised how hard it is, even if you're not a complainer by nature! He handed out purple wristbands to wear. Every time you complain you switch the wristband over to your other wrist. Once the band has stayed on the same wrist for 21 days straight the challenge is over. (On average it takes 6 months). This book is full of wonderful anecdotes about how a complaint free lifestyle can really change the world! (PS. You can write to Will Bowen and purchase your own purple wrist band!)
Bob Green has written several books and his language sometimes requires Christian eyes to skip certain words, but Once Upon A Town By Bob Greene is a terrific book! Imagine that the boys in your town go off to war and you get word that they will be passing through your town on Christmas Day and will be allowed to get off the train to spend 15 minutes at the canteen. That's what actually happened to the folks in North Platte, Nebraska during World War 2. They saved their sugar rations to make special treats and knit socks and mittens for their boys. Then waited eagerly to present the gifts on Christmas afternoon. Imagine the shock when the train pulled in… and it was realized that there had been a miscommunication and their boys weren't coming through town after all! But the townspeople knew that these boys were somebody's sons and were heading to war, so after a moment of shock and palpable disappointment they began giving the gifts they had made for their sons to these strangers. The soldiers and the townsfolk were so blessed by this act that they decided to continue greeting the trains full of soldiers and they met every single train carrying soldiers for the duration of the war, providing the boys with free lunches, socks, mittens and other gifts. In many cases it was last bit of warmth and hospitality the soldiers experienced before going off to war… and the first hospitality welcoming them home.