I like to say that I was created for joy since my first name literally means “song of joy.” I love to make joyful noises — silly songs that I sing to my cat, my dogs, my horse, myself — but sometimes joy seems to desert me. It’s then that I need help. He who created me for joy always provides.
In the last week, I’ve been overcome by everything. Our internet connection went down last Saturday, and I couldn’t get online long enough to find any discounts to share with you or to post them if I had been able to find them. The weight of almost 94 years is taking a toll on my beautiful mom-by-marriage. The cousin-by-marriage who introduced me to Mister Sister is unwell. The unrelenting heat and humidity of August on the Gulf Coast is wreaking havoc on my body, and my spirit. The news was filled with disturbing stories, from dirty politics to earthquakes to stupidity.
A stranger came to my aid, clicking on my profile at Amazon.com and sending me an item from my Wish List: Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the one chronicle in the series that I did not have and had not read. A dose of Anne was just what I needed. I ended up rereading the whole Anne of Green Gables series, allowing all that is therein to heal my wounded spirit . . . the beauty of Prince Edward Island, the joy that is Anne and the wisdom of the writer.
Today, I returned to the quiet time I need before I start my days and I recalled again how much I need this time, to pray and to read something that feeds my soul before I face whatever the day has in store for me. This Saturday, I’m sharing some books that are essential reading for my spirit and some that may perhaps speak to yours:
The Lucado Inspirational Reader: Hope and Encouragement for Your Everyday Life by Max Lucado, discounted from $9.99 to $0.99 (USD). I received an email yesterday notifying me that this one had been discounted to $2.99, and I decided to check today to see if the price held. Instead, I saw that the price has dropped by two more dollars! Here’s a description:
Comfort and the cross. Faith and forgiveness. Salvation and spiritual refreshment. For more than 25 years you’ve trusted Max Lucado to walk with you as you ponder these essential truths. This collection of his very best illustrations, stories, and one-liners guides you through his signature themes and life’s most important matters. Spend a few minutes or a couple of hours at the foot of the cross. Take a moment or an afternoon to search the heart of the Savior. Seize a second for a second chance. Return to these words time and again for a dose of hope and encouragement straight from Max’s heart to yours.
A few months ago, I reviewed a powerful primer on prayer. It’s free, a gift from author Diane Moody to you. If you didn’t get it, consider clicking now on Confessions of a Prayer Slacker and find out if you are slacking off and what you need to do to get back on track.
A few years ago, I was introduced to slim volume in plain but powerful language for its chapters on prayer. I strive to read a chapter every day. As soon as I come to the end, I go back to the beginning and start all over again. As long as I’m reading it, I don’t get off track. It’s time to hit reset and start again at Chapter One:
It isn’t available in a Kindle edition yet, but you can find digital versions free online at several sites. I downloaded a couple, but I also bought a hardbound edition secondhand. This one is so valuable to me that I paid a bookbinder to stitch the pages and strengthen the binding so it will last a lifetime. But, be warned: This is not a book for every Christian. The way is simple, but it isn’t easy to follow and I can’t pretend that I walk all of it. All the same, it has taught me more than how to pray. It showed me how to say farewell to frustration. Can you do that? Do you want to do that?