What Are You Doing for Lent This Year?

I have noticed that coloring is not just for kids anymore.  College students are coloring for fun and relaxation.  Adult women are breaking out the coloring books after the kids go down at night.  Maybe some of you on staff have picked up a box of crayons or colored pencils yourself lately!  The link below is to an article titled Praying in Color and it is an activity to help you engage Lent in a new way this year.   I’m all in favor of giving something up for Lent.  I plan to say “no” to something in my own life.  But, I also like the idea of saying “yes” to something.  Here is a way to observe Lent by reflecting on a word, or a passage, or by praying for a different person each day – with your Crayola in hand.  Have fun!  And may God draw each of us nearer to his heart as we march toward Easter.   


A Reading List: Books by or about Old Mostly Dead Christians

Why read books by old Christians?  Eugene Petersons says, “That means they have been tested by more than one generation and given passing marks.  That means that what these Christians have written has been validated by something deeper than fashion or fad.”  As I get older I find that I read fewer books that were written recently, and instead am spending more time with books and authors from 75 or 100 years ago, and many much older than that.  Don’t misunderstand me. I do not mean to say that I can’t learn anything from young, current thinkers and writers.   I often read them and I do have a few favorites.  But in a fast changing world where it seems like our theology and faith practices are being redefined every week, I am finding surer footing on the bedrocks expressed by the old authors.  

The list below consists of the books I find myself returning to again and again. These are the books that have shaped me and continue to strengthen my faith.  This is not an exhaustive list.  I have probably forgotten a few.  I may add others later.  I have included only books that I have actually read and benefitted from, rather than books I know I should read but haven’t gotten around to yet.  Who are your favorite “old” authors?    


Abandoned to God, about the Life of Oswald Chambers

The Autobiography of George Mueller

Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor (about the short life of William Borden, who died en route to the mission field, 1913)

A Chance to Die, by Elisabeth Elliott, about the life of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Daws:  The Story of Dawson Trotman, Founder of the Navigators, by Betty Lee Skinner

Evidence Not Seen:  A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II, by Darlene Deibler Rose

The Five Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom, by Pamela Rosewell Moore

The Hiding Place:  The Triumphant True Story of Corrie ten Boom, by John Sherrill

Life Lessons from the Hiding Place: Discovering the Heart of Corrie ten Boom, by Pamela Rosewell Moore

Letters to an American Lady, by C. S. Lewis

Safer than a Known Way, by Pamela Rosewell Moore

The Shadow of the Almighty, by Elisabeth Elliott

The Small Woman, by Alan Burgess, about the life of Gladys Aylward, missionary to China

Surprised by Joy, autobiography of C. S. Lewis

These Strange Ashes, by Elisabeth Elliott, about her first year in Ecuador

Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliott, about the death of Jim Elliott in Ecuador


George MacDonald: An Anthology, 365 Readings, by C. S. Lewis

A Diary of Private Prayer, by John Baillie

Joy and Strength, compiled by Mary Tileston Wilder

My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers


The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis

Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry

Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo (Seriously, try reading the book.  Full disclosure:  I skipped/skimmed most of the lengthy chapter about the sewer system in Paris.) 

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan

Spiritual Growth

Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster

Of the Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis

Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Resilient Life, by Gordon MacDonald

The Restoration of the Heart, by Dallas Willard

The Return of the Prodigal, by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis


The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard

The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis


A Hymnal (You know, a book with old hymns in it:  Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.)

The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, by A.W. Tozer

Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer, by C. S. Lewis

Prayer: Finding the Hearts True Home, by Richard Foster

Toward Jerusalem, by Amy Carmichael

With Open Hands, Henri Nouwen 

If you want an additional list of books by someone smarter than me:    Take and Read, by Eugene Peterson