Monday, June 04, 2012

Also Read . . . or Reading . . .

Some other books I'm getting through are as follows: 
How to Keep Kosher: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Jewish Dietary Law by Lisë Stern is so not written for a shiksa, Christian, and Messianic Jewish dilettante like me.  But, it is a wonderful book!  I've been wondering lately if we who are Christians give up something beautiful when we ignore Jewish laws and traditions in our true freedom in Christ.  After all, our Savior walked this earth as an observant Jew.  So, I've been exploring things like keeping kosher and keeping the Sabbath.  This makes my husband very tense.  The man loves bacon.  I see it as just another way to worship and honor my awesome God -- to remember all the things He did before putting on flesh and dwelling with us.  Ms Stern's book is written with clarity, humor, understanding, and charity.  There are many ways to keep kosher -- many different levels of observance.  This book will help you achieve however strict or casual an observance to which you are called.

In the same spirit as the above book, I'm also reading Sen. Joe Lieberman's paean to remembering the Sabbath Day and keeping it holy, The Gift of Rest.  Why aren't Christians more particular about honoring God by observing this commandment?  I think it is because it is -- at least for me -- too easy to get caught up in the constant rush and excuse our lack of obedience through a misunderstood (or calculatedly misunderstood) freedom in Christ.  It's not about being legalistic and whited sepulchre-ish.  It's about opening up to even greater gifts through obedience. It is definitely worthwhile to me to study further the blessings of true, biblical rest.

And now for something completely different: I have found that one of my favorite writers, Bill Bryson, has released an updated and illustrated edition of his excellent biography of William Shakespeare!  Oh, happy day!  So, I'm indulging in that toothsome treat as late as I can keep my eyelids open at night.  Loving my two Bills!

Starting on some Angela Thirkell, as well.  Right now I have read the first couple chapters of The Demon in the House.  She is said to be of the same vein as Austen, Wodehouse, and Benson.  I'm having a hard time getting into this first volume, but I'll keep at it.  It took me a little while to get into E.F. Benson, as well, and that ended up reaping fruitful rewards.

Lastly, I'm trying to read one of the Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald every couple nights.  They are so packed with beautiful, startling, revolutionary, revelatory, and awe-inspiring ideas -- I cannot digest more than one at a time.  I can barely digest the one.  This man was so anointed and Spirit-soaked; it just reminds me what a puny, measly, crummy little baby Christian I am.  But, you know, it reminds me in a good way -- how much "further up and further in" I have in store for me if I just stay faithful in my walk.  Yay!  I can see why C.S. Lewis chose George MacDonald as his spiritual guide in that marvelous book, The Great Divorce.  If Jack is anywhere done with the real George on the other side of the veil, I'm going to steal him away for a while myself.

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