Wisdom From the Wemmicks – Pt. 2!

After Alex shared about her experience reading Max Lucado’s Wemmicks books, she decided to share some of the books with her life group. They read You are Special and You are Mine, and had a time of sharing about the gospel truths and life lessons they drew from the books.

Here’s Kaylin, one of the juniors in Klesis at Berkeley, with another plug for the wonderful children’s books:

This was one of the most memorable life group times. I was struck afresh by how the gospel is so simple that it can be presented in a children’s book, while I often make the gospel unnecessarily complicated. I found the Wemmicks and Punchinello’s story to be true to our own world, and was able to draw wisdom that achievements and material possessions are just stars, dots, boxes, and balls. Their story reaffirmed that I am not special because of anything I do, but the fact that I am the Maker’s. The gospel was so clear to me as I was reading the book and I was warmed by Eli’s love towards Punchinello. These books are so good; they are truly layered and deep! After life group, I went on amazon to find the whole collection to read to my baby cousins. 🙂

A limited quantity of the entire collection will be available at the bookstore soon! Perfect gifts for the holidays. 

Book Review: The Mysterious Island

Awhile ago, Johnny, one of the Element youth guys asked me during our Bibliopolis time if I had a copy of The Mysterious Island. I had never heard of the book (gasp!), and when I asked him where he heard about it, he told me his small group leader Denny (class of 2013 from Gracepoint Berkeley church) told him that he had to read it. Always on the hunt for new voices to feature on the blog, I shamelessly asked him to write a review. And he did!

mysterious_island-coverIn 8th grade, I read a book called The Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne. I wanted to read it because I had also read Around the World in 80 days, Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by that same author and thought it was good stuff. I actually don’t remember too much of the content now, but the book did have a partial influence on my college major and career path.
The book is set during the American Civil War and has five dudes and a dog from the Union army who escaped, as war prisoners, if I recall correctly, in a hot air balloon. They land on the eponymous island and now they have to find a way to get back to society somehow.
The main character is the balleringest civil engineer and through his ingenuity, he’s able to find systematic ways to find and cook food, create nitroglycerin to blow up granite and use it to create space in a granite cliff behind a waterfall so that they can have a fortress to protect themselves from wild animals. He somehow makes a telegraph on this deserted island and is able to determine where they landed as well. On the island, they also encounter an orangutan which they adopt as their pet. And all the while, of course, mysterious things keep happening on the island, where the stranded characters suspect there is someone else on the island.

So, in a nutshell, in just one book, you get a cool civil engineer, a pet monkey and five guys trying to survive on a deserted island in their manly, engineered waterfall-guarded granite fortress. Too good. So come college applications, what does a 17-year-old who did OK in math and physics and knows nothing about what engineering really is about end up doing? Apply for civil engineering programs and aspire to be just as ballering. BOOM. Books change lives, folks. Read on!

I don’t know about you, but that was pretty much the balleringest book review and plug for reading I’ve read this year! 🙂

Have you read The Mysterious Island? Or any other Jules Verne book? I confess I haven’t, but this review bumped The Mysterious Island up my To-Be-Read List.

Two Books for Intercessory Prayer

For the month of December, I will try to post as many book recommendations as possible, since many people are looking for good books to buy for people, as well as to read during the colder, perfect-reading-weather days.

Today’s recommendation comes from Susanna, from Gracepoint Berkeley church. She has two recommendations for books to help with intercessory prayer. As a pioneer of many prayer workshops, I for one am going to take her recommendation seriously!

I would like to recommend the following book to help you pray scriptural prayers as you intercede for those who are far from God:

This prayer book is written by a pastor who had two prodigal children, one of whom struggled with substance abuse for 7 years but is now a minister of the Gospel.  Although it is written to pray for prodigal children, I found this book to be helpful to pray for anyone who is a prodigal, may it be a parent, sibling, relative, friend, or someone you are reaching out to.  You just need to insert your loved one’s name in the prayer.  I have been using this book to intercede for some people, and it has given me so much hope, strength, and confidence in God’s promises, especially when you feel weak and heartbroken.

The following prayer book is for parents, children’s ministers, and youth ministers:

Again, the prayers are scripture-based, and based on Biblical themes.  It’s a wonderful springboard to pray and claim promises of God daily for your children (of any age).  Although this is written for parents, it is a helpful resource to pray for children or youth that you are ministering to over the themes of purity, protection, faithfulness, fruitfulness, etc.

I will end with an inspiring quote from James Banks:

“We have a God-given responsibility to pray for them as long as we live.  And we have the comfort of knowing that because of God’s kindness our prayers can even outlive us, finding their answers years after our own lives on this earth are done.”  

Both of these books are readily available for purchase at online booksellers, and in the HB bookstore!