Fostering love of good reading in the children & adults (& college students!) of Gracepoint Berkeley Church and Davis, Austin, Minneapolis, San Diego, Riverside, Hsinchu, Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Seattle!
With their permission, I am featuring our youngest finishers and their mini-reviews. I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up some more books!
Hi, my name is Julia. I’m 9 years old and in 4th grade. The heroes of faith book I liked the most is about William Wilberforce. I liked that book the most because when he really starts to understand the true meaning of what it is like to be a Christian, lots of people are asking him to present a bill against slavery to Parliament. After like a week he finally decides that he will present the bill. He decided to do that because this guy named Thomas gave him a copy of his essay to read. After he read all those words he started studying slavery. He learned all of these crucial facts about what people were doing to slaves, and that is what led him to the point when he presented the bill to the others.
Throughout half of his life he fought for others to have their freedom even though people kept on rejecting the bill. He still persevered, he brought up the bill several times, and had lots of supporters too. He eventually succeeded and it became a law officially.
This inspired me because he was a really bad person before. He would never study and his tutor would make fun of him if he studied or went to church or even read the Bible, so William would just gamble away and drink a lot. But when he met his old friend Isaac, he turned into a Christian and wanted to help all slaves get their freedom. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Wesley is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Here is his mini-review of his favorite book from the challenge:
My favorite Christian Heroes book I read is about Jacob Deshazer because he was stuck in jail for many years and then he told a lot of people about God in China. When he was in jail for many years, he got to read books and one of them was the Bible. He read it 15 times before he gave it to someone else. This is how he became a Christian. I also thought it was cool that he was part of the Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan with a B25 bomber.
Several lessons learned, the most important one being that when a challenge is too long, people lose momentum. I thought that having a longer time period to read the requisite books would translate to more people completing the challenge, but the opposite happened. Perhaps procrastination has something to do with it too!
Lesson #2 is that the hype man exists for a reason. I didn’t want to keep beating people on the head with the challenge, but because I didn’t hype it up everywhere I went, people kind of lost steam, and most just…forgot about it.
Don’t worry! I’ve learned and have some ideas for the summer reading challenge. So stay tuned!
So many of us were challenged and inspired by the many Christian heroes of faith we learned about at our respective winter retreats, and I’ve noticed biographies flying off the bookstore shelves! To keep up the momentum, our spring reading challenge is going to be the Heroes of Faith Reading Challenge.
If you click on the link above, you can find the details on what you need to do in order to complete the challenge. In short, you only need to read 5 new books on any Christian heroes of faith. They don’t have to be about 5 different people. If you want to get super deep into one hero’s life, that’s totally fine.
My hope is that you’ll be inspired to greater faith as you read about these real people living out their commitments to love and serve God…and grow as a reader, too! 🙂
If you don’t know where to start, here is a short list of books you definitely can’t go wrong with!:
Bibliopolis U took the reading revolution churchwide, and many people have shared that they have read more books this past year than in a long while (or ever)!
To commemorate an awesome year of reading, and to jump start an even more awesome one to come, I invite you all to share about the best Christian book you read in 2016. It’s ok if you can’t decide your absolute favorite — just pick one you liked a lot!
You can fill out the form to submit your review/recommendation, and some of these will featured in our bookstore and on the blog. This is *YOUR CHANCE* to be on the wall, even if you haven’t been able to complete any of the reading challenges! Even if you read just one book, it’s technically the best book you read in 2016. 🙂
This is not limited to the people at Gracepoint Berkeley church, but open to everyone across our Gracepoint Ministries.
Looking forward to all of your responses! Don’t be shy, ok? 🙂
Did you have an awesome reading year? Share your reading wins below in the comments!
Over at Gracepoint Berkeley church, the first ever Winter Reading Challenge ended last Friday. Thanks to everyone who participated! I was personally blessed and encouraged by people’s comments. Many went well above & beyond the 2-3 sentence comments, and I feel like I got to know some of the people who were posting. 🙂
It was the most challenging challenge we’ve had thus far — reading 5 books in 5 weeks — and we had 37 people complete it. We even had several people complete the challenge two or three times!
They’ve won their very official looking gift certificates to the GP Bookstore:
Since we don’t have those nifty polaroid looking pictures like we have for past challenges, I will list them here on the official winner board.
Carol Yang (Homegroup RED-HD, woot!)
Emily Huang (making us Emilys proud!)
Emily Rah (another Emily!)
Jenny Young (most senior winner – TOTC Sisters represent!)
Joshua de la Paz
Michael Kramer (most # of books logged)
Sally Cho (twin winners!)
Sarah Cho (twin winners!)
For those of you who are into stats, here is a breakdown:
There were a total of 298 books officially logged for this challenge! There were also 35 books people submitted on the form but did not post comments for, and countless other people told me they had been reading but hadn’t logged. I actually didn’t log any of my reading either! 🙂 All of this to say that we read a whole lot as a church this winter break, and I’m looking forward to reading even more this spring.
Can you guess what our Spring Reading Challenge will be? Post your guesses and/or suggestions in the comments below. 🙂
Happy New Year, everyone! I bring you a mid-winter break update on the Winter Reading Challenge. So far we have 10 people who have completed 5 books, and many more who are almost there. You have until Friday, January 13 to complete the challenge!
As a reminder, you do need to fill out the google form, as well as a comment on the blog FOR EACH BOOK. There are many people who have done one or the other. Unfortunately, those do not count. You need BOTH in order to officially log your books for the challenge.
With a new year, that means it’s time to set new reading goals. Some of you might know that I just celebrated my 40th birthday. So, during my 40th year, one of my reading goals is to read the remaining 40 of the 44 Christian Heroes: Then & Now books!
While there are so many good books out there, you and I know that the best book is the Good Book. Today I want to highlight a couple of books that get young and old alike into the Bible.
I’ve already featured a post on The Jesus Storybook Bible. It may look like just another picture book, but it is much more than that, and I’ve heard more than a few times that the adult reader was moved to tears while reading it aloud to a youngster. We currently carry it in the bookstore, and also have a Spanish-English bilingual version as well.
The Action Bible is a graphic novel that captures the overall narrative of the Bible in chronological order. And lest you think it is just a “guy book,” the girls of Bibliopolis are often crowded around the book reading it together, and fighting to get in line to check it out.
Just yesterday I had a pretty involved discussion with the 1st-2nd grade girls about why Pilate would have given Jesus over to be crucified if he knew Jesus was innocent. They had logical and insightful questions, and we were able to make connections to how we choose to do wrong when we are so afraid of getting into trouble.
There were some funny moments too. A couple of memorable lines from our discussion:
“Why was Pilate afraid of losing his job and getting into trouble? He could just lose his job and be a regular person.”
“Pilate should have listened to Jesus. And to his wife!”
I always have these two books out on the ottoman in the middle of our reading area, and without fail, whether 1st graders or 8th graders, someone will pick one up and read from it during part of our time together.
They’re great ways to get the kids and adults in your life interested in the Bible, and hooked into God’s story.
Do you have any interesting stories or experiences with reading or sharing The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Action Bible with someone?