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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
Finding the sacred in everyday life
14 books to set you free this summer
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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By simplyfaithful
June 16, 2013 11:20 a.m.



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This summer let’s honor those who fight for freedom and the One who designed freedom…

A couple of books I love:

Rooms Cover Final for email sigRemember Rooms by James Rubart?  I asked everyone to read it in 2012 and did an interview with Rubart, who works the theme of spiritual freedom into all of his books. Here’s a quick summary: In Rooms, Micah is a software tycoon with almost more money than he knows what to do with. He has a great girlfriend, a penthouse in Seattle, a hurtful relationship with his father and a heart still aching from the loss of his mother. A letter arrives from a late uncle he barely knew and tells him of a house the uncle has built for him along the Oregon coast. The house, it turns out, is actually a physical manifestation of Micah’s soul. And its rooms, which seem to appear and disappear on their own, offer the chance for healing, reconciliation and love.

SoulGate_02cv2(I’ve heard fantastic things about Rubart’s book Soul’s Gate and it has been nominated for a Christy Award this year.)

Capturing Saddam, written by Eric Maddox, is not the typical book you’ll find on my Simply Faithful lists. It isn’t overtly religious. It has curse words and it chronicles a high-profile manhunt. But it is written by a good friend of mine from high school — the kind of friend I’d hug in the street — and it’s the kind of tale that has your heart racing right up to the last page. It’s a story of perseverance, of staying true to what you believe, of sacrificing self for others. I believe it’s a story that has God’s fingerprints all over it. (Also, they are making a movie out of this. It’ll be called Mission: Black List #1.)

Some recommendations from my friends:

Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of your Identity in Christ by Neil T. Anderson: The book emphasizes the importance of believing and internalizing the truths of scripture as a base from which to renew the mind and fend off attempts to convince us that we are less than Christ empowers us to be.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl: Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer: The author teaches how to deal with thousands of negative or destructive thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks.

The Gift of Peace by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin: The Gift of Peace reveals the Cardinal’s spiritual growth amid a string of traumatic events, and he shares the profound peace he came to at the end of his life.  He accepted his peace as a gift from God, and he in turn now shares that gift with the world.

Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender by Beth Moore: The author embarks on a study of selected passages from the book of Isaiah, drawing several parallels between the captive Israelites and today’s Christians, in order to show how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality.

Transforming Grace: Living Confidently In God’s Unfailing Love by Jerry Bridges: Isn’t it time to stop trying to measure up and begin accepting the transforming power of God’s grace?

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New books:

Rescue Team: Grace Medical by Candace Calvert: Tired of running from her past, nurse Kate Callison intends to become Austin Grace Hospital’s permanent ER director and make Texas her home. Then unthinkable tragedy wraps the ER in crime tape, bringing swarms of media, legal chaos—and a search-and-rescue hero who seems determined to meddle in her life. (I typically read historical romance but this was a nice change of pace for me and an easy read for the weekend!)

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You are Saved by J.D. Greear: The author unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. (In my mind, the essence of the book is this quote: “Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”)

Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home by Marshele Carter Waddell and Kelly K. Orr: Every day service members are returning from combat deployments to their families. And every day war comes home with them. When a combat veteran struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury, every member of the family experiences the effects.

Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot by Annie F. Downs: From head to foot, the way you view your body is directly connected to how you serve God. The book is designed to help teenage girls honor the Creator by learning to value his perfectly unique creations (themselves).

Man on a Mission: The David Hilmers Story by David Hilmers and Rick Houston: Dr. David C. Hilmers has launched into space four times as part of NASA space shuttle crews. But God had more planned for Dr. Hilmers. (Jessie, who is 14, read this and really enjoyed it. I’d say it’s written for kids 10 and up.)

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