Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Stepping Heavenward is the story of a girl who is growing up very quickly. At the beginning of the book she is sixteen years old, and she starts a diary. The whole book is her thoughts, what she writes in her diary. She writes down her many experiences, including birthdays, death, falling in love, losing a lover, caring for children, and more. 

But what impacted me the most was her thoughts on growing more godly. At the beginning of the book, Katherine is a two-faced girl. In public she manages to be a friendly, seemingly selfless, humble and kind girl, but at home, she is quite a different. She knows this is not right, but she doesn’t try very hard to change it.

This scene takes place in the first chapter:

I do hate to be found fault with, so I fired up in an instant. … Mother sighed a little. I wish Mother wouldn’t sigh. I would rather be called names out and out. … I hurried off, and just as I got to the door of the schoolroom, it flashed into my mind that I had not said my prayers! Well, I had no time. … When I got home, Mother called me into her room. She looked as if she had been crying. She said I gave her a great deal of pain by my self-will and ill temper and conceit. “Conceit!” I screamed out. “Oh, Mother, if you only knew how horrid I think I am!” Mother smiled a little. Then she went on with her list till she made me out the worst creature in the world. …She said my character would be essentially formed by the time I reached my twentieth year and left me to decide if I wished to be as a woman what I was now as a girl. I felt sulky and would not answer. Of course I don’t want to be always exactly what I am now.
Can you relate? I definitely could. If you’re like me and know that your character around your family is not what it should be compared to your “character” around your friends, then you should read this challenging book!

Katherine is slowly transformed through the rebuke and advice of her mother, Dr. Cabot’s questions and wisdom, her search for godliness, and Jesus’ powerful work within her! She begins to pray more, love God more by loving and serving others, and she loses her pride. I am definitely not what I want to be yet. I hope Jesus will sanctify me more completely and that he will do the same for you. I’ll end with another quote from Katherine:

I see that I have no right to live for myself and that I must live for Him. I have given myself to Him as I never did before and have entered, as it were, a new world. … I can now choose to imitate my Master, who spent His whole life in doing good. … And it sweetens every bit of work to think that I am doing it in humble, far-off, yet real imitation of Jesus. I am indeed really and truly happy.
Thanks to:
Tianna Strom (age 18)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book #5

Do Hard Things
By Alex and Brett Harris


Two brothers from Oregon have noticed that the word doesn't exactly challenge teenagers. In fact, the world seems to think of teenagers as lazy, uncaring kids who only think about themselves. Alex and Brett decide to challenge themselves to beat the low expectations this world has for them--and they take us with them with a challenge to do hard things for the glory of God.

What it Meant To Me:

This book made a HUGE difference in my life. The descriptions of real teenagers doing real hard things for the glory of God touched me deeply and inspired me to make a difference. My youth group read this as a study last year and it helped me to realize that the world isn't all about me. The more hard things you do, the better you feel because you glorify God and He fills you with His love and joy. 

Thanks to
Rachel (age 14)

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God Bless

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 
- 1 Thessalonians