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question: picking up an unexpected blessing

bookinistSomething common, but a little unexpected.

Something you see everyday but don’t exactly see everyday.

The image doesn’t exactly fit with my question, but it is close enough to pass in a pinch.

Have you ever picked up a book, judged it by its cover (or author … or title) and expected to put it down, unimpressed?

But, instead, it turned into an unexpected blessing … for whatever reason?

. . . . . .

I have a reason for asking, that I will come back to later, but for now I just wanted to ask you what books have been unexpected blessings to you?

What were your expectations when you picked it up? What did you walk away with when you put it down?

  1. bobandjoanna
    August 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    This is Joanna… As a wedding present Bob and I received to book Stepping Heavenward; One Woman’s Journey to Godliness by Mrs. E. Prentiss. I had never heard of the book before so I really didn’t know what to expect, especially since it was a wedding present. Here we are opening presents after our wedding to find household appliances and decorations for our home, and then we open a present to find this fiction book. It is a small paperback book with a picture on the cover of a girl walking through a field reading a book. There is an Elisabeth Elliot quote on the back where she says, “I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to better understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.” I figured that must be why we received it as a wedding present, and it must be what the book is about. Well, this past week I picked up the book and began to read and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This has been one of the most encouraging and God glorifying books I have ever read. This week has also been the perfect time to read it. I have been reminded of God’s genuine and individual love which He has for all of His people. It has most certainly been an unexpected and delightful blessing. I am sure I will reread it many times.

  2. August 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Joanna, how encouraging to hear that this is such a good book.

    Here is a link to “Stepping Heavenward” for anybody who is intrigued by Joanna’s recommendation:

    Stepping Heavenward (Inspirational Library Series)

  3. August 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I can think of two. The first is The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. I purchased this at a used book store simply because Ms. Elliot wrote it, although it was an old copy and the cover seemed a bit too, uh, sentimental (code for “cheesy”). It ended up being not only the best book I have ever read by Elisabeth Elliot, but also foundational in my understanding of child-rearing and training.

    The other is a book I was required to read in high school, but hated. I recently picked up Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and was so drawn into the story, the characters, the humor, and the subtle wacks at Victorian society that I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a few days because it was so engaging. It should be a classic or something! *wink

  4. August 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Ok, fine … I will read my copy of “The Shaping of a Christian Family” that I keep telling myself I need to read.

    I don’t think I am going to be getting around to “Great Expectations” any time soon, however. Lame, I know.

    Here are links for anybody who is interested:

    The Shaping of a Christian Family


    Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)

  5. August 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    For anybody who takes the time to leave a comment, here is my teaser on what made me think to ask this question ….

    I am desperately working to wrap up a paper on Postmodernity, Pluralism, and Rob Bell.

  6. August 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

    If you write a post about how Rob Bell has significantly changed your theology in a terrible way and that you adopt his “hermeneutics” — I might go into a cave and stay there, weeping, for 10 years before I can finally come back out and live a normal life.

    Totally kidding. Well, somewhat.

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