We kicked off with a quote from Sinful Speech by John Flavel (one of the pocket puritan series):
How long does an idle word, or foolish jest, stick in men's minds, and become an occasion of much sin to them? The froth and vanity of your spirit, which your tongue so freely vents among your vain companions, may be working in their minds when you are in the dust, and so be transmitted from one to another.Hard hitting and to the point - but that's the Puritans for you. 'I need that' was the immediate cry from one of the ladies, and it was quickly snapped up.
First Wives' Club by Clare Heath-Whyte. The history buff present was very enthusiastic about this book - well written by another history buff, it draws lessons from the lives of 6 sixteenth century women. With points for Bible Study at the end of each chapter, it could prove useful for ladies meetings?
The Accidental Feminist. This takes a look at how feminism has become so prevalent in our culture that many of us have imbibed the feminist principles without question and need to re-examine the Biblical roles for womanhood. One of the ladies was concerned that it was being counter-cultural for the sake of it. Only having read half of it I couldn't really answer that one, but someone bought it so we're hoping for a full review next time!
A provocative quote from A Woman's Wisdom started off some more discussion...
The wild fluctuation of hormones at certain times may challenge our tolerance of others or depress our outlook, but nowhere does the Bible gives us a hormonal pass on the call to kindness, patience, contentment, joy and love.A collective intake of breath while everyone counted to ten... and then admitted that perhaps they had at times failed on that one. The author of this book, Lydia Brownback has also written a series of smaller books On the Go Devotionals, which many of the ladies had read, so interest grew for A Woman's Wisdom, which is a more in depth look at Proverbs. Perhaps Miss Brownback had a point!
Spurgeon's Sorrows by Zack Eswine was another popular choice - with many Spurgeon lovers present and a very enthusiastic reviewer of this book who highly recommends it to all who suffer depression and their carers ('and anyone else in fact'). Spurgeon suffered severe bouts of depression throughout his life but always viewed it as a precursor to greater blessing. To encourage he says...
Depression of spirit is no index of declining grace; the very loss of joy and the absence of assurance may be accompanied by the greatest advancement in the spiritual life... we do not want rain all the days of the week, and all the weeks of the year; but if the rain comes sometimes, it makes the fields fertile, and fills the waterbrooks.Awaiting a Saviour by Aaron Armstong, was another that sparked off some discussion. Poverty and sin - what is the relationship between them? Aaron very firmly asserts that poverty is in the world because of sin, not the sin of the poor people, but original sin. The discussion ranged over a few topics, but eventually the lady who didn't like the sound of the book, bought the book to give Aaron a fair hearing - I look forward to finding out if he persuaded her to change her mind!
Now, I am not one for verbal diarrhoea, but I have been accused many-a-time of written diarrhoea so let me wrap this up! Just quickly, some of the other books that we were discussing were...
Far Above Rubies - Lynette Clark
A Little Bird Told Me - Timothy Cross
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full - Gloria Furman
To Honour God - The Spirituality of Oliver Cromwell - Michael Haykin
When World's Collide - R C Sproul
Whet anyone's appetite?