Tea Time?

In your life, you will encounter few books that will stir your soul the way that Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time does. Greg Mortenson, the child of missionary parents, draws you into his lifetime of mission work through the telling of his story as first a climber and then the founder and Executive Director of Central Asia Institute. Greg loved climbing mountains that were impossible to many people. However, after reading his story I am left in awe at the heights that he climbed to reach the unreachable.
As a Christian, I have been taught to love all people but there are times when that is the most difficult task that I can attain. On the other hand, I have a natural curiosity about other cultures and religions so I tend to gravitate toward those who speak differently than me or worship differently. I believe that is what intrigued me when I read the back cover of this book. When I read the back cover I noticed that Greg had been climbing in Pakistan and ended up building schools there.
Another aspect of my personality that felt the pull of interest in this book was my education as a teacher. Greg took a personal interest in not only the villagers who had befriended him when he had become lost on K2, one of the highest mountains in Pakistan, but he became a friend to all of Pakistan and into Afghanistan. He did not violate their customs or beliefs but rather he was respectful of those customs and beliefs.
As I stated before it can be hard to love everyone as Jesus commands but reading this book has informed me about much of the Muslim faith and beliefs. After 9/11, it has been hard to separate the terrorists that attacked our lands with the picture that mainstream Muslims have painted. However, just as there are extremists in the Muslim faith, there are also extremists in the Christian faith. I have learned much from reading this book and would encourage everyone to read it as well.
I chose this book from the reading list of the United Methodist Women. You can read an excerpt of this book at http://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm?book_number=1758.


Plainly Wonderful!

I have always read Amish stories. I collect Beverly Lewis books. I love to try recipes from cookbooks bought on trips through “Amish country.” I am impressed by the standard of living within Amish communities – the simpleness, the absolute adherence to values set centuries ago, and the love of Christ. Recently I read Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud and was immediately hooked! The authors storytelling from a personal context was easy to read and showed the similarities between Cindy, an Englischer wife and mother, and Miriam, an Amish wife and mother.

Each chapter was filled with personal stories of similar thoughts and in some chapters there are even Amish family recipes. When I say “chapters,” I am not talking about 20 or 30 pages, but rather not more than 5 to 7 pages. This book is an easy read that is also hard to put down. I could have easily read this book in a few hours, but chose to read it a few chapters at a time and then marinate in the wisdom that these two women write about. Both women have learned many valuable insights into the best way to live a life with strength and grace. A strong faith in God overshadows the daily lives of both Miriam and Cindy while raising families, facing disappointments, and celebrating successes.

I received this book free for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. You can rank my review by clicking on the icon.