I love being able to go to the library and borrow books in English—one of my favorite perks of furloughing in the States. I tend to go a bit crazy and borrow a bunch of books at one time, and then start them all at once. I’m currently reading four different books. So, much of my free time (of which there is never enough these days!) is spent with my nose in a book.
Here are some books I’ve been reading while on furlough:
Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road:
If you’re a Muslim, this book is a great way to read about a fascinating Arabic man—Mazhar Mallouhi, who is a humble follower of Isa (Jesus Christ). He has learned to separate his faith in Isa from western culture. If you’ve ever thought that Christianity was a religion of American and Europe, read this book to see how Mazhar believes people from a Muslim background can learn from and appreciate Isa.
If you’re a Christ-follower, or an American, this is a way to learn more about how to appreciate Arabic culture, learn not to fear Muslims, and be challenged to genuinely love people, as Christ commands us to do.
One story I found particularly interesting is a story of how Mazhar and a group of fellow followers of Isa would meet to worship God on a boat on the Nile—the only place safe to do so in Egypt at the time.
The Power of a Positive Mom:
This book isn’t rocket science, but is a good reminder on how to lovingly and joyfully being a mom. As my 9-month-old struggles with teething, ear infections, diarrhea (side effect from the medicine he’s taking for his ear infection) and often sleepless nights, this book has been particularly helpful for this time in my life.
If you’ve ever turned away from God (or been tempted to turn away from Him), you can relate to Mack, the main character in this book. This is a novel that will challenge your views of God, and answer some of the tougher questions in relating to Him.
The premise is that Mack lost his young daughter (and his faith) in a brutal murder. He meets God in a shack to hash out some of the resulting emotions and questions. I love how the author shows character of God in very visual, relatable ways. For example, God, in the form of a black woman, cooks breakfast for Mack one morning. Needless to say, this book is unconventional, but in my humble opinion, refreshingly so.
I’ve made it a point to read some classics while on furlough. I’m only about a third of the way through this one. I’m amazed, though, at the imagination the author Charlotte Bronte had to write this book at the young age she was, living a somewhat isolated life as a preacher’s kid in Britain in the mid 19th century.
Let me know if you have any books you’d recommend. Of if you’ve read these books, I’d love to get your thoughts on them.