Some of the books that have been on my stack this winter...
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
I had heard much about this book and thought I knew its message without reading it. But I enjoyed it more than I expected. Ramsey gives a simple step-by-step method for managing your money. If you don't know where to begin, he makes it very simple (but maybe not easy) to get control of your spending.
If I would state one thing that I didn't care for in The Total Money Makeover it would be the self-centered attitude. (Please don't attack me all you Ramsey fans!) I'd still recommend the book.
Reading about finances made me interested enough to pull another book off our shelf that I had never read.
Kingdom-Focused Finances for the Family by Gary Miller
To me, Miller went one step further than Ramsey. Through stories of his financial counseling experiences and real life examples, Miller approaches finances through a vision of stewardship. Much of his advice echos Ramsey's but this book is from a deeply Christian (Anabaptist) perspective. I'm not sure anyone could read this book without being convicted in some area. This book also went in far more detail than Ramsey's in areas like communicating with your spouse about money. Highly recommended.
Life in a Global Village by Gary Miller
My parents gave us this short book for Christmas. If all the world were shrunk into one village of 100 people, what would they look like? Where would you fit? Through photos, charts, and simple graphics, this convicting book will open your eyes to the reality of the world's economy. If you ever are tempted to compare yourself to your neighbors and feel like you are lacking, read this book. Simple enough for your children to understand. After enjoying two of Gary Miller's books, I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
And on the financial topic...
Pennywise published by Keepers at Home
The Keepers at Home magazine occasionally prints what they call a Keeper's Book - a single topic book with a feel of a magazine with articles and stories from various authors. Pennywise is the latest addition to the Keeper's Book. The authors are Amish and Mennonite who bring a variety of perspectives on money managing. Some of the articles ramble and (in my opinion) are poorly written. Other articles are well written such as Sheila Petre's perspective on giving in "Ledges of Joy", Crystal Steinhauer's shopping tips and Florence Fox's funny account of her first budget. Stephanie Leinbach, Regina Rosenberry, and Dianna Overholt also have excellent articles as well as some others. In an attempt at full disclosure (though I find it sorta embarrassing - how do authors talk about their own books?) I'll mention that three of my articles are printed in the book. I'll let you decide which of the two categories they fit. I did enjoy most of the book. Since Keepers at Home are Amish, they have no website but you can find Pennywise here.
My Heart in His Hands by Sharon James
I have always been fascinated by the story of Ann Judson, who followed her husband to Burma to be on of the first American foreign missionaries. I can't imagine the trials Ann suffered to share Christ so far from all comforts of life. Though her life was short, Ann Judson influenced a generation of missionaries. I liked this book because it quoted a lot from Ann's letters and journals. Read if you want to be inspired by her example of surrender.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Some great books are worth revisiting. I had read Good to Great over ten years ago but found it as good as I remembered. In Good to Great, Collins shares his huge amount of research on what made some companies go from mediocre to outstanding. The answers were not what Collins expected. Though this book is relating to the business world, I found a lot of co relations to church, family, and relationships. If you ever wished to leave mediocrity behind, the insights in this book are worth considering.
(To my local friends - I own all these books - and I love to share books - so just ask if you'd like to borrow one.)
What good reads did you find this winter?
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