The Voyage of The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Plugging on – I am now finished with book 5 of the Chronicles of Narnia Series.   The book features the two younger children, Edmund and Lucy, and brings in  their cousin Eustace who’s home they are in when the three are brought back to Narnia through a picture hanging on a bedroom wall.  (NIce touch Mr. Lewis)

The children meet up with Caspian right away on his boat The Dawn Treader, and they all go off to seek out the 7 Lords who were Caspians father’s friends.  Eustace at this point is not a likable child, very spoiled, bratty, and on this adventure he starts journaling the trials of this awful ship and the awful people in it.

I think the best Christian message that comes out of the book is when Eustace while on shore wanders off to a dragons liar.  He falls asleep here, only to wake up and find that he has turned into a dragon, pretty much turning his ugliness of the inside to the outside.  He now realizes what a pain he has been and how good everyone has been to him.  After days of being a dragon, he meets up with Aslan who tells him he much shed his skin to be clean, and through the Dragon’s (Eustace) scratching, the scales began to fall off, however he discovers he is unable to do it without Aslan’s help (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:8,9)…

Once clean, Eustace works at being a better person, not always succesfully, but the changes are clear.          ( 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:8-10)

I see in this book (which I found became a better and better read as I went along) there are several references to a “Holy Spirit” guiding through dangers, from a great darkness to light on the boat, to times when Lucy is reading from a spell book and is tempted to try other spells than what she was sent to do.  (At those times she sees Aslan’s face).

The ending of this book is by far the most powerful scene of the book, and in fact, of any of the books so far, when Aslan returns to the group as a Lamb who feeds them the best meal of their lives.  (Revelation 19:19?)  (John 1:29,36; 1 Peter 1:19).

To have a conversation with C.S. Lewis would have been amazing!  I would love to know more about how these books came together for him, how he came up with the idea to break it into several books, and did he plan where it would end – or did he just know it was complete when he got there.  Maybe as I continue to dive into his works I will find the answers to some of these questions…

**This movie is due out in early 2010:  check here

Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

This book was recommended to me years ago by my friend Sam who wanted to loan me her copy.  I assured her that if it was anywhere near as good as she said it was, I would want my own copy and then ordered it off CBC.  The book then proceeded to spend the next two years (yes, two years) on my book shelf – unread.

Then my friend Sandi  was raving about a book she had just completed.  “It is amazing”, she told me, “I couldn’t put it down, it’s called Safely Home…”

“By Randy Alcorn?” I added.

“Oh, you’ve read it,” she said disappointingly.  I assured her I hadn’t, but had the book waiting for its day to shine.  It became my next read.

Safely home is a fiction book, but it is not fantasy.  This book is about persecution in China and reading this enlightened me with more information  on this area than I had ever known before.  I was saddened to hear what happens to those who call themselves Christians in China and learned that in many ways, I take my faith and my right to it, for granted.

I could hardly put this book down and turned page after page on illegal home churches meeting at night, and people arrested and beaten – even killed – for their admitting that they are a Christ Follower.  I took note after note on the Chinese symbols spelling out the gospel in their meaning – right there in their language!  (Page 169)

I received so much from reading this book, right to the last tearful moments that wrecked me.  This is by far the best book I have read in some time.  If you have not read this I highly recommend you grab a copy and dive right in.

And the King will tell them, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”  ~ Matthew 25:40

Prince Caspian – Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis

Finally I have completed book 4 of The Chronicles of Narnia. This was another great book to read after having seen the movie. I like to read and see the comparisons between the two, and again am impressed at how closely the movie follows the book.

In this book I find C.S. Lewis’s message to speak more clearly than in the previous three… like he is getting to the point. There is of course the part where Lucy is the only one that believes she sees Aslan while the others are left in disbelief. There is also the point where Aslan calls her and she asks her brothers and sisters to follow – knowing that if they do not, she must anyway. This whole part of the book is wonderful and I imagine if this is being read to a young child how much of this they take away with them.

Good read, and now I am in unknown territory with 3 books left to read in the series and having never read them – I have no idea what direction they will take.

Gifted to Lead by Nancy Beach

This is my favorite kind of book – and if you follow my book blog you would know what that means… loaned to me by a friend who thought I would enjoy it.  I love that.

In this case it was my friend Key who had purchased this book and sent it my way to read through.  I am so glad she shared this with me.

Nancy Beach is an incredible author and an amazing advocate for women in leadership roles.  Her book gives you insight of her 30 years in ministry, with God given leadership gifts that are not always accepted in the church when they are from a woman.

While many of the scenes Nancy talks about, I have not personally experienced (trying to be accepted in a male dominant group, people leaving a church due to the role she fills and the fact that she is a woman filling that role) I have experienced some of what she speaks of in leading missions.

I loved the book, its openness, its humor and how she tells it like it is.  Her gifts have taken her far and I would love to hear her speak sometime in the future.

This is an excellent read for any woman who is gifted to lead.  Highly recommended.  Check out her next speaking event here!

Thank you Key for the loan!   This was a fabulous read.  10+

Friendship Test by Elizabeth Noble

Mind numbingly – chick lit. Sometimes I love it – sometimes I hate it. This one fell in between.

Wal-Mart has these oversize paperback books for $5.88. Great price, so had to pick out at least one of these possible literary treasures. In this case…. not really a treasure, more like the plastic toy you used to get in a cracker jack box…

I have read this author before when she wrote The Reading Group. Of course I was going to read that, and that book as well – I just didn’t fall in love with the characters. Its not that they are not likable…. it’s just that they are not really lovable. (Is that too harsh to say about a fictitious character?)

Anyway – the book was a 2.8 rating. Not quite average, not horrible… I found the story line to be a bit similar to other books I have found my way too this summer…

1. A family death leaves an inheritance of a home in another state/country

2. Main character is going through something rough and the timing to get away is perfect! (What a surprise!)

3. Through this inheritance, a love interest is found.

4. Life is all better.

: )

Ok… I know I am being harsh. The book is a beach read. Good, but not deep… and its ok if you cover it with water and sand.