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ACW

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Life-Changing Books




I love books. I guess most, if not all, of us who write love books. It's one of the things that makes us tick. Sometimes I pick a book up and enjoy reading it but within a few weeks, or even days, I have forgotten a lot of it. Every now and then I read a book that has a much longer lasting effect on me. A story speaks to my heart and lodges in there permanently; a truth described communicates to my heart more deeply than ever before. My life is changed for the better by what I have read.



I remember the first book that spoke to me on an emotional level. It was one I read as a young child, although I probably couldn't have easily put into words at the time why but I loved it so much. It was called 'Gobbolino The Witch's Cat' by Ursula Moray Williams. It tells the story of a tabby cat who is born as a witch's cat but longs to be a farmhouse cat. The book describes his adventures as he seeks to get to his goal.  I loved the idea of this little cat being able to change his destiny. It gave me hope and spoke to me on a deep level. I had never experienced that before. I am tempted to buy it again and re-read it as an adult to see all the parts that I have since forgotten. 



Image result for I am your father mark stibbeAnother life-changing book that I read was 'I am your Father' by Mark Stibbe. He talks about some people having orphan hearts and how the love of our Father God can help heal this. The response I had to the truth in this book changed my life by helping me finally let go of my binge eating disorder. I started to seek Father God and His love in way I had never done before. The result was freedom from food addiction. Life-changing indeed! Praise God. 


Image result for Forgetful Heart lucyI have just started reading 'Forgetful Heart: Remembering God in a Distracted World'  by Lucy Mills. I am only 2 chapters in but already what Lucy has written is speaking to me about my own forgetful heart. There are reflections at the end of each chapter, which have already proved very helpful. It has brought up things that I am taking to God in prayer and will be getting a friend to pray about with me. I recommend it to you. 
What about you? What books have you read that you would describe as life-changing and what were they?  What was the first book you remember having a life-changing effect on you? I'd love to find out, so please share your thoughts.


Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving GP receptionist/administrator and writes in her spare time. She is also administrator for ACW. She has written two books, He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter, Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Sign up for this at her website www.lyndaalsford.com.

    20 comments:

    1. Thanks Lynda. One book that changed me was John Grisham's The Street Lawyer. It opened my eyes to the fact that homeless people are just like me and that pretty much anyone could find themselves homeless. I guess that was the start of me getting involved with my church's food bank and a Christian project reaching out to sex workers. So yeah, definitely life changing!

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      1. I've not read that one but I do enjoy John Grisham. Sounds life- changing indeed.

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    2. Oh yes, I adored Gobbolino and his little white paw! I wonder if I still have it somewhere - I must read it to my own children soon.

      The book that most changed my life is probably The Bridge to Teribithia. Or the Narnia books. In adulthood, it would be A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (though even that one I first read as a teenager). Maybe I am less impressionable now than I was - or reading fewer great books!

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    3. I loved the Narnia books too. Not heard of the others. Will look them up.

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    4. I was 12, not sure how I found, and started to read a thick paperback book with a green dragon on the cover. The story I can't remember much about, except to say it was a Chinese thriller. I was gripped with the excitement it produced within me. From then onwards I was hooked on reading, and have not stopped since.

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      1. Sounds intriguing, a Chinese thriller. :-)

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    5. One book that changed my life was Kate Atkinson's 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum'. She showed me that you can write comedy with poignancy.

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      1. I have not heard of that one either. Another one to add to my list of books to read. Thank you

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    6. I'm engaged in a memories and testimonies project at the moment and I was interviewing people at CLAN Gathering (Christians Linked Across the Nations) last week. Several of them mentioned hearing Mark Stibbe speak about his book at a previous CLAN gathering some ten years ago and they too found it changed their lives.

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    7. Great post Lynda :) My life changing book was What's so amazing about Grace? by Philip Yancey. Thanks for the reminder. Must reread!

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      1. Another great book on my shelf too. Maybe I should re-read that one too

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    8. Great post, Lynda! Books really do have the power to change a life, because words have far more impact than we realise. My current reading habits are a bit 'pick and mix' as I have so many things I am interested in and Kindle keeps tempting me with 'try this sample' offers! :)
      But the book speaking to me most at the moment is one I am slowly savouring, highlighting and pausing with. It's an advance copy of 'The Happiness Dare:Pursing Your Heart's Deepest, Holiest and Most Vulnerable Desire' by Jennifer Dukes Lee, which releases soon. It's teaching me so much about the holy pursuit of happiness, our individual happiness styles and ways to live more fully and freely by seeing the biblical and personal implications of pursuing true joy as an act of faith and obedience.

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      1. Sounds amazing. I will look out for it when it is released

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    9. The Walk of the Spirit, The Walk of Power by Dave Roberson. I devoured it and was so conscious of His Presence whilst reading. The power of tongues in our life to enjoy more of Him. It's free on Kindle too!!

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      1. Sounds good, especially if it's free on Kindle. I'll check it out.

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    10. To my shame (??) not Christian spirituality books but Carl Rodgers Person Centred Counselling, many years ago, when I was doing counselling! Found myself in the book.. Then Anthony Storr's Dynamics of Creativity. And then Lela Aboulela's The Translator, which is the most wonderful storytelling about a relationship developing, with no sex scenes, no 'romance', and yet the deepest most amazing portrayal of a deep and genuine 'love' across traditions and religions between a young Muslim widow and her older boss, a cynical Scottish academic. In the end they do get together, but after much heart searching, and no funny business. It is so moving. It taught me about sensitive writing, which hooks the reader and is a page turner. And, it can be true, that kind of relationship. Even today. So, it was all God's guidance but it was not directly about Him.

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      1. Definitely nothing to be ashamed about in those choices! All sound excellent choices.

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      2. Definitely nothing to be ashamed about in those choices! All sound excellent choices.

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    11. How lovely to get a mention! Glad you are enjoying the book so far. There are many books which have impacted me but the hot weather has made my memory even worse than usual, so I'll have to let you know once my brain is operational again ;-)

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