Books? Don’t Miss THE Classic!

14 Nov

A friend likes to send me (Dawn) text messages humor. A recent one was:  “Scientists R trying 2 figure out how long a person can live w/o a brain. Please tell them UR age.” (Hey!)

And here’s another:  “I’ve used up all my sick days. Do U think I can call N dead?”

I love texting. I use it all the time with my friends and family … especially my granddaughter, Megan. She’s always texting me funny things … like a picture of a crocodile for her school “Egypt project.” [She’s an animal lover, and she made up an Egyptian city called “Crocodopilis.”]  That led to a silly conversation: “See ya later, Alligator”… “After while, Crocodile.” Then I called her “GeckoGirl” and she responded with “Gramdragon.” Weird conversation, but fun.

Pam Farrel and I wrote about texting with a positive outlook in our book, LOL with God.

Yet according to a Nielsen survey, reported in Newsweek, “Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 send and receive an average of 3,339 texts per month. Teenage girls send and receive more than 4,000.” (1) Wow! That’s texting on overload! And I’ve noticed that texting is starting younger and younger!

There is nothing wrong with texting as long as we discipline our time with it ~ the same as with Facebook, Twitter, and all social media technologies.  But aside from the time management issue, one of the related problems to texting is narrowed perspective, and that should concern teachers and parents. Many people simply aren’t reading anything of “substance” anymore.

Niall Ferguson, author of the article “Texting Makes Us Stupid,” examined this problem when he wrote, “The good news is that today’s teenagers are avid readers and prolific writers. The bad news is that what they are reading and writing are text messages.” (2)

There’s an element of truth there, but I believe it’s not the text messaging, per se, that makes us “stupid.” It’s the failure to seek out and read meaningful works of literature … or even a good newspaper! And it’s the failure of parents to insist on and plan creatively for positive interaction with good literature.

Some months ago, Pam asked on Facebook what books (from the classics) women remembered reading in high school and college.

It was fun looking at those old titles, and remembering what it felt like to discover the works of famous classic authors. I thought it might be interesting to look at some lists of “must read” books from days gone by. Here are just a FEW of the classics everyone should try to read at least once:

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte’
  • The Count of Monte Cristo  and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • The Hound of the Baskerville by Sherlock Holmes
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (Ok, you have to be really brave to read that one!)
  • And here is a longer list of suggestions, although I certainly don’t endorse everything on this list.

And then there are the “Christian Classics” ~ informative and often transformational. Again, just a few:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • The works of E.M. Bounds (on prayer)
  • More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
  • None of These Diseases by S.I. McMillen
  • The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee
  • In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
  • The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim
  • The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  • And here is a longer list of Christian books to consider. (Again, this is not an endorsement of any book … in fact, there are a few on this list I would not recommend! You might want to ask your pastor or a wise believer you trust before reading any “Christian” book.

You may have other suggestions for books that have influenced your life, expanded your thinking, or encouraged your walk with God. (Feel free to share those titles with us!)

The number one book on the list of Christian books was, of course,THE BIBLE. 

An open, well-read Bible will do more to encourage you, educate you, and edify you than any of the books listed above, because it is a supernatural book ~ God-inspired and powerful (2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 4:12).

Are you reading the Word? Studying the Word? Meditating on the Word? Applying the Word?

I discovered this summer that my excuse that “I don’t have time to read more of the Bible” was pretty lame. I make time for anything I really want to do. When some friends challenged me to read through the Bible, I thought I wouldn’t have time; but I’ve discovered time that was “redeemable” from other lesser activities.

So don’t miss the classics, Friend … and for sure, don’t miss reading THE classic, the wonderful, life-changing Word of God. There’s history, romance, insight into human behavior, prophecy, God’s perspective, insight into science, the story of man’s redemption, etc., ~ all in one book! It’s timeless.

Why not send out this text message today:  “Take time 2 read God’s classic, the B-I-B-L-E!”

(1) Niall Ferguson, “Texting Makes Us Stupid” (Newsweek, 9-19-11), page 11

(2) ibid.

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