Friday, October 10, 2014

13 Books Adventist Should Read Before Reading Other Books

When I was a kid and starting to develop my love for reading, I wanted to read any kinds of books that I that I could find. Then my brother told me that before reading other religious books, I should first read our(SDA) books.

So here are my top 13 books, that in my own opinion,  would help us in knowing more about God and the faith that we have.

1. The Bible. It is a MUST for every Adventist youth to have his/her own Bible. The Christian journey start with a firm and sure foundation. What else could there be other than the Bible? If possible keep only one Bible for yourself and read it day and night.

Isn't it nice that when you are already old and you still have and using your very first Bible?

2. Messages to Young. Appropriately written for the youth (and adults, too). This book will enlighten the minds and prepare the youth for the sacred calling and task that God has given to them. This book teaches the young people how to live a balance and harmonious life that is pleasing to God.

3. Adventist Home. The preparation for a home where God and angels are welcome starts during the young adult life. This book is a safe guide for those who contemplate to enter the married life and have a family of their own.

Conflict of the Ages Books

4. Patriarchs and Prophets. Is the first volume in the Conflict of the Ages series based on the Bible account of our world's struggle between good and evil. It covers the sweeping panorama of human history from the creation of Earth to the reign of Israel’s King David. --Read more.

5. Prophets and Kings. Is the second volume in the Conflict of the Ages series. It opens with the story of Solomon’s glorious reign over Israel and ends with the nation’s exile and captivity. It traces the history of a favored and chosen people, vacillating between allegiance to God and to the gods of the nations around them. In these pages can vividly be seen dramatic evidences of the raging struggle between God and Satan for the hearts of men and women. -- Read more.

6. The Desire of Ages. Is the third volume in the Conflict of the Ages series based on the gospels account of the life of Christ in Matthew, Mark Luke and John. Ellen White’s classic on the life of Jesus focuses on One who stands at the center of all human history. --Read more

7. Acts of the Apostles. Is the fourth volume in the Conflict of the Ages series, where the amazing story of the early Christian believers is told. After Jesus was victorious over Satan and returned to heaven, the enemy turned his attention to Jesus’ church on earth. Here are thrilling stories of fierce persecutions and unswerving loyalty to God. Peter, Paul, James, John, Luke, Barnabas, Stephen, Mark, and the other early apostles carried the wonderful news of the gospel to all of the then-known world. -- Read more.

8. The Great Controversy. Volume 5, is the last book in the Conflict of the Ages series. It carries the story of the controversy between God and Satan to its ultimate and glorious conclusion. Beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem and continuing through the persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire, the apostasy of the Dark Ages, the shining light of the Reformation, and the worldwide religious awakening of the nineteenth century, this volume traces the conflict into the future, to the Second Coming of Jesus and the glories of the earth made new. -- Read more.

More books...

9. Christian Service. This volume is a call to consecrated service in the science of soul winning. Invaluable to ministers, teachers, and church leaders, it will be appreciated by all who, in fellowship with Christ, seek to fulfill the gospel commission. Topics include personal preparation, training, organizing, the health and publishing ministries, and methodology. -- Read more

10. Counsels for the Church. Is a comprehensive selection of inspired materials from Ellen White that first appeared in books and periodicals during her lifetime. Grouped into sixty-six chapters, this counsel and instruction covers a wide range of topics.  -- Read more.

11. Counsels on StewardshipStewardship is properly managing the resources that God has committed to our care. This volume gathers together all of Ellen White's published statements on the subject. Topics discussed include tithing, indebtedness, charity, making a will, and soliciting funds from outside sources. What about speculating in the markets? Does God require us to dispose of our property? How can children be taught economy? What is the divine antidote for covetousness?. -- Read More.

12. The Ministry of Healing. Many things contribute to good health—cheerfulness, fresh air, exercise, diet, and positive relationships with other people, to name a few. Crucial also is a personal relationship with the Creator who gave us life and everything we need for health and happiness. In this book Ellen White deals with sickness of the soul and the healing balm to be found by trusting God for all things. -- Read more. 

13. Steps to Christ. Thousands have become acquainted with Jesus through this little book, Steps to Christ. And it has helped many more, including those who have walked with Him for years, to know Him better.

In just thirteen short chapters, you’ll discover the steps to finding a forever friendship with Jesus. You’ll read about His love for you, repentance, faith and acceptance, growing like Him, the privilege of prayer, what to do with doubt, and how to spend your days rejoicing in your best Friend, Jesus.

The doctrines and teachings of our Church can be sometimes overwhelming especially to new believers. With sincere faith and support from the church members, the fledgling believer can be guided and be kept safe and secure within the fold.

However, sitting on the pew listening to sermons won't be enough. Every believer should (No!) MUST study on his/her own with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This time alone with God will strengthen our personal relationship with Him while we are gaining knowledge about Him.

Out technology nowadays made all these books available for us anywhere, anytime. There's no reason or excuse for us not to be able to read them. This isn't the end of the list. There are still more books out there waiting for us to read them. Just take heed in choosing the books you're going to read. Remember, 

"Garbage in. Garbage out."

Credit: All descriptions from book #4-13 are from the website Connecting to Jesus which give a detail description of each book that the author couldn't do otherwise. All images are from Google Images.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

My Heart is Bleeding...

  • Paperback cover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books in the U.S., Bantam in the U.K.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN : 0-380-71918-5
  • Genre: Biography/Memoirs/Non-fiction
  • Days spent reading: 2

Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth. She has four mansions on three continents, her own private jet, glittering jewels, designer dresses galore. But in reality she lives in a gilded cage. She has no freedom, no control over her own life, no value but as a bearer of sons. Hidden behind her black floor-length veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, her sons, and her country. Sultana is a member of the Saudi royal family, closely related to the king. 

For the sake of her daughters, she has decided to take the risk of speaking out about the life of women in her country, regardless of their rank. She must hide her identity for fear that the religious leaders in her country would call for her death to punish her honesty. Only a woman in her position could possibly hope to escape from being revealed and punished, despite her cloak and anonymity.Sultana tells of her own life, from her turbulent childhood to her arranged marriage--a happy one until her husband decided to displace her by taking a second wife--and of the lives of her sisters, her friends and her servants... - source: Barnes and Noble

It's so hard to read this book without feeling the pain of each women in the stories. It seems that I could literally feel their pain, hear their cries and suffer the injustice they couldn't voice out.

After reading this book, anyone could tell how mankind distorted the will of God by putting themselves and their unguided evil passion above the will of God. It's sickening to know how men's wickedness, disguised as the will of God, abuse the power and authority given to him and use it to oppress women or others whom they deem inferior.

I personally believe that it is NOT God's will nor will He approved, regardless of any person's religion, that women be subjected to such maltreatment, abuse and violence. We are all created equal for God is no respecter of a person's status or wealth. We are all sinner sin need of grace in the eyes of God. 

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,~Acts 10:34, ESV
For God does not show favoritism.~ Romans 2:11, NIV 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

First Ever Book Haul

Do you still remember the first time you bought books for yourself? What was that book and how did it feel?

Even before I became aware of book blogging, book hoarding, authors, or anything about books, even the word bibliophile, I was already in love with books.

The very first time I bought books with my own money was during my senior year in high school. I was in the stationery store buying school supplies when I spotted a wire caddy full of secondhand books. I instinctively came near to check out the books and was delighted that it's on a 50% discount sale.

I browsed and browsed for what seemed forever finding books that my budget could afford. I wanted to buy a lot but I only had a few bills to spare. I ended up buying 3 books that heralded my love affair with the printed words!

 1. The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward. This little woman and little book has greatly impacted my life. This book kindled a fire within me and inspired me to become a missionary. Eight years later, I joined a missionary training and was sent to my first mission field, South Korea. I served there for almost 5 years.

I gave my one and only copy to a Bookmoocher hoping that it will also inspire others to serve God through mission works.

2. The Earth is the Lord's by Taylor Caldwell. My first taste of the life story of a mighty warrior, Genghis Khan. I was so enthralled that couldn't put the book down. I carried the book anywhere I go except to school.

3. Firming Your Figure. I have no idea why I bought this book. Whatever motivated me to buy it, it must have been my desire to be healthy. I actually followed the exercise for a couple of days or weeks.

These are the very first books that I owned and bought with my own money. When I got a job, I make sure to buy at least 1 book every payday to add to my collections.

The Right Way to Live

Monday, October 06, 2014

Bear and Books

My friends and I had dinner on the eve of my birthday. They surprised me with a lovely, cuddly and snugly bear, which I named Sissy because we ate at Sizzler's and that's where they gave me the bear.

I could only think of buying books as a birthday present for myself. The sudden changed of weather, however, prevented me from going to the only English used books shop in our town. 

So I spent the entire birth day reading, "Princess: A True Story of Life Behind Veil in Saudi Arabia" and finished it just before going to bed.

Today we had a perfect weather and so I went to the bookshop with my friend. As usual, the owner welcomed us with a smile. We browsed books upon books searching for one that would beg us to buy and bring it home. 

I got myself 3 books that I think I'd like to read this week. My friend paid for 1 book as a post birthday gift. 

As usual (Oh, how I love it!) the owner gave us discounts. When I mentioned to him that it was my birthday yesterday, he gave me 3 more books for free! How cool is that? Even though they're not the kind of books that I would usually read, but it's a gift! It adds sentiments to the book and makes it precious to me.


1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (I've never read the book nor seen the movie so I'm glad I found a copy)2. Farewell My Concubine by Lilian Lee (same as #1)3. The Young Lenin by Leon Trotsky

gift by the owner of the bookshop:

1. Julia's Last Hope by Janette Oke
2. Angel Walk by Roger Elwood
3. Pollyanna by Young Reader's Christian Library 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots

  • Paperback cover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN : 0-14-026598-8
  • Genre: Biography/Memoirs/Non-fiction
  • Days spent reading: 2 1/2

Her grand aunt formed the Shanghai Women's Bank. Her father was known as the miracle boy with the power of turning iron into gold. Yet in this affluent Chinese family the fifth child and youngest daughter, Adeline, suffered appalling emotional abuse. 

Set against the background of changing political times and the collision of East  and west, Falling leaves describes how, despite the legacy of her painful childhood, Adeline Yen Mah survived to make a successful career. Told with all the suspense and emotional force of a novel, this true story is moving in its eloquent simplicity and, through the dignity of its indomitable protagonist, finally uplifting. 

source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I'm always fascinated by ancient Chinese culture. I grew up watching Chinese martial arts and movies. My desire and curiosity is what led me to read books like this. It somehow developed a soft spot for books about China and it's people.

The first few pages is a bit of a drag and doesn't have enough intrigue to make me continue to read. Each chapter speaks of the cruelty the "unwanted" daughter suffers in the hand of her stepmother. The cry for love, attention, appreciation, and acceptance can be heard on each page.

I understand the ties that bind this family which is of great value in most Asian countries. For I also grew understanding that family comes first. What I didn't understand is the silence of people who were supposed to protect and care for Adeline and her siblings. The obvious discrimination was ignored by the elders and did nothing to stop it. It's as if their lives are in the hands of the cruel stepmother who lack love and piety.

In some instances or two I somehow can relate to what Adeline was feeling. We both found our comfort and escape in books when confronted with undesirable situations.

I was hoping for a fairy tale ending but, well, it almost had one.


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