Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Company I Keep; The Books I Read

"You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read." by Charles Jones

Another one: "Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep."(author unknown)

DeeDee's version: "You will be known by the company you keep and defined by the books you read."

Now, for me personally, the company I KEEP consists of my immediate family, and my precious church family. The really close ones hold me accountable... love me regardless... push me to do more and be more... inspire me just by being with them... and challenge me with intriguing conversations.

I have more who are not as close...but still leave their mark on me. I listen, I observe, I think, I analyze. Then, hopefully, I make application. Even imitation... remember it is the highest form of flattery.

Then, there are many on the fringes... not because I do not like them, or avoid them... just the sheer fact that I have not had the privilege of getting to know them. Those who may in the future, become some of the very ones who will come close enough to make their impact on my life.

I will be known by the company that I keep. I will be changed by them. I will be influenced by them. I will be like them.


Then, the books I read. I do not want to be the same in five years. I want to be careful of the books that I read because in a real sense - that will define me. Or change me.

With all of that in mind, I asked Hal to recommend a book for me to read. One that would stretch my thinking. One that would challenge my reading. One that would take me deeper.

So...he recommended, Communion with God, by John Owen. I confess, I am beginning with the abridged version. But, that does not bother me. Beginning with the abridged version is better than never reading it at all. And who knows, it may challenge me to go for the unabridged at a later date. Regardless, I needed to have a good book that was not an easy reading book. Not a book that I could fly through (with my fast reading). And that is certainly what I have. I have only read two chapters this first week, and really feel as if I need to read them again before moving on to the next chapter. Then there is the side of me that likes to read the last chapter of the book...to see where I am going. I am not sure that practice would be good for this book.

Since I am the type person that usually has about three books going at one time.... I also began reading The pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer. I have had this book on my desk for quite some time, with the desire to read, but just have not ever picked it up. So, in my zeal - to be challenged, inspired, changed, defined... I have taken the dive. I will probably share quotes/thoughts/questions with you along the way.

Join me.

What books are you reading? They will change you. They will define you. They will inspire you. They will affect you.

And think about the company that you keep. They too affect you. They either push you to be all that God wants you to be- or they hinder your walk with Christ. There is not a neutral. Certainly, I am not talking about evangelism...we must get out of our box to evangelize. I am not talking about building bridges of relationships to bring others into the fellowship (or back into the fellowship)...we must reach out to the hurting/weaker/younger. But I AM talking about the "company you keep". The people you spend the most time with. The ones that affect your very life. These must be headed in the direction that you want your life to go. They will help you reach towards the mark of the high calling.

In five years...where will I be? A good indication of where I am going...is seen by the company that I keep and the books that I read.

3 comments:

Darlene said...

I have several book going. 1) The five Love Languages of Teenagers that we are starting on Wedneday nights. 2) Having a Mary Heart in a Martha world ...borrowed from Candace. 3) 10 Curses that Block the Blessing. 4) Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. 5) Family Driven Faith...the book for Sunday nights. I must be crazy! lol Actually, I didn't realize how many books I have going till now. I was told that Gary Chapman has a new book out on The Five Love Languages of Adult Child. I want to read it too. The one I can't put down is the first one. I have highlighted so much in this book. I wished I had read it a year ago.
Another book I keep handy is Praying Scripture for your Teenager and When Good Children make bad decisions. Both books are great and I recommend all parents with teenagers to read now ...don't wait till something happens. I guess I am not really reading anything deep. Just books to help me in my family and hopefully I can use what I learn to help other families that may be faced with what we are going through.
As for friends....I have a variety of friend relations...but, most are Christian. I also have a very good accountability group called Heart Friends...the ladies in this group are AWESOME!
A wise man told me once that when you are old you...if you can count all your genuine friends on one hand then you have accomplished alot. He told me this when I was a teenager going through friend problems. I think he maybe right. I have a lot of what I call friends but, true genuine friends that love me, pray for me and keep in contact is not has many.
I haven't thought about this in a long time. especially the part about what I read.

Tricia said...

I really enjoyed this post, it made me think, about those that I hang out with, or don't, and about what I am reading. I love to read so I always have 2 or more books going. I have had to pace myself on Christian fiction though, because I found that I would always choose that over other books that made me think more. So I am trying to read more nonfiction, make me think and apply it to my life kind of books, and less fiction.

Currently I am reading "The Young Woman's Call to Prayer," "Creative Counterpart," "What the Bible says about Child Training," and "Family Driven Faith."

Son, Brother, Fiancee, Friend, Soldier said...

alright mom 12 days and counting!! time to tag again!
Love ya,
Jonathan