April Reading: Velvet Steel

Poetry has grown on me lately. It’s hard to read others’ poetry and appreciate it like the author did when they wrote it, but I can like it for my own reasons.

Velvet Steel by John Piper is a collection of poems written for Noël Piper, his wife. You get to see the sweet, the serious, the painful, and the happy.

Here were some of the poems I especially liked:

  • Just tell me when to pack
  • Wo brennt die liebe immer fort
  • Pity millionaires
  • Paradise still cursed
  • None but you
  • Roots
  • This marriage: old or younger
  • Going for Gold
  • Take us to yourself together

Slow down when you read it; you’ll get to see more of a husband’s heart toward his wife.

March Reading: When People Are Big And God Is Small

“But wait, it’s not march…”

I’ve been reading, but not writing. So I’m catching up by writing posts for the last 5 months.

Not everything in this book was written for me. Only one of the three chapters outlining how fear of man can affect people resonated, but I was glad I stuck with it, because the end is great. I love reading about the church, how to bless her, grow her, help her, etc., and one of the last chapters was all about that.

Here are two quotes I really liked from that chapter:

As a counselor, I have spoken with many people who want to know their spiritual gifts. They come hoping for some sort of diagnostic test that will precisely locate them. My impression is that this perspective represents a breakdown in the church. It reflects a church where we are running around as self-actualizing individuals rather than uniting as a God-glorifying community.  (pg 204)

The problem is that unless there is a radical change in the way we see God, ourselves, and others, community will become just another strategy for us to feel better about ourselves. It will relieve the loneliness, and we will feel more “connected,” but if we pursue community for self-fulfillment rather than God’s glory, the community movement will simply be a passing fad. Let’s stir each other up to establish our church community in God’s love.  (pg 217)

I’ve heard people have been greatly helped by this book. I was helped by paragraphs. Definitely worth looking through if the fear of what others think is a big deal in your life.