Tag Archives: If Jesus Came to My House

10 Book Challenge

Labor Day.  Big party was yesterday at the daughter’s.  Took lots of pictures.  Got my needed hugs and kisses from the Grands.  Today’s plan…dogs to lake…read book…write a little…pray a little more… and just laze around.

Got the first two things started and then made the mistake of checking FB because I had some pictures to share with the daughter.  One of my friends sent a challenge:  “In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me, so I can see your list.”

hopalongI was not tagged – shame on this friend who knew I would love this challenge, but I tagged myself because I loved this idea.   Seeing as how I really didn’t have anything major planned.  Seeing as how the husband was off “laboring” on Labor Day.  Seeing as how books have entirely ruled my life from the time I discovered words on my childhood area rug that said:  Hop-a-Long Cassidy in big white letters (if memory serves, mine was a brown rug – but then again – that is memory for you).  I thought, “This would be a quick and fun thing to do”.   HA!

Hmmmmm….not so quick but definitely a great pursuit for the introspective Jewish month of Elul.  Because – just how do you limit it to 10 books?   I have since thought of at least 5 more books, I should have liked to squeezed into the original “ten”.  Must be Common Core is sinking into my logic – 10 doesn’t necessarily mean 10 – right?  

1. bibleBible (where would my soul be without it?  I read it everyday.  2 chapters of the OT, 5 psalms, 1 chapter of Proverbs, 2 chapters of NT and assorted side tracks into Daniel, Isaiah, etc.)

2. ifjesuscameIf Jesus Came to My House by Joan G. Thomas (1st book I remember reading over and over)


3. black like meBlack Like Me by John Howard Griffin (read it in Jr. Hi. and sent me on a quest; took the 1st ever Black Studies classes offered on OSU-Cols campus, read tons more favorites (Malcom X, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, Fredrick Douglas, Langston Hughes…oooh where do I stop???)

4. Edgar Cayce the Sleeping Prophet (found on the self of the Loudonvillecayce Library when I was working there as a page and started me on my own spiritual quest outside of my parents’ faith…and all books by Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Authur Ford, Jane Roberts, etc)


5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Thank you, Mrs. Robinson, for this one, the research paper I wrote on his life and all the poetry books that I devoured after that.)

6. atlasAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and all her books (changed my politics a little more and challenged my faith since she was writing from an atheistic bias)


7. Dialogue with the Devil by Taylor Caldwell handed to me by a stranger downloadin the Whitehall Library in Columbus who said I needed to read it (then I preceded to read every book she wrote, including her autobiography Growing Up Tough which I read portions of for our 8th grade autobio unit)


akiane8. Akiane Kramarik: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry (Added depth of thought on SOOOOOO many levels)


9.blessingsThe Path of Blessing by Rabbi Marcia Prager (continues to add so much depth of thought behind Rabbi Yeshua actions and words, even though she is not Christian, she is His child.  Thanks to my good friend who didn’t tag me for recommending this book)
10. And all classics – Children – Young Adult – Adult (doesn’t matter) – any genre (doesn’t matter) – after all – that is why they are called classics.

It got me thinking about how much reading has meant to me and continues to mean to me.  When my mom developed Macular Degeneration, we got her books on tape via the library.  She had a hard time operating the tape recorder, but she loved listening to me when I would read to her.  I read her newspapers, books, magazines and letters that my kids sent via e-mail.  It would make her laugh or cry or start a discussion that would last in my heart for many years.

Reading is like that.  It builds and elicits memories on so many levels.  Movies that exist in our heads.  New lands to visit.  New time periods to learn details that we never knew from the history books.  Emotions that we had forgotten.  Dreams to seek – as a child – an adult – a senior citizen.  Reading is all that and probably much more than I have remembered.

I love this Jewish month.  It is appropriate that school starts in this month as students start the long road of reading for knowledge, wisdom and discernment.  I love challenges.  I love a book challenge.

Wisdom is supreme:  therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  ”  Prov 4:7

Lenten Journey #22

Got to looking for ‘THEEEEE” childhood book. You know – the one book that sticks in your memory so well that you totally “see” the dust jacket in your mind’s eye 63 years later. Even better, you know how the hard cover looked UNDER the dust jacket. You remember every black and white picture that had a splash of red thrown in somewhere. The smell of that book as you fell asleep on it because it was the last thing you read almost every night. Once white pages that took on that yellowy tinge over the years also stick in the memory banks. Red crayon markings that you put on the inside cover in childish writing are also there. It’s funny what you remember about that treasured book even the binding that finally broke apart after being used one too many times and the browning cellophane tape seems somehow indelibly lodged into the “permanent file” . That’s the book I’m talking about.ifjesuscame

Mom ended up buying me that book again and then – once again. The first time, I was still living in a small house that I always call the Campbell Street house. It is where I first remember falling asleep with that book; my head cradled in the creases. Looking back, I don’t remember when it fell apart or when I stopped reading it. Essentially, by the time I went to college, it was gone. I know that because when I was taking a children’s lit course in college, I wanted to do a project on that book, but mom said it was gone. However, a couple days later and without calling, she appeared on my door step with a new copy. Mom was like that – especially after my father died. If I said I needed something, she would drive 80 miles and spend the money to make it come true. (I still find my mom totally amazing for all the things she attempted and accomplished for our family.)

Of course, that book remained with me and was read to my children many, many times. Eventually, that copy wore out and mom replaced it again until we had a house fire. Most of my books had been packed into boxes in 2009 because we were trying to sell our home. But this children’s book always stayed with my Bibles by my bedside. On that beautiful September day, I lost a few treasures – including my mom’s dog-eared, falling-apart-highlighted-filled-with-handwritten-comments Bible. Needless to say, the first thing I bought in the first week after the fire was a new Bible (I’m now up to 5 – if you don’t count all the digital ones that I have) and a small children’s book called: “If Jesus Came to My House”.

On this lenten journey, I wondered once again – and perhaps – it will make you wonder as well:

ifjesus1“If Jesus came to my house and knocked upon the door, I’m sure I’d be more happy than I’ve ever been before.
If Jesus came to my house, I’d like him best to be, about the age that I am, and about the height of me.
I’d run downstairs to meet him, the door I’d open wide, and I would say to Jesus, ‘Oh won’t you come inside?’ ~ Joan Gale Thomas.