As the book club co-ordinator/moderator many of you will be getting to know Nicole Starling already and have benefitted from her contributions along the way. Nicole will be contributing for September's book Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, so I thought I'd interview her as we have done the other contributors.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
My parents weren't Christians until I was 6 years old. I was the first person in my family to become a Christian, through my Scripture teacher! I loved Scripture and I remember being amazed by everything my teacher told me about Jesus. Then one day she said we could 'ask Jesus into our hearts'. I know it's not the best way to describe it, but I understood what she was saying and prayed with her. I went home and announced to my parents that I had 'asked Jesus into my heart'. I think they might have been a little shocked and concerned, but they hid it from me. It was only a couple of months later, that, through different circumstances, my mum and dad became Christians. From that point on I grew up being discipled by them. I think God has been very gracious to my family!!
What do you most love about reading?
Lots of things! I love reading fiction because I can can enter into another world. If I love a book enough I actually feel sadness when I finish the book because I'm going to 'miss' the characters. I also think reading fiction is a great way to learn empathy (which is a GREAT thing for a Christian to have!) because you get to see the world through the character's eyes.
What is your favourite novel?
It's hard to pick a favourite. I've always loved Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. A recent 'favourite' is Atonement by Ian McEwen, plus I love reading anything by Alexander McCall Smith.
What book has helped you the most in growing in your knowledge of God?
It's a tie between Knowing God by JI Packer and Desiring God, by John Piper. I read Knowing God in my first year at uni, and it really stretched my understanding of God's character. I also love Desiring God, because it helped me understand the relationship between enjoying God and glorifying him, and the difference that it makes in my life.