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Recent Reads

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Recent Reads |

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

A creative retelling of the story of the prodigal son, this book was difficult to put down once I got a few chapters in. Not being at all musically inclined, I enjoyed the theme of the power of music throughout this book, from tent revivals and simple piano to concerts at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

“We’re all broken, all walk with a limp. Here is the truth about you and me: even when in a far-off country, wasted life, stripped bare, smeared, squandered, nothing but scar tissue and shameful, self-inflicted wounds, the love of the Father finds the son and daughter.” 

Unsupermommy by Maggie Combs

Basic premise: you don’t have to be a superhero to do all that God has placed before you to do when you rely on said all-sufficient, all-powerful God. I enjoyed Maggie’s challenges to my tend-to-take-on-all-the-expectations heart, but I especially enjoyed how practical her wisdom was.

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Summer 2018 Reads + Reviews

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The written word has always been a treasure to me. I am mentored by men and women long in Heaven and rejuvenated in my faith by living followers of Christ. I enjoy both turning tangible pages and reading multiple books at a time on my Kindle. And while it took a little adjusting, I hardly take a drive over 20 minutes or fold a basket of laundry without listening to a book.

This summer I covered a lot of ground, and for my personal enjoyment and for other bookworms out there, I share with you what I’ve read. They aren’t in any major order, some fall in the spiritual growth category, others personal interest.

Here’s my system of review:

  • 5 = I loved the book and enthusiastically recommend it.
  • 4 = I liked it, but not necessarily doing cartwheels over it.
  • 3 = Eh. It was okay.
  • 2 = I’m reluctant to pass it along.
  • 1 = Don’t bother.

The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, by Elisabeth Elliot: 4.5 stars. A glimpse into one brave and devoted missionary life, this book is a compilation of historical details and the faithfulness of God. A truth I absorbed while reading this book is that if God calls you to a particular ministry or mission or task for His name and kingdom, He goes before you, and He will provide and be everything you need.

[Amy Carmichael’s] great longing was to have a “single eye” for the glory of God. Whatever might blur the vision God had give her of His work, whatever could distract or deceive or tempt other to seek anything but the Lord Jesus Himself she tried to eliminate.

In His Image, by Jen Wilkin: 5 stars. Jen Wilkin’s desire to unearth a high and lifted up vision of God in the hearts of believers has had a deep impact of me. After having read her first book of similar title, None Like Him, twice, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. This book is her approach to answer humanity’s deeply rooted need to know God’s will with a charge to become a person who images Jesus in their daily life. She tackles big theological aspects of God in a way that quickly sticks to your soul. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Everything we say or do will either illuminate or obscure the character of God. Sanctification is the process of joyfully growing luminous.

The Mark of the King, by Jocelyn Green: 4.5 stars. I have always enjoyed historical fiction, and this story did not disappoint. It took a few chapters to engage with the story, but halfway through, with my curiosity piqued, it was difficult to stop. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, but I probably won’t read it again.

Talk to the Lord, Julianne. Even if you’re mad as hornets. If you keep it all bottled up, you’ll only end up with a belly full of bee stings.

Rejoicing in Christ, by Michael Reeves: 5 stars. Before this one, I read Michael’s book on the Trinity, and greatly enjoyed it. Personally, Michael deepened my understanding of Jesus, cultivating an even sweeter love for him. It really is as the title says, a delightful feasting on the cornerstone and center of our salvation, marveling at the person of Jesus in relation to the Father, Spirit, creation, salvation, and more.

Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son, is the Beloved of the Father, the Song of the angels, the Logic of creation, the great Mystery of godliness, the bottomless Spring of life, comfort and joy. We were made to find our satisfaction, our heart’s rest, in him.

Identity Theft, edited by Melissa Kruger: 5 stars. I picked up this book because I’m an ‘identity-in-Christ’ junkie, but I was surprised how much I gleaned. In this book, a variety of God-fearing, people-loving women each write a chapter, for the purpose of the book’s tagline “reclaiming the truth of who we are in Christ.”

Satan shows us our sin so we might despair. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. God shows us our sin to lead us to Jesus. He wants to give us life, and life to the full. We may struggle with sin, but it’s no longer our identity if we’re in Christ. Melissa Kruger

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Current Read: The Gospel Comes With A House Key

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I am working my way through Rosaria Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes With A House Key, and it’s deeply inspiring (and convicting).

Culturally, hospitality is often defined solely by Martha Stewart-guided hosting or HGTV-inspired decor, but refreshingly, biblical hospitality is far deeper.

Butterfield’s theme throughout her book is ‘radically ordinary hospitality,’ a new vision to see your home as something that terminates on you and your desires, but “as God’s gift to use for the furtherance of his kingdom.”

Hospitality is making others feel like they matter. Hospitality is someone walking out your door feeling more loved and heard and cared for than when they walked in.

Hospitality, an arm of John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Like many other things in my life, this intention is one that will continually have room to expand and deepen. I’ll never arrive at being spectacular at hospitality, because there will always be someone I don’t know, a chance to listen to a friend or stranger, people to love well, and one of my personal favorites, we will always need to eat.

Hospitality is an adventure of life I haven’t taken by the horns, though it’s available to me every day.

When radically ordinary hospitality is lived out, members of God’s household are told that they are not alone in their struggles or their joys.

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