Favorite Books for 2019 (Part 1): Summer Book Ideas!
Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim & Elisabeth Elliot by Valerie Elliot Shepard
This has been an incredible glimpse into the love story of the Elliots, witnessing their beautifully inspiring confidence in God’s plan for their lives, and their deep-seated eagerness to honor him every step of the way. Through a wealth of letting writing, when no other form of communication was possible, we see patient waiting on God’s timing. We see confident trust in God alone. We see an amazing passion to spread the gospel and make a difference with their lives. We see their eagerness to point each other back to Christ again and again. An inspiring story!
A favorite quote from Jim:
I trust that you will let nothing deceive you in the details of your going out—not common sense, experience, advice, ambition for souls rather than adoration for Christ, or any other voice than that of the living God, who will not suffer His faithfulness to fail.
And a quote from Elisabeth:
“Today I found severe temptation (and I yielded) to laxity in prayer and Bible study. Oh, I am conscious more than ever of my desperate need to know the Word—my only offensive weapon—but how very difficult it is for me to concentrate upon that only and wait upon God.”
I’ve talked about and reviewed this book here. Easily a favorite thus far!
You Who?: Why You Matter & How to Deal With It By Rachel Jankovic
Rachel doesn’t beat around the bush as she challenges women to see that their true purpose and identity can only be found in seeking the glory of God and walking in obedience to His Word. She stresses that what God calls us to be doing is very simple: obedience. Through obedience we have great purpose, clarity, and calling. It’s not about us…it’s all about Him! He has the best story for our lives…a story hand crafted by the Creator, and it’s through embracing His story that we become our true selves. Excellent and thought provoking!
“His fierce grip on me is the basis of all of my confidence. That is the basis of all my belonging. He knows who I am. He knows where I belong. Nothing more than that. No great confidence in my abilities or my ideas and strategies. No great achievement of self-actualization. No life flowchart that I am managing to get through in a timely and impressive manner. Nothing but God: He mine, and I His.”
“In other words, the more we try to build up an identity apart from God and apart from His Word, the less truly us we become. It doesn’t matter how long or thoughtful or detailed the story you are writing is. If it is written by a character in the story rather than the Author of the story, it can only ever be tiny; it will always be minuscule by comparison. You cannot, as a character, out-write the Author of you.”
”When we embrace the fact that obedience now is always the calling of a Christian, we find that we have more than enough to do. We are not to be the lost travelers hanging out at all the bus stations in life looking for our potential ticket to something that matters. Read the Word. Obey the Word. Obey it now. Obey it again.”
The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality as a Way of Life by Dustin Willis & Brandon Clements
Easily a favorite book on the importance and beauty of practicing hospitality through your home and lifestyle in our day and age. Hospitality is the secret weapon for gospel advancement. We can be a part of God’s mission right from our living rooms. Practical and inspiring. Pull out the BBQ and cook in your front yard and invite the neighbors! It’s the perfect time of year!
“God’s plan to glorify Himself in the church never consisted of platformed mega-pastors, cutting-edge art, or expensive buildings. The real power in the church is found the Holy Spirit moving through ordinary people as they carry His presence into the streets.”
“If we are ever going to join all our lives to God’s mission to change the world, we need to reclaim all of our ordinary pieces as a part of that gospel mission. We will have to reject the notion that something has to be big or unusual to be significant. We will have to view the ordinariness of our lives as significant and allow God to use our homes as a seed to be planted and grown, not something to be discarded or devalued. If ordinary doesn’t equal insignificant, then even a walk to the mailbox or grilling burgers matters. Everything about your everyday, ordinary, small-feeling life matters. Your meals matter. Your hobbies matter. Your work matters. Your home … it matters.”
“Biblical hospitality is the polar opposite of cultural trends to separate and isolate. It rejects the notion that life is best spent fulfilling our own self-centered desires, cordoned off from others in the private fortresses we call homes. Biblical hospitality chooses to engage rather than unplug, open rather than close, initiate rather than sit idly.”
Add one or all of these to your summer book stack, and you won’t regret it!
Guess what I’m reading this summer?
My Summer Reads:
Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much - Ashley Hales
Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Road to Freedom by Matt Carter
Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More - Karen Swallow Prior
A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World by John Stonestreet