I love to read and occasionally I like to post what I’ve been reading in the hopes that these books can challenge others as well. God has gifted so many in the area of writing and I’ve gleaned little treasures from some wonderful books through the years. Here is what is impacting me currently:
- Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning – I read this book or portions of it at least once a year. I don’t know anyone who writes more honestly or sincerely about the grace of God and our desperate need for it. He challenges me to look at things from a different perspective and I love that. Brennan finished his race here on earth a few months ago and he will be greatly missed.
- The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen – What a powerful book about the parable of the Prodigal Son. I never realized I resembled not only the prodigal, but also naturally the elder son. Most importantly, I should strive to resemble the Father in the story. What a great reminder.
- Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James – Have you ever heard the term ezer-warrior? Carolyn discusses this term and what it means to be a woman today and an ezer-warrior for the Kingdom of God. Women are strong and brave and it’s time we step up to our battle positions for His Kingdom!
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson – This book has forever changed my prayer life. What do you want God to do for you? Is it ok to even ask that question? Mark talks candidly about deep desires and what happens when we seek God earnestly and “pray through” for His inspired desires in our lives.
- The Freedom Of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller – This is a power-packed little book. It’s only 44 pages long, but I have most of it highlighted. “What are the marks of a supernaturally changed heart? A truly gospel-humble person is not a self-hating person or a self-loving person, but a self-forgetful person.” Wow. A deeply convicting book.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve read any of these books or if you want to share others that are impacting you right now.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that God has plans for you? And they’re not plans to harm you, but plans for you to prosper in Him! He has your best in mind. So many of His children are barely hanging on by a thread, but you don’t have to live that way. He doesn’t just want you surviving this life. He wants you to flourish! No matter what you are facing today, I hope you will take a moment and remind yourself of this eternal truth. Life can be hard and painful at times, yes, but God wants you to live your life as one who knows and understands that you have hope in each moment and a beautiful future in Him and with Him. That’s a life worth living!
Remember: “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Many of us are carrying burdens we were never meant to carry. We have become consumed with worry, fear, anxiety, depression, addictions; the list goes on and on. God has given us an extraordinary invitation to come to Him if we’re weary and burdened. He wants us to turn over all of the things that have been weighing us down. He wants to release us from our bondage. He wants to set us FREE! All we have to do is come and lay our burdens at His feet. His freedom is readily available to all of us, but we must choose to let go. You see, we can’t take hold of freedom while we’re still clinging to our bondage.
Today I invite you to accept Christ’s invitation. Come to Him, lay your burdens down and rest, knowing and believing that He has set you free.
Remember: “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
We are getting ready to celebrate the birthday of our great country this weekend and because of that, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about freedom and liberty recently. I truly love this country and I take great pride in the fact that I’m an American. When I stop to think about the generations before us and all they went through to secure our freedom, it’s overwhelming. I only hope if I had been living back then, that I would have been willing to make the same sacrifices they made for us. I’m so thankful to live in a country that places such a high value on freedom.
While I’m grateful for the freedom this country offers me, I’m even more grateful and overwhelmed by the freedom my Savior offers me. There are many people walking the streets of this free country, bound. There are also many people roaming the hallways of the churches in this free country, bound. Most don’t even know they have chains binding them. They’re bound by addiction, depression, guilt, money, a feeling of worthlessness and the list goes on and on. While our country offers certain freedoms and rights for us as human beings on this earth, Christ offers true freedom for our minds, hearts and souls that will not only be experienced here on earth, but for all of eternity. One of my favorite scriptures is Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” I want to live in all of the freedom Christ has for me and I want to encourage my neighbors and friends to do the same. God has so much more for all of us and I want to do my part in helping others attain all that God has for them.
Let’s remember to be thankful for our freedom and be conscious of doing what we can to help spread that freedom. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela