Books I'm reading

I'm learning how healthy it is to take a break from school and work and sit down with an excellent book. These are some books that I've read over the past 6 months that I think are absolutely worth checking out!

Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot - This is probably my favourite book by E. Elliot and perhaps of all time. Don't be fooled by thinking this is just another lame book about relationships - its not. While her views on purity and dating were things I had heard before, she writes about her life with Jim in an exquisite way. It's a beautifully written book and the way she describes her relationship with God is inspiring. It's fascinating to hear of their love story and path before they traveled to Ecuador as missionaries, and leading up to Jim's death at the hands of the natives. I found her thoughts, struggles and experiences very relate-able in different areas of my life. HIGHLIGHTS: How she and Jim first met, her growth with God, and her challenge to young women.

In The Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot - This book by E. Elliot recounts the life and testament of her passed husband Jim Elliot. It takes the reader through his personal journals, writings and relationship with God from his days in student ministry until his death in Ecaudor in 1956. His relationship with God is inspiring and His passion for missions is incredible. This is an astounding testament of how God can work in the life of one person to impact generations of people to live for God and bring Him glory. His love for the Huaorani people convicted me in how I should love the lost. HIGHLIGHTS: Jim's letters and journals, his absolute surrender to God and his life mission of bringing the hope of Jesus to the broken.

Romans in The Bible - I read and studied the book of Romans in the New Testament over a period of 6 weeks this summer. This is Paul's first letter (of 13), where he is writing to the early church in Rome. He begins by explaining the reality of sin and continues to describe the reality of the cross, our new life in Christ, redemption, grace, missions, and how we are to act as a body of believers. This is perhaps one of Paul's meatiest letters in the Bible and is packed with life-giving information. I thoroughly enjoyed studying this book and through Romans, I started to understand how the cross applied directly to my life. Additionally, Reach Records (Lecrae, Trip Lee, etc.), seem to get most of their material and inspiration for their music from this book. HIGHLIGHTS: Chapter 8 (probably favorite chapter in the whole Bible), Romans 15:17-21, and Romans 10: 5-18.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan - I heard excellent feedback about this book and so when I read it I had high expectations. I enjoyed the book very much and I appreciated how it described God's love and how it applied to us as people. I found it a little fluffy at parts but thought the challenge to live a radical life for God refreshing. This book seemed to be aimed at those living a nominal Christian lifestyle, rather than new discovers. HIGHLIGHTS: His declaration of the majesty of God, his challenge to Christian culture, and his passion for living radically for God.

Jonah in The Bible - I read this book this summer, and even though it's a story I've heard many times I seemed to gain a fresh perspective. Jonah is the 32nd book in the Old Testament and is considered one of Israel's prophets. The book can be broken down into 4 main sections (which line up with the 4 chapters). I love the theme of God's sovereignty and control despite Jonah's actions. Even in Jonah's disobedience, God brought the pagan soldiers & sailors to know and fear Himself (1:16), and God provides the fish - it was in God's plan for Jonah to go through suffering in order to learn about God's sovereignty. God commanded the fish (He has authority over creation), and He was persistent in Jonah going to Ninevah. I loved when the King of Ninevah believed in God and it reminds us that even people of influence and importance are humbled & under the authority of God. The King made changes to the entire city and God had mercy on His beloved people. HIGHLIGHTS: Jonah getting swallowed by the fish, his declaration of God in chapter 2, and Jonah's interpretation of the withering plant in chapter 4.

When People Are BIG and God is small by Edward Welch - Have you ever struggled with craving approval from others? I read this book and it completely changed my perspective on my own life and how I relate to other people. The book progresses in a logical and helpful way: first exposing our true craving for approval and then identifying how attaining  a proper perspective of God, ourselves and others helps us overcome "fear of man". It's biblically based and approaches the issue with theology and not just psychology (which I found very refreshing).  HIGHLIGHTS: Exposing feelings of shame as a influence for fearing perceptions of others, recognizing God for who He really is, and learning my true identity in Christ.