Last week I spoke about how much I loved being able to read and read and read over the summer. Several years ago I confessed to my husband that I think I was made for it. God created me to read the works gifted writers produce – and to tell others about them! If only that could be a paying job…
But for now, I would love to share with you some of my new favorite books. Books that were recently published – and I really think here I have something for everyone.
Disclaimer: All links are affiliated links which basically means I would gain a small commission if you were to buy one. If you do, thanks for supporting me!
Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket: 150 Bright Ideas for Wannabe World Changers by Jenny Rae Armstrong
I shared this one on Facebook a few times. But I don’t think I told you that Jenny was gracious enough to include a few words of my own within the pages of her brilliant book!
My name! My words! In a book!!
Ok, I’ll come down from that in order to tell you why I think this is an important book. Beyond being encouraging for new moms, Don’t Hide Your Light is a call for women to take up their gifts and abilities for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Armstrong redefines calling and ministry so that we are able to participate whether we are working parents, stay at home moms, or something in between. Whether we live in the inner city or the outskirts of the country.
Don’t Hide Your Light is written for the overworked, busy women we are today, acknowledging that we don’t always have extra time to read for hours at a time by being broken down into short essays that go deep fast and emerging with practical things we can do each day to serve Jesus right where we are. In yoga pants, covered in spit-up and all. Excellent gift for a baby shower or Mother’s Day!
For Bible Studies and Personal Growth:
Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas by Leslie Leyland Fields
Just look at that cover for a moment. Those breakers are stunning, aren’t they? Through her ability to capture images like this into words, Leslie Leyland Fields transported me from my home office in Minnesota to the waters of Alaskan seas where Fields and her family have been professional fishers for the past 28 years.
Through compelling story telling and vivid imagery, from stories of dreams of waves and drowning to the retelling of historic events in bible times, Crossing the Waters kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next – even when I already know the answer! Fields artfully weaves together the stories of her family and insights from her years fishing in Alaska to stories found throughout Scripture. I consider myself a waterbaby, having grown up on the lakes of Minnesota, but Fields highlights the meaning and prominence of water throughout the Bible in ways I never noticed. I have learned so much (and am more in love with the water than ever).
I highly recommend Crossing the Waters for personal reading or a group study. Fields provides an excellent guide for groups with questions for further Scripture study and discussion. But more than that, Fields is also offering a free skype discussion with groups reading her book! An excellent opportunity! Just let me know if you are interested and I’ll get you in touch with her.
For the Suffering:
A friend slipped Finding God in the Ruins into my hands last spring and told me how much she believed in this book. I had never heard of it, but a free book! Given to me! I was even more thrilled to meet the author minutes later who my friend was meeting for breakfast.
I did not crack the book open until a few weeks into our summer sabbatical, but after I did I could not put it down. Bays wears his heart on his sleeve, exposing with vulnerability and truth the suffering of his childhood and ongoing struggles in the present moment. The depth of his pain (and the reality of what happened to him) may be uncomfortable for some. At times I did have to rest in order to pray for eyes to see healing, but Bays always kept pointing me to Jesus.
A mentor once told me that there are times when our view of God has to die in order to truly see God for who He is. We are taught false things, given cliches and band-aids to cover our pain in life. Bays rips those band-aids off and challenges us to see the God who redeems. Perhaps redemption is messier than we expect. Perhaps it looks more like a man bleeding on a cross than the instantaneous healing we desire. Can we continue to seek it?
What about you? What have you been reading? Which book are you most interested in?