Saturday, December 31, 2011

Next up:

Here's my pile of books for the year. We'll see how this goes. I also do Blogging for Books, so there will be those books as well. I am starting the year off with Eugene Peterson's Working the Angles: the Shape of Pastoral Integrity.

Happy 2012!

My Utmost for His Highest

I spent the year with Oswald Chambers. I had heard great things about this book. Here are some of my favorites:

January 2: “He went out, not knowing whither he went.” ~Hebrews 11.8
There is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question – “What do you expect to do?” You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.

January 20: Guard jealously your relationship to God.

January 26: “Consider the lilies of the field” – they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere.
February 22: If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified…. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.

March 4: It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment.

March 19: Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.

March 25: A beautiful saint may be a hindrance if he does not present Jesus Christ but only what Christ has done for him. He will leave the impression—“What a fine character that man is!” That is not being a true friend of the Bridegroom.

April 18: We are so busy telling God where we would like to go.

April 29: The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently making our nests anywhere…. We are uncertain of our next step, but we are certain of God.

May 6: Jesus said, “Go and make disciples,” not “making converts to your opinions".

May 8: Trust yourself in God’s hands.
May 19: Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there.

June 14: Think of the things that take you out of abiding in Christ –Yes, Lord, just a minute, I have got this to do; Yes, I will abide when once this is finished; when this week is over, it will be all right, I will abide then. Get a move on; begin to abide now. In the initial stages it is a continual effort until it becomes so much of the law of life that you abide in Him unconsciously. Determine to abide in Jesus wherever you are placed.
July 2: Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jesus Christ.

July 4: Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself…. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

July 6: God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.

August 30: It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.

September 11: The things that Jesus did were of the most menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God’s power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way.

September 23: The aim of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen…

October 10: Obey God in the next thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up.

October 19: You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in overactive energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes….

October 21: It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in the mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

November 2: … when I stand face to face with God I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed.

November 5: if you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across.

November 16: It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us.

November 26: If I talk my own talk, it is of no more importance to you than your talk is to me; but if I talk the truth of God, you will meet it again and so will I.

December 9: Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.

December 20: We are sent by God to lift Jesus Christ up, not to give wonderfully beautiful discourses.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Love, Sex, and Happily Ever After

Although this book was a quick read, the principles within will take time to apply. Craig Groeschel is a pastor with a past who honestly expresses his desire for people to wait for God's best.

His examples include stories from his own life and people he has counseled.

"If you want what few have, do what few do. Raise your standards. Pursue holiness" (63).

This book renewed my hope for a godly marriage. "People in my generation are making decisions way before marriage that actually sabotage what they really want for their futures" (5).

I really appreciated his two chapters on the differences between men and women (Thinking Differently about Husbands/Thinking Differently about Wives). Groeschel attacks some lies that women believe. Sadly, I have believed some of them, and it is good to know that someone cares enough about women to confront them with the truth in love.

I highly recommend this for singles. I'd even recommend it for married couples since I am sure they can apply what Groeschel talks about as well!

I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Torn by Jud Wilhite

As someone who has seen my fair share of hard times, throughout this book I was nodding my head in agreement. Jud Wilhite is not afraid to tackle tough issues. It is obvious that Jud has been through his own tough situations where God has been there with him through it all. If you know of someone who is asking "Why is this happening to me", this would be a great book to get into their hands.

One of my favorite quotes was: "Maybe if we regularly spent time staring up at the vast expanse of the night sky and meditating on the God who established and upholds it, we would spend less time questioning his ability to comfort and console us" (61).

Wilhite embraced counseling as a way of dealing with life issues. I am glad he mentioned it because so many people shy away from going to a counselor, even though it will help them. Wilhite also mentioned his love of playing guitar when he's upset about how life is playing out. "Whatever helps you express your hurts can be helpful in journeying through them" (131).

I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.