October Reading

Oct
2014
12

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The last time I posted about what I’m reading was April. April. You might think that’s just because I forgot to post but it’s more like because I forgot to read. Even the most avid reader has to go ahead and accept that sometimes daily life leaves you with just enough mental energy to watch a little Gilmore Girls at the end of the day before falling into a coma.

In all seriousness thought I did have a crazy summer and first month of school during which very little reading was happening. However, I did squeeze in one book in August that I truly LOVED. There is a handful of books that I go back to again and again and this book has definitely made that short list. At the Women’s Gospel Coalition conference this past June I picked up Idols of the HeartLearning to Long for God Alone by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It was the title that attracted me. I don’t know about you but it seems that everywhere I look there is an idol of some sort enticing me to abandon love for my Savior in favor of its empty promise of fulfillment.

This book went beyond what I expected. For me, it just really got into the heart of the matter when it comes to idolatry and how it invades and infects our lives as believers. And then it provided all of the hope that comes with the Gospel promise that Jesus is indeed enough. It caused me to think deeply about where my idols lie and about how to effectively fight against them. This book is deep, encouraging, practical. And then on top of all that it has really helpful discussion questions/extra Scripture reading at the end of each chapter. The kind that really do deepen your understanding of what you’re reading.

Perhaps the biggest thing I took away from my reading of Idols is a new perspective on the freedom that is ours in Christ. In her chapter entitled Willing to Obey, Fitzpatrick says,

Once a person becomes a Christian, he has liberty. Unlike his old self, whose choice was always toward sin, he is now able to choose to sin or not sin. Both of these choices are a possibility. When his heart is so inclined, when he’s convinced of the goodness of it, and when he longs for the Lord and the joy of bringing Him pleasure, he chooses to obey Him. He’s no longer a slave to sin in the same way that he was before he was saved. Before he was saved there was only one possible outcome in every choice: he was going to sin. But now that he has a new heart, there are two possibilities. He can sin or he con not sin, freely choosing, according to his desires.

This is one of those things that I “knew” but had kind of lost sight of. I used to be a slave to sin, but have been set free to choose what I never would have before. The heart is deceptive and we become easily convinced that it is the other way around. That the sin we left behind is where freedom is found and the righteousness we’re called to is slavery. To be a Christian is to be a liberated slave who never has to go back to that life. What amazing news. What a wonderful reminder.

So, as you can see, I highly recommend this book.

And even though I’m sure I’ve mentioned Future Grace by John Piper before I’m just going to go ahead and tell you again that you want this book in your library. I went back through various chapters from it over the last 6 months. It had, and continues to have, a huge impact on my life. This is one of the books I mentioned above, that I just continue to go back to. You won’t regret owning this one.

As for what I’m reading now, there are a couple of books on my list to finish this month. The first is A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community & Mission around the Table by Tim Chester. Josh and I are in a little supper club and are reading this book with that group. Sharing a meal is such a foundational piece of the church community and of society as a whole.  I’m really looking forward to reading this and having a deeper understanding of why that is. And it doesn’t hurt that we’ll be discussing this book over a great meal with friends in a few weeks. Perfect.

And lastly, I’m in the middle of reading Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up, by Ian and Larissa Murphy. Ian and Larissa’s story became rather well-known through social media and their blog, Pray for Ian. You can read a synopsis of it here. I’ve followed their story over the last few years, and it is an inspiring one. But I am finding in reading Larissa’s very honest writing that it is also a very real story. She shares the ups and downs of loving and following Christ and her husband through tragedy and hardship. I am so glad I’m reading it and encourage you to pick it up as well.

Hope these suggestions encourage you to continue reading as well. Or to put it down for a few months because life is crazy. Because that’s okay too.

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