Some of my favorite reads from this past year. This stack is missing a few that greatly impacted me this past year, such as Eric Metaxes’ “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prohpet, Spy,” and Jerry Bridges “Transforming Grace.”
I sheepishly admit that I have historically been careful not to venture too far in my book choices into places that would disagree with my firmly held convictions. I have begun to challenge myself to read some things that might intrigue, provoke, and even irritate me. To read some things that I think I will probably disagree with. I have been afraid to do this in the past, not trusting my mind + heart to weed out truth from lie. As my favorite professor from school once counseled me, we can engage in content that may make us squirm because we can trust that God will separate what is wheat from what is chaff.
The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I see that He continually leads us into more spacious places. He always leads us on to greater freedom (2 Cor. 3:17), and that He will increase our awareness of the great freedom already won for us in Christ Jesus.
Some books that made me squirm and were out of my comfort zone to read were Sarah Bessey’s “Jesus Feminist” and also Barbara Brown Taylor’s “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith” (not pictured above). I have to tell you: I am SO GLAD I picked those two up. I’m not sure I can tell you that I agree with everything written therein, but I can tell you that I am better off for having read and engaged in those two books. Well worth the journey and the squirming. I think I’m finding that when I read things that are outside of my comfort zone, I am reminded of how much bigger God is than I can possibly wrap my arms (or mind) around. I am reminded that it is in the diversity of the body of Christ that His incredible, unfathomable largeness and otherness is expressed. No one denomination has a corner on all Truth, and we are wise to remember that. I am reminded that Christ’s final prayer with His disciples centered around pleading for them to be ONE (John 17).
I have a big stack already waiting for me to dig into in 2015:
And since I am now reviewing books for fun (pushes nerd glasses up bridge of nose) this stack will definitely grow over the year. Of course, I will share the best with you here, as I firmly believe in sharing good resources and in reading, reading, reading. Not just to stuff our heads with knowledge, but because we want to learn, to change, to have a conversation with the community of brothers and sisters of our faith both in the current day and in times past. What a beautiful privilege that is!
This season of being a mother to little ones has taught me that the best things in life must be fought for. The path of least resistance is not the way of Jesus. I have so little time as a momma for reading, and yet I’m passionate about squeezing it in. There is so much I want to learn and have yet to learn! This year I am convicted afresh that my focus needs to be on my marriage and my children. So I’m hoping to fill my shelves (figuratively speaking) with words that build up and strengthen my marriage and my calling as momma first and foremost.
Of course, I’m hoping to squeeze in some fiction as well. Sometimes a momma just needs to get lost in a good story.
What are you hoping to read this year? What books would you recommend?