This month was a WHIRLWIND.
Matthew and I, along with a group from our church, visited some of our church partners in Trieste Italy and served at English and sports camps for local Italian kiddos! It was equal parts encouraging and exhausting and wonderful and eye-opening [maybe I’ll write a post on the trip later on].
That being said, I was still able to squeeze a few books in because Matthew and I are DUMB and between the two of us we brought more than 10 books in our giant backpacks to Italy. Definitely regretted that when we were running through the airport and traipsing through the streets of Paris with our packs. Definitely loved it when I got to have hours upon hours of airplane reading.
So. Here is a [shorter than usual] list of the books I read this month! Feel free to click on the pictures of the books to find them on Amazon!
“Jesus understood his mission. He was not driven by the needs of others, though he often stopped to help hurting people. He was not driven by the approval of others, though he cared deeply for the lost and the broken. Ultimately, Jesus was driven by the Spirit. He was driven by his God-given mission. He knew his priorities and did not let the many temptations of a busy life deter him from his task.”
Crazy Busy, by Kevin DeYoung: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to slow down and prioritize rest. I find it so easy and natural to fill my calendar and busy myself to the point of exhaustion and neglect of the things and people and I love most. That’s why I chose to read this book. I have absolutely loved every book I’ve read by Kevin DeYoung. He is mercifully concise in his writing, but he still manages to pack in so much theological truth and wisdom. This book was no exception. Kevin spoke to the busy-ness crisis that seems to be rampant in North America, while providing Biblical wisdom and challenges to step off the hamster wheel of prideful busy-ness that we are so prone to. I would highly recommend this short book!
“The antidote to busyness of soul is not sloth and indifference. The antidote is rest, rhythm, death to pride, acceptance of our own finitude, and trust in the providence of God.”
“The place the Gospel holds out for us is where God’s kindness and his severity meet. This place is called the cross, and it is where grace and wrath intersect. It is at this place of shame and victory that God, in the form of the man Jesus of Nazareth, the long-expected Messiah, offered in his death the blood atonement necessary to satisfy God’s justice and secure our salvation.”
The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler: I specifically remember reading this book right before I started seminary (almost 6 years ago now!) and being blown away by the truth and beauty of the Gospel. Chandler describes the details of the Gospel in a way that is clear and, well, explicit. He challenges the church to preach and teach the Gospel explicitly so that people have a chance to see and savor Jesus. He does all this while somehow also weaving humor throughout. All I can say is, if you are hoping to grow your love of God and your awe of the Gospel, please please read this book.
“The religious, moralistic, churchgoing evangelical who has no real intention of seeking God and following him has not found some sweet spot between radical devotion and wanton sin; he’s found devastation. The moralism that passes for Christian faith today is a devastating hobby if you have no intention of submitting your life fully to God and chasing him in Christ.“
“We can draw no deadlines for God. He hastens or He delays as he sees fit. And his timing is all-loving toward his children. On, that we might learn to be patient in the hour of darkness. I don’t mean that we make peace with darkness. We fight for joy. But we fight as those who are saved by grace and held by Christ. We say…that our night will soon – in God’s good timing – turn to day.”
When I Don’t Desire God, by John Piper: Whenever I pick up one of Piper’s books, I am again blown away by his wisdom. In this book, Piper points to Christ as our only true and lasting source of joy, a truth that I constantly need to be reminded of. Like many of Piper’s books, it is a little heavier and more dense than a book you would pick up for casual reading, but the density and weight is worth it. As Christians we will all inevitably face seasons where we don’t passionately desire God, and Piper’s words in this book provide comfort and strength to those currently in, preparing for, or looking back on such a season.
“Desire for and delight in God’s Word are inseparable.”
What does it mean to be a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven? The Sermon on the Mount articulates what the life of a Christ follower should look like, asking us the same questions it posed to its original hearers: How should a disciple relate to sin? To others? To the Law? How does a disciple think, speak, and act? In this 9-session study, examine the words of Jesus in-depth as He challenges us to think differently about repentance, salvation, and sanctification.
Sermon on the Mount study, by Jen Wilkin: My women’s Bible study has been working through this study for the past few months and we finished it up this month! This was the first Jen Wilkin study (and the first video study) I’d done with a group and I loved it. Each week we would do the homework for the passage we would study the next week. At group we would discuss the homework and watch the video of Jen teaching through the material. We absolutely loved it! Jen teaches through the material in an incredibly helpful way, and the homework that goes along with it is thought-provoking and helpful. I loved slowly working through these chapters and I learned so much about the character of God and what it looks like to walk in obedience. I would HIGHLY recommend this study for anyone looking for a small group study!
Looking forward to next month’s books! Leave any book recommendations below!