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June 04, 2012

from recent readings

My bookshelves (and now, my storage boxes) are heavy with books that I wish to read. My journals are lined with notes from the few books I have read.  Here are a few tidbits, in no particular order, from books I've read lately.

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

Showing maturity beyond her years, Katie Davis runs a far-reaching ministry to needy children in Uganda. This is her first book. Her life choices have challenged me and many others to give up on mediocre Christianity and act on what the Word says. She has given up much to show Christ's love to the hurting children of Uganda. See the book here or read Katie's blog:

"People often ask if I think my life is dangerous, if I am afraid. I am much more afraid of remaining comfortable. Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear things that can destroy the body, but things that can destroy the soul. I am surrounded by things that can destroy the body...but I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy. Jesus called His followers to a lot of things, but I have yet to find where He warned us to be safe. We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger, God is right there with us, and there is no better place to be than in His hands." —Katie Davis

"I've noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: they hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters.... They aren't determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they're satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform...the world." —Beth Clark (in the forward to Kisses from Katie)

Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows by Ravi Zacharias

Beautifully written, Ravi's memoir captured my imagination nearly instantly. Ravi ambles through his life story, beginning with his growing-up years in India and following that with his move to the West as a young man. I could almost taste the Indian sweets as they melted in his mouth, feel the jolting of his bicycle through throbbing Indian crowds, and hear his bat cracking his cricket ball across the playing field. As is his style, Ravi engages not only the reader's imagination, but his mind. Ravi highlights the goodness of God in bringing together all the necessary elements to bring him to Christ. This master of Christian Apologetics builds a case for trusting the Lord even through the telling of his life story. His book can be purchased here.

"Apologetics is not just giving answers to questions—it is questioning people's answers and even questioning their questions. When you question someone's question, you compel him or her to open up about his or her own assumptions. Our assumptions must be examined." —Ravi Zacharias

Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay by Gary Inrig

This is Inrig's readable and interesting commentary on the Biblical book of Judges. I used this to supplement my reading of Judges as I taught through the book in Sunday school this year. Inrig uses lots of interesting illustrations and makes the message of Judges hit home in our North American context. Get the book here.

"There is an enormous difference between a direct and an indirect relationship to Scripture. An issue comes up in conversation, and two people give exactly the same answer. But on the lips of one, the answer is hollow. He is peddling secondhand convictions, something he has heard from [others]. The other person says the same thing, but his answer rings with the authority of personal conviction. He has been in the Word himself.... That Christian knows the fresh dynamic experience of walking with Jesus Christ. Beware of secondhand convictions.... Don't neglect the Word of God!" —Gary Inrig

"Ours is a cut-flower civilization. While a sign of life remains, we have cut ourselves off from our biblical roots, and the petals are beginning to droop and fall." —Gary Inrig

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