February 8, 2012

50 People Every Christian Should Know


This is a great introduction to 50 people who spent their lives serving Christ. Each chapter is dedicated to one person and gives a brief overview of their life and teachings. The chapters also give you plenty of references to their work and books written about them and by them.

I especially liked the chapters on the women of faith. Women like Amy Carmichael and Katherine von Bora (Martin Luther's wife). I thought I'd share a little about each of these two women.

Amy Carmichael was a very strong-willed woman who did things God's way. She was a missionary who believed in loving people and sharing the gospel with them. She was shocked to see so many missionaries in the field who were living away from the people they were ministering too. She believed in immersing yourself into the culture of the people, living among them and getting to know and love them personally. She was also disturbed that no one was coming to Christ through them and that the missionaries weren't even expecting any to!  She wanted more than anything for people to experience the love of God and his saving grace.

While in India her heart went out to a young girl who came to her after fleeing one of the temples. She later found out many young girls were being sacrificed as prostitutes to their gods. She went right to her knees to fight for these children and God brought forth a beautiful ministry to help these young girls.

Amy never once came home from the mission field. For nearly 60 years she served these young girls and later young boys as well. The last 20 years being a near invalid, she still served and worked from her room.

Amy depended on the Lord for funds to run her mission, never asking or soliciting for money. Any money received was put into a general fund that served where God led her to use it.

Many came to Christ through Amy's obedience to the Lord. This 'Confession of Love,' she wrote for a group of Indian girls who came together to serve Christ, best puts into words what Amy believed and lived:

My Vow: Whatsoever Thou sayest unto me, by Thy grace I will do it.

My Constraint: Thy love, O Christ, my Lord.

My Confidence: Thou art to keep that which I have committed unto thee.

My Joy: To do Thy will, O God.

My Discipline: That which I would not choose, but which Thy love appoints.

My Prayer: Conform my will to Thine.

My Motto: Love to live-live to love.

My Portion: The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance.

Katherine von Bora was a 25 year old nun when she married the older priest of 42, Martin Luther. She was a steadfast companion and loved her husband well. Luther nicknamed her 'Kitty my rib' and also called her Selbander, which means 'better half' in German. They had 6 children together.

It was the example of them both that set a standard of godly marriage between a pastor and his wife. Something that just wasn't done back in the 16th century. She was also the epitome of the proverbs 31 woman, taking great care of her family and home by planting a garden, keeping cows for milk, butter and making cheese. Also being "an excellent nurse and dispenser of herbal medicines" she often helped with the needs of the people of Wittenberg.

I also loved her sense of humor. While Luther was often joyous in nature he did have many times of trail and became depressed and worried.  The book says here of an attempt at cheering him up:

Katherine endured this for days. One day, she met him at the door wearing a black mourning dress.

'Who died?' the professor asked.

'God,' said Katherine.

'You foolish thing!' said Luther. 'Why this foolishness!'

'It is true,' she persisted. 'God must have died, or Doctor Luther would not be so sorrowful.'

This must have made him smile. :) In fact it snapped him out of his depression that day. It very much sounds like they enjoyed each other, often bantering back and forth in jest and love.

I love that these two women were so different and how God used each of them in a special way.

This book is filled with great stories and histories of some of the greatest spiritual giants of the faith. Some familiar like Oswald Chambers, D.L. Moody, and Charles Spurgeon and some I'd never heard of like Samuel Rutherford and Christmas Evans. In reading this book, I have come to know and admire them all. It's also given me many new books to read, inspire and learn from!





18 comments:

  1. Hi Cathy, thank you for stopping by and becoming a follower of my classic movie blog. How in the world did you land on that very old "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" post? Definitely do look for that film...it's adorable. It is the film that started my love affair with Gary Cooper. I adore that man. (Yes, he's been dead for over 50 years, but I'm still crazy about him. But since I'm a married woman, I guess crushing on dead guys is the only safe way to crush.)

    I homeschooled my kids through high school, and in addition to the Bible, we constantly read biographies about great Christian missionaries. YWAM puts out a fantastic series, and we read over 2 dozen of the books. Some of the people we had never heard of before reading the books. Others like Eric Liddell and Hudson Taylor, who we already knew, we just learned more about. The heroes of the faith are always such inspiring men and women.

    Wishing you a wonderful day.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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    1. LOL...I think I found the movie on your sidebar and clicked on it! It sounded familiar so I thought I'd check it out. I've got it on hold now at the library and looking forward to watching it. :)

      That's so great that you were able to share these kinds of books with your kids growing up! I have to admit I hadn't read of any of these inspiring men and women till the last few years...and I grew up in church! My kids are all pretty much grown up, but I do try to share these good books with them once in awhile.

      Thanks for stopping by and following Patti!

      God Bless

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  2. This is right up my alley. Sounds like a great read! I highlighted your blog post on my weekly blog hop. Here is the link: http://findingtheinspiring.blogspot.com/2012/02/follow-me-to-great-read.html

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  3. I found this because Angel at Finding The Inspiring highlighted it on her blog. I'm so glad she did. I really want to get a copy of that. It sounds like it's EXACTLY the kind of book I love. Thanks so much for shouting it out, and thanks to Angel for shouting YOU out.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Debbie, hope you enjoy this book!

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  4. Wow, wonderful! This book has been on my to-read list for a long time. But it sounds like I should go ahead and buy it! Sounds like something I need to have on my book shelf. :)

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    1. Hi Erika, yes this is definitely a keeper for the bookshelf!

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  5. My family and I were just discussing this morning the template for missionaries nowadays, as well as Martin Luther! God is so cool, bringing me here of all days :) Thanks for recommending this book!

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    1. Hi Anne, I love hearing things like this. God is good! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I've never seen this book before, but I'm definitely adding it to my reading list now! :)

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    1. It's a wonderful book, hope you enjoy it! Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. I love books like that. I've read a lot of individual biographies and autobiographies about different heroes of our faith but this one looks really good. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Glad you stopped by Alia! Hope you get a chance to read this one. :)

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  8. Thanks for this review. I've had my eye on this book. Amy Carmichael has been an inspiration for years. Can't wait to meet her in heaven some day! Blessings!

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    1. Hi Renee, I recently bought a biography of Amy Carmichael written by Elizabeth Elliot. I'm excited to read it soon and get to know her better too!

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  9. Have you read the book Kitty, My Rib by E. Jane Mall? It's a great biography on Katherine! Found you because you tagged Kara who then tagged me. I'm a follower now. :-)

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    1. Hi Rina, welcome to my blog!

      I haven't heard of this biography, but sounds like something I would enjoy. I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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