August 20, 2018

I Can Only Imagine: A Memoir

This was such a wonderful book!

There is so much of God and His goodness in it, so much honor and glory given to Him. He is the center, and His love and kindness are shown through each persons life.

Going into this read I had no idea the story behind the song, 'I Can Only Imagine.' It's always been one of my favorites, as it is so many others, but I wasn't expecting it's beauty to deepen.

This story was so beautiful, a story of redemption, forgiveness and how God changes those of us who humble themselves before Him.

The back cover says here:
"MercyMe’s crossover hit, “I Can Only Imagine,” has touched millions of people around the world. But few know about the pain, redemption, and healing that inspired the song. Now Bart Millard, award-winning recording artist and lead singer of MercyMe, shares how his dad’s transformation from abusive father to man of God sparked a divine moment in music history."

In this book you will see how God is working through each circumstance, each experience, each person, and it is so moving. Make sure you have plenty of tissues at hand!

When God changes a heart it is often slow going, a digging deep and a painful burning down so that a new life can begin. Bart shares this progress not only in his dad, but also in himself. He is open and honest and I appreciated that, because it always makes room for others to be open and honest as well.

The ending of Bart's dad's life was painful, as he suffered and died from cancer. But Bart reminds us that even though some may say his dad got what he deserved, God had a different plan. A plan of grace. This reminded me of what I've been studying in Isaiah.

I've been studying Isaiah 53:5...

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed."

...and learning that this verse is about salvation, rather than physical healing. He went through this punishment for our peace to give us salvation.

1 Peter 2:24-25 confirms this:

"...who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. "

Peter reminds believers that we have died to sin and live for righteousness through Christ boring our sins in His own body. The stripes Christ bore have healed us from sin to righteousness.

Bart's dad went through a lot of physical pain in his last days, but God was healing him in a better way. Through Christ, Bart's dad found true healing, the healing that comes from the stripes on the back of Jesus.

A forever healing that eternally saves. A healing that is open to all of us.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

I can't tell you how much I recommend this book. It was just so good. I also loved that Bart included an appendix at the back on our identity in Christ, which shares 75 verses to remind us of who we are in Him.

This has been made into a movie and I'm hoping they stuck to the books focus on the Lord. I'm looking forward to watching it. : )

Now go read this book!

Buy it HERE on Amazon

August 5, 2018

5 books on my future reading list

I Can Only Imagine: A Memoir

Named after 'Mercy Me's' famous Christian song, this memoir, by the lead singer Bart Millard, is the story of him and his family.

As so many others, I've loved this song throughout the years. It's one of those songs that will never go out of style. A song that encourages you to think and ponder on the Lord and eternity to come.

Pastor Greg Laurie says here of this book:

"In I Can Only Imagine, we are reminded that God is able to transform an abusive and monstrous father into a tenderhearted friend and role model. He is able to change a reluctant choir student into a world-renowned vocalist. And he can turn a song written in ten minutes into an anthem about the wonder of eternity.

God is able to do 'immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,' and Bart's story is a testament to that truth." 

Church History in Plain Language 

I recently started this one and I'm loving it!

There really isn't anything 'new under the sun' and God has used great men and women throughout history to help us keep His Word and stay true to it's teaching.

One thing I'm noticing as I read, is that a lot of false teachers today ask the same questions and follow after the same heresies of long ago.

It's important to look to history to see what has been rejected by true believers in the past, so we can move forward in teaching what is right. says here of the book:

"Church history made fascinating! In this updated edition of his classic, Shelley offers a lively account of the ages of the church---from apostolic times to the present---plus new chapters on the explosive growth of Christianity in the southern hemisphere, the influence of technology on the spread of the gospel, the decline of mainline denominations, and more."

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I love C.S. Lewis. He is one of my favorite authors. I so enjoy his books. Though they can be a bit of a drudge to get through at times, they are so worth it. : )

This novel is about how he met and came to love his wife Joy. I'm really looking forward to it.

Goodreads says here:

"In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all."

The Gospel According to God

This book is based on Isaiah 53, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and one I love so much.

“He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Amazon says here:

"Often hailed as one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, the prophecy of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 foretells the crucifixion of Jesus, the central event in God’s ultimate plan to redeem the world.

This book explains the prophetic words of Isaiah 53 verse by verse, highlighting important connections to the history of Israel and to the New Testament—ultimately showing us how this ancient prophecy illuminates essential truths that undergird our lives today."

True Feelings God's Gracious and Glorious Purpose for Our Emotions

We all have feelings and emotions, and as Christian women we need to learn how to honor God with them.

It's an on-going struggle for most, including myself, but with God's direction and guidance, we can learn.

Amazon says here:

"Emotions can be confusing. At times, we live at the mercy of our emotions, feeling helpless to understand them and powerless to control them. But the Bible brings clarity to this confusion, showing women that emotions are ultimately a gift from God. 

In this book, a mother-daughter team offers women a fresh perspective on their feelings straight from God's Word, helping them handle emotions in a way that honors God and others. Pointing women to godly habits and unpacking the role of feelings in everyday life, this book offers hope for flourishing with the emotions that God gave them."