Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Hole in Our Gospel

by Richard Stearns
President, World Vision US

Thomas Nelson Publishing 2009
Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Rating: 5/5 (MUST READ)
The Hole in Our Gospel Website

Do NOT read this book if you don't want to be changed.....

From the jacket:
The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life.  He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel - the whole gospel - was always meant to be a world-changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.

"Let my heart be broken by the things
that break the heart of God." 
 - a prayer by Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision

This book has come to me in a time in my life when it seems like the economy has faltered, homes have been lost, jobs have disintegrated and faith in the American Dream is at an all-time low.  The complete truth, however, is that we Americans are so wealthy, secure, comfortable and protected that we cannot (or choose not to) look past our borders at the world as a whole which is struggling just for food and water.  While we may struggle to pay our mortgage or pay for a college education, our basic needs will most certainly be met. I cannot imagine not knowing where my next meal is coming from or turning on the faucet to get a drink of water only to find it dry.  
Richard Stearns shows his vulnerability as a man and does not hesitate to share his journey to become a Christ follower.  I so identify with him in searching out his beliefs the way he did, through relentless research and reading; only to finally let the logic of his mind take a leap of faith to his heart. 

If I had to choose one paragraph to represent this book it would be this one:
But I want to be clear that this does not mean we are saved by piling up enough good works to satisfy God.  No, it means that any authentic and genuine commitment to Christ will be accompanied by demonstrable evidence of a transformed life.  In contemporary terms, those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk will be exposed as false.  "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.  The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3-4)

This book is thought provoking, gloriously written and completely inspiring. God enables us to move mountains, we just need to pick up a shovel and move one mound of dirt at a time; won't you join me?

Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.

- Saint Teresa of Avila

Friday, March 12, 2010

Countdown 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - We're #1!

I would like to share with you my favorite books of ALL TIME!  
I will not review the books at this time, but if/when I re-read them, I will post a review. 
 *these are in random order because I can't seem to rank them!

 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Horse & His Boy is my favorite, I just love Shasta!

 Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
Yes, the whole series... pure magic!

Brings me to tears to just think of how this book touched my soul.

The Shack by William P. Young
Love, Love, Love how this book breaks down our perceptions!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Levin & Kitty are the real stars, don't let the title fool ya!

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Changed my life.... Saved me.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
I loved the end.  Get the tissues.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Represents my move from Kansas to California quite well.  Timeless.

Heartbeat by Danielle Steel
My favorite when I was young and
devoured everything Danielle Steel wrote.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
First book my oldest child and I really discussed!

Honorable Mentions:

Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge
Beautiful book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Don't even know what to say... amazing book.

The Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers
I love Francine Rivers, but this is by far my favorite of her's!

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

A Time to Kill by John Grisham
This was the first John Grisham book I read, love them ALL!

Oh, how I love these books...
Each represents a part of me
 they reflect who I was when I read them
and who I have become.
Making this list has certainly made me want to re-read a couple
(ok, ok, every single one is calling to me!) 

......... reviews coming soon.................

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Book Bender Begins!

Hello Book!
by N.M. Bodecker

Hello book!
What are you up to?
Keeping yourself to yourself,
shut in between your covers,
a prisoner high on a shelf.
come in book!
What is your story?
Haven't you ever been read?
Did you think
I would just pass by you
And pick me a comic instead?
No way book!
I'm your reader
I open you up.
Set you free.
Listen, I know a secret!
Will you share your secrets with me?