The Hole in Our Gospel

Richard Stearns, in The Hole in Our Gospel, shares from holeinourgospelhis experiences as President of World Vision, and as a man wrestling with God’s call on his life. Although I didn’t read every single word in this book, I did enjoy the parts I read. Richard shared many inspiring stories of people around the world. One of my favorite stories involved a Zambian entrepreneur who successfully started and ran 13 different businesses.

Stearns also included plenty of challenging sayings and quotations. Here’s an African saying to chew on: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito.”

At the end of the book, Stearns includes other books, movies, and things to do to further grow in understanding poverty and doing something about it.

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

What a title. Some days I love love the little years (don’t grow up so fast, David!) and on other days everything seems to be going sooooo slowly. (Must we have a complete conversation after every step down the stairs?)

lovingthelittleyears Rachel Jankovic captures a lot of this in her book Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. This was a quick read for me (instead of a Sunday afternoon nap).  But even if you aren’t a fast reader, the chapters are very short and can be read sporadically and you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

Rachel shares hilarious stories (especially from what it is like to raise twins) and some helpful wisdom. I love how she taught her daughters about emotions: she compared emotions to a wild horse that the daughters have been given to ride. “The goal is not to cripple the horse, but equip the rider. A well-controlled passionate personality is a powerful thing. . . But a passionate personality that is unbridled can cause a world of damage.”

Here’s to bridling my emotions as I teach David how to handle his emotions!

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

7I loved, loved, loved this book. Jen Hatmaker is hilarious, challenging, and pretty transparent in her writing. As a spiritual discipline, Jen decides to fast from seven different things for seven different months. So, for example, during the first month, she eats only 7 different foods. (I think I would fail this month terribly!)  She then writes about what she discovers about herself and God in the process, including journal-like entries.

In her own words: “I approach this project in the spirit of a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God’s movement in my life. A fast creates margins for God to move. Temporarily changing our routine of comfort jars us off high center. A fast is not necessarily something we offer God, but it assists us in offering ourselves.”

I wish I could summarize all the hilarious situations that Jen recounts, but I will let you read for yourself. Oh, and I love that adoption is part of her family’s story. Check out her blog for more stories and laughs.


We wanted to quit chasing the wind and building this short life. We wanted to not just offer God words but truly offer up our lives and all that was in them, letting go of every expectation of what he would say. ‘God, we will do anything. Anything.’ 


Jennie Allen writes these words in her book, Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul. Jennie shares story after story from her life and journey with God, and how she is learning to take risks in obedience.  anything

I felt like I was reading some of my own story in Jennie’s words. We had an almost identical experience: discovering Katie Davis’ blog and devouring every word. Like Jennie, I’m still listening to Jesus about what risks God may be asking me to take. Everyone’s risks will look different.

Jennie quotes one of her bible professors on risk: “To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch him come through. He starts to get real when you live like that.”

Glad I found this gem at Ollie’s the other day. :)

Finally finishing a book. . . 5 years later

Yes, I’m embarrassed that it took me that long to read a book.

This was obviously not a quick read, but I’m still posting about it because I value the content.I have been forcing myself to finish reading all the books on my shelves and I am so glad that I re-discovered this book.

Dallas Willard is a theologian and scholar, but don’t be frightened away. The book is readable, but it is the type of book that I can’t read while David is awake. I’m considering getting another of Willard’s books –The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives but I will focus on this book today:

The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God

This book looks at how to live with Christ in the here and now, and how Jesus’ life and teachings are not just about giving us life in heaven after we die, but showing us how to live with God NOW.

I just finished the chapter entitled “On Being a Disciple, or Student, of Jesus.” So good. I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading this book. I found myself underlining phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs, and hoping that David would take a long nap!


Here are some direct quotations for you to chew on:

A disciple is “simply someone who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is.” (p. 282)

“As long as one thinks anything may really be more valuable than fellowship with Jesus in his kingdom, one cannot learn from him.” p. 293

Ouch, Lord, this is challenging to read. Help me to BE with you more – to recognize you around me, and to be ravished by the treasure that you are. You are of greatest value – help me to orient my life with that perspective.