Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose -This book follows the life of Darlene as a missionary in the jungles of New Guinea with most of the focus on her four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp. When WWII breaks out, Darlene and her husband are separated in different prison camps and experience the unexpected. I was inspired reading this compelling story of Darlene’s life and was amazed at her unwavering faith amid the most devastating circumstances, sickness, deprivation, and loss of loved ones. Darlene rested heavily on her relationship with the Lord and was anchored by the truth that God is always good and always with her. She clung so tightly onto God’s Word which gave her the strength and hope to make it through each day. I was really encouraged in my faith as I read how dependent Darlene was on prayer even in her sorrow, how knowledgable she was of Scripture, and how she always, no matter the circumstance, trusted in the Lord with full confidence. That confidence, that intimate relationship she had with the Lord, that courage and dependence was so admirable and convicting. Throughout the book, you see how God worked through Darlene so beautifully and faithfully in the way she led the other women in her camp, in how she still found humor and joy in the small things, and in her boldness to continue to spread the gospel during these times. One of the most incredible parts of her story is when God opens the door for her to share the gospel with her brutal and cruel Japanese camp commander. After sharing the gospel, she says to him, "Maybe God brought me to this place and this time to tell you that He loves you." What a woman of unshakeable faith living for Jesus every step of the way. I pray we can all learn from Darlene in our own walks with the Lord.
Jesus The King by Tim Keller - I may be one of Tim Keller's biggest fans. He played such a huge role in my journey of coming to know Christ. (side note- his book, The Reason for God, is a must-read especially for those skeptical about Christianity or just starting to explore Christianity.) Besides the Bible of course, the books I have read and sermons I have listened to that were most impactful were by Tim Keller. Jesus The King is a book I have read multiple times and still go back to and read my highlighted notes. Keller goes through the book of Mark digging into the life of Jesus and the person He is in the first half and the second half explores the death and resurrection of Jesus and ultimately the purpose of Jesus. If you’ve read anything of Keller, you know that his writings are always so rich, and will leave you sitting in awe of Jesus over and over. I often read a section and have to just sit with it for a while because there is so much to take in. Keller writes in a way that so beautifully helps you understand something that was previously confusing. He illuminates the glory and beauty of God by making you see a concept or bible passage in a different light. Even if you have read Mark a hundred times, I guarantee you will learn something new about Jesus and your love and awe of Him will be renewed. This book will enlighten you with historical knowledge about Jesus and more importantly grow your relationship with Him as you discover more of who He is.
Don't Miss Out by Jeannie Cunnion - This book came to me at the perfect time. In a few different ways, my attention kept being pulled in the direction of the Holy Spirit. I kept thinking more of who the Spirit is and found myself not seeing Him in the same light of Jesus or God the Father. I know in my heart that Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit are equal and they are one. But I feel like the Spirit isn’t talked about like Jesus and God so my knowledge of the Holy Spirit has been very limited. I came across this book and kept saying "YES! This is what I have been feeling. I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one who often overlooks the Spirit’s presence and His value in my life." Jeannie Cunnion takes you through a journey of rediscovering who the Spirit is and why we should be valuing the Spirit just as much as Jesus and God. I love the way she goes through Scripture to bring to light many verses that may have been overlooked but are filled with who the Spirit is, the power and need of the Spirit. Cunnion writes “Even though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are living in the power of the Spirit.” I believe this book will encourage you to live in the power of the Spirit and experience Him in your daily life. Although no one can fully answer all our questions about the Holy Spirit, I found this book to give me more understanding and appreciation for who the Spirit is and how much I need Him specifically. Cunnion writes, “God Almighty- the One who holds all things together- is the One who indwells us by His Spirit (Colossians 1:17) He is the power of God inside us. Do we grasp the magnitude of this for our daily lives? The Holy Spirit is not a lesser version of God. He is God.” What a powerful truth!