Reading for your soul

*This is an article that I wrote months ago but just got the chance to post it (because life, family, kids, moving, pregnancy etc.)

 

Saw this picture some days ago on the Instagram page @desiringgod and made me think more of my shelves filled with books.

I have set a goal that I will not let a day pass without reading something. Even if it’s reading just for some minutes, or reading very little: a short article or some pages of a book.

Reading has many benefits but the most important thing is that, as John Piper says, we will read not for quantity in the futile desire to impress someone. That we may read for our souls.

To be inspired, encouraged, trained to live all-out for God.

With this being said, I have made a list with some (I say some because there are so many good readings out there) of the most helpful books in this matter.

Again, this is just what I recommend, the books that helped me to meditate more of God, think more in depth of who He actually is and how I can “live all-out for Him”.

 

My list

 

  1. “A Lamp for My Feet” – Elisabeth Elliot
  2. “Crazy Love” – Francis Chan
  3. “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World” – Bob McNabb
  4. “Images and idols: Creativity for the Christian Life” – Thomas J. Terry & J. Ryan Lister
  5. “Sing!” – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  6. “When People are Big and God is Small” – Edward T. Welch

 

 

  1. I read this book so loooong ago but I would reread it over and over again. Is that good. It would be an understatement to say that Elisabeth Elliot is such a great writer and such a powerful example of godly women.

 

 

Her understanding of Scripture and her deep, personal relationship with God is what makes this book still so actual and real. But what is even more amazing is that with every story she writes, she points everything to God.

I absolutely love what she writes in the Introduction, talking about her book:

“…I most emphatically do not mean it to be read in place of Bible and meditation. It is only meant to be a help. If you only have five minutes, don’t read my book, read God’s. It will be a lamp for your feet.”

 

2. If you are a Christian probably you heard so many good things about this book already and my words will be in vain. Just rent or buy a copy and read it.

 

3. I have found this book to be so practical and I keep coming back to it every time I need to remind myself of Gods promises for my life, but also for practical advice and teaching about reproducing disciple makers. From learning what a discipleship process should look like to understanding how to help new believers to grow into mature children of God and reproduce, this book is a must read.

Dr. Bob McNabb is not only contributing from his experience in making disciples in different cultures, but he points back to Jesus ministry: how He was doing ministry and how He was the best Disciple Maker that ever existed.

 

4. Among all the books listed here, this one is my number one favorite (after the Bible, of course – this should not even be mentioned). Maybe I like it because my husband gave it to me, proving again how awesome he is in knowing my taste in books and knowing exactly what I needed to read. I say this because this book is all about Creativity.

I am reading and reading and highlighting almost every single phrase of this book, haha. My husband suggested that I should actually highlight the parts that I don’t want to be highlighted because it would take me less time. Yes, read it! It will definitely help you to create for His glory, as you reflect He who creates, using your special gift for Him.

 

5. The books that I am recommending are going to help you live all out for God, marking different areas in which you can grow. From learning how to make disciples (no. 3 on my list), to the creativity part (no. 4), to this one that is all about worship.

After you read this book you will sing with your whole heart for God’s glory and you will be equipped to teach others how they should do the same.

 

6. Presenting a harsh reality, “When People are Big and God is Small” will point you back to God’s Word and help you realize that He is the only one you need to fear, not man.

It will shake you and wake you up to reality, but it will not leave you there. It will show you God’s Word and point you to the grace found in Jesus.

 

Hope this list will help some of you to live all-out for God. Hugs!

Acknowledge who He is.

We have all felt betrayed by someone at some point in our life. Normally, it doesn’t hurt so much when a stranger does it, but when someone close to our heart is the one that betrays us, then, you feel shattered.

In moments like these, think of Jesus. He is the one who experienced everything that we could ever experience, but He was perfect and overcame even the hardest moments.

As I was reading Mark 14, the story about Jesus betrayal, I found myself highlighting ‘one of the twelve’. Yes, it was Judas, one from His inner circle of disciples, that betrayed Him.

In the next verses, the Bible says that he had given a sign to the soldiers, saying that ‘The one I will kiss is the man’. I began meditating on this phrase. Pay close attention to what Judas says. He said ‘is the man’. Sadly, that is all that Judas thought of Jesus.

So, Judas, the one that walked, ate, witnessed miracles done by Jesus, did not understand that Jesus is not just man, but God Himself. I’m not saying this is the emphasis of this passage, but Judas’ actions toward Jesus showed that he did not get it. He did not understand who Jesus was and did not treasure Him accordingly – he treasured more the 30 pieces of silver.

I have a clear conviction that whenever we don’t have a deep understanding of who God is, when we don’t put Him on high, is when we fall short. We hurt, sin against, even betray the ones around us.

I am writing this not because I have been betrayed by someone, but because I examined my life and I saw so many moments in which I didn’t show to others the love that I should show: the love that Jesus showed me and continues to show. Even if I set my mind and diligently try not to say something out of place or hurt someone…many times I do it.

So what can we do? How can we live a life in which we love God with all our heart and love our neighbours as ourselves?

I encourage you as I encourage myself daily (hehe) to run to His Word every morning and then to spend time in prayer, talking with God. Do not neglect your prayer time. Run to Jesus.

 

It is when you, a simple human, recognize that Jesus is not just a man, but the Son of God. 

White.

Looking at this picture I realized that I am not so white as I thought I was.

image1-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is crazy how all my life I’ve been told that I am too pale, too white.

Fun fact: when I was little my mom’s friends were always asking what is wrong with me, that I look too pale and she should help me get well. With a smile on her face my mom was always answering: ¨She’s fine! She is just having pale/fair skin¨.

Now, to some of the people that got to know me recently, I may not look so pale (of course I also use self tanner sometimes and makeup, hehe) but trust me, my skin color was very bright white.

So where am I trying to go with this? You see, this picture reveals a truth about ourselves that it is so hard to see sometimes. Just in contrast with this striking chalk white paint that was on my hand, I could see the real color of my skin. At a second glance, it doesn’t look so white anymore, right?

I found the same thing to be truth when I looked at me, deep, inside of me. I compared myself this time using the Word of God. Christ as my standard.

I found that I am not so white (pure) as I thought. I found that compared to what God says that I should be…I am actually far from white. I know that I have been saved by the grace of God and that by His blood I have been made completely white, but I’ve been reminded how I need to take daily my Bible, ask God to examine me, and help me repent of my hidden sins over and over again. Just then I can say that ¨I am white.¨

I encourage you to do the same. Use God’s Word as a guide to see your deepest color. And as you see your incapability to remain white,  look to Crist, who stained His white robe so you can be WHITE as snow.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7