Saturday, October 30, 2010

Light Reading

5:39 AM
For those of you still caring and/or keeping track, I'm at 39 books completed in my great read 50 challenge! Still a ways to go, but the end is in sight. I believe I'll make it. Here's a recap of some of the books I've read since starting DTS.

Is That Really You, God? By Loren Cunningham
So this book was required reading for my YWAM training school, so this wasn’t necessarily a “choice” read, but a “required” read. But after I read the first chapter, it became all I could read! I loved reading Loren’s journey of faith to launch YWAM, this network of missionaries I am now a part of. I was inspired and challenged by his faith in God, and his ability to consistently seek and hear God. One of the fundamental elements of our journeys as Christians is hearing God. This book gave personal experience, Biblical teaching, and wise counsel on the topic. I recommend it to anyone wishing to grow in this area of their faith.

Radical by David Platt
Someone gave me Radical before I left home for my 6 month training as a missionary. The tagline of this book is “Taking back your faith from the American Dream”. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, because I hadn’t heard of this author, and sometimes book covers are just flat our misleading. But this book was amazing. David Platt is a pastor of a mega-church in Alabama. But what I love about his ministry is his heart for the world. As I am currently in this intensive missionary training school, it was a comfort and encouragement to read something outside of my school readings that further confirmed the path I ‘m going down. It’s like, hey God, thanks, I needed that. Platt talks about how we are not called to share the gospel with the world, but commanded to. He calls out the American church on their watered down, comfort motivated version of church, and gives examples of what church looks like overseas. He ends the book with a year long challenge, involving prayer, reading Scripture, giving sacrificially, serving outside of your city, and experiencing community. The whole time I read this book I was nodding and underlining and agreeing. I hope more believers are able to get their hands on this book and really understand some radical Christianity.

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
I thought I would take a break from some required reading and read something fun in my 50 books challenge. I’ve read a few books by Francine Rivers, my favorite being Redeeming Love. I will always give this author a chance because of how much I LOVE that book. I’ve heard remarkable things about this series, called the Mark of the Lion series. A Voice in the Wind is the first in this series. It follows the story of Hadassah, a young Judean Christian living during the worst persecution of Christians, after the destruction of Jerusalem. Her timid, yet bold, faith immediately draw you in. When she’s sold as a slave to the Valerians family, they become her mission field, their names always on her heart. The daughter, Julia, is sinful and selfish, but really begins to value Hadassah’s quiet way of service. The son, Marcus, is arrogant and ambitious, but sees another side of Hadassah…her inner and outer beauty and falls for her. Hadassah is constantly tested by the family, their influences, and the culture around her. She truly believes Jesus is Lord, and lives out that belief every day. The end of the book is a cliffhanger that makes you want to run out and start book two, An Echo in the Darkness, almost immediately. I love good character development, and Rivers doesn’t lack in that department! It’s amazing how far back this story is set, yet how modern the immorality seems. Rivers also writes relationships and passion in a way that is not vulgar, but authentic and felt. I can’t wait to finish book two!

Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers
Spoiler Alert! The follow up to River’s Voice in the Wind picked up not long after the first book ended. Marcus, wrecked with grief over Hadassah’s apparent death, begins searching for answers. When Rome and Ephesus offer no solace, he ventures to Judea, to Hadassah’s hometown, in search of this God she died for. Hadassah, miraculously surviving her showdown in the arena, begins working with the doctor who helped her. She soon realizes that not all ailments are physical, and begins offering spiritual healing to the hurting. It’s this calling that brings her back to the home of the Valerians. First Pheobe, then Julia, and finally Marcus. I almost enjoyed this book more than the first one, because I felt like there was resolution. I really connected with Marcus’ passionate search for God, and was challenged by Hadassah’s quiet servant-like faith. Great follow-up and even better conclusion for the characters I came to know and love.

Making Jesus Lord by Loren Cunningham
My second required book of my Discipleship Training School with YWAM. Loren’s second book was about laying down our rights to serve Jesus. It’s a principle that has been taught and expounded upon here in DTS, but even reading the words in this book gave me a fresh perspective. I loved the quote “I want to be noticed in Heaven and feared in Hell.” It sums up the impact I want my life to be here on earth. And someone doesn’t get there, I can’t get there, without total abandoned surrender to Jesus Christ. It’s much easier said than done, but I’m just taking it day by day. Great book though!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!


Cessie said...

I just read Reedeming Love and immediately thought of you! I was actually planning to ask you if you'd ever read it. :) It completely rocked my world! I read it in 2 days and then couldn't get it out of my mind, so I started reading it again a few days later. What an amazing story of God's passion for us and how the love of God given through a person can completely change someone's life.