#TheBookshelf - Rachel Millican
Rachel has taught English over three decades on three different continents and just last year decided to stop teaching so she could be her mum’s full-time carer. She and her husband Joe are part of the Village Church Belfast plant in South Belfast - Village South Belfast
Read her recommendations in the link below.
Christian Classics - Be still, my Soul - Nancie Guthrie
This book was given to me in 2013 at a time, like the preface says, of “cold and unrelenting winds that threaten to knock us down for good.”
It is a collection of essays and excerpts from writers like Augustine, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Helen Roseveare, Joni Eareckson Tada and Tim Keller. It delivers a profoundly powerful message of real hope. One part I’ve underlined is this, by R C Sproul, “Romans 8:28... represents the absolute triumph of divine purposes over all alleged acts of chaos.” This was, and still is, succour for my soul. Nancy Guthrie knows suffering. She concludes her preface with this: “I am not strong... however I am tethered to Someone who is strong.”
Theological Foundations - The Lamb is all the Glory - Richard Brooks
This is a book about probably the most controversially debated books in the bible: Revelation. What I love about it is that it replaces the debate with encouragement. And that is because it holds its focus on the centre: Jesus. On his message to his church, his victory and his return. It is easy to read; you don’t have to know everything about every position, thankfully! It is written to be practical and to encourage.
Discipleship & Development - Total Forgiveness - R.T. Kendall
This book was transformational in my life. It challenged me at a deep level; into an ugly, bleeding, raw deep hurt. One of the most powerful lessons that literally altered my heart was the challenge to pray for the one who had hurt me: to ask God to bless him to the same extent He blessed me. And not just to say the prayer, but to mean it. Well, I prayed it through clenched teeth at first. And then God took over and filled my heart with forgiveness and compassion, sympathy and empathy. It was a miracle. Everyone needs to read this book.
Church & Mission - Radical - David Platt
Radical is what it says! Here’s a quotation: “Whereas disinfecting Christians involves isolating them and teaching them to be good, discipling Christians involves propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others.” Platt is very explicitly writing to his American audience. He writes to an audience in love with the American Dream. But I found that his comments and analyses were easily (brutally!) applied to my cultural worldview as a wealthy, non-American westerner. It’s the same nightmare we all experience in our selfish hearts. Here’s another quotation: “John Paton, Kim Eliot and C.T. Studd all illustrate one fundamental truth: your life is free to be radical when you see death as reward.” The book closes with The Radical Experiment: One Year to a Life Turned Upside Down. I’m going to have to read it again now.
Culture & Literature - Sojourner Songs - Ben Palpant