#TheBookshelf - Ruth Koch
Ruth Koch is the NI Director at Tearfund. She joined the aid & development organisation in 2010 and has taken on a variety of roles working to inspire the UK Church to respond to the needs of people in poverty around the world. When she's not working she loves a bit of baking and running to keep up with her toddler!
Christian Classics - Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster
This book is an absolute classic: reading it in my teens opened up my walk with God. It is a study through 12 spiritual disciplines, unpacking their biblical basis combined with helpful practical tips. I have revisited this book time and time again as reflecting on different disciplines, such as solitude and simplicity, have become more relevant at different stages of my life. A lifelong companion!
Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes - Kenneth Bailey
I received this book for Christmas and I am yet to finish it - not because it’s dull, but because its richness of insight and information requires time to digest and really reflect on! Having lived in the Middle East for 40 years, Kenneth Bailey brings profound Jewish historical and cultural context to key New Testament texts, shedding light on how Jesus’ actions would have been interpreted at the time.
Generous Justice, Tim Keller (I couldn’t NOT include this one!)
Tim Keller, in his usual way, does a brilliant job of unpacking the understanding of justice in both the Old and New Testaments. He helps us understand that justice is empowered by an experience of grace, a generous justice. Anyone interested in pursuing justice or approaching the topic in a rapidly secularised world would appreciate reading this. It gave me a deeper understanding of this reoccurring biblical theme which if often neglected in the current narrative around Christianity.
Discipleship & Development:
Just Living - Ruth Valerio
Hearing Ruth Valerio speak at Spring Harvest many years ago started me on a journey of understanding what it means to love my global neighbour, which resulted in, many years later, us both working in the same organisation, Tearfund! Just Living looks at how can Christians live well in a globalised, consumerist society touching on every area of our life. It is a challenging and practical read.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality - Peter Scazzero
I have just finished this book and feel as if I need to read it all over again, there is so much depth and challenge in it. In particular I found Peter’s challenge for evangelical Christians who sometimes disconnect their emotions from their decisions or thoughts to be very thought-provoking. I also enjoyed revisiting helpful rhythms such as silence and Sabbath.
Church & Mission - Slow Kingdom Coming - Kent Annan
I recently read this in my book club and I absolutely devoured it. If you sometimes question what you’re doing is worth it, or are you making progress; if you feel discouraged or uncertain of the importance of your mission, I’d fully recommend this book. The basis of the book is Micah 6:8: ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ It is helpful and practical, but also encourages reflection and provides space in which to question motives and desires. From now on I will be recommending this to any church that wants to partner with Tearfund!
Culture & Literature - Bread and Wine - Shauna Niequist
Shauna is my absolute favourite author. Her writing style is beautiful. I love gathering friends and family round the table for food. I feel something special happens when we eat together and this book encapsulates that love for food, fellowship and community. Shauna’s recipes get your mouth watering and this book has inspired me to form more fellowship and community with those around me.