I loved Katie’s first book, Kisses from Katie and was deeply touched by her moving story. When I realized that she had a follow up book coming out this fall, I knew I had to read it. When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease. This book is about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.
I loved the concept of this book from the moment I discovered it was being published. Hardly anyone ever asks the question, “Does my church make me uncomfortable?” and if they do, they often leave it. In this book, McCracken poses a different question, “what if instead of searching for a church that makes us comfortable, we learned to love our church, even when it’s challenging? What if some of the discomfort that we often experience is actually good for us?” This book is a call to embrace the uncomfortable aspects of Christian community, whether that means believing difficult truths, pursuing difficult holiness, or loving difficult people—all for the sake of the gospel, God’s glory, and our joy.
In a time when “white privilege” and “Black Lives Matter” dominate conversations, this book is a much-needed addition to the dialogue. Daniel Hill will never forget the day he heard these words: “Daniel, you may be white, but don’t let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture.” Confused and unsettled by this encounter, Hill began a journey of understanding his own white identity. Today he is an active participant in addressing and confronting racial and systemic injustices. I look forward to wrestling with his seven stages to expect on the path to cultural awakening.
So, I have to confess that I was intrigued with this book as soon as I saw the cover. Erwin McManus is the founding pastor Mosaic, an innovative church in Los Angeles and a great writer. This is what he has to say about this book, “When you come to the end of your days, you will not measure your life based on success and failures. All of those will eventually blur together into a single memory called “life.” What will give you solace is a life with nothing left undone. One that’s been lived with relentless ambition, a heart on fire, and with no regrets. On the other hand, what will haunt you until your final breath is who you could have been but never became and what you could have done but never did.” I desire to live a life fully committed to the plans that God has for me and look forward to being challenged by McManus to leave nothing on the table – to be “all in” everyday.
I was disappointed to see that the release of this book was pushed back to February of 2018. Who could resist wanting to read a book about being the hands and feet of Jesus from a guy who has no hands and feet. Nick is known worldwide for his incredibly courageous story and for the fact that he believes that nothing in life is as exciting and satisfying as introducing Jesus to people who have never met him. In this new book, he explains how the example of Jesus Christ motivates him to travel and speak broadly because the”good news” of the Gospel is just too good to keep quiet! Although the world has so many problems, no challenge is too great for the God who promises to move mountains. What an inspiring book this promises to be.
I have enjoyed reading Mark’s books since he wrote, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. His writing is not sophisticated and his message is direct and I need more books like this in my life. Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. and prolific author, Batterson has written a book that should be read by many Christians. In this new book he helps readers learn how to listen to God. The voice that spoke the cosmos into existence is the same voice that parted the Red sea, and made the sun stand still in the midday sky. One day, this voice will make all things new, but it’s also speaking to us now! That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close. Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. Sure, in ancient times and in mysterious ways, God spoke to His people, but is He still speaking now? Mark Batterson certainly believes so. With so much noise in my life competing for my attention, I look forward to letting this book transform my prayer and devotional life.
A new book from the writer of the much-acclaimed Bonhoeffer biography is a must read for me. The fact that it is about Martin Luther and is releasing in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is an added bonus. On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, the young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. Five hundred years after Luther’s now famous Ninety-five Theses appeared, Metaxas, paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom and dragged medieval Europe into the future. Written in riveting prose and impeccably researched, Martin Luther tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to the highest seats of power, caused the explosion whose sound is still ringing in our ears.
Exploring the Bible by David Murray, Illustrated by Scotty Reifsnyder I am always looking for new books for children that will actually make a difference in their lives. Far too often, books written for kids assume that they can’t really handle reading the Bible on their own, nor would they want to. This new book takes a different approach. Murray believes that reading the Bible should be like taking a trip through God’s story, setting out to explore and experience the beautiful views found within. But without a map, it’s easy to get lost. Exploring the Bible leads kids ages 6–12 through the Bible one day at a time over the course of a year. For use alongside any Bible, this workbook will help them see the overarching story of God’s Word and lay the foundation for a lifetime of discovering truths about God, humanity, and the gospel. Besides being beautifully illustrated, it includes – daily Bible readings, prayer points, memory verses, discussion questions and space for sermon notes and reflections.
A new devotional from Tim Keller based on the book of Proverbs – need I say more? Well… I guess so.
From pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller comes a beautifully packaged, yearlong daily devotional based on the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is God’s book of wisdom, teaching us the essence and goal of a Christian life. In this 365-day devotional, Timothy Keller offers readers a fresh, inspiring lesson for every day of the year based on different passages within the Book of Proverbs. With his trademark knowledge, Keller unlocks the wisdom within the poetry of Proverbs and guides us toward a new understanding of what it means to live a moral life. God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life is a book that I will be able to turn to every day, year after year, to cultivate a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with God. It makes a perfect companion to Keller’s devotional on the Psalms, The Songs of Jesus.
The Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation by Nick Page
This was one of my favorite books of the year so far and while it was very informative, it was also hilarious. Who could resist reading a book that has the words, “You were predestined to read this – John Calvin” printed across the top of the cover. What an endorsement. While it is published by a British publisher, it should also available here in the USA. In the book, Nick Page brings his skills as an unlicensed historian to bear on this key period in European (and world) history in order to uncover everything you need to know about the Reformation – with a fair few bits you never wanted to know thrown in for good measure. Historians tell us that the Protestant Reformation laid the foundations for the Industrial Revolution, religious freedom, and all sorts of other Good Things. But what actually happened? Who were the winners and the losers, the ogres and the beauty queens of this key moment in church history? (spoiler: there weren’t any beauty queens). In-depth research, historical analysis and cutting-edge guesswork combine to scintillating effect in this fast-moving examination of the strange and wonderful whirlwind that was church life in late medieval Europe.