Peter Gill checks out some great titles from the church library – good for summer holiday reading!
2020 Vision by Bill and Amy Stearns
Amazing stories of what God is doing around the world • Practical ways individuals and churches can be involved • Written in 2005!
Although I was initially attracted by the title, the contents were fascinating. If your knowledge of what God is doing has been limited to England, wait until you read this book, with its glimpses of God at work in different parts of the world!
From the time of Abraham (around 2000 BC) God promised to bless him and, through him, to bless the world. The book clearly points out that, sadly, God’s people throughout history (whether Jews or Christians) have too easily settled into a comfy, indulgent way of thinking and living, after God has blessed them, and not been concerned to pass on God’s goodness to others. We are meant to be rivers of life to others, not reservoirs of luxury!
Each chapter starts with a different, amazing true story of God at work in a different part of the world, and leads into God’s heart to reach all people groups on this earth, with clear evidence throughout the Bible. An easy-to-read, fascinating, challenging and instructive book – a real eye-opener in all sorts of ways, and definitely recommended for reading – and living it out!
God on Mute by Pete Greig
A totally honest and courageous look at ‘unanswered prayer’ by Pete Greig, who started the global 24/7 Prayer Movement. Pete writes from much experience as his wife has been most unwell for years with epilepsy, and he has not seen his prayer requests for her healing granted. He wraps the book around Jesus’ ‘unanswered’ prayers at the Cross (e.g. ‘My God, why have You deserted Me?’), and although he cannot give a watertight explanation for each time God appears to be silent, yet he gives so many helpful and hopeful insights. This book is definitely a ‘must read’!
More Than Conquerors by Simon Guillebaud
Do you feel your relationship with God is flat, cold and insipid? Do you find yourself thinking, ‘There must be more than this’? There is!! This book (subtitled ‘A Call to Radical Discipleship’) is written by a 46-year old family man, who, when he was 26 and single, said to God, ‘I’ll go anywhere You want me to!’ Shortly thereafter, he knew God wanted him to go to Burundi (glad you asked – it’s in central Africa!) – at times one of the most dangerous places to be, notorious for its internal warfare and malnutrition, and he admits to not expecting to live until 30 yrs old! Simon has learnt to live each day as if it is his last. He is totally honest about his weaknesses and failings and has seen God transform many lives as well as work other miracles. He has remarkable drive. Few of us are called to live for Jesus in Burundi, but most of us are called to live for Him in Bournemouth, in our ‘ordinary’, routine lives, but this book should challenge and inspire all of us.
With many great quotes from great people:
‘We may be products of our past, but we certainly don’t need to be prisoners to it.’
‘There’s no difference between heroes and ordinary people; the hero just fights five minutes longer.’
‘We’re not called to success, but to loving, faithful obedience, in the small things as well as the big things.’
‘ … when life is rosy we just slide by with knowing about Jesus … but usually only in suffering will we know Jesus.’ Joni Eareckson-Tada
‘Jesus wants to be involved in all our situations and decision-making, both in the mundane and the exceptional … so that trust becomes as natural an instinct to us as breathing.’
‘Jesus didn’t promise long life, but fullness of life.’