Rooted by Banning Liebscher, I was so excited to read the latest book from Jesus Culture founder and pastor Banning Liebscher. By the time I’d read half of the first chapter I wished I’d had this book five years earlier at least. As Liebscher highlights the life of David, he makes three solid points as to how we create a deep foundation rooted in Christ.
Liebscher writes of his own ministry lessons learned, but continually brings the reader back to Scripture and what we can learn from the lives of David, Saul, and Jesus. I found myself drawn to Liebscher’s passion for drawing others to deeper faith in God. As he laid the scriptural foundation for why pursuing deeper intimacy with God is necessary he also included responses to challenges we face. Having experienced wilderness seasons of my own, I found myself agreeing with Liebscher’s conclusions and wishing I’d had his guidance in the depths of my despair and questioning.
Liebscher’s audience seems to me to be the Christian hungry for a deeper understanding of how to pursue a relationship with God. At times, he writes of areas that are highlighted for leaders, but I found myself thinking this would be a perfect read for any college-aged student as well as anyone expressing guidance in going beyond a surface relationship.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Finding God in the Hard Times by Matt and Beth Redman is a bible study focused on worshipping God in the times of challenge throughout our lives. “In Psalm 57, David is on the run again, this time from King Saul- and he wrote the song while hiding in a cave. These are songs formed in the fire of affliction. They are the desperate cries of a worshiper on the road marked with suffering. In fact, Eugene Peterson estimates that around 70 percent of the content of the book of Psalms is lament-based. Clearly, therefore, songs of lament are a very biblical theme…So the question is this: If songs of lament are, first, thoroughly biblical and, second, extremely relevant, then why on earth are there not more songs to help us voice these heart cries?” Redman discusses how after 9/11 the churches were seeking songs for this tragedy.
I think the premise of this study is great and the discussion questions for a small group are great. At the same time, African American churches have sung songs of lament since their inception. Gospel music was formed in seasons of lament and forced labor created a pressing into God it seems other churches were ignoring.
Over the past two years, I’ve been drawn to Hillsong worship music and have found the lyrics of clinging to God in the seasons of challenge and hardship to be my anthem. These songs were birthed from life experiences, just as Redman’s songs were. As Redman breaks down life and worship, it is easy to understand how lament can be worship as well as rejoicing.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions expressed are my own.
The Miracle of Morning Pages by Julia Cameron A few months ago our The Glorious Table fearless leader encouraged our group to explore a writing exercise by Julia Cameron. This quick ebook Morning Page was intriguing to me. The challenge was to practice morning pages for 30 days.
If you are a writer or creative soul, then I suggest you give this book a read. Cameron presents what seems like a simple practice, to write three pages each day the first thing in the morning. The theory she presents is that when we take the time to write before the day begins our thoughts will be less inhibited, and we will explore subjects at other times of the day, we might avoid.
“Put simply, Morning Pages put us in touch with our need for change. Some need more radical change than others. Pages adjust us to the precise degree we need adjusting. It is as though the pages are customized for our particular needs. Of course they are. Writing pages, we forge a one-on-one, personal relationship with the Great Creator. In return, we are guided very specifically. As we become more honest with ourselves and our maker, our maker is able to act more and more accurately on our behalf. Moving our hand across the page, we touch hands with the Great Creator. God’s hand moves through our own.”
You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth Holley Gerth is absolutely one of the most encouraging writers out there in my opinion. Her desire to pour into women is evident on every page of her books, every blog post, and every video. You’re Already Amazing has a workbook and free videos for small group discussion in addition to the book. The entirety of the material is written to guide women to further discover the unique ways God has created us and how to flourish in our strengths and gifts.
If you are feeling like a misfit, like you need guidance in what calling God has on your life, or simply want to spend time exploring aspects of your character you will love this book.
Fervent by Priscilla Shirer Yep, I’m late to the bandwagon on this one. Fervent is a prayer guide book. Priscilla Shirer has written a manual and divided it up into areas to focus on in prayer in addition to explaining different ways to pray. If you are a new Christian or far along in your journey won’t matter, this book will spur you on to a deeper conversation with God.
Prayer is one of the foundational practices of relationship with God and yet it can be a discipline we enter into half-heartedly or infrequently. Fervent is fuel to spur us on into a deeper relationship with our God, the One who can create the change we hunger for. For years, I’ve read through Stormie Omartian’s prayer books as guide books. Fervent was the next step in the guide towards deeper, more well-rounded prayer for me.
I’m linking up with Mrs. Disciple for #FridayFive