Finished this month:
Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott, Heath Lambert & others
There are lots of people around us in the world with big problems. There’s bipolar, multiple-personality disorder (known now as identity disorder), anorexia, post-partum depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. A lot of these problems are overwhelming to us… how do we even begin to help these people? Read this book and you’ll find out! There IS hope and you can be better equipped to know how to help! In each case the person grew and changed (although it was very difficult and took months to a year) but they changed so much they no longer had the symptoms of their previous diagnosis! So neat to see how the Word of God is sufficient to help people with any problem they may have. If you question this I challenge you to read this book!
The Gospel’s Power & Message by Paul Washer
This was a really wonderful exposition-like treatise on the Gospel. You can explain the Gospel in 5 minutes, but there’s SO much more to it to be explored, known and that the world needs to know. The depths of sin, the righteousness, holiness, and justice of God, the person and work of Christ (Savior, Lord, Judge), salvation, faith and repentance and how it all fits together! Really great reminders of how much God loves me despite my sin!
“The true gospel is radically exclusive. Jesus is not a way, He is the way, and all other ways are no way at all. If Christianity would only move one small step toward a more tolerant ecumenicalism and exchange the definite article the for the indefinite article a, the scandal would be over, and the world and Christianity would be friends. However, whenever this occurs, Christianity ceases to be Christianity, Christ is denied, and the world is without a Savior.” (p. 51, italics his)
“It is this love of Christ toward us that should win our hearts and move us to give Him our full allegiance. It should lead us to conclude that since He died for all, then all should love no longer for themselves but for Him who died and rose gain on their behalf.” (p. 258, see 2 Cor 5:14-15)
The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd by John Piper
You know, I have so many books I haven’t read yet, but this is one the Spirit brought to my mind and I’m so glad I picked it up again! What an encouragement for me to keep persevering in hard times! Piper gives a short biography of each of these men and the immense affliction/suffering they went through. He shows how they struggled and suffered and hurt, and yet they persevered in faith. They fixed their eyes firmly on the gospel and that encouraged and empowered them. This was so very inspirational and one I very highly recommend – especially if you’re going through hard/dark/painful times.
There’s so much I wish I could share from this book, but I will share this hymn that William Cowper wrote (despite the fact that he struggled with mental illness and with a lot of deep depression):
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessing on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Marriage Matters by Winston Smith
This I read for my Marriage Counseling class through CCEF and it was written by my professor. So yes, it’s good – I very highly recommend it! Even though I’m not married it helped me put marriage in a better perspective and it was really helpful in seeing what God’s plan for marriage is and what it should look like. In addition I was able to apply things in here to my relationships with my family members and was challenged to learn to love them more.
Loved this quote: “Whatever pleasure you may have set your sights on pales in comparison with what God offers us in his son. Jesus isn’t a consolation prize for the unhappily married. He’s the grand prize for the married and unmarried alike.” (p. 71)
Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot
Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy by Leslie Vernick (Because, yes I do.)
Additional books I want to read this month:
In the Company of Lazarus by Miriam (a biographical account of God's work of physical and emotional healing a woman's life)
Men Who Met God by A.W. Tozer