Category Archives: Book Review

read books not blogs

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over at the blazing center, the altrogge’s have posted some great thoughts about why to read books not blogs.  i’d encourage you to check it out.

i just finished reading my first book in 5 months, The Heavenly Man by Paul Hattaway.  Due to the migraines, and this season of limitation as a result, i haven’t been able to read as i once did.  i was grateful to delve into a biography of a Chinese pastor and less than a week later, emerge at the other end.  up until this book, i’ve only been able to handle a few minutes at a time before i had to stop reading.

my faith was strengthed, my God is greater, my understanding of the body of Christ groaning together through suffering is deeper, and my prayers for the little girl I’d like to one day adopt from China are now a little more personal.

Here are some samples from The Heavenly Man:

As I was paraded through the streets, a police car drove slowly in front. Through a loudspeaker they proclaimed, “This man came from Henan to preach Jesus. He has seriously disturbed the peace. He has confused the people. Today the Public Security Bureau has captured him. We will punish him severely. (63)

 

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”  Acts 14:22

During my long painful van journey back to Nanyang the Lord continually comforted me saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 

When the police van arrived at the Nayang prison gate they took my handcuffs off the steel rail and pushed me out of the back of the van onto the frozen ground. A bitterly cold blizzard was blowing from the north. My face and hair were drenched with blood. My eyes were blackened and my face swollen. I had no shoes on my feet and the handcuffs had cut deeply into my wrists.  

 

They took me into a large interrogation room…. The man second in charge of the PSB arrogantly boasted, “Yun, you have lost the fight today. Your co-workers are already in our hands. … Your church is totally finished. You have completely failed. You are an enemy of our country and an enemy of the Party.”… (94-95)

 

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  but rejoice  to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12

A spirit of faith spoke from within me, “The gospel grows through hardship and will spread throughout the world…. Truth is always truth. Nothing and no one can change that. It will always conquer.”

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid.” Psalm 27:1 … (95)

new mercies

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i’m grateful for new mercies every morning.  most mornings, i wake up simply longing for another 5 minutes of sleep.  and most mornings, though in my laziness, i give in to that temptation i always find myself still longing for another 5!  :(

 

i’ve been staying up too late this week… reading a new book.  The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun.  As one man stated “you may begin reading the book on your couch, but you will finish it on your knees (source).   Halfway through the book, I have found that to be true. 

 

This man, Yun suffered greatly for his Lord.  He endured many crosses of persecution.  in God’s kindness, the more I read stories like this, the more I am encouraged with the kindness and sovereignty of my God… a God that did not forget Yun in a horrible prison with day after day of torture beyond what my american mind is able to comprehend… and a God that has not forgotten me through my “light and temporary afflictions” that tend to dominate my thoughts, desires and days. 

 

Yun rejoiced when paraded through the streets as a criminal.  What was his crime?  He preached the gospel… that his hope was found in the blood of Christ.  as i’ve read of his joy, i’ve sat on my bed often thinking of the phrase “rejoice with a joy that is inexpressible.”   my faith in a powerful God, a God that restores, a God that saves, a God that redeems and calls my life from the pit… my faith in that God has seen growth this past few days as a result of this testimony.

 

specifically what has been a challenge to me was a period in Yun’s life where he was imprisoned.  He spent months with no access to a Bible, yet he recounts scripture after scripture that that the Lord used to minister to Him during that time.  I’ve been reminded again of the message from Na* this year.  I want to value God’s Words like that.  They are my life.  Yet often I look to them as mere advice or rules.  Do I treat God’s Word with such delight that it is my joy, like this servant of God, to memorize entire books of the Bible and then share them with friends?  Or do I look for my “nugget of the day”?

 

God, i pray that you would show me yet again the feast you’ve given me.  Please don’t let me be satisfied with the little “bites” i’ve been chewing on lately.  Give me more of a hunger, more of a desire, more of a desperate need.