A Steadfast Heart | Elyse Fitpatrick
I have had so many people over the past few years recommend that I should read Elyse Fitzpatrick. This was the first time that I did, and I was not disappointed. This is a book on going through the storms of life, and having a steadfast heart fixed on God. The book walks through Psalm 57. She talks so much about how much we need Christ, and how the sufferings in our life should push us closer to Him. If you are facing a hard time in your life I would definitely recommend this book.
Christ in the Chaos | Kimm Crandall
This is a really short and easy read, but it has so much encouragement about how the gospel changes motherhood. It is for the mom who is in the trenches, doing the things that so often feel like they are meaningless, but the author shows how the little things that we do show the gospel to our children, and point to the grace of Christ. She fills the book with her own personal stories and does not shy away from revealing her own faults and struggles. It is a breath of fresh air for a worn out mama.
Plain Faith| Irene and Ora Jay Eash with Trisha Goyer
Because I grew up in Pennsylvania, and often read Amish fiction as a teenager, I was excited to get a copy of this book to read and review. This is a memoir of a young Amish couple that lost two of their daughters in a buggy accident, and eventually chose to leave the Amish faith. The couple faced many things as they went through the grieving process after the loss of their daughters. Because many sects of the Amish faith place an emphasis on a person’s works for salvation, the couple had a great fear that if they did not live a perfect Amish life, that they may not get to Heaven and see their precious daughters again. The book chronicles how they go from a life where they knew a lot about God to a time when they had a personal walk and relationship with God. It gives insight into their plain lifestyle and also to how they transitioned out of the Amish community, including a lot of letters that were written between the couple and other Amish family members and friends. The book is a great reminder of the freedom that we have in Christ, and of the joy that comes from a true relationship with Jesus, that goes far beyond holding blindly to rules and traditions.
Love, Skip, Jump| Shelene Bryan
Love Skip Jump written by Shelene Bryan is the story of a woman who is living a comfortable life while sponsor children in Africa without thinking much about it. The children that she sponsored where no much more than two extra photos that hung on her refrigerator. When someone challenged whether or not the children were real, or whether she had fallen for a scam she made a quick decision to travel to Africa to find out if they were really there. What happened next was a journey that changed her view of everything. She was amazed at what could happen when she chose to say yes to God, and be willing to help the people that she didn’t know much about, but that depended on her each month. The book is full of stories that she encountered in her time in Africa as well as what she did when she got home by starting a foundation that encourages others to “skip” things like a cup of coffee to help those in need. The book was a funny and encouraging read that talks about how we can really make a difference in this world, though there have been other similar books that I have liked a bit more.
Ex-Muslim| Naeem Fazeel
This book is a great testament to God’s providence and amazing, pursuing grace. It is the story of Naeem Fazeel and His radical encounter with God. Naeem grew up in a Muslim home in the middle east, and when he came to the United States for college he was not expecting the radical changes that would take place in his life. God miraculously found him and got ahold of his heart and this book tells his story. The book provides valuable insight into the life of a muslim family, as well as what it is like for a muslim to convert to christianity. I found myself incredibly fascinated by so many of the stories that are told in this short book. Though I didn’t agree with everything found in the book, I greatly appreciated the passion with which it was written. The book overall was relatable to even believers that have not faced what he has faced, or come from a muslim background. He is open about the trials that he faced and how God used them to grow him in his faith. Naeem who is now a church planter/pastor has a powerful testimony of how God rescued him.
Let’s All Be Brave| Annie Downs
This book was quick to grab my attention because of Annie’s writing style. Reading this book was more like a long chat with a friend over coffee than someone telling you what to do. Annie is real and relatable and not afraid to share her own faults in a way that will encourage you to do the hard things. She talks about her own life experiences in real life terms with no pretense. She doesn’t sugar coat things, but tells things exactly how they were. If you have a big dream or a little one that you are wanting to conquer, but just don’t know if you can, or where you would start, this book is an encouragement to do the hard things in life. She encourages her readers to do the things that they know that they are called to do, but that aren’t necessarily the easiest options. The book is like a pep talk to live a courageous life, and I think it would be great especially for young women trying to figure out what they should do with their lives, or anyone trying to make their life meaningful. Annie encourages readers to push past the mundane and embrace the life that God has called them too.