Recommended Reads

The following books have helped me gain a better understanding of Gods heart for orphans and widows and encouraged us to begin making radical changes in how my family & I endeavor to live out the gospel. I’d love everyone I know to read them! If you wanna save a buck, I’d love to borrow you my copy so long as you don’t mind lots of highlighting & notes in the margins!

  Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.43.09 PMRed Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds By Tom Davis “I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Matthew 25:42-43 ESV In many Bibles, Christ’s words are set apart with a red font. It should be obvious, but this distinction helps remind us that when God becomes Man and that Man speaks-it’s probably something we cannot afford to miss. So why doesn’t the church take these ; red letters ; to heart? Why aren’t we doing more to be Christ’s hands and feet to the poor, the disenfranchised, the weary, the ill, the fatherless, the prisoners? It’s all there-in red letters. Why has the Church shirked its responsibilities, leaving the work to be done by governments, rock stars, and celebrities? The Gospel wasn’t only meant to be read-it was meant to be lived. From the HIV crisis in Africa to a single abused and lonely child in Russia, the Church must seize the opportunity to serve with a radical, reckless abandon. Author Tom Davis offers both challenge and encouragement to get involved in an increasingly interconnected, desperate modern world. Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.43.47 PMRadical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream By David Platt WHAT IS JESUS WORTH TO YOU? It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily… BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU? In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple–then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a “successful” suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus. Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment –a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring. Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.44.18 PMCrazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God  By Francis Chan God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not.we all know something’s wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts-it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.   Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.44.49 PMIt’s not OK with Me! By Janine Maxwell

It begins on September 11th, 2001 in New York City as Janine is evacuated from her hotel by police gunfire and told to run for her life. That world changing event was the catalyst that sent Janine in to a deep depression and on into the darkest parts of Africa in her search for the meaning of life. Janine owned one of the largest marketing companies in Canada until God told her to close her business and wait. What happens next is a roller coaster ride from the board room to the streets of Africa. Janine’s honesty and transparency is refreshing and raw. Her story telling paints a picture that takes the reader right into the heart of each experience and leaves no room for escape. Janine’s journey in to the heart of Africa finds her standing face to face with the AIDS pandemic and trying to understand what to do with 15 million orphans who are left in its wake. It’s Not Okay With Me provides truth and insights into Africa in a way that is fresh and filled with hope. Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.42.15 PMThe Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Greatest Dreams and Biggest Fears By Mark Batterson According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, ‘Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.’ Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.     Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.41.59 PMDraw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge By Mark Batterson Do you pray as often and as boldly as you want to? There is a way to experience a deeper, more passionate, persistent, and intimate prayer life. Drawing from forty days of true stories, Mark Batterson applies the principles of his New York Times bestselling book The Circle Maker to teach us a new way to pray. As thousands of readers quickly became many tens of thousands, true stories of miraculous and inspiring answers to prayer began to pour in, and as those stories were shared, others were bolstered in their faith to pray with even more boldness. In Draw the Circle, through forty true, faith-building stories of God’s answers to prayer, daily scriptures and prayer prompts, Batterson inspires you to pray and keep praying like never before. Begin a lifetime of watching God work. Believe in the God who can do all things. Experience the power of bold prayer and even bolder faith in Draw the Circle.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.45.20 PMWhen Helping Hurts

By Corbett & Fikkert

Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves.  When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications.  The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel. A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation.  Efforts are characterized by an “assest based” approach rather than a “needs based” approach.  Short term mission efforts are addressed and micro-enterprise development (MED) is explored.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.41.37 PM One Month To Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life By Kerry & Chris Shook
Are you suffering from “someday” syndrome—always waiting for someday when your schedule calms down, your finances improve, or your kids grow up so you can begin to live the life you’ve always dreamed of? What if you learned you had just one month to live? Without a doubt, you’d stop living on autopilot and determine to make the most of every moment. You don’t have any time to waste. Why wait to answer the longings of your heart? In One Month to Live, Kerry and Chris Shook show you how to stop waiting for “someday” and start now to make each day really matter. With contagious enthusiasm and practical insights, you’ll learn how to apply the four universal principles of a no-regrets life: LIVE PASSIONATELY, living each day as if it were your last. LOVE COMPLETELY, showing others love that transcends and transforms. LEARN HUMBLY, growing through your problems and pain. LEAVE BOLDLY, creating a legacy that will impact generations. Each of the thirty chapters—one per day in a life-changing month—offers fresh strategies and tools to experience revitalizing change in core areas of your life. Uplifting true-life stories and thought-provoking questions will inspire you to squeeze all you can out of each day you’ve been given. Stop wasting precious time. Start living today as God created you to live—passionate, fully alive, without regrets.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.36.47 PMTake Your Best Shot! By Austin Gutwein Teen Austin Gutwein has taken his best shot several thousand times to help AIDS orphans in Africa and in the process has built a school and a medical clinic!  Take Your Best Shot tells how one boy made an incredible difference in the lives of those without hope while challenging the reader to do the same.  

The interactive dialogue will leave space for the reader to respond. By the end of the book, the reader will know the testimony of Austin and other teens from around the world who are committed to a life of sharing Christ’s love, and will have begun to search for God’s voice in their own lives. The book will also equip and challenge readers with information on a variety of ministries and organizations around the world to help people, animals, and the environment.   “Austin is an outstanding young man! He inspires us to dream bigger, reach higher and love deeper. His story deserves a wide hearing.” Max Lucado
Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.38.41 PMThe Same Kind of Different As Me By Hall & Moore A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.  A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana . . . and an East Texas honky-tonk . . . and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda . . . an upscale New York gallery . . . a downtown dumpster . . . a Texas ranch.Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.
Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.40.51 PMSacrilege: Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus By Hugh Halter It is safe to say most Christians do not live like Jesus did, have the same influence on people he had, or draw even the slightest curiosity from the on-looking world. Jesus’s ability to woo people to him and win their hearts was directly related to how he challenged their assumptions about religion. He not only gave them a unique, personal way to follow him but also showed them how to participate with him in his mission. Sacrilege helps readers rethink what it really means to become like Jesus. It exposes the patterns of thinking that have held the church hostage for years and inspires readers to rethink the way they understand Scripture, family, spiritual formation, conversion, church, sin, and more.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.46.08 PMBarefoot Church: Serving The Least In A Consumer Culture By: Brandon Hatmaker

People are hungry to make a difference, yet most don’t know where to start. In fact, ‘serving the least’ is often one of the most neglected mandates of Jesus. Barefoot Church shows readers how today’s church can be a catalyst for individual, collective, and social renewal in any context. Whether pastors or laypeople, readers will discover practical ideas that end up being as much about the Gospel and personal transformation as they are about serving the poor. Here they will see how the organizational structure of the church can be created or redesigned for mission in any context. Drawing from his own journey, Brandon Hatmaker proves to readers that serving the least is not a trendy act of benevolence but a lifestyle of authentic community and spiritual transformation. As Hatmaker writes, ‘My hope is that God would open our eyes more and more to the needs of our community. And that we would see it as the church’s responsibility to lead the charge.     Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.34.34 PMI Walk for Water By Lindsey Andrews

A children’s book for all ages about an African boy’s daily walk for water. Educating children about the world water crises and solutions for them to engage and act.   

 

 

 

 

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