It’s no secret…I am a bookworm. I try to make it my goal to read one chapter a night of whatever book I have my hands on. For September and October (and really ever since I’ve discovered this author), I have been non-stop all about Mark Batterson.
Batterson is the pastor of National Community church in Washington D.C. and is an incredibly gifted writer. These past two months, I’ve finished “All In” and “The Grave Robber” both written by him. Below are my thoughts on these two reads:
“All In” – This book is summed up in the following sentence, “And the good news is this: if you don’t hold out on God, God won’t hold out on you.” It’s so hard to trust God sometimes, isn’t it? Bad things happen to good people all the time and our faith is shaken. We pull back because things didn’t go as planned and we are hesitant to give our trust and put our heart out on the line. We settle for comfortable, safe, status quo…but is that really how we are supposed to be living our lives? Our time on earth is so short. This book will challenge you to go “all in” and experience everything that God and this beautiful, yet messy life has to offer.
The below quote was used in this book and is one of my favorite reminders to not be afraid, to trust, to be vulnerable, to leap outside my comfort zone:
“It would seem that God finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
― C.S. Lewis
“The Grave Robber” – How many times throughout the day do you think about yourself? “What am I going to eat for breakfast?” “I have so much work to do today and I feel incredibly busy.” I want, I need, me, Me, ME. We are so easily distracted and miss the miracles that are happening all around us. In this book, Batterson discusses inattentional blindness. He defines this as the “failure to notice something in your field of vision because you are focused on something else…” All too often, I turn a blind eye to a stranger in need, a friend who craves a listening ear or co-worker who wants my full attention. Why? Because I am so focused on myself and my own needs and desires.
This book will challenge you to open your eyes, read the signs and experience God moving in miraculous ways throughout our everyday lives. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from this book:
“The true test of our faith is not our actions. It’s our reactions. It’s relatively easy to act like Jesus. It’s much harder to react like Him. And forgiveness is the litmus test.”
“You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there; He has a purpose in your being there. Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are. Believe this and go in His grace and love and power.”
“Most of us follow Jesus to the point of inconvenience, but no further. We’re more than willing to follow Jesus as long as it doesn’t detour our plans. But it was the willingness to be inconvenienced that defined the Good Samaritan. And that’s how he became someone else’s miracle. Most miracles don’t happen on Main Street. They happen off the beaten path, about twenty miles out of town.”
“We let our logical assumptions trump our theological beliefs. And before we know it, our reality is defined by human assumptions rather than divine revelations…we have a natural tendency to explain away what we cannot explain. And that’s why most of us miss the miracle.”
“The goal isn’t the miracle. The goal is God’s glory. And if you forget that, it’s difficult to get through difficult circumstances.”
Of course, I always have the occasional travel book or two on my night stand. I’ve discovered that I can’t read these before bed because then I get too excited and end up starting to plan a new trip!
Next month, in honor of my sister, Faith, I’m going to read through some of her favorite books. They include:
- “Traveling Mercies” by Anne Lamott
- “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri
- “Kindred” by Octavia Butler
I challenge you to read a chapter a night of that book you’ve been meaning to read these past few weeks. Let me know how it goes!