Tag Archives: Kisses from Katie

Top Life-Changing Reads of 2012

18 Jan

Books

Image courtesy of The Photoholic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you looking for something insightful and life-changing to read this year?  If you’re like me, you probably already have quite a list but I highly recommend the following five books that I read last year!  (And when I say life-changing, I’m not exaggerating!)

1. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis

After reading Kisses from Katie, my passion and trust grew to another level.  We all have a special role to play while on earth and what we are capable of doing with God’s grace is amazing!  This book will make you view the world and yourself differently – guaranteed!

2. What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways by Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa reminds readers that throughout each day there are several opportunities to “say yes to God”.  This book helped me to see that there are so many times that I dismiss promptings from the Holy Spirit or come up with excuses why I shouldn’t do something.  We never know how our interactions with others can bring them closer to God and strengthen our own relationship.

3. The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose by Matthew Kelly

I read this book for the first time a couple years ago, but I listened to the audio version again and there are so many truths and great nuggets in this book!  If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that I love me some Matthew Kelly!  No matter what stage of life that we are in, nothing is impossible with God!  He wants what is best for us!  This is a great motivational book!

4. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Do you want a role-model who stands up for others and really lives their faith?  This biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer will energize you and make you examine how far you would go to do God’s will.  Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor and anti-Nazi activist who was executed just a few weeks before Hitler committed suicide.  Bonhoeffer is truly inspiring and more people are needed like him now in America!  This book is long, but worth the read!

5. Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins

When I randomly stumbled upon this book three times in one day online, I figured God was trying to tell me to read it, so I did!  Wrecked is another great book that gets readers to let go of personal dreams and follow God’s will.  I don’t think these things are necessarily mutually exclusive, but responding to God’s call will always require courage and sacrifice and it may not line up with our idyllic vision.  His plan is always better than ours, though!

If you have read any of the above books, how did they challenge you?  Any other books that you would recommend?  If you read any of these books in the future, please come back and let me know what you think!

Saying Yes Equals Success (Part I)

16 Jun

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will direct your paths.”  -Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m in the middle of reading some life-altering books right now and, no, I’m not exaggerating.  There’s no way that I can continue to be the same person after reading what these amazing authors have to share.  I have gained some special nuggets of wisdom to write about, but I have to break it down into more than one post because it will be an extremely lengthy one that no one will probably be up for tackling!

Back in November, I featured Katie Davis as that month’s featured Dreamer in the Spotlight.  I finally got around to reading her book, Kisses from Katie, and it is blowing me away!  For those of you who read that post, you may remember that she is the 22-year-old who is the mother to 13 Ugandan children.  Before I write anything else, let me just share an excerpt from her book that I just read yesterday.  (The whole book is worth highlighting, but this particular part jumped out at me.)

I was blessed.  It wasn’t because of anything I did; it was because I serve an unbelievably gracious God who will honor a willing and obedient heart.  My love for the people around me was not something I could muster up myself; it was God given, it came from the overflow of the love He had lavished on me.

I hadn’t come to Uganda with a degree in education; I wasn’t a nurse; and I certainly didn’t consider myself a missionary.  I had absolutely no idea what was involved in running a ministry and frankly did not possess the business knowledge or organizational skills required to do so.  I was in no way qualified, but I was available.

I have learned that something happens when one makes herself available to God:  He starts moving in ways no one could imagine.  God began doing things in me, around me, and through me as I offered myself to Him.  I began each day saying, “Okay, Lord, what would you have me do today?  Whom would you have me help today?”  And then I would allow Him to show me.  I would like to say that I had all kinds of great ideas about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.  I would like to say my ministry was born out of a carefully thought-out plan.  These things simply aren’t true, though.  I was walking through life one moment at a time, blown away by what God could do through me if I simply said yes.” -Kisses from Katie, page 43

Maybe after reading this, you are thinking, “I thought the title of this post is Saying Yes Equals Success and that doesn’t sound like the kind of success I want.”  It can definitely seem overwhelming and scary to think of what God may ask of us if we are open to it, but imagine all of the joy and love that would be missed out on if we continue to aim for the worldly view of success.  We have to keep in mind that God wants what is best for us.  He gave us our gifts and He wants us to use them to fit into His perfect plan.

I recently heard a great quote while watching a television show (Women of Grace) on EWTN the other day.  Two men were being interviewed about their book, Journeying on Holy Ground —Christian Strategies to Reach your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destinyand one of the authors, Billy Arcement, quoted Fredrick Buechner’s book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC.  In it Buechner states, “…The place God calls you to is the place where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  How powerful is that statement?  Wow!  Basically, when we can use our God-given talents (passion) to help others, we have found our purpose!  Isn’t that what we all want to find in life?  Don’t we all want to believe that our lives have meaning?  What’s awesome is that each one of us has a special role to play in His masterfully-woven plan!

That’s probably enough to digest for now.  Thanks for hanging with me!  I’ll talk about the second book that I’m currently reading in Part II – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.  I’ll outline her five-step plan to discerning God’s voice.

above image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net