I was an avid reader when I was in my high school through graduate school years but I've found that I haven't been as intentional about reading in the last 3 years of parenting. I'm learning to love reading and studying God's Word again.
I am part of a Women's Bible Study at my church and we are working through Lysa TerKeurst's Finding I AM. It is a really wonderful study that walks through Jesus' "I Am" statements throughout the gospel of John. I have been thoroughly enjoying her candid writing style and thorough Biblical study, including various word studies--looking at the Greek or Hebrew usage of a word throughout the Old and New Testaments to get a better idea of the intended meaning, sometimes lost when looking at English alone, and context in the greater Biblical work. The study has brought about a lot of soul-searching as I uncover some "empty cisterns" or things that I look to for control or comfort, instead of Jesus. For vulnerability, some of those for me would include relationships, financial stability, having the "perfect family," maintaining a schedule, keeping my house clean, social media, body image, escaping in TV series... the list could literally go on for miles.
I also love that her study is accompanied by some really amazing video teachings. She travels around the Holy Land and teaches from the places where Jesus spoke each "I Am" statement. Today we discussed His discussion with the Samaritan Woman at Jacob's well. While there is no direct "I Am" statement here, His claims to be the Living Water imply it. Lysa TerKeurst does her teaching at Jacob's Well in Samaria, one of the few places Jesus stood that has been identified with certainty. It brought tears to my eyes to imagine standing where Jesus stood, hearing those words of love and forgiveness. My heart. I could go on.
With that, please pick up Lysa TerKeurst's study Finding I AM. I highly recommend it.
Yesterday, I started reading The Essential C.S. Lewis, edited by Lyle W. Dorsett. Dorsett's introduction to Lewis' life and writings was captivating. I had read Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series as a child, and again last year, but didn't know much of his childhood and life. He lost his mother at a young age to cancer, walked away from his faith, later returned to it and in late life married and, after only four years of marriage, lost his wife to cancer. He wrote The World's Last Night during her sickness and A Grief Observed after her death. If one of the "Greats" was able to be transformed through loss and pain, I have full faith that God can use it to shape us today. This was only one of many things that struck me while reading Dorsett's introduction to Lewis' life.
I read the Mere Christianity excerpt from this book and decided to start listening to it on audio book last night while cooking dinner. Mere Christianity is a book that Lewis published in 1952 based off of a radio series he did for BBC throughout the 1940s about theology and making it understandable and accessible to everyone. Seriously, I don't know how I never picked this book up before. I have always been interested in apologetics and always had it on my list but never took the time to read. If you are not a Christian but are interested in understanding more about the Christian faith and doctrine, this is a great book to read. He doesn't come with the intention of telling the listener/reader what door to walk through (the different denominations within the Christian church), but rather invites his listeners/readers into the hallway (speaking to the doctrines common to all denominations, proof for faith found in ethics, etc.). Again, if you are a new Christian, a mature Christian, or are simply interested in learning about other religions, Mere Christianity is a great read and something to really get the brain going.
I'm excited to share my thoughts with you about the books I am currently enjoying. I would love to hear some of your feedback on these books and some suggestions about books that I should add to my reading list!
Grace and Peace,