Well my 2013 reading list started out with a bang. Not only did I read three, count them, THREE books this month (it's a record) but I loved each and every one of them! I hope the rest of the books I've got on my to read shelf for this year are going to turn out this well! Linking up with Friday Book Club today to share my January reads with y'all.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Well you already know that I loved this book because the author, Don Miller, is friends with my boy Bob Goff. Sigh. Some guys have all the luck. Anyway, this book is all about Don's life and how instead of just floating by while sitting on his couch, eating pizza and playing video games, he decided to intentionally live a life that would make a good story. And that changed everything. It was a great book--easy read, inspirational, and he's got a great sense of humor. Here were a few of my favorite quotes.
"The truth is, if what we chose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either."
"What I'm saying is I think life is staggering and we're just used to it. We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we're given--it's just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral."
"Did I really believe God could write a better story? And if I did, why didn't I trust Him?"
"It is when people do not allow God to show up through them, that the world collapses in on itself."
"There is a force resisting the beautiful things in the world, and too many of us are giving in."
"The ambitions we have will become the stories we live."
"The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and shown up at the ending a different way."
"I think about the hard lives so many people have had, the sacrifices they've endured, and how those people will see Heaven differently than those of us who have had easier lives."
"What I really remember are the few times we made an extra effort to do something memorable."
"We don't know how much we are capable of loving until the people we love are being taken away, until a beautiful story is ending."
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Holy cow, guys. I could not put this book down. And I mean, I spend over three hours one Sunday reading all but the first 50 pages (which I read the night before). This is a sort of miracle for a girl like me who is not a fast reader and who has a super short attention span. And because it was a fiction book, which I basically just don't read. But this book, well, it was amazing. I don't want to give too much away, but it's a love story about two teenagers with cancer. I know, I know, that sounds sappy and pre-teeny, and Taylor Swift-ish. I promise that it's not. It was awesome. So awesome, that I gave it the coveted and illusive 5 ranking on my Goodreads. That don't just happen, folks. Buy it. Read it. Love it. Thank me later.
Seven by Jen Hatmaker
Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom.
I want to live gratefully, humbly, hopefully.
For whatever reason I was born into privilege; I've never known hunger, poverty, or despair. I have been blessed, blessed, blessed--relationally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. My life is so happy it's almost embarrassing.
I won't defile my blessings by imagining that I deserve them.
Until every human receives the dignity I casually enjoy, I pray my heart aches with tension and my belly rumbles for injustice.
I have come to see tha tthe great tragedy in the church is not that the rich Christians do not care about the poor, but that the rich Christians do not know the poor. I long for the Calcutta slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners and for each to see God's image in the other. I truly believe that when the poor meet hte rich, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end. (Quoting Shane Claiborne)
Obedience Isn't a lack of fear. It's just doing it scared.
In a culture of hero worship and conspicuous rainmakers, this concept struggles to emerge, but the story of God's people comprises a billion little moments when an average believer pressed on, carried through, stepped up. In the quantity of ordinary obedience, the kingdom truly advances.
The discomfort is where the magic happens.
What would the early chruch think if they walked into some of our buildings today? .. They'd wonder if we had read the Bible, or worry it had been tampered with since their time.
Sometimes vigils are for waiting, when your struggle has been voiced and God's hand hasn't moved.