Monday, January 16, 2012

What Inspired Me

Last week I had a comment from a reader inquiring about what books I was reading and what inspired me.  I had to think about that.  There is a lot that inspires, but not a lot of what I read really does this.  I tend to read a lot of fiction with a few non fiction books thrown in and they are not always very inspirational.  When I do read non fiction I read either a history book or biographical book.  Some of these have been inspirational as I have been able to see how God works or been challenged to change my views.  This year though I have challenged myself to read more non fiction Christian books, namely the studies I have purchased and always intended to read but are currently collecting dust on my shelves.  I promised myself that I would read at least one of these a month. 

However, I have completed many books.  I know its a shock.  To be honest some books I completed in studies, but there have been a few that I have read on my own.  I thought I would share my top 5 non fiction study books that have challenged me, inspired me and encouraged me in my walk.

The Bad Girls of the Bible, by Liz Curtis Higgs

This was the #1 selling book after I became a Christian.  The title spoke to my evil hidden humour.  I thought all the girls in the Bible were good like Mary, boy did this book take away those blinders.  This book spoke to me in a deep and personal way as I was a former Bad Girl.  The best part was it wasn't preachy because Liz herself was a former Bad Girl gone Good.  She was redeemed and renewed just as I had been.  I learned more about my walk in that book then I had during my profession of Faith classes. (Sorry Pastor Phil).  I learned about grace, love, truth, courage, etc..  When I met Liz at a conference I had her sign my book.  I have recommended this book to many new and young Christian woman who are a little unsure of their walk.  It takes away the false representation that only good girls can be used by God.  God uses imperfect people to do His work and tell His story.

No Other Gods by Kelly Minter

Ok, I did this study with my Babes, but this book still changed my life.  I had to look at myself deeply and realize what I was truly worshiping and it wasn't always God.  It wasn't even TV as many struggle with.  I was worshiping my little "g" gods, my friends.  I placed those relationships first.  This book enabled me to acknowledge my idolotry, but also reminded me and guided me to the one I should always have been worshiping. 


After I became a Christian I had a tonne of questions.  I think we all did.  I wanted them immediately answered.  I never felt that I was getting the answers that I wanted or were necessarily accurate.  These two books answered many of my questions.  Where they couldn't answer my exact questions they enabled me to let go and trust God.  I may not have all the answers and others smarter than I may not have the answers, but God has the answers.  These book encouraged me to trust that alone.  That I didn't need the answers to believe.  God was worth more than my little questions.  Sometimes I still struggle with trust issues and let those lingering questions take over, but then I remember the God that redeemed me and restored me and I trust.

This is another Babe study and my introduction to Beth.  I love her.  She is straight talking and honest.  Her teaching is straight from scripture.  This study enabled me to look at man who had a heart that looked at God first.  When he sinned, he immediately went into repentance and accepted the consequences for his sin.  This study made me realize that my relationship with God is the most important relationship I should have.  It opened up my eyes on my own sins and my own struggles and how I should be react to them and how I should be living.

These are just some of the books that have perfected my faith.  I am hoping this year in my study of Contentment that God continues to teach me through other's words and stories.  I already see Him doing this in the books I have been reading this month.  

What are you reading?  What has inspired you?

Linking up with the cool Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven.


Susie said...

I loved seeing your list, Michelle and will be adding a couple of these books to my own list for this year. Thanks, I think!! ;-)

A few books that I have recently enjoyed and been challenged by are:

*Into Abba's Arms
*Imaginary Jesus (You'd get a kick out of this one!)
*A Praying Life
*When the Darkness Will Not Lift
*Messy Spirituality

I love Beth Moore and haven't yet read David: Seeking a Heart Like His. That one is calling my name now... :-)

Andrea said...

Just wait until you do the James study, Beth Moore's newest one. Seriously, you may need to get some steel toe boots. Ouch. ;)

Anonymous said...

I've done a couple of Beth Moore video + book studies, including that one on David. Also inspiring:
~ A Confident Heart (Renee Swope)
~ Thin Places: A Memoir (Mary DeMuth)
~ The Opposite of Art (Athol Dickson)
~ The God Hater (Bill Myers)

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I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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