Pages

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My God and My All: The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi by Elizabeth Goudge

This book on Francis of Assisi challenged everything I knew about the man. Everything I had heard about him was passive. He is constantly quoted as saying, ""Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words." Apparently, there is absolutely no record that he did say or write that saying. It makes me think of the statue that is common in home gardens with St Francis and adorable bunnies at his feet. His real life was intense and passionate. 

This man was not some poor man that took a vow of poverty. He was well off and expected to take over his father's business. He had a divine encounter at a local church and took a vow of poverty. It cost him his family. The vow he took was much greater than anything the Catholic church had seen before. He was a reformer. He confronted all sorts of people in authority. His life was full of trial. I was struck by how he would starve himself until he was ill and he often scourged himself to remind him of his sin and to identify with Christ. It is said that he received the Stigmata, supernatural wounds identical to those of Christ that would ooze. His story is much more wild than I ever imagined. Every page was an eye-opener. 

This book was graciously given by Plough Publishing for review.

Monday, January 04, 2016

The Reckless Love of God by Alex Early


No matter how often I read about it, I always enjoy reading about God's love for us. It is overwhelming to read about his attributes and character. God is beautiful. No matter how much I read about him, I know I will never understand all of the things about him. It becomes a constant prayer to know him more and have the humility to keep reading. May he keep teaching us and we keep being teachable by his love.

This book was full of good things. It was full of grace and truth. It was full of the gospel. It confronted the belief that God could not possible love us in a way that he enjoys us. There were pockets of good, soul-satisfying words in here. I love how he brought home the sacred nature of the table and how worship and life go out from there.

On occasion it could come across more like a text book, but it redeemed itself with content. Sometimes, I would stall out while reading it and have to come back to it later. Over all, I thought it was a good read. It is excellent to read and remember (or learn) how rich God's love is for us and how far reaching that love actually goes into our sin and despair. Pick up a copy or borrow mine. 
This book was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers for review.