Today I’m excited to introduce three books from three friends that are making an impact on me. Each touches me in a different way: poetry that stirs my heart, mind, and soul; missionary stories that inspire me; and a devotional book that I’m already planning to use next year.
The first excerpt is a poem and call to prayer for your personal reflection, that would also work well in a corporate worship setting. The second is a brief meditation from a Japanese context on the obi of love (Colossians 3:14). And finally I share why I’m saving the third book for next year.
a slow and sudden god:
40 years of wonder
by Chris Maxwell, 2018
a call to prayer
He calls us here.
He meets us here.
do we hear the calling?
do we notice the Presence?
if we come at all,
let us come expecting and desperate,
full of passion and anticipation;
convicted of our sin, convinced of our Savior,
seeking for conversion, searching for Christ.
humble, but hoping,
afraid, but aggressive,
reverent, but relentless.
name the ones we love.
label the pain we hate.
mention the darkness we despise.
discard the chains that choke us.
admit how hard this is,
but learn that it can be done.
He is here and we draw near.
we bow our heads.
we bend our knees.
we wait for a Power that rides the breeze
that blows into a room
where questioning seekers become courageous saints.
still human, but more whole.
still frail, but closer to fine.
still stumbling, but then standing;
standing up, standing still,
standing for Him, standing forever.
Father, watch over me, us, them.
Doctor, ease this relentless pain.
Savior, rescue me.
take this life, these friends, this land;
caress us all inside Your hand.
hold us in Your palm of knowing,
keep us praying, keep us growing,
keep us, we pray.
Rise and Shine:
45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun
by Mary Klassen Derksen, 2018
Kimono According to Colossians 3:14
The kimono is not simply slipped on like a dress. Dressing is a complicated, time-consuming affair. The kimono is a loose garment open all the way down the front. The obi is the band that ties it together at the waist. Seven different ties complete the obi.
In our English version of Colossians 3:14, we are simply told And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. In the Japanese Bible we are told to put on the obi of love, which ties everything together in perfect unity. The kimono is useless without the obi. In the same way, we need God’s obi of love to be useful in building the Kingdom of God in our world. (page 212)
Rise and Shine by Mary Klassen Derksen is available in Abbotsford at House of James, Mennonite Heritage Museum, and Coles Books; in Vancouver at Pilgrim Book and Bible; in Winnipeg at CommonWord; and online from Lulu.com.
Words of Faith to Live By:
Using 12 Reflective Words for a Calendar Year
by Grace Wulff, 2018
Although this is a small book, I haven’t read it yet, because this book is not really about reading. Instead, this devotional guide offers twelve reflective words, one for each month of a calendar year. Then for each word there are verses of Scripture, journal prompts, some devotional thoughts, prayer suggestions, and line drawings for colouring. I love this creative combination, and plan to use this book next year.
Words of Faith To Live By is available directly from Grace Wulff’s website.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: What books are making an impact on you these days?
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