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Books I read | January 2021

The way my January reads transpired weren’t planned, I actually had three other books I was reading, yet reading these books were divinely planned. I am hesitant to share these books in that, I don’t want to be a driver of fear because my blog has always carried the theme, “Dare to Hope.” But when there are similar alarms sounding, with wisdom we discern and plan accordingly. These two books deeply resonated with me because the stirrings and beliefs I’ve carried quietly, strangely aligned with their prophetic voices through these books. I pray with boldness that we are wrong, that God changes the direction, but we move ahead in wisdom and prepare.

Live Not by Lies by Rod Dreher

“You have to live in a world of lies, but it’s your choice as to whether that world lives in you.”

“The task of the Christian dissident today is to personally commit herself to live not by lies….”

I picked up this book after listening to a podcast with him on it. Rod traveled and interviewed various people who grew up under communism and shared with him their frustration with those who don’t see the imminent dangers to democracy and liberty from what they see as the emerging totalitarianism in the United States.

The first half of the book is explaining what soft totalitarianism is, the second half is how to live in truth!

Rod Dreher and the dissidents and survivors he interviews often express great hope that the pain of Christian persecution under totalitarianism will revive and purify the church.

Through the book I was reminded, families and religion are the bedrock of resistant cells to the soft totalitarianism.

I won’t share too many quotes from this book in hopes you will pick it up…. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Chapter 5: Value nothing more than truth.

“Live in truth…. there is power an ordinary person has to resist living by official lies.”

Chapter 10: Gift of Suffering

“The old totalitarianism conquered societies through fear of pain; the new one will conquer primarily through manipulating people’s love of pleasure and fear of discomfort.”

“What is fear? Someone who is afraid is going to be made to do the most evil things. If someone is not afraid to say no, if your soul is free, there is nothing they can do to you…. in the end those who are afraid always end up worse than the courageous.”

If you click the picture about it will take you to his FREE study guide on the book.

The Reset by Jeremy Riddle

If you aren’t familiar, Jeremy is a worship leader. I’ve been a fan of his worship music for years and follow him on Instagram, which is how I ended up picking this short book to read this month. After several of his postings on instagram, I was deeply resonating with his snapshots from his book he was sharing. Though the book is written through the lens of worship leaders I found a lot of value to those who care about Church in this “hour.”  He phrases things different than I may have, but his overall theme is something I have been burdened with and personally wrestling over… so many of times I felt myself yelling “Yes!” or re-listening to portions of the book over and over. (I read (listened) to this one on Audible) 😉 ⠀⠀⠀

After I finished the book I only felt more of a fire and tenacity–a courage to listen to the Spirit and obey like never before… because we may be watching a tear down and a purification to the church (not a church building, his people) like we haven’t experienced in our lifetime.

Foreword by Alan Scott

“The idea that Jesus would be impressed by what we have built to make Him famous, or that He would leave our models of worship intact is vain. We are too timid to tear down the temple ourselves, too afraid to confront the excesses. We allow things to stand which, when moved by the Spirit, must be pulled down; edifices for our own importance, born from our ego rather than by His Spirit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The cleansing of our modern temples has begun. It will continue with greater acceleration. God is raising up a new generation of worshippers who are more focused on building an altar than altering their world. They have promised their hearts to one love. They cannot and will not be turned. They are the relentless ones…who carry the soil of surrender. And this is their time.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Chapter 10: The Future

“The worship movement should be the one driving the missions movement….when you worship from a place you know your life is on the line, you tend to be pretty focused on what matters. I believe we could be stepping into a season of greater persecution as a church... we must realign ourselves NOW in preparation! We must burn like we’ve never burned before for the glory of God and risk like we’ve never risked before.

It will be those on the front lines that carry this forward. 

The future is in the field, in the streets and in the marketplaces, in the underground gathering of undivided hearts lifting holy faith-filled prayers of adoration and declaration. The future is praying, missional worshipping communities who will give fresh creative expression to the heart of God for the world, and the heart of the church for God.

They will be small and intimate, but there impact will be deep and wide.

Chapter 11: Returning⠀

“In this shaking, we are being given a precious opportunity to repent and return to the Lord. To take back up the mantle of purity, and in returning and rest, discover the new things God desires to do in us and through us.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

But the great and glorious prize for our repentance will not be the “new” thing, or the “new” sound, or a re-packaged, re-branded spin off of the old thing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It will be Jesus Himself. He will be our great and glorious portion and prize. He is the drink our parched souls have been thirsting after.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If we get Him, we get everything. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
He is everything.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Click here to see a few more Books I’ve Read

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