Monday, March 31, 2008

book reviews...

during the forty days leading up to easter, our church body united in prayer and fasting. pressing into Jesus, personally and corporately.

during the final week, during my own personal final fast, a package came in the mail from a friend of ours. he has a heart the size of texas, and has blessed us in so many ways. he founded a ministry a few years ago to reach out and love kids without a father in their life. as part of an outreach to make the invisible faces of orphans visible, his ministry began a read it and seed it program. basically, you get a book, you read the book (or not) and then you pass it on.
and in my hands i found a book called It's Not Okay With Me by Janine Maxwell.

if i were to be honest, i would tell you that i didn't want to read it. basically because of all the other unfinished books calling my name. one in the gym bag, three on one side of my bed, two on the other, and a random variety on various book shelves. next to me on the folding chair are six.
but i have this weird legalistic side of me. if someone went through the effort of choosing a book for me, perhaps within it's pages, there is some little piece of information that i am to hear. so normally i always place a book i receive from a friend first. (aside from the boundrie's book-tina, which took me forever!!) so i knew i had to read it.

and i did. it captivated me. the pages filled with the author's view on the streets, homes, and lives of Africa.
sometimes we pick up a book and it gives us valuable information. entertainment. an interesting perspective. never has a book came alive to me as this, other than the word of God.
and left me with this burning need, desire to pack up and just move there!!! i wanted to call my friend and say, why!?? why did you choose to mail me this book... yesterday? does it directly mean something?? what can i do? and as i shared with Josh the children's stories, he began to read. and our nights filled with visions of these children. faces of children, God's children. mothers. babies. fathers.

last week i read the book Father to the Fatherless, the Charles Mulli Story by Paul H. Boge. it is a man and an organization that Janine Maxwell directly worked with. unbelievable.
i think that maybe the prior book hit my heart because i have always had a burden for Africa. but this book is the story of a man who had nothing, orphaned. made everything, success and prosperity. and gave it all for His call. everything. you can read about it here.

his story makes you passionate, not about Africa, as much as the call you have on your life and the God that you serve. the greatness and love He has, for the nobodies according to this world. how one person can make a difference when used by the hand of a mighty God. a God who still moves in ways that are powerful. a God that can do the unthinkable in our lives.
a man who went from being relevant in religion and society to being relevant in our generation for the kingdom of God. doing simply what God called him to do. one who daily still faces persecution, but who wouldn't trade back for his old life for anything. who doesn't know how it's all going to happen, but knows someone who does.

our mission in america is just as great as africa. aids in africa is like the holocaust. children dying. but in america we are being smothered under our stuff and desensitised. believing that there is no hope, we can't make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our world. but Charles Mully did. and he did so not with eloquent words, but with an eighth grade education. for his Father compensates for anything he may lack. he is the man God called him to be, in dependence of his relationship with Christ. and God has moved.

the treasure of his testimony is more than i could have asked for this easter. what a gift of truth, knowing that God is indeed The Almighty and he is moving if we are willing in Africa, Bulgaria, North Korea, America, and to the ends of the earth.


Sarah said...

Love that those books touched your heart so deeply. It is so true that God compensates above and beyond for whatever we may lack in serving.

Heth said...

I loved hearing how God is moving in the hearts of my Christian sisters. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Ann said...

I love how you are so on fire! I could feel your sense of urgency when you said you wanted to pack up and go to Africa right now. Man, I'm even humming Toto's song "Africa" right now. I can't WAIT to see how God works through your passion. Ooh it's going to be exciting!