Tuesday, April 15, 2014

7 Books that Helped to Prepare My Soul for the Work Ahead

In my last post, I described some of the readings I have done in the past year to prepare my mind for the culture change I am about to experience. In this post, I'd like to share the titles of some books that have helped me to prepare my soul for the work ahead.

1. Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

This book is an extreme motivator, not for the faint of heart! I read it on my way to visit WATS a year ago. This stood out--the American Dream is about making much of ourselves. The Kingdom of God is about making much of God. Big difference--life changing difference.

2. Thou Givest...They Gather: Truths Gleaned from the Word of God by Amy Carmichael
Special thanks to my good friends, Don and Vicki Bridner for sending this gem of a book to me in the mail one day! It is now one of my favorite devotionals of all time! Written by a missionary who suffered much for the cause of Christ, I am both inspired and encouraged each time I read it!

3. Soul Shift: The Measure of a Life Transformed by Steve DeNeff and David Drury
The premise of this book is that we need certain paradigm shifts for our soul. My favorite chapters were on the following shifts: From Me to You, From Consumer to Steward, and From Sheep to Shepherd.  

4. 58: Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty by Scott C. Todd 
The author challenges the common interpretation of "the poor you will always have with you." This is a completely different way of looking at poverty and what we can do about it.

5. Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message  by Ravi Zecharias 
A contemporary apologetic, this book was helpful as I prepare to live in a country where almost half of the people are either Muslim or people who practice African Traditional Religion (ATR). Syncretism can also be a problem for many of the students who come to WATS. 

6. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader Edited by Ralph Winter
This is a large volume on the Biblical and Historical, as well as the Cultural and Strategic perspectives on Christian missionary work. It was my textbook for the Perspectives course I took last spring, but I loved the text so much that it will find its way into my luggage!!

7. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elizabeth Elliott
I am reading this now. How awesome to read a book about a wonderful missionary written by another wonderful missionary. By the way, when I first picked up the book I thought the reference "to die" was about dying physically. I was wrong. The reference is to dying daily, to dying to self, to taking up our cross... In my mind, I have changed the title to "The Courage to Die..."

Of course, the Word of God is the most important source of all to provide me with encouragement, peace, guidance, and strength. Recently, I find myself focusing on the following passages:
Philippians 1:6, 3:12, 4:12
Matthew 28:`18-20
Matthew 5-7

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the books listed above. Perhaps you have one or two you'd recommend to me, too.


  1. Hi Shelley! God speed on your preparations for Africa! I can't recommend highly enough "When Helping Hurts" by Fikkert. Excellent!