1.) Beautiful Outlaw
Look, I am only about 6 chapters into this book, and I am already telling you it is a GAME CHANGER. It's all about finding the true personality of Jesus and learning to read his words in relationship with his personality. Y'all...this is right up there with the Ragamuffin Gospel to me. It's a must-read.
2.) The Jesus Storybook Bible
I may have actually mentioned this before. This is what we read to Emerson each night. It's the "big" stories from the Bible, but it's written so that each story points to Jesus and why we need him. Not only are the stories beautifully written, the pictures are really gorgeous. Emerson loves this book. (So much so that she snuck hers out and ripped some of the pages while "reading." We love it so much though that we bought another one to put in her Easter basket this year.) It is great for kids of all ages, I think.
3.) Jesus Calling devotional
Well, I discovered doing this post that I actually have the teen-version, which is what you see here. Oops! It's still really good though. I just thought this cover was cuter than the other one. I'm sure you've heard of this book by now...it's everywhere. I think it's great. Each day's reading is short and simple (maybe that's because mine was written for a 14-year-old, who knows!), and it has other scriptures to look up to support the day's topic. It's a good devo to have on hand if you're looking for something to get you going again.
Also, the girls at She Reads Truth are building their own Bible study app if you're interested in that. They just launched their Kickstarter campaign to fund the building of the app yesterday, and in under 24 hours they had raised the $35,000 needed. Is that crazy or what?? God does some pretty crazy thing.
4.) Rend Collective Experiment
L-O-V-E this whole CD (minus Kumbya, because...really??). It's got great lyrics, great vocals, great everything. Their version of 10,000 Reasons is BY FAR my absolute favorite. I really love every song though. They're an Irish band, and they've got a little bit of Mumford and Sons flare. It's really, really good.
5.) Oceans by Hillsong United
My brother-in-law introduced me to this song, and now it's popping up everywhere. It's greatness all around!
I'm also loving the fact that I am having my very first IF:Table with some pretty great ladies this week. God is doing so much in my life and people around me. It's really awesome to see everyone growing and being stretched. It's what life should be like.
Sometimes it's really hard though. We feel like we lose sight of who God is or what He's doing. It's SO ridiculously easy to get focused on ourselves, what we think we need, work, our kids, etc. Then, we feel like it's so much "work" to get back into a relationship with Him, and we don't want to do it because all we do is work. That's not true though. It's Satan making you think that. (I'm talking to myself here.) God doesn't care if you've not had a quiet time (or whatever you want to call it) for the past 5 days, 5 months, or 5 years. What matters to Him is now...that you see Him right this minute. Honestly. It's true. I feel like one of the best things I've gotten out of reading Beautiful Outlaw is the simple prayer for Jesus to just show me who He REALLY is. Pray that prayer, and expect Him to show up. He will deliver. It's not all about you---it's CERTAINLY not about what you do and don't do. Jeez...we'd all be in a mess of trouble if our salvation was a result of our own efforts. It's about Him and just letting Him in. Giving Him the time, focus, and attention instead of giving that time, focus, and attention to things of this world that will truly only stress us out.
Not sure why I went off on that tangent, but I think God needed someone to read that...maybe it was just me needing to read that. Either way, let God do what He needs to do.
Love you guys!