Sunday, January 26, 2014

Polishing God's Monuments by Jim Andrews

Polishing God's Monuments: Pillars of Hope for Punishing Times

"A true story so gripping and moving and inspiring that one cannot put the book down.  To enter into this theological reflection on suffering is to accept the challenge to grow deeply in Christ, and to cherish the sure and certain promise of the Gospel."
Bruce A. Ware

This is the first in my self-designed reading list of good books for this year.  And, Wow!

As I have walked the path of infirmity rather intensely for the past 4 years, there have been many sources of input for encouragement and, in some cases, confusion.  In all of it, my desire has been to know what God thinks and hear His voice.  The voice of man can be so loud at times.  My own voice can be so loud at times!  This book has been an absolute and total blessing.  It has reinforced what I know to be true about God.  It has reminded me of truth that had gotten a little foggy in my mind.  It has encouraged me in amazing ways.  Here's just a taste of all that.

The book is written by the father of a young woman who, along with her husband, has experienced intense health issues for 20 years, beyond anything that our "normal" lives could imagine.  In the midst of that infirmity and suffering, this family has learned a great deal.  Jim Andrews does a fabulous job of telling the story, and of interweaving the Biblical and theological principles they have learned along the way.

"Polishing God's Monuments" refers to remembering the times when God's deliverance occurs, taking out those memories when He is silent and "polishing" them, reminding ourselves of His love, grace, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.  It reminds me of Psalm 105, remembering the works of God in the lives of the Israelites.  A memory box, if you will, of His deeds on their behalf.

Some of what I have gleaned:

  • God is God.  I am not.
  • His purposes are paramount.
  • He works in mysteries as well as "knowns" and I need to walk in faith as I deal with "mysteries."
  • God is not at my beck and call.  I am at His.
  • He is totally sovereign and knows the beginning from the end.  I am not and do not.
  • He is weaving a perfect tapestry, and He has no loose ends.  I can't see what He's doing and that is okay.  The dark threads reveal the brilliance of the golden ones on the top side, which only He can see.
  • God's purposes are His own, and I may never know what they are.
  • I am His, and He can do anything He wants with me.  I gave up my rights to myself when I bowed my knee to Christ.
  • I need to trust that He knows better than I what "best" is.
  • God's agenda is not to make me happy (in terms of temporal bliss), but to make me holy.

This is so, so, so worth reading.  I am grateful that He dropped it in my lap, so to speak.  A tremendous blessing.

Polishing God's Monuments in the used section of Amazon Marketplace.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Book List for 2014!

I think this was a really good idea! I posted this on Facebook:

"What books have had the greatest impact on your Christian life? I am making a list for this year. I hope to read one a month that will challenge and deepen my walk with Him. Ready, Set, Go!"

And these are the responses I got!  I can hardly wait to dig in!  The first three were recommended to me by friends apart from Facebook.
  • Polishing God's Monuments by Jim Andrews
  • Recovering from Losses in Life by H. Norman Wright
  • A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul David Tripp
  • The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn
  • Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan
  • Future Grace by John Piper
  • Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • Satan and His Plan of Evil by Keith Blades
  • Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
  • The Wise Women Novella by George MacDonald
  • The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun
  • Secret of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
  • We Would See Jesus by Roy and Revel Hession
  • Anything by Jonathan Edwards!
  • New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
  • Nestle Don't Wrestle by Corrie ten Boom
  • A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie
  • The Promise by Robert Morgan

At the recommendation of a high school classmate, last month I started reading Polishing God's Monuments by Jim Andrews.  Tremendous impact on me.  So, I'm hoping some of the above tomes will also have a positive impact on my walk with Him.

If anyone else has recommendations, please fire away!