Usually July is our busiest month in the personnel office and then things slow down a bit in August. But this year August has been as busy as July. I'll write more about that in my next blog! All of this business has been reflected in my lack of reading. I read only two books this month, though I've got several I'm part way through.
The first is by Beth Moore and is called When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. We've all been stunned by the news of a well-known Christian leader embezzling money or having an affair with a woman on his staff. Or perhaps the person is not well-known, but close to us. She has been used greatly by God in your life and then all of a sudden she just walks out on her family. And all of us who are honest have to admit there are times we wonder, "Where did THAT thought come from?" or "Why was I so tempted to do that? I certainly know better." Beth Moore deals with why and how the Evil One seduces Christians, and especially those who have had abuse in their backgrounds. She encourages all believers to being fighting the spiritual battle that is necessary to stand our ground against Satan. Perhaps most helpful of all, she shares how those who have fallen can and should be restored if they repent of their sin. Personally, I find that Beth Moore is a better speaker than writer and it was sometimes a bit hard to track with her. Also, she's so emotional, which I'm not. But the section on restoration was extremely helpful. I would especially recommend this book to those who are at a place of repentance, moving into restoration or to their pastors or loved ones.
The second book I read was Oswald Chambers -- Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest. I've read and been blessed by My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers ever since my parents gave me my first copy after my first year in college. But I never knew much of his life other than that he was a Bible teacher. This is a fascinating and well-written biography about his life which also shows how the woman who stood beside him as his wife had a vital part in his ministry. As a young man Oswald Chambers went through a time of deep depression and struggle with God from which he emerged stronger. At the end of that time, he had what he described as a baptism of the Holy Ghost. He gave himself fully to God at that point and it seems that his struggle with depression was then a thing of the past. His wife, whom he nick-named Biddy, was a stenographer and trained secretary. She took short-hand notes of all of his messages and lectures. After his death as a fairly young man (only in his 40's), she made it her life work to type out all of his messages and lectures and to turn them into books. The most famous, of course, is My Utmost for His Highest. This was also the most difficult to compile as she took bits from many different messages and compiled them around a common theme for the day. Now that I know the story behind My Utmost for His Highest, a book that I've read through many times before, it has become even more dear to me. In addition, we as a mission family talk a lot about how we have to first BE a disciple before we can MAKE disciples. Oswald Chambers' life exemplified how to do that.