{inspire} books on my nightstand

by Jennie Allen

I'm only 27 pages into this book, but seven of those page corners are bent over, meaning this book is going to stay with me for awhile. I'll need to read it again.

I love Jennie's writing style. It's super fluid and personable and easy to read. There are no bumpy transitions between anecdotes and spiritual application, just stories flowing out rich with meaning and truth.
"Pretending to be good halts God's movement in our life. Legalism or religion helps us feel better about ourselves, puffs us up, gives us the posture to be critical and judgmental and prideful. Oh, and everything human about us loves that. It feels better to live that way. It feels better to walk independently and all grown-up, not holding hands with your mom on the River Walk when you want to feel cool and like an adult. We want to not need God." 
I love Jennie's honesty. She is transparent, in a way that helps the reader identify with her, and it makes her writing much much more personal and applicable to my life.
"We want to earn the feeling that we are okay. We want to climb ladders and have everyone tell us how proud they are and how much we deserve everything good, so we can nod and smile as we agree."
And I love the premise of the book and can't wait to dig into it deeper -- the truth that we are chasing something....wanting more....and the best thing we can do with that yearning is to pray a prayer of abandonment. "A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters."

And of course you know I read a little from the end of the book, right? My favorite favorite quote, found on page 177.
"Nothing on earth is more fun and more full that being distributed by an all-knowing, compassionate God who knows exactly where our ridiculously blessed lives would be best spent." 

No Greater Love 
by Levi Benkert and Candy Chand

This book tells the story of the Benkert family, struggling in the downturned economy of 2009, looking for direction in life. Upon returning from an impulsive trip to Ethiopia to save orphans, Levi and his wife feel a specific calling to return and head up an orphan-rescue program in a remote Ethiopian village. They immediately go about selling their belongings and six weeks later the Benkerts and their three kids are on a plane to Addis Ababa.

It's an real life action adventure, filled with emotion and drama. I love it.

I also love being able to follow Levi and his ministry, now providing for over 45 orphans. He blogs at bringlove.in about the way God is obviously in charge and about the new forever families being formed. It's so awesome. Bring Love In is on Facebook and Twitter too.

We're donating all the money we save from our "no-heat challenge" to Bring Love In. I think about these kids every time I put on a warm sweater and socks {and do the dishes by hand just to get warm}. :)

How cool is it to get to know a ministry personally, read their back-story, and see updates and pictures regularly online?