I have read a lot of books. That is a little bit of an understatement. I made it my goal in the two years of high school I had "back home" to read through the entire school library. (I left out all the Sweet Valley High garbage!) I did that. I had also read everyone's library when we were "over there" growing up. I even read my dad's thesis on engineering stuff. (There was nothing else to do!!) In Bible school, I read through all the fiction and all the biographies section. I even read the complete five volume biography series on Hudson Taylor.
Did I mention that I like to read?
Now, I am not up to date. I sort of gave up reading a few years ago. Not gave it all up, but I found that I get hooked in a book, especially some of the Christian fiction that is out there. I wasn't a good mom when I was hooked on books, so I got away from reading. I still read, but I ration myself, and I stay away from some books even though I think they are great reading.
So when I sit down and tell you that one book or two are my favorite or have made a bigger impact on my spiritual life than anything else I've read, it carries some weight behind it. But there is one book - really two. The first book drew my attention to the second book. The second book is the one that really formed the bedrock of how I want to live... I wish I could say it forms the bedrock of who I am, but I am too honest for that. It forms the bedrock of who I want to be.
The first book is a book by Isobel Khun, Green Leaf in Drought Time. It tells the story of a missionary family caught behind in China when everyone else had been evacuated. They were basically on house arrest for four years. Not allowed to do anything. It is the story of what they learned in that time. Great book. Really good things in there.
So when I found a book by this man, I was immediately interested and picked it up. Born for Battle by Arthur Matthews. My room mate and I sat down over the next month and read these 31 short chapters. Easy reading. Easy to understand. Amazing truth. Having read Green Leaf in Drought Time, I knew that these were not just words, but truths that had been lived out.
(Have I ever mentioned that I struggle at times with trust, and really want to see things lived out before I will believe?)
What I read in this book became the template for how I think as a Christian. It is what I fall back to when I fall. I have read it at least three times now.
I lent it to someone, and it took a long time to get it back. When I cleaned my office last week, I found it. Right now, I am at a place where I need to take a few steps back and find my footing again. So I pulled out this book. It is time to read it again.
I read it now as an adult, a little older, having lived through a little more. I'm impressed with how true it is. Some of the things we've lived through over these last few years, especially this year, have been tough. But written in this book are the basics that I have tried to live by... when the storms hit, when life itself was unsure, it was these things I had been taught that held me.
It is time for me to read it again.
And because no one out there seems to have ever heard of this book, I'm going to share with you some of what I read and learn. Life would be so much simpler and so much better if I could just copy it here and let you read it, but I seem to remember something about copyright laws.... but I want you to read it. It is good. Not much more I can say about that. (It is available on Amazon and well as OMF books.... )
I think I need to read this book again. I think we need to read this book. I think too often there is a tendency to ignore the "old" books and focus on the new, exciting, up and coming... But this is a man who lived through what we are being asked to live through. He learned by his life, by the daily suffering and serving in a difficult field. We are being called into missions - it is going to be difficult. Might be good to listen to those who have walked the road ahead of us.
Mine doesn't look like this because it is older, but this one has the same words inside. My top pick out of thousands of books I've read.