Saturday, November 19, 2011

The List of Recommended Biographies / Autobiographies

Here is a list of Christian authours whose life stories have impacted me greatly, and helped me to go further, dream bigger and expect great things from God.

Autobiography Of George Muller
Read and see how God answers his child's prayers in this book!

Dare to Dream: If you can see the invisible today, God will make it visible tomorrow
See the hands of God on Mattheus Van Der Steen, and how God works through this young man of faith to impact the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Warrior for Revival: The Life Stories and Principles of Philip Mantofa
The current pastor, serving in a growing church of 30,000 in Indonesia.
See how a demon-possessed man becomes a Spirit-filled man of God!

The Fourth Dimension, Vol. 1
Listen to the life story of the Pastor David Yonggi Cho, the pastor of the largest church (over 800,000 members) in the world, the Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea.
How God healed him when he was at the brink of death, and worked through him to bring about the healing of people and the nation as a whole!

Living a Life of Fire: An Autobiography
Listen to the story of a man who lived through the terrible and dangerous times of the World War II as a child, and how he met God through his goldy mother in a little town of Germany. He has now served in Africa for over 25 years, witnessing over 52 million documented decisions for Christ!

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church (The Leadership Network Innovation)
A story of Mark Driscoll who was called by God to become a follower of Jesus, marry his now wife, Grace, plant a church and train men. This is the story of how a small of group for a bible study grew, and become a now thriving mega church, Mars Hill Church, in the least churched state of America, Seattle (then, Seattle is not the least churched state in America any more.)

Hudson Taylor (Men of Faith)
The story of Hudson Taylor, a man from England.
He goes to the heart of China to start Chinese Inland Mission.
See how God is with him whenever and wherever he goes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Heavenly Man by Brother Yun

I got this book during the last summer holidays, quite accidentally. My younger brother gave me a book coupon that he didn't use. I just went to the bookstore, and started looking for some book that seemed interesting. I knew that the bookstore didn't have as many books as you'd like, and I was thinking of picking up any book that caught my attention.

And this book caught my attention. The Heavenly Man.
Hmm.. As I read the book description, I got quickly interested in this book, as it was about a Chinese native missionary's journey in his own homeland reaching out to people around him, delivering the Goodnews of Jesus Christ.

If I remember correctly, I read this book in one sitting. I was living in a flat at the time. It was during the summer holidays. It was a Saturday morning. I just had breakfast. And now I was picking up this book.

I think I started reading around 9am and finished it at night. The story was absolutely captivating my attention and I couldn't put the book down. The story of this man's faith and God's work in this man was truly remarkable. God's calling, miracles and interventions and Brother Yun's life, escaping from Chinese police and his imprisonment because of his faith in Jesus imparted to my heart another kindling for my passion to follow Jesus and follow Him even in the midst of difficulties, trials and persecutions.

Even for those who are not Christians, this story can still be a very interesting read. Are the miracles real? You should listen to him for yourself and find out! :)

Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

When I was going through deep depression, especially in regards to my faith and convictions, this book was food for my soul. Dr Lloyd-Jones who was formerly a physician working at the hospital in London, and now was a minister at Westminster Chapel in London, goes over many causes of depression and cures for each of them.

I could see Dr Lloyd-Jones' keen insight into a person's spiritual problems and the solutions he offers are based on the Scripture.

This is one of my favourite verses that he quoted in the book: 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Bait of Satan by John Bevere

This book by John Bevere is something that turned my heart around.

What I mean is this. I struggled with unforgiveness that I held onto as a self-defense. I needed to forgive but it hurt a lot. I thought I forgave someone who hurt me deeply but the wound was still there. I struggled and found it hard to get rid of unforgiveness.

It is clear what Jesus demands of us when he taught us how to pray in the Lord's prayer.

"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."
Matthew 6:12 & Luke 11:4

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 6:15

This book helped a lot in regards to forgivenss. The author, John Bevere himself was hurt a lot by someone who spoke ill of him. And I believe living in a fallen world with imperfect people including myself, it's not difficult to hurt somebody with our words or deeds, or be hurt by someone with their words or deeds.

It happens. But how shall we respond to these hurts as Christians, as followers of Jesus who forgave our sins?

The only answer is "forgiving."

Realising how much I hurt my heavenly Father with my sins and breaking His heart, forgiveness is the only right and natural response that we can take for the sins/hurts/wounds that were done against us.

I must say when someone hurts me, it is not always their fault. Many times, we can take things personally even when it was not directed against us. And it was never their intention to hurt. Just like I would never hurt anyone verbally. But it happens, and I've hurt people. And I had to cry hard for that and ask for their forgiveness.

Forgiveness is sacrificial. I must hurt to forgive someone. But when it heals it is liberating. The decaying wound is finally starting to heal and form crusts and later form new tissues and skin, and I can use that part of me again.

And it always reminds me of how much the Father would have hurt and it is only the love of God, even the sacrificial love of Jesus, going to the cross to die on my behalf, forgiving my sins that gives me power to forgive. His love was forgiveness and more than that "grace". The grace of love. The passionate love for me for my good. And I want that. With His power, I can passionately love those who have hurt me intentionally or unintentionally. May Jesus give us all wisdom and power to live just as He lived, and is still living. 

"Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."
Colossians 3:13 

Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

This book is for anyone who are not quite sure about some claims of Christianity. Here's a book description:

Book Description

September 1, 1998
A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story in history--is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of god?

Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?

Strobel's tough, point-blank questions make this Gold Medallion-winning book read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it's not fiction. It's a riveting quest for the truth about history's most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ?

Source: Amazon

The book features many interviews with experts in different areas of specialties like theology, science and philosophy. The question is, "Was Jesus really the Son of God?", "Did He really resurrect from death?"

These are the questions that can prod our faith as Chritians, and for those who may have dismissed these Chritian claims as fables should give this book a chance and see whether those preassumptions stack up to the evidence.

You can read the book right away with a Kindle edition, which is an e-book form that you can download and read on your computer. It's cheaper, too. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Desiring God by John Piper

Desiring God by John Piper.

This is one of my most favourite Christian books. This book opened my heart to God in a deeper way. Pastor John Piper led me to a way where I could have a deeper fellowship with the most awesome God in the universe!!!

Here's my favourite quote by John Piper and the quote which is referred to many times in the book.

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

I have recently relished the meaning of this statement. In my recent prayer, I realised something that reoriented my thinking again.

It is that whatever the world may offer me, it won't satisfy me deep enough. Anything the world offers me is limited.

For example, money, sex and power. All these things can satisfy me but not forever. With a lot of money, I can buy all the things I want. Houses, cars, books and whatever I may desire and I will be very satisfied but the truth is there's gonna be a limit. I will be satisfied for a time but satisfaction that money brings does not endure.

Sex. A key word for many in this era and age. I am single. I want to get married someday. I know sex will bring me deep pleasure and satisfaction but not forever. There's a limit to satisfaction that sex can bring.

Power. I want control. I have an innate desire (which I'm sure many have, too.) to control my circumstances but become frustrated when things don't go the way I want. If I had a lot of power in terms of position, status and fame, I'd be very satisfied. But the truth is there's a limit to power, too. Even if I was the ruler of the universe, what next? There's a definite limit to it.

Here's what Solomon says after gaining all the wealth, fame, power and ladies that he desired.

The words of the Teacher(Solomon), son of David, king in Jerusalem:

 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher(Solomon).
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes 1:1,2

Solomon is despairing after he got all of the things he desired. He saw the absolute limit of all things. He couldn't go further, he couldn't do something more since he's done it all and he's got it all.

OR had he?

Ponder the size of your heart. Let me ponder the size of my heart. What would take to fill my heart to the brim and overflow? Money? Power? Sex? Fame? Praise of men?

Will that satisfy me so deeply that I'd say that I'm the happiest man in the world? But what next? I know before I even got them. There's a limit to these things.

I know and I feel that my heart can only be filled by something that is limitless. And I'm saying it's Someone, even God Himself. Only God can satisfy my longing.

God can fill my heart to the brim and overflow. The human heart was fashioned in such a way it won't be truly satisfied until it reached its Source, the limitless source of love, joy and peace that come from having God in our heart.

The answer / solution / truth to filling our heart is God! And it's Jesus, the Son of God. God becoming a man to identify with us.

Jesus lived a perfect life that I couldn't live, and died the death that I couldn't die, to give me Life, Himself.

The true satisfaction and joy and peace are found in knowing Jesus, and His Spirit in me and you.

John Piper explores what it means to be a Christian Hedonist (someone who pursues pleasure as an ultimate goal and motivation.).

If you want to read it right away, buy the Kindle edition which is an e-book that you can read on your computer, or else buy the paperback or hardcover versions by clicking the appropriate buttons under the formats. :) 

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

This is a book that I highly recommend.

Francis Chan explores the relentless pursuit of God for us because He loves us, and that He is love. Here is a Scripture definition of what love is.

Love is patient.
Love is kind. 
It does not envy. 
It does not boast. 
It is not proud.
It is not rude. 
It is not self-seeking. 
It is not easily angered. 
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, 
always trusts, 
always hopes, 
always perseveres. 
Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 

It's easy to forget that God's love for us is what sustains us. And we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Here's a book description:

Book Description

May 1, 2008
God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe--the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor--loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not...we all know somethings wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts--it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis Chan describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
Source: Amazon 

And here's a bonus video, Love, by Jason Ma.

If you want to read the book right away, you can buy the Kindle edition, which is the e-book form that you can download on your computer and read. :)

The Reason for God by Tim Keller

This is a book by Timothy Keller. I've read quite a lot of books by Tim Keller, probably most of them.
This book in particular is well-suited for people who are quite new to Christianity and those Christians who may have had doubts about some parts of Christianity or had questions about some teachings, and that includes myself.

This book is an intellectually, logically well-thought out book that may help you recognise some of the misunderstandings you might have had about Christianity.

Here's a book description given in Amazon:

Book Description

August 4, 2009
Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. Using literature, philosophy, anthropology, pop culture, and intellectual reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.

Source: Amazon

And here's an introductory video given by Dr Tim Keller, the pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

If you want to read the book right away, buy the Kindle edition, which is the e-book form that you can read on your computer. :)

If I perish by Esther Kim

This is a book that I recently read and highly recommend to you.

This is a biography of a woman living in Korea (before Korea was divided into the North and South, and was under a Japanese occupation.), who was imprisoned in prison camps for her faith, refusing to bow down to Japanese idol worship.

Her life is filled with God's interventions, and her faith-filled decision to go to the parliament of Japan to speak out against the injustice of persecution of Christians is truly inspiring.

First of all, here's a brief book decscription and about the author:

Book Description

October 1, 2001

Ahn E. Sook stood alone among thousands of kneeling people. Her bold defiance of the tyrannical demand to bow to pagan Japanese shrines condemned her to a living death in the filth and degradation of a Japanese prison. This brave woman remained faithful to Christ in the face of brutality, oppression, and ruthlessness of her captors. The story of how she won many of her fellow prisoners to Christ in the most deplorable conditions is an inspiration to all.

AHN EI SOOK, a wealthy industrialist's frail daughter and Christian school teacher, set out in 1939 on an incredible journey from Pyongyang to Tokyo to make Japanese leaders aware of the Japanese atrocities against Korean Christians.  After being released from prison, she married Don Kim.  Together they toured the United States and Europe to tell about God's sustaining power during six harrowing but triumphant years in Japanese prisons (1939-1945).

Source: Amazon

I got to know about this book through another book by Francis Chan, called Forgotten God.
One of people that Francis talked about was this woman of faith, Esther or Mrs Ahn in this book, If I perish.

I was deeply impressed by her faith.
I don't want to talk much about the story here and I really wish you would read the story for yourself.

You'll find many glimpses of how God worked with this lady in brininging about the change of many lives while she was imprisoned.

If you want to read the book right away, buy the Kindle edition, which is the e-book that you can read the on your computer. :)

Purpose and Intention of this Blog

The purpose and intention of this blog is that this blog will be a launching space for the future vision and dream of the missions in Japan.

If the Lord wills, I will be able to go to Japan, do missions and support other missionaries, pastors and fellow Christian workers.

It is my deepest longing and desire that Japan will see a great awakening in regards to their knowledge of Jesus, and will be profoundly impacted by the truths of the Scripture given to us by God Himself.

It is imperative that as a Christian, a follower of Jesus, we work hard in His kingdom, having received the great commission as given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.

May the Holy Spirit sweep through the nation of Japan and fill the nation with the knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for His glory and the joy of all people in Japan, and brothers and sisters in Christ on the earth.

Image Source: Ventolin

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