Motivation: The Vision of God:
For those who prefer listening to reading:
I have currently uploaded 10 (It may be a while before I am able to upload more).
Favorite Resources, Such as Webpages and Books:
I do not agree with or endorse all content in the below suggested books and links. When it comes to the websites, I have not even read everything and so cannot know what is there. The descriptions below will, hopefully, give you a good idea what I like on the site (or in the book). I have preferred to try to describe what I like and think right, rather than to focus on what I do not think right.
Nik Ripken Ministries – Their mission statement is “to expand the Kingdom of God by sharing truths and practices learned from believers in persecution.” They tell about the power of His resurrection life, about what Christian persecution is, living in Christ, and how, in many cases, Christians are persecuted not for Christ, but for association with Western policies and sins. I like this post, particularly the paragraph about being “as free to share Christ in Saudi Arabia as we are in South Dakota… in North Korea as we are in North Carolina.”
Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich – I don’t rightly know how to describe this book. It is the author’s account of the visions or revelations of His love that the Lord Jesus showed to her in a deathly illness in answer to her own prayers. It is quite probably my favorite book, though I wouldn’t say that this list is necessarily ordered by how much I like a given work.
The Lord by Romano Guardini – Some well-formed and glorious insights about God, living in the sight of God, and life in Christ. Most of all, my favorite chapter is “Jesus’ Death,” a beautiful, astounding, and reverent meditation on what Jesus’ dying means.
If You Will Ask by Oswald Chambers – A booklet on prayer as communion with God, on intercession as founded on the redemption of Christ and as a sharing in God’s interests, and spiritual warfare as standing in Christ (much like Saint Patrick’s Breastplate).
The Love of God by Oswald Chambers – This booklet is on what the love of God means and keeping oneself in the love of God. One of my favorites.
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor – The biography of the missionary to China, Hudson Taylor. It focuses on how he lived before God, on his desire to radically trust God, and faith and prayer as the exchanged life of communion with Christ.
Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton – I liked how he wrote about a swollen mind, not an over-active imagination, being the cause of insanity, about insanity being even rational; about seeming opposites – such as wrath and love – both run together with utmost intensity; and the chapter titled “Ethics of Elfland,” about how reality need not be the way it is to us (except, maybe, because it IS that way) and the wonder of what reality is, the near madness of reality.
The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Liseuix – The account, given by St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face herself, of being drawn into the Love of the Divine Spouse from early childhood, of her desire to give herself to the Love of Jesus, and of His intimate blessings and love to her. You can find a PDF of Letters written by Therese of the Child Jesus here. The way she touches on suffering in the context of the marriage of the soul and her Savior points to the wondrous truth beyond all words. (The translation of St. Therese’s unedited, original manuscript is much better; I highly recommend obtaining a copy of it, if you wish to read her autobiography, if you can do so.)
Perelandra by C.S Lewis – I really like the picture of life painted through the story of temptation, trust, and obedience of the Man and Woman of Perelandra and Dr. Ransom. I especially like the conversation of Malacandra and Perelandra about the redemption of sinners, the ferocity of love, and the Great Dance.
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald – A truly Christian fairytale (for children, but no less excellent for anyone older). Beauty. Providence. Truthfulness. (There is also an abridged version.)
The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald – Another Christian fairytale. Sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. Something I recently noticed and liked about it is how the Old Princess tells Curdie that those who know her well know her in whatever shape she takes, and when Curdie asks for a sign by which he can always know a shape is hers, she tells him that if she gave him a sign by which to always know her in the future, that would be to know not her, but the sign of her. It strikes me that this is relevant for recognizing and knowing God, too. This is only one example of many such wonderful things in the Curdie books.
Phantastes by George MacDonald – The setting is the adventures of a man who wanders into Faerie Land. The story feels like life, even in the very ways in which it is least like life as we perceive it. There is something too good to be told.
Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard – The allegorical story of crippled Much-Afraid, and how the Chief Shepherd brings her up the Mountains, out of the dominion of the Fearings, into the High Places and the Kingdom of Love, where she is cured of her lameness and fears and receives a new name. Acceptance-with-Joy, the fear of being left to die and suffer forsaken, the Canyon of Full Surrender, the transforming summit and victory of Love, all resonated with me – as I read and understood them, they are my story.
Lilith by George MacDonald – The story of Vane, who finds himself in another world; those who will not sleep cannot wake; Death is the Sleep that prepares us for life; those who are not dead do not live; do we even know who we are; God’s love arranges all things; God’s will is behind the human will; all must be children. It is so full of wisdom, of reality.
Crown of Life – His crown of thorns. A crown of life it was to me. I can’t explain what I hear in this song. I can say that, through this song, I’ve glimpsed the Lord.
In My Weakness – A song about the endless strength of Christ revealed when you see that you have no strength and are nothing.
At the Name of Jesus – Wonderful theology in this song! Listen to it for yourself: if I tried to describe it, I would do much worse than the song-writer. The song has lyrics. (My favorite lyrics for the last stanza have the first line as, “Jesus, Lord and Savior,” for, “Brothers, this Lord Jesus,” and, for the fourth line, “O’er the earth to reign,” for “With His angel-train,” but it doesn’t matter either way.)
Praise the Messiah Exultantly – An Arabic Christian song centered on the triumphant joy of the resurrection of Christ. This video has the most beautiful translation into English I have found so far.
I may add more to this.
If anyone tries these links and finds that any of them no longer lead to the desired internet page, please let me know, either by Contact Form, Comment, or you can notify me via Twitter.