Hannah - Read Pilgrims Regress, Living Faith, Living Sacrifice

Pilgrim's Regress is the first book CS Lewis wrote after he became a Christian, and is an allegory in the style of the classic Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. It tells of a man named John who explores different philosophies of life, trying to search for something elusive(if you've read Surprised by Joy, you will know it's joy, although it is not mentioned explicitly). Really similar to Surprised by Joy but told in an allegorical way. Was rather dense and philosophical, so would only recommend if you are into that sort of thing and have already read all of his other books.

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This is the first Helen Roseveare book I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She talks about faith, using an extensive metaphor of how our spiritual life and our every day life have to be continually stirred to be integrated. It also explores what exactly faith is and how faith looks when lived out in everyday, messy, ugly life, both in situations when her prayers were miraculously answered, and in situations where her hopes were inexplicably dashed. I was touched by one section where she describes how medical students she poured her heart out to, spending years of her time, money, and energy to pour spiritually into as well as teach medicine to, deserted her and God to live lives of sin and debauchery after years at her school. Her heartbreak was so palpable and so relatable, and I was really inspired by how she continued to have faith in God and labor on regardless.

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This is a shorter book about an extended metaphor of how our lives need to be whittled from fanciful but useless branches into arrows that can be effectively wielded. She is really honest about what she sacrificed materially, emotionally, and volitionally throughout the years, as many things she wanted did not not go her way. Was especially struck by her honest descriptions of the relational conflict she experienced on her team and even contributed to--how her stubbornness, pride, and desire for control hurt her team, her relationship with God, and her ministry, and how she even had to take time out to restore her relationship with God, and those she had been ministering to were actually the ones praying for her and helping to restore her. It was a really eye opening picture of ministry and Christian life and showed that she wasn't just some super-spiritual missionary, she was a real person and an ordinary sinner like me.

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