Ang’s May ’18 Reads and QOTM’s

Oh my goodness. What great reading this past month. So thankful for a few days of rest and relaxation with some fantastic books over furlough!

Before We Were YoursFinished this gem. This heartbreaking, bittersweet gem. I could hardly put Before We Were Yours down, although at times I wanted to since this fictional story was based on true events that happened in American history. It’s insane to think that children were carried away from their families even as they walked home from school, just to be “sold” to others. I knew nothing about Georgia Tann or her adoption schemes that took place between the 20’s and 50’s. I’m interested to read more, so I put The Baby Thief by Barbara Raymond on my “To Read” list. Whew!

A few of my favorite quotes from my May reading are below. I’d recommend reading the books instead of just catching the Cliff notes version below – they’re worth the journey!

I shush my mind, because your mind can ruin you if you let it. ¹

It’s funny how what you’re used to seems like it’s right even if it’s bad. ¹

Life is not unlike cinema. Each scene has its own music…. No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment. ¹

It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you. ²

“The only time you don’t find a four-leaf clover,” he liked to say, “is when you stop looking for one.” ²

No wonder the devil was so still; for his goods were in peace. ³

¹ Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate
² The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown
³ The Journal of John Wesley

Ang’s April ’18 Reads and QOTM’s

So much to read, and so little time. One more book finished this month.

A.D. 30A.D. 30 was the first piece of fiction I’ve read since Redeeming Love – and let’s be honest. Nothing holds a candle to that one. I really enjoyed the setting of A.D. 30; a few of the characters were interesting. I liked how Dekker intertwined these fictional people into the story of Jesus – or rather, how their meeting Jesus completely altered the course of their lives. I wouldn’t give the book 5 stars, but it kept my attention. I’ll probably pick up the sequel someday.

Some favorite quotes I ran across this month are below!

Yeshua’s food was the same he’d offered me, not bread for the belly, but sustenance for the soul. ¹

Put your faith in me, not the storm, nor the boat. ¹

And if but one heard, it was worth all the labor. ²

Can it be expected that God should be on their side who are daily affronting Him to His face? ²

Life can turn on a dime. The appointment book reinforces my new awareness of this. We plan our days, but we don’t control them. ³

These people can control everything about me, but they can’t control where I go in my mind. ³

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. -Winston Churchill

I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder… -John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

¹ A.D. 30, Ted Dekker
² The Journal of John Wesley
³ Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

Ang’s March ’18 Reads and QOTMs

Treasuring ChristIt’s hard being a mom. I know in my heart that the gospel changes everything – even how I view my role as a mother. But I so easily forget that Christ’s love for me, His work on the cross, His living Word – these gifts offer me the opportunity to respond to frustrating situations and mundane circumstances with His perspectives. What a breath of fresh air this book was for my worn-out self. I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this wonderful little read in the years to come. (Thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for gifting it to me a couple of years ago!)

Check out a few of my favorite quotes from my March reading.

A greater gift than time is the gift of forgiveness of our sins through Christ Jesus so that we can behold our holy God. ¹

No mother’s nighmarish valley is so dark that Jesus cannot bear her burdens the whole way through. ¹

More relevant than our mothering choices or strategies is whether we are walking in a manner worthy of him, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10) ¹

Oh, let none think his labor of love is lost because the fruit does not immediately appear! Nearly forty years did my father labor here… I took some pains among this people too, and my strength also seemed spent in vain… but the seed, sown so long since, now sprang up, bringing forth repentance and remission of sins. ²

… I mention these little circumstances to show how easy it is to redeem every fragment of time (if I may so speak), when we feel any love to those souls for which Christ died. ²

Two kinds of people, but all lived and died by the same sword. ³

We were outcasts without a kingdom to save us, and the gods were too far above in the heavens to hear our cries. ³

“Maviah…” I turned back. “Yes?” “You will find that Yeshua loves you.” ³

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? – Isaiah 55:2

Gloria Furman, Treasuring Christ when Your Hands Are Full ¹
John Wesley, John Wesley’s Journal ²
Ted Dekker, A.D. 30 ³

Ang’s February ’18 Reads and QOTMs

Walking-in-the-Dust-Final-Front-Cover-bigA good friend of Freedom gifted each of us missionaries a copy of Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus. Lois Tverberg looks at important biblical truths and interprets them from a Jewish point of view. This book made me realize just how much I don’t know about the Bible. I felt like I was underlining every sentence. Lots of interesting and convicting information to take in. How deep and rich and precious is God’s Word!

Some of my favorite thoughts/quotes from my reading this month:

When Jesus sent his disciples out, he told them to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom, as he did himself. Not one or the other, but both. We need both words and deeds to bring God glory. ¹

A child’s main classroom is usually what they overhear from their parents’ conversations. ¹

[Regarding gossip] Have you heard something? Let it die with you. Be brave, it will not make you burst. -Sirach 19:10 ¹

Being angry, I’ve discovered, usually indicates judgment… Whenever I get angry, I look for the selfish or wrong-headed motive that I assume lies behind the person’s actions. ¹

How you pray reveals what you believe about God. Since I heard this, I’ve listened more closely to what I pray and what it says about what I believe about God. ¹

… the faith that we’re supposed to have is not in the outcome, but in God himself. God wants us to be absolutely convinced of his love for us and of his power and desire to take care of us. ¹

The task is not yours to complete, but neither are you free to desist from it. – Mishnah , Avot 2:21. ¹

“Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven. Remember you cannot serve Him alone. You must therefore find companions or make them. The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” ²

Our end in leaving our native country was not to avoid want (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings), nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honor; but singly this–to save our souls; to live wholly to the glory of God. ²

I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? … I have a fair summer religion. I can talk well; nay, and believe myself, while no danger is near; but let death look me in the face, and my spirit is troubled. Nor can I say, ‘To die is gain!’ ²

After my return home, I was much buffeted with temptations, but I cried out, and they fled away. They returned again and again. I as often lifted up my eyes, and He “sent me help from his holy place.” And herein I found the difference between this and my former state chiefly consisted. I was striving, yea fighting with all my might under the law, as well as under grace… ²

… the shortest distance between a human being and the truth is a story. Surely this is why Jesus preferred to use stories. ³

As it turns out, it’s hard to see when your vision is blocked by planks of secret judgments and grievances against yourself and the world. ³

His Way of being in this world is full of joy and gratefulness. A place where all burdens are light and each step sure. Contentment and peace rule the heart. A new power flows unrestricted. ³

¹Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg
²The Journal of John Wesley, John Wesley
³A.D. 30, Ted Dekker

Ang’s January ’18 Reads and QOTMs

Autobiography of George MullerI’ve been in a biography/autobiography kick recently. This book has been on my “to read” list for awhile, and I’ve been pushing it off. But when reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, I saw that George Müller had given to Taylor’s work in China. I was amazed. Wasn’t Müller the man who took care of thousands of orphans, not with his giant pocketbook, but through his faith in God alone? How did he have any money to send to overseas missions? Incredible story. Honestly, the book was a bit difficult for me to wade through in some parts, mostly due to writing style. But the way this man trusted the Lord is something I envy.

Below: some of my favorite “quotes” from my reading this month.

Money is really worth no more than as it is used according to the mind of the Lord; and life is worth no more than as it is spent in the service of the Lord. ¹

Of late I have seen, by God’s grace, more and more how entirely unworthy I am of being used by God for this glorious and honorable service, and I can only say: “Lord, here is thy servant, if thou art pleased to use such a one as I am.” ¹

How blessed to have the living God to go to! Particularly precious to know him in these days of widespread distress! ¹

But the riches of God are as great as ever. He knows that our expenses are great. He knows that a little will not do in these days, when provisions are so dear…. My soul is at peace. ¹

Six hundred and seven days I sought the help of God day by day, before we came so far as to be able to commence the building; yet at last he gave me the desire of my heart. ¹

I find the great help, the uninterrupted help which the Lord has given me for more than fifteen years, a great reason for going forward in this work. And this, trusting in him, I am resolved to do. ¹

But I desire more than this for the orphans. I cannot be satisfied with anything concerning them short of this, that their souls be won for the Lord. ¹

We can only give to him of his own; for all we have is his. When the day of recompense comes, the regret will only be that we have done so little for him, not that we have done too much. ¹

When Jesus called his disciples to “walk after” him, he meant the word in both ways [halakh and halakhah]. First they would follow in his literal footsteps; later they would follow in his teachings, taking his message out to the world. ²

…we find Jesus’ words call us beyond what is going on in our brains. We are not just to “hear” but to take heed, to respond, to obey. And we are not just called to believe in the oneness of God, but to place him at the center of our lives. ²

Love is both inward and outward, both the warm fuzzies and the actions that result from them. ²

If there is one thing you can learn from Jewish culture over the ages, it is an utter passion for learning one’s religious faith…. You might think that an education that revolved around memorizing the Bible is excessive, but in most societies from ancient times up to the present, people have been far more literate in their sacred texts than we are today. Indeed, our modern Western culture is one of the most secular in the history of the world. ²

Loving God with all of your life is the exact opposite of our culture’s expectation that you’ll wedge a few moments for God in between work, hobbies, sports, TV, and the latest movie. ²

If you are generous, your whole life will show it. And if you are selfish, it will infect your very soul. ²

Caring for those around us isn’t merely a nice habit to cultivate; Jesus says that it is central to our character as a whole. ²

¹ George Müller, The Autobiography of George Müller
² Lois Tverberg, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus

Ang’s Nov/Dec ’17 Reads and QOTM’s

I was hoping for lots of reading time with the coming of the holiday season, but reality hit instead. I moved forward in a couple of books, but I only finished one book completely: C. S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed.

A Grief ObservedWow. What to say? My heart ached as I read of the pain and anger and sadness that Lewis experienced after the death of his wife. But empathetically reading about someone else’s sorrow isn’t the same thing as living it. While I didn’t completely understand his pain, I appreciated Lewis’ descriptions, word pictures, and his raw honesty through it all. I’ll keep this one tucked away on my bookshelf for the time when my own grief will be observed. My biggest take-away from this read: I will not be immune to death’s touch forever. Life is a mist.

Some of my favorite quotes from the last two months…

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? …. Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief. ¹

… there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it…. It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on. ¹

You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. ¹

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. ¹

… bereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases–like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too… ¹

Not my idea of God, but God. Not my idea of H., but H. Yes, and also not my idea of my neighbor, but my neighbor. For don’t we often make this mistake as regards people who are still alive–who are with us in the same room? Talking and acting not to the man himself but to the picture–almost the précis–we’ve made of Him in our own minds? ¹

Lord, thy servant is a poor man; but he has trusted in thee, and made his boast in thee, before the sons of men; therefore let him not be confounded! Let it not be said all this was enthusiasm, and therefore it is come to naught! ²

Our hour of trial continues still. The Lord mercifully has given enough to supply our daily necessities; but he gives by the day now, and almost by the hour, as we need it… I have besought the Lord again and again, both yesterday and today. It is as if the Lord said: “Mine hour is not yet come.” But I have faith in God. I believe that he surely will send help, though I know not whence it is to come. ²

This way of living brings the Lord remarkably near. He is, as it were, morning by morning inspecting our stores, that accordingly he may send help. ²

The words in the prayer of Jehoshaphat, “Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee,” are at this moment the language of my heart. I likewise know not what to do, but my eyes are upon the Lord, and I am sure that he will help this day also. ²

I labor because I am the Lord’s, bought by his precious blood, and he commands me to labor. ²

But he grimaced and blurted out, “Why on earth would you want to go there? Those Jews never did nothing good, except give us Jesus.” Wouldn’t that be enough? ³

Ironically, as our world has become more sensitive to embracing ethnic differences, some have done exactly the opposite with Jesus. ³

Just as rain water comes down in drops and forms rivers, so with the Scriptures: one studies a bit today and some more tomorrow, until in time the understanding becomes like a flowing stream. – Song of Songs Midrash Rabbah 2:8 ³

¹C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
²George Müller, The Autobiography of George Müller
³Lois Tverberg, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus

Ang’s October ’17 Reads and QOTMs

Seeking Allah Finding JesusThis month, I enjoyed reading a book by Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim who chronicled his journey from Islam to Christianity in Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. I may have shed some tears as he shared about the pain of disappointing his family because of his conversion. He passed away in September after battling stage 4 stomach cancer. I found his vlogs on YouTube, and I was impressed with his desire to know God and trust Him through the difficulties of life. His book helped me to gain a clearer understanding of how and why Muslims believe what they do. An excellent read!

The Hiding PlaceI also finished Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I’ve generally known her life story for some time. I probably read a children’s version of the book when I was younger. But, wow. Seeing how the Nazi invasion and her time in German concentration camps completely changed her way of living – I was blown away. Her faith in God kept her grounded during the incredible difficulties she faced. My advice? Drop everything and go read this book now. The way her awe-inspiring story is written will draw you in from the very beginning.

If you like quotes, you can read some below that I particularly enjoyed this month. Or you can check them out for yourself in context by grabbing the titles above!


There is nothing like the one true God! If I had known just how boundless is the love of God, just how transformative His grace and mercy, just how liberating His exemplary life and death, I would have run to Him years sooner with all my might. ¹

… Effective evangelism requires relationships. There are very few exceptions.¹

A rift was beginning to form between my heart and my head. What I wanted to believe was fighting a battle with the evidence for the New Testament. I was torn.¹

But they [my Muslim parents] were so adamant, so devoted to God, so genuine. Could they really be wrong?¹

Would it be worth it to pick up my cross and be crucified next to Jesus? If He is not God, then, no. Lose everything I love to worship a false God? A million times over, no! But if He is God, then, yes. Being forever bonded to my Lord by suffering alongside Him? A million times over, yes! Now, more than ever, the stakes were clear, and I needed to know who He was. Everything hinged on His identity.¹

“Why, God?” At that moment, the most agonizing of my life, something happened that was beyond my theology and imagination. As if God picked up a megaphone and spoke through my conscience, I heard these words resonate through my very being: “Because it’s not about you.”¹

… they kept coming, the people who considered themselves Father’s friends. Young and old,  poor and rich, scholarly gentleman and illiterate servant girls – only to Father did it seem they were all alike. That was Father’s secret: not that he overlooked the differences in people; that he didn’t know they were there.²

Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.²

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam–when do I give you your ticket?” I sniffed a few times, considering this. “Why, just before we get on the train.” “Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need–just in time.”²

“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.” – Mama²

“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked, that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so it stops hurting…. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.” – Father²

Mama’s love had always been the kind that acted itself out with soup and sewing basket. But now that these things were taken away, the love seemed as whole as before. She sat in her chair at the window and loved us. She loved the people she saw in the street–and beyond: her love took in the city, the land of Holland, the world. And so I learned that love is larger than the walls that shut it in.²

“There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety–Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!” -Betsie²

“… books do not age as you and I do. They will speak still when we are gone, to generations we will never see. Yes, the books must survive.” – Harry de Vries²

“The truth, sir,” I said, swallowing, “is that God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours–so different that we could not even guess it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things.”²

“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes…” I slowly took in the fact that she was talking about our guards… I saw a gray uniform and a visored hat; Betsie saw a wounded human being.²

Have I really permission to commit all my little affairs to a God of infinite wisdom, believing that he will take charge of them and direct them according to the promptings of boundless love and absolute omniscience?³

… the Lord may begin his work in different ways. For I have not the least doubt that on that evening he began a work of grace in me, though I obtained joy without any deep sorrow of heart, and with scarcely any knowledge.³

… for with all my weakness I had a great desire to live wholly for God.³

How differently does the Lord judge from man! ³

My chief help is prayer… For neither eloquence nor depth of thought makes the truly great preacher, but such a life of prayer and meditation and spirituality as may render him a vessel meet for the Master’s use…³

We leaned on the arm of the Lord Jesus. It is now twenty-five years since we set out in this way, and we do not in the least regret the step we then took.³

I would offer here a word of warning to believers. Often the work of the Lord itself may be a temptation to keep us from that communion with him which is so essential to the benefit of our own souls.³

… we are never losers from acting according to the mind of the Lord. For had I had my regular salary, humanly speaking, I should not have had nearly as much…. I have not served a hard master, and that is what I delight to show.³

Ignorance of God is the great enemy of mankind, and the testimonies of the saints, experimental and grateful, overcome this deadly foe.4

¹ Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
² Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place
³ George Müller, The Autobiography of George Müller
Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Psalm 67:2