Stumbling Into Grace: January Reading List “Net Out” and A GIVEAWAY!

  In case you forgot, I love to read.  Stacks of books seem to pile up all over the house — most of them half read.  Other women buy shoes; I buy books.  For 2012,  I am purposing to be a bit more intentional about my reading plan.  I hope to read 12 books and post a “Net Out” here on the blog using a  format similar to Michael Hyatt’s.

Stumbling Into Grace:  Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper was a great way to kick off my 2012 Reading List.  Why you ask?  Well, because Lisa Harper’s life is as crazy as mine is!  She proves she is not scared to laugh at herself.  Partnered with Scriptural truths, her self-deprecating stories grab you until you are laughing so hard that you are crying.

The theme of this book is that God loves us right where we are – He loves our “messy selves.”  His grace picks us up when we stumble – if we will let Him.  He is our security when we fear, our Liberator who casts off the chains of legalism and bondage, and the Giver of good gifts.  His gift of grace changes us so that we become less critical and more grateful and content as we depend on Him.

Here are some “take away” truths that captured my attention:

  • Be Authentic:  “God wants us to care about people more than we care about policies and appearance.  He wants us to focus on living more than we focus on looking spiritual” (page 22).
  • Cultivate a thankful heart:  “I think intentional gratitude, especially for the small gifts that come wrapped in ordinary paper (or fur), is a necessary ingredient to living out an authentically joyful story.  When we recognize that clean water, cold watermelon, red leaves in October, warm coats on cold days, and even a cat purring against one’s legs are small demonstrations of our Redeemer’s plan to bless mankind, it cements our hope and security.  It anchors our prone-to-wander hearts to the truth of God’s sovereign goodness and grace and to the fact that, regardless of what we’re currently walking through, we can rest in His absolute affection” (page 54).
  • Stay connected:  “In other words, we formulate our understanding of who Jesus is largely through the lens of community.  The people God positions around us can be amazing carriers of His grace” (page 108).
  • Remember God is at work in the messiness of it all:  “We can become more grateful by searching for God’s goodness and mercy in the oft-present ruins of everyday life” (page 178).
  • Extend God’s grace (it’s the best gift ever!):  “The older I get, the more convinced I am that admittedly flawed sinners are the most credible witnesses of Jesus, because people with scars can’t fake moral perfection.  It’s glaringly apparent we can’t save ourselves.  Wounded Christian warriors with scabby knees, bruised hearts, and even track marked arms, who sometimes stumble yet always grab onto the arm of His Spirit in order to stand up again and again, exemplify the redemptive power of divine grace.  We prove how miraculous and restorative the love of God is” (p. 189).

This lovely book reminded me that it’s ok to be me — I am so thankful that I picked it up.  If you need a little TLC and could use some encouragement to “keep on keeping on,” this is a great book.  God’s grace is available and abundant.  Hallelujah!

Up next will be The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, a book about praying bold prayers and seeing God move in miraculous ways.  Want to read it with me?  I will be posting about it on March 2nd.

I would love to hear about what you are reading.  Feel free to share in the comment section below to be entered in a Giveaway — I will be giving away a copy of each of these 2 great books.

One additional entry can be earned for each of these:

  • Follow @3dLessons4Life on Twitter. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • Tweet or Retweet about this contest giveaway.   Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • “Like” 3dLessons4Life’s Facebook page.
  • Use the box on the top of the sidebar on this page to subscribe to this blog. Leave a comment indicating that you did.
  • Grab the 3dLessons4Life button from the sidebar and add it to your blog. Leave a comment with a link to your blog so we can connect!

Just make sure to enter on or before February 17th to participate.  Thanks for stopping by!

UPDATE:  Elizabeth with Jenkins Jaunts and Julie Milam are the winners!  Congratulations!!!

Photo Credit

64 responses

  1. This looks like a great book. I mainly am reading easy children’s books at the moment. My kids’ favorite right now though is missionary stories with the millers. I seem to run out of time to read books myself but do enjoy it when I get the chance.

    • Welcome, Melissa 🙂
      I have a list of 12 that I am going to try to read this year — one per month. Would love for you to join along on any that sound interesting to you. It’s always great to have someone to chat with about what you are reading.

  2. I’m reading Real Moms, Real Jesus by Julie Barnhill. Thanks for the opportunity to win these books. I, too, am a collector of books and often have a few half read.

  3. This sounds like a great book. I’m in the middle of reading the 7 Habits of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley. It may be the best book I’ve ever read. I also followed you on Twitter and liked your Facebook page.

  4. With five kids and a busy household, I’m not reading ANYTHING besides Scripture lately!!! I would love this book…with a bubble bath and quiet:))

  5. I am very interested in reading the above mentioned books! I am definitely at the point of feeling “spiritually clumsy” & also standing in the middle of the river & yet dying of thirst if that makes sense. I’ve been through some challenging times with my church leaders. I learned early to follow God & not men but it’s so difficult to watch a body of believers suffer the consequences of following men & not God. I have attempted to register for these books in all the ways possible but I am very technically challenged!

    • Praying for God to rain down some fresh water on you! When you go through dry seasons where people disappoint you it makes you long for heaven even more, doesn’t it? So glad that God has promised to “work all things together for our good and His glory” (Rom 8:28) — that promise gives me comfort when things seem so crazy. Blessings to you, Lisa

  6. I just read the other comments. If you like missionary stories, you must read EVIDENCE NOT SEEN by Darlene Diebler Rose. Absolutely life-changing story of God’s protection & provision.

  7. I subscribed to the blog, also have never read Lisa’s book, but have seen her twice at WOF conferences and also follow her…would love to have a copy of one of her books.

    thank you,

    • Wasn’t the WOF conference a lot of fun? I really enjoyed Lisa — she also spoke at the Christmas Ladies’ Event at my home church this year, so I got to see her twice in one year. A double treat. This was my first book by her, but it definitely won’t be my last.

  8. From what I’ve read, I think we’re alot alike, and I look forward to getting to know you better through all these venues. Checked all the requirements to the reposting and posting in regard to entering for Lisa’s book. Thank you!!!

  9. I was recently introduced to Lisa Harper at the Momentum event at LHBC and LOVED her! I have not yet read any of her books but plan to read them all. What an incredible woman, awesome spiritual leader and unbelievable role model she is!

  10. I am now following you on Twitter and also liked your Facebook page. I got my first book at a Women of Faith event and I am looking forward to getting many more. Thanks

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