I composed an ever-so-long book list for 2010, but only read about halfway through the list because I kept finding other books along the way that I wanted to read. While I want to continue reading in 2011 I don’t want to make another mile long list of what to read. I have enough books around the house I’d like to read, so I thought to keep the goal simple: read one book a month – 12 books total – and whatever I feel led or desire to read! Without further ado I shall attempt to present my first completed book of 2011 in summary.
The Book: Women on the Front Lines: A Call to Courage
The Author: Michal Ann Goll
This book is part of a 3-part series: Women on the front Lines, also containing “A Call to Courage” and “A Call to the Secret Place”. While in Nashville this past summer I purchased the whole series. These books were on the want-to-purchase mental list for a while, partially because I have the privlidge of knowing the Goll family in a special way. On August 14, 2010, my brother married the youngest Goll, Rachel. Rachel’s father, James is the founder of the Encounter Network and has authored more than 30 books. His wife was the founder of Compassion Acts, and a speaker and author as well. Michel Ann has graduated to be with the Lord, so these books are extraordinarily meaningful to me.
“Women on the Front Lines: A Call to Courage” is different from other spiritual books directed towards women that I’ve read, as it outlines the life of nine amazing women: Vibia Perpetua, Joan of Arc, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Aimee Semple Mcpherson, Lydia Prince, Bertha Smith, Corrie Ten Boon and Jackie Pullinger.
I have always appreciated biographies, and the author’s biographical approach did not disappoint. These women had several points of commonality that I correlated with:
1. They all lived in a time or country that did not endorse women leaders or influencers, yet each of them fiercely influenced and led in a mighty way.
2. Each of them had points of total dependence on the Lord. They each had to give up all dependence in order to hear the voice of the Lord.
3. They each had moments of revelation where they knew the Lord was calling them to mighty kingdom work.
4. They all experienced dreams and or visions that served as foreshadowing for what was to come in their lives. Some of the women even found theirselves in very familiar situation and then remembered they had seen that scene in a vision or dream. This served as confirmation that they were in God’s perfect will.
This book also contains three chapters outlining the author’s personal journey of overcoming fear, embracing the call and adorning herself with courage. The last two chapters are a challenge to women to seize the day do what the Lord has put in our hearts to do.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams”
“Courage arises out of knowing who God is and who we are in relation to him”
“God is revealed and glorified in your weakness”
I was greatly moved by Michel Ann’s description of a hero: She said “…a hero is someone who breaks through a barrier in one generation so that another people, another generation can go even further. Once someone proves that something can be done, it creates an environment of the possible, an impartation of hope and possibility that enables others to do it. It is a natural principle. If you are going to accept your calling as a hero, you must be prepared to live vicariously. That is you must be ready to live your lives for the sake of others”.
This confronted me. I will ponder these words for a long while to come.