Three Audio Books to Check Out
Do you know about hoopla? Hoopla is a digital service whose “passion is the library patron.” They offer libraries of all sizes the ability to provide patrons with thousands of resources: ebooks, audio books, movies, music, and more.
I found hoopla through my local library as I was browsing for books via the online catalog last year. A title I wanted was “available now on hoopla.” I just had to download the app for free and download the book I wanted. Hoopla users can checkout up to eight titles a month. This is an excellent resource for my friends who live overseas!
Now I have a couple of hoopla books downloaded on my phone at all times. So far this year I’ve listened to three books (almost four, as my family is listening to Treasure Island together and we’re almost done! One more drive to the mountains should finish it.).
While I love actually reading a book—and I do read more than I listen, and I do save reading for more rigorous works—listening to books feels like a great way to “make the best use of the time” (Ephesians 5:16). I listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I’m driving, when I’m doing household chores, when I’m getting dressed or doing my hair, or anytime my mind would otherwise be on autopilot. I find it to be an essential tool in “renewing my mind” (Romans 12:2).
As I said, I’ve listened to three books since New Year’s Day and I want to heartily recommend each one to you.
Wilson had me nodding my head and cackling out loud throughout this book. He shares deeply from his own spiritual journey and speaks openly about his darkest days. He’s also pretty funny at times. He triumphs grace, repeating the goodness of the Gospel in myriad ways throughout the book. I keep returning to one of my favorite lines, “Beholding is better than behaving.” I couldn’t agree more—when we behold Jesus, his gifts, his grace, his perfection, we are changed. To draw on a well of awe and wonder and love for our God is better than to attempt perfect behavior to earn his favor. The Imperfect Disciple will bless you and stretch you and possibly turn your spiritual life upside down in the very best way.
Many have said that the purpose of life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. In this book, Newbell investigates what that might look like in about ten different areas. In other words, she explores how we might enjoy God through food, through sex, through hospitality, and more. Her perspective is saturated with both grace and scripture as she exhorts the reader to remember that our heavenly Father is the giver of good gifts, which are meant to be enjoyed and point us back to him. Enjoy comes with the Enjoy Project at the end of each chapter—questions and activities to provoke the reader towards further enjoyment. It would be beneficial (for believers of any maturity level) to tackle the Enjoy Project and share results with one another. I think this would be a great book for a women’s group to do together.
I want every person in our church plant community to read (listen to) this book. It captures God’s heart for hospitality and his call on us to be people who invite others in (to our homes, to our lives, to our hearts). Willis and Clements provide a clear overview of what biblical hospitality is and then they lay out simple steps for how the reader might begin living that way. They make it sound simple, because it is—once you grasp that it is in fact God’s call on your life and that it’s a far cry from what the world touts as entertainment. The book has a six-week study guide included, so it might be a great resource small groups who want to overhaul how they live in order to make a real Gospel difference in their community. I’ll be bugging every Christian in Parker, Colorado to absorb this book.