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When my family took road trips, we listened to books on tape (there was no such thing as audible, CDs, MP3s, or Aux cables). There were a few books that we listened to multiple times, and those were Christian biographies. One the most memorable biographies was Twice Pardoned (affiliate link), recounting the life of a wrongly accused man who goes to prison and finds God. I don't know if this specific message was an indirect way of communicating the danger of drugs and alcohol to me and my sisters, but really I think he was desiring to communicate the power of a life transformed by faith.Again, like how he encouraged me to read my Bible, my dad would pay me to read biographies. He knew how to motivate me, and I really thought I was getting rich off of something as simple as reading, which I loved to do. However, the richness I received came not from the $5 per book, but the consistent pattern of men and women who at first lived for themselves, found the Lord, and experienced God's power to transform their lives. So here are some books that are still on my bookshelf - that I am reading to my kids, and passing on the legacy of great men and women of faith. (I have included affiliate links below, which means if you click and purchase, I will receive compensation at no extra cost to you, however, all of my opinions remain the same.)
R.G. LeTourneau's story is still one of my favorites. As a young man he struggled through school, regularly in trouble, and ended up dropping out early. Ultimately, he comes to know the Lord, and discovers he has a mind for machinery. He develops the rubber tire that allows the massive equipment to not sink into dirt or sand, and becomes extremely wealthy. Despite his great success, he continued to rely upon the Lord by living off of 10% of his income and giving away 90%. His faith inspired me greatly!
George Muller was another of my father's favorite men of faith. As a young boy, Muller found himself constantly fleeing from the law. He cheats and steals his way through whatever he needed. While in divinity school, he attends a Bible study and his life is transformed. When he moves to Bristol, he is overcome with compassion for the orphans there. Taking in as many children as he can, Muller begins a life of complete reliance upon the Lord, as his income cannot possibly provide for all. This is a beautiful story of faith and generosity.
Here are some other wonderful books I read that inspired my faith:
In our second year of homeschooling, I spent the year reading missionary biographies to my children. We were studying countries and cultures, but I really wanted to highlight these men and women of faith. It was during this time that my youngest, at the time 4, soaked in the words of Truth that fill the pages of these stories. After we read Mary Slessor's biography, she cried as she identified herself with those who did not believe, and expressed her desire to have Jesus in her life.
I would do well to learn from my Father:
- Provide encouragement to read Christian biographies
- Use audio books to encourage the faith of my children when they are captives in my car!
- Live like I believe the God of these people of faith can work with the same power in my life.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.