Those who know me will tell you that one of my passions lies in creating an inviting space on a limited budget. I’m a blood hound when it comes to finding unique pieces in vintage shops, online auction websites, and Facebook Marketplace—all to create a perfect vignette, room, or entryway.
But purchasing is only part of the transforming work. Nothing gets my ears-a-flappin’ more than working alongside a team in transforming an ugly space into an interesting one that appears to have been layered over time—a proper mix of old and new. If a space contains too much old—welcome to Grandma’s house; on the flipside, with too much new, you’ll feel you’re in a furniture show room, lacking depth and character. Have you noticed the most captivating homes seamlessly blend a mixture of the two?
Balance Brings Order:
I’ve been thinking about this balance lately in other things beyond interior design, like our minds. When we fill our minds with too much of today’s religious teachings written from a modern world perspective, we miss out on a deeper theological thought written by those who’ve experienced a simpler, albeit tougher, life than we have.
Furthermore, with the dawn of Progressive and Prosperity teachings, truth becomes buried under our limited understanding, wants, and experiences. In the book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender, Elisabeth Elliot points out distortions used (listed below), to create our own belief systems when our thoughts are not surrendered in obedience to Christ, standing for the truth found in God’s Word.
“Pragmatism (it’s right if it works for me), technical feasibility (science has found a way to do it, so let’s do it), relevance (I can relate to this), comfort (I feel comfortable with this), happiness (I feel happy about this), moderation (I certainly don’t want to go to extremes), obligation (I owe this to myself), responsibility (it’s my life), and so on.” (Discipline by Elliot)
The Warning Given to Us:
Paul warns us in a letter to Timothy of the false teachings that will arise within the church in the later days. Unfortunately, many of us refuse to heed it.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, …” I Timothy 4:1a (ESV)
My Reading Journey:
This year reading for me has been like pushing heavy handcrafted antiques into a mind filled with Restoration Hardware. Alright…complete transparency…my ADHD headspace probably lends itself more to IKEA than RH. (No offense IKEA)
Although I’ve enjoyed and learned from reading books written by today’s writers of the faith, such as: Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, Lysa TerKeurst, Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, Tim Keller, and Tim Evans (to name a few); this year, I’ve spent more time reading books by those who’ve already received their mansions in glory. I imagine gemstone windows, gold brick flooring, and diamond chandeliers.
Reading Into the Past:
My journey into the past began with a devotional, first published in 1925, Deserts in the Stream by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, (notice she used her husband’s name)? My best friend gave me this book one Christmas, and I read it each morning for a year. Throughout the book, Cowman quoted other writers, such as, Tozer, C.S. Lewis, and Brother Lawrence. Once completed, I sought out the authors quoted by Cowman, finding myself on a rabbit trail. I’m surprised how they’ve held my attention, and how much I’ve gleaned from these works. I find them challenging—lifting me out of the boredom from the doldrums of a gleaming modern life.
A Passage From CS Lewis:
For example, in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
Why does this speak to my DIY soul? And this…
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 (ESV)
So, how about a list? Here’s a list of 13 books I believe you’ll enjoy. Maybe you too could use some heavy, handcrafted antiques pushed into your Rooms to Go. (If I must be IKEA you can at least be Rooms to Go)
Books to Add to Your Christmas Wish List:
- The Holy Bible (The ultimate Truth and place to start)
- The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Discipline by Elisabeth Elliot
- Joyful Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
- The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- The Power of Prayer by Charles Spurgeon
- Following Christ: Losing Your Life for His Sake by Charles Spurgeon
- The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
- Release the Power of Prayer by George Muller
This is a small list and a couple of these I’ve recently purchased. Maybe you have a book in mind you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to leave your comments below. I’d love to hear about them.
Until next time…
Tammy Carter Adams is the founder of The Hallelujah House blog and cohost of The Hallelujah House podcast. Tammy resides in Orlando, Florida with her husband and four children. When she’s not creating content, Tammy enjoys painting in her studio, interior design projects, and spending time with her friends and family.
Photo Credit: Friar/ Istockphoto