I would really recommend Malcolm Duncan's Risk Takers. Malcolm warns of two dangers: One is that we get easily swallowed by the culture of the church such that we tend to be more defined by what we don't do than by what we do.The Second is that we can get swallowed by society and driven by its standards and morals. We walk both in society and in church so the challenge is to not dwell in the past but to take a step of faith forward - to be risk takers for the gospel. So Malcolm uses Paul's friend Epaphroditus to show how he was someone who risked all for God. His life showed courage, faith, determination, hope, boldness, expectaion and risk.
I've only recently got around to reading this book by Jeff Lucas. It's a very interesting book with a different style of writing. Jeff tackles the difficult character of Samson - womaniser, hothead, vengeful, cruel - and yet used by God to bring about His wider judgement. The writing style uses blocks of short sentances and paragraphs that build upon each other to bring out the point. Jeff shows that our 'superhuman' body builder image of Samson is not one reflected in the text. Samson was strong because he was empowered by the Holy Spirit and not because of his own muscles. As such, there is hope for us because if we are truly dedicated to God (in Samson's case it was because of his mothers Nazarite Vow) then we are nothing and God is everything. He can take our feebleness and weakness and empower us with His Holy Spirit - the same power that brought the whole universe into being..
I've just finished reading 'Stretcher Bearer' by Charles Horton. It's the story of a man who volunteered for the Royal Army Medical Corps (RMAC) Field Ambulance in the first world war. I was drawn to the book because my grandfather served in the same corps at Ypres and Passchendaele and I wanted to find out a bit more of what was involved. The book is a mixture of background facts and personal diary and makes absolutely facinating (and horrifying) reading. Horton skips the gory details but really draws you in to the horrors of war and the futility of much of it. As a Christian he was drawn to his role because of his compassion for others regardless of nationality. As we come to the 100th anniversary next year for the start of the 14-18 war this is a timely book.