Complete Surrender- a biography of Eric Liddell

Complete Surrender is the title of a biography of Eric Liddell written by Julian Wilson. Most of us will be familiar with Eric Liddell through the film Chariots of Fire and his refusal to race on a Sunday in the 1924 Olympic Games. However outside of the film our knowledge of him might be limited.

Although the book is only 139 pages long I feel after reading it that I know the man very well. There are so many inspiring stories and testimonies of Eric Liddell packed into the biography.

There are quotes from those who knew him saying that he was the most Christ-like person they had ever met. His humility and selflessness shines through many times in the book. Even in the very difficult situations he faced in the last years of his life, which were spent in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, he still was putting other people before himself.

Interestingly someone said of him that he was basically very ordinary. He was not the greatest leader or cleverest person or even an inspired speaker. However Eric Liddell knew what he ought to do and just did it. This is one of the constant themes of the book, doing what is right even when that is difficult. He strongly believed that we should practice what we preach.

What was his secret? It was actually quite simple: the complete surrender of his thoughts, words, deeds and life to God.  Early every morning he would get up to pray (both talking and listening to God), read his bible and ponder the day ahead.

This is a very inspirational book and I would highly recommend it.

10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

We have a second-hand bookstall at my church and I recently came across a copy of a book called 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman in the bookstall. Like many I enjoy singing the song 10,000 Reasons but did not realise that there was also a book with the same title.

In this book Matt Redman shares stories of how God has used the song 10,000 Reasons to sustain people in very difficult situations. In circumstances where you would normally expect to encounter hopelessness and despair instead there is hope, thankfulness and victory.

One of the recurring themes and challenges in the book is praising God in difficult and dark times. Both in the testimonies of others, as mentioned above, and in his own life Matt gives examples of worshipping  God in all seasons.

It is interesting to read of Matt’s development as a worship leader which started when he taught himself to play guitar at a young age. He shares how worship brought him closer to Jesus. Matt writes about experiencing that worshipping Jesus through music has bought healing into his life. We are told how the Psalms have been both a great source of inspiration and encouragement to him.

Matt speaks about the importance of emotion in worship. We are reminded in the book that worship is very often a decision. We all experience times when it’s a struggle but in those times need to decide we will worship. Importantly Matt also speaks about how worship is more than singing songs.

This is a very good book which is moving, uplifting and challenging too and certainly well worth reading.