I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that I have written any books. This blog is it. However, there are some pretty amazing books that are on my bookshelf that have made a huge impact on my life through the years.
I am not a voracious reader, and when you throw a little ADD in the mix and I sit down to read certain books – my eyes have a tendancy to roll back in my head. However, these are some that changed my life so I thought I would share them with you.
1. The Bible (BGD!) – by GOD
If one is going to blog about grace, its a given that the Bible might need to be at the top of your reading list. It’s the owners manual written by the One who created you and was left to help you manage your life. If you don’t have one, your local Christian bookstore (or Walmart, for that matter) has many “versions” that will best suit your taste and language. Also available on your SmartPhone.
2. The Cure – by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol and Bill Thrall
My latest book crush, this is probably the most impactful book I’ve read in years that expresses the Gospel in such a simple and profound way. It’s sub-title is: What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you? Grace is it’s root as it walks us through the simple practice of trust and dependence on Him rather than performance.
3. The Purpose Driven Life – by Rick Warren
This book first opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t put on this earth to be recognized and served, but rather to serve those around me. It’s very opening line…”It’s not all about you” kicked my butt pretty good.
4. I Love You, But Why Are We So Different? – by Tim LaHaye
Also referenced in my blog “The Penguin The MelonYorkie”, this book on relationships won’t show you how to change the person you’re in relationship with, but rather to understand how they’re wired and how to better understand them. Unfortunately, you’ll soon realize that its your responsibility to change how you maneuver through those relationships with the understanding you’ve gained, with the final result being…everyone gets along without trying to manipulate the other.
5. Jesus Calling – by Sarah Young
I’m not a huge fan of many devotionals because I often find they don’t seem applicable to my life. That isn’t the case with this devotional. It is fabulous! Written as if authored by Jesus and speaking specifically to the reader, it’s the most contempory and useful book that inspires and helps me see a new way of walking through each day.
6. Not A Fan – by Kyle Idleman
On the subject of becoming a “follower”of Christ rather than a fan, or as I like to call myself….”a Pharisee”. Don’t read it unless you’re serious about taking a deeper look at what your faith really looks like. Life changing!
7. How People Change – by Timothy S. Lane and Paul D. Tripp
Introduced to me by my window washer (and friend) while he was washing our house windows, this book speaks truth into everyone’s heart on the subject of what it takes for lasting change to take root in your life.
8. Jesus Is ______ . – by Judah Smith
How would you finish that sentance? This book is written to today’s generation and focus’s on illustrating God’s character and a new way to be human. It’s funny, revealing, and convicting. Love this book! My only qualm is that the author is a Seahawks fan.
9. Delivered from Distraction – by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.
I didn’t find out that I had ADD (Attention Deficeit Disorder) until I was in my 50’s when researching what I thought my son suffered from. Back when I went to college they didn’t even have a diagnosis of ADD yet. Now, many people like to say “everyone has a little ADD“, which might be true but for me ADD has been a thorn in my side and a shame carried silently for so many years that I can now begin to understand. My whole life and many of it’s struggles all make sense to me now, which has been a freeing experience. For me, treating my ADD is like taking a camera lens and turning it until everything comes into focus. This book, along with it’s companion, Driven to Distraction, are must reads for anyone wanting to understand ADD, or a loved one that carries the burden of this diagnosis.
10. The Inner Voice of Love – by Henri Nouwen
Anything written by this brilliant theologian will be impactful, but this particular book is written about the journey through anguish to freedom, whether it be by a lost relationship, losing your value as a person, or the loss of a loved one. It offers courage, hope and new life during some of the most difficult periods of our lives.
11. Heaven – by Randy Alcorn
The picture of what I thought Heaven looked like – clouds and harps and wings – was shattered and rearranged when I read this book. And thank goodness – because I look awful in all white. With this life being just a dress rehearsal, this book is about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing (yahoo!), traveling, worshiping, and discovering in our new home. Lots of questions answered.
12. Fall in Love, Stay in Love – by Willard Harley, Jr.
Given to us at a most desperate time, this book gives practical ideas about maneuvering through your marital relationship, and rebuilding and strengthening your marriage. Check out Harley’s website: www.marriagebuilders.com for great practical solutions to many marrital problems.
13. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – by C.S. Lewis
A fantasy written for children, this is one of those books that really is better read again as an adult. I read it in college. It’s the first book in a series (which I read all of, thank you very much!) but this story symbolizes the true story of sacrifice and redemption.
A delightful writer who speaks the language of life that I so wish I could speak and put to paper, Shauna Niequist is real and bold in her assessments of life as a woman, wife, friend and mother. In both of these books she doesn’t hold back and you will laugh and cry and giggle when you sit down and read about her view of love and life.
16. The Five Love Languages – by Gary Chapman
This book should be read right after you read about temperaments and personality traits, and can radically change how you communicate with your loved ones. It’s premise is that if you were in a foreign country and fell into a realationship with someone that didn’t speak your language, you undoubtedly would try to learn their language so you could communicate. So it goes with “love languages”. We all show love and feel loved in different ways so why not find out how the people you love feel loved so you can speak love into their heart.
17. Personality Plus – by Florence Littauer
I referenced this book in my blog “The Penguin and the MelonYorkie”. A must if you want to gain insight into those around you who possess different personalities than you, and who drive you crazy.
18. The Shack – by Wm. Paul Young
This story got a bad wrap from most of the theologians that walk in and out of my life, but I still loved it. If you just loosen up a bit and say to yourself, “this is fiction” then you might just be able to take some of the jewels found within the story and benefit from them. This story asks where God is in the midst of great tragedy, and is a great depiction of the Trinity.
19. The Jesus Storybook Bible – by Sally Lloyd-Jones
I love it’s sub-title…”every story whispers His name.” Written for children, its one of the best compilations of Bible stories that is great for adults too. Beautifully illustrated by Jago, it tells the stories beneath the story, in simple and child-like ways – woo hoo!….that’s for me!