Okay, not really on my nightstand. Because reading at night equals one thing for me. Sleep.
But these are the books I am reading. And I was encouraged to share today after reading a great blog post about the importance of feeding our souls in between Sundays. It’s good. And a wee bit convicting… in a really good way. If one of the things you want to do this year is grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Lord, this post is the perfect place to start.
What I’m reading…
The Bible. If you haven’t read it, you really need to. Really. I didn’t read through it until 2006 because somehow I convinced myself it wasn’t necessary or pertinent. What?!? If you’re a Christian and haven’t read it in it’s entirety, I challenge you to read it. It’s God’s love letter to us… we need this to know and understand the character of God. When I began, I started in John and, although I have gone through seasons where I can’t (or don’t) pick it up daily, I find that life is so much better when I start my day rooted in His Word.
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. I bought this because Matt Chandler is one of my most favorite preachers ever. I started it, but I have a tendency toward ADD when I’m reading something lofty – the guy has some serious insights into God – and I put this down until I have more time to devote to it specifically. It has a study guide companion and I think I’ll get that once I’m ready to pick it up again.
How Great is Our God by Jerry Bridges. Perfect reading material for me in this season. It’s a one year devotional, each day is a snippet out of a classic work by authors like J. I. Packer, John Piper, R. C. Sproul, Andrew Murray, Henry Blackaby and A. W. Tozer. I almost always read more than a day at a time, if that’s any indication. It’s good stuff.
Knowing God by J.I. Packer. This is the book I am studying alongside the women who took me up on my offer. It’s an awesome book – in a mind blowing way – and I am grateful to have the study guide and 35 other women reading it alongside me. It’s challenging, convicting, encouraging and exciting… this book is a classic for a very good reason.
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. It’s a wonderful and heartbreaking read. I’m at the heartbreaking part now and I had to take a break. It’ll stay on my nightstand until I’m done with it – a woman who can endure suffering and heartbreak and then live to reflect God’s love and forgiveness to a watching world is someone I want to emulate.
The Passion: 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die by John Piper. Also available in pdf format for free. It’s just as the title states, fifty reasons why Jesus came and what His death on the cross accomplished. A simple premise but so. much. substance.
My point isn’t to make you feel like you need to go buy a bunch of books to read. But I wanted to encourage you to start somewhere. You could see what you might already have on your bookshelf. Or go to your local library. I just wanted to give y’all some ideas if this is something God has been leading you to do.
Because if God is tapping you on the shoulder, you really should answer. He has such good things for you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
P.S. If you’re reading something – or have read something – you’d like to recommend, please do.
The Gang's Momma says
Oooh, just started A Heart For Freedom by Chai Ling. Having a hard time getting anything else done. So good. And recently finished The Good Women of China and Letters from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xin Ran. Also good. Sad, hard, but excellent.
In the category of “tendency toward ADD when I’m reading something lofty” – I am trying to occasionally work my way through Toddler Adoption: A Weaver’s Craft. Heavy, hard on research and facts but definitely pulling out some good stuff.
Love, love, LOVE The Hiding Place! My mom used to read to us kids in the car on our way hither and yon. The Hiding Place was one book she read to us. I remember HER heart breaking at the heartbreaking parts of the book. She would start to cry and had to take a break for a while. ♥
Since then, 4 of the 6 members of my immediate family have visited the actual Hiding Place in The Netherlands.
What an amazing legacy!
The Hiding Place is one of my favorite books, ever! Not only Corrie’s story, but reading about Betsie’s heart and their father’s wisdom. So much learning, conviction and encouragement in that book! It’s one of those books I try to read every year…I missed last year, but it’s for sure on my reading list this year. 🙂
Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts…life changer for me! A great way to incorporate thankfulness in every single moment, even the very hard ones. Highly recommend!
Also, cannot start my day without my copy of the Life Application Study Bible! It’s so great, isn’t it?!!
Unbroken by Hildenbrand. Oh my goodness. Could not put it down. The true story of Louie Zamperini, an American olympian turned WWII prisoner of war. Absolutely amazing.
I always have a stack too…
Currently on my stack is Mended, Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith, unGlued by Lysa TerKeurst, Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windless and Beyond Oridinary by Justin & Trisha Davis.
I need to reading, looks like that is what I will be doing on my flights to the Created for Care Conference this weekend:-)
Lori McMurphy says
I have to agree with Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. One of my all time favorite books that I recommend to everyone. It is very well written and just an amazing story.
Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst–a must read.
i’m reading the Bible thru for the first time:) i have a book bucket list on my blog somewhere– somewhere in january of this year– my goal is to read 1 book per week– and there’s a whole mix– some francis chan, the ragamuffin gospel– my friend says it is a must– about accepting God’s grace and then giving it to others– something i sorely need to learn. but there’s fun books too– percy jackson and the lightning thief, the language of flowers, the good earth– i read that every year, snow flower and the secret fan– every year, silent tears– haven’t read that in a few years– but it always inspires me in my fundraising- that it does make a difference, hmmm.. i have a kids bucket list too.
i love, and i do mean, love, books:)
I read The Hiding Place in high school and 20 years later, it remains one of my favorites!
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is my all time favorite work of fiction. It’s Christian fiction. I just found two other Francine Rivers books at Goodwill last night (The Atonement Child and Voice in the Wind) and am so looking forward to reading them.
Last week I started Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free” Bible study. I also just happened across “God’s and Kings” by Lynn Austin- what a perfect compliment to each other! I love learning about the history of Kings Ahaz and Hezikiah and the temple rituals. Even though Austin’s book is fiction, I can visualize the passages of 2nd Kings and 2nd Chronicles and how they fit with the prophesies of Isaiah much more completely.
Can’t wait to see what others are reading- I love hearing new book ideas!
There are four more books that follow Gods and Kings. I highly recommend them!
Cindy C says
The Hiding Place is on DVD also, I remember watching this movie while in school and was just so deeply moved…joy in a hard place, what faith! Thanks for sharing!
Anne in AZ says
Two of my absolute favorites are “Safely Home” and Edge of Eternity” – both by Randy Alcorn. “Safely Home” is an eye-opener for those of us who have adopted from China. It’s a fictional account of an American who connects with his Chinese college roommate who lives in China. I cried my eyes out at the end of the book. Very powerful…….
“Beyond Ourselves” by Catherine Marshall will always be at the top of my list, too.
For good old Christian fiction, my two favorites would have to be “Leota’s Garden” and “The Shofar Blew” – both by Francine Rivers.
I love getting recommendations from others to add to my every-growing list!
I read Twelve Ordinary Men by John F MacArthur last year and really enjoyed. I’d never really read in depth about the disciples, and I came away having learned a lot.
I read a lot of history – I have a particular interest in the civil war era – and I read a lot of books on politics and political figures. I admit I don’t read a lot of religious books, but I am working to get caught up on Knowing God 🙂
I hope a suggestion here will spark my interest.
“When the Bottom Drops Out” by Pastor Rob Bugh (I think I spelled that right).
Its about seeing God through the hardest times. Even if you aren’t going through hard things, it is still a must-read.
A friend of mine from the midwest gave it to me and my life was really impacted through reading it because of the difficult times our family is going through.
Ashley Ditto says
I am reading Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman. I am always looking for new reads, and so blessed to have read yours! Bless you!!
I agree with Julie about Beth Moore’s Breaking Free. That study was life changing for me.
I just finished a small group study of the book Uprooting Anger by Robert Jones It was very practical, Biblical, and challenging.
My Sunday School just started a study on When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and I am about halfway- so many things about charity and giving and building community that are new to me.
Timely post as my nightstand is empty.
Teresa Morgan says
Radical by David Platt and Crazy Love by Francis Chan
The Hiding Place is one of my all time favorite books!
I also just recently read The Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer. Great book and reminder that God is beyond our wildest imagination and definitely bigger than the box we tend to put Him in. Plus, the short chapters made it so much easier for me to stop and ponder and make it through the book.
I’m reading and loving….
“Hebrews” from the LifeChange series. Love this series because it is basically just a guide as you are reading the Bible to give you greater depth. You can choose just about any book of the Bible to study too.
Love Does by Bob Goff. He encourages others to take adventures with God and love without abandon. So good.
I reading the entire Bible though this year again, using the “ESV Study Bible in a Year Plan” on the YouVersion app on my iPhone. Loving the convenience of having it in my pocket everywhere. And being able to listen to it as well as read it. Nothing like having the Psalms read over you!
The Hiding Place is one of my absolute favorites. I re-read it often. The story of the fleas…God constantly brings that into my mind when I’m discouraged by the circumstances/annoyances around me.
Since we are feeling called to missions internationally I have been reading :
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
The Freedom of Obedience and My Savage Kinsmen by Elizabeth Elliot. It’s all pretty lofty stuff especially Dr. Piper but challenging my heart to move forward.
For fiction I loved Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion Series. Even though it is fiction, the heroine, Hadassah, lives her faith in such a way that I am challenged to be like her.
I also am reading the Chronological Bible. It’s amazing how much different the bible reads this way.