Woman reading book on the couch

I’m a reader. Oooh I love to read!!!! Reading has changed my life many times over. Life is filled with fantastic truths and insights to help us along, and these are just some of the great writers who have helped me become a more authentic, conscious woman.

What I am reading now:

The Amplified Bible

Now I know it’s a real obvious thing for a Christian writer to say The Bible changed her life, but I’ve got a love for the amplified version. I’ve started to read The Bible so much more slowly because I want to take in all the notations and cross-references. Slowing down allows me to meditate, and to tell the truth, I haven’t found scriptures so refreshing as when I read them amplified. I see things differently every time.


Other books that changed my life (in no particular order or category, other than how they are arranged on my shelves):

No More Perfect Kids – Jill Savage

I recently attended She Speaks, where Jill Savage was one of the key speakers for the main sessions. I had never heard her speak before, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I bought several of her books, but this is the one I am love most. Why? Because I know my tendency to inadvertently communicate to my sons that they either need to be ‘more’ or ‘less’. More tidy, more cautious, more attentive. Less loud, less intense, less smart-on-the-mouth (maybe that last one is okay). The point is that I want to be intentional about communicating that each of them is ‘enough’, no more, no less. My goal is to rear them well, while affirming that they are enough and they are loved. This book helps me learn to do just that.

Devotions for a Deeper Life – Oswald Chambers

This daily devotional keeps me habitual about going to the scriptures and learning more about God, and the way I am to live. Sometimes I feel like Chambers is an older wiser mentor who just knows how to stick me in the ribs when I am doing/thinking wrong. Other times it is just a moment of clear revelation about some life issue. It is a rare morning when I do not get just the insight I need from this book.

 

Your Spiritual IQ – John S. Savage

This year I attended the Bahamas Methodist Annual Spiritual Growth Conference where this book was the featured text for our small groups. It is one of the most challenging and engaging books that I’ve read in a while. I’ve read it twice and will read yet again! I aspire to be a congruent and intelligent Christian!

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I’ve read this book twice. It shoots torpedoes at any hint of resignation I may have as a writer. Whenever I feel like I want to sulk and watch HGTV Househunters instead of working on a project, I remember that art is war and I am a warrior.

After struggling for so many years to take my writing seriously, I am hugely grateful for the brassy, in-your-face, stop-mucking-about approach that Pressfield takes to art. I don’t join Pressfield in giving credit to the muses (he is really into Greek mythology), and if you are offended by ‘salty’ language, as my son says, then you may heave this book into the trash. I stand by it though, because the meat of the book is fantastic, as for the bones, well they’re big enough to spit out with ease!

The Joy of Working by Denis Waitly and Reni L. Witt

This book is an oldie, but goodie that I inherited from my mum. Quote that I love (there are sooo many to choose from): “Sometimes it’s best to stop and regroup until circumstances change. But our vision should always be set forward, our instincts honed for advancement. Life is growth, and if we cease to grow or are fearful of change, we will be denied life and happiness.” (pg. 50)

The Spiritual Man Vol. 1 by Watchman Nee

I’ve been reading this book for at least two years now, and it’s not because I don’t like it. It’s because it makes my brain cry. Seriously, this is a dense book with a great deal of truths that the mind can’t readily comprehend. It has not one shred of fluff, nothing to tickle you pink, no catchy ‘hooks’, just strong spiritual principles that make you suffer a little whiplash when they strike you. I pick it up, chew on it, and put it down. Recently I felt the nudge to go back at it. So here I am, learning a bit more from the late Watchman Nee, a real spiritual giant.

Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm

Escape from Freedom is really profound book that has taken me years to finish and re-read. It’s complex, but so rich. It feels like Fromm is sitting here in the 21st century, plumb in the midst of our capitalist driven western world, calling our cards with alarming accuracy!

Quote that I love: “…the drive for life and the drive for destruction are not mutually independent factors but are in a reversed interdependence. The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life.” (pg. 182)

Disquiet Time edited by Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani

I can’t recall how I came to know of this little gem, but whatever the review that I read I was intrigued. Instinctively I knew that this book was going to be gut-wrenchingly honest (and funny). I enjoyed reading this collection of essays because there is so much ease in gleaning and learning from people who have absolutely nothing to prove! I’m always talking about living authentically, and Grant and Falsani gave their contributors freedom to bring all of their quirky, intimidating, untidy issues with Holy Scripture and lay them out in the sun to bake! Priceless 🙂

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

I read a portion of Corrie Ten Boom’s testimony in book that I no longer recall the title of, but it was so fascinating to me that I had to know her story. This book is her biography and it wasn’t anything I expected.  The most amazing thing I discovered was how old Corrie was when she went into the concentration camp (fifty!). After her release, she began over thirty years of evangelical ministry for the Lord, preaching and living the miracle of reconciliation all over the world! Her life reminds me not to focus on my age, because there is a time and season for everything.

Billy Graham God’s Ambassador

I sincerely admire Billy Graham; his commitment to sharing the simple message of salvation is compelling. Here is a man who devoted his entire life to preaching just one message. It seems we live in a time when people like their gospel new and improved, with a director’s cut of extra scenes tacked on. We’ve gotten bored with Jesus; Mr. Graham has not gotten bored.

I’m also really inspired by the Billy Graham Association’s commitment to printing and distributing spiritual books at no cost in various third world countries around the world. A number of those books have landed on my book shelves :), so thank you!

Finding the God-Dependent Life by Joanie Yoder

This biography is a very open and deeply honest. Joanie Yoder could have been any woman’s next door neighbor. With simplicity, compassion, and humor, she tells her story of overcoming co-dependency, agoraphobia and prescription drug use. Joanie’s life of ministry, as it is revealed in her story-telling, convinced me that there is no bland or ordinary life when God is in it. Every life experience has value and will bring us closer to God and others if we allow it.