I like books. OK, I love books. I love to read and *supplement* my Bible reading with books which I find encouraging, challenging or that offer some benefit to my growth as a Christian. I love to shop for books and buy books. I love to peruse "used" book stores, new bookstores, my own bookshelves, your bookshelves (if I go to your home, I will check out your books as soon as I sniff out where you keep them!), online bookstores, garage sales and discarded library books. I just love books. I know I am not alone in this passion. I am not picky as I love my Kindle as well as the printed word. Well, I confess I do prefer books that have paper. I am a touchy-feely kind of person so it just makes me happy to paw that book up and smell the pages etc. I prefer Non-Fiction due to the practical nature of my personality. I need to feel I am getting something in return for my time. I am a time snob. Time is valuable and brief. So I like to learn or be challenged by what I am reading. However, I am learning to appreciate Fiction, more. I do think it can offer much, and I have benefited by the experience of reading the words of a number of Fiction writers which I may blog about on another day! Right now, I have been considering the books that I have read that have impacted my Christian Growth, one way or another. I ran around my house scrambling to find my faves. I am missing my all time favorite: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It is the most treasured valuable Christian read, in my humble opinion. Practical, useful and expertly written. I love C. S. Lewis for his raw, honest assessment of faith, reality and God. I also read "The Unlikely Disciple" by Kevin Roose this year and pushed myself through it at times but appreciated his candor. OK, well I could go on and on, but instead here is the list of books that I have chewed on and read! The list of "To Read" is long. I know there are many other great Christian books that are excellent, well written and popular. Quite honestly, I find a lot of the newer stuff well meaning and decent but not profound. So, this is a list of books that I love and highly recommend. I have many more in piles and on my bookshelves (read and unread) but I want you to finish the post. I also start some books but lose interest. I cannot include a book on the list I have not read and digested completely (except the concordance!).
I would love for you to share your top 20 books that have shaped your growth, views or faith with regard to your beliefs. If you do this, let me know! Or just share one book that has influenced your Christian views by leaving a comment!
1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong - seriously, it is one of my most prized and used possessions. Recommended to me by one of my Pastors in my early walk. Grateful. No Christian should be without one.
2. The Christian in Complete Armour: Daily Readings in Christian Warfare by William Gurnall
- I reread this every couple of years. It's that good.
3. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot - I would say that Elisabeth Elliot is the finest Christian women's writer I have ever read and I think that you should
read any book by her to see for yourself. Everything she writes is worth reading.
4. Matters of Life and Death: 10 Questions No Serious Christian Can Avoid by Erwin W. Lutzer
Lutzer tackles 3 areas in 10 chapters which are, the
Perplexities of Life, Questions of Sexuality, and Eternity.
I have it heavily highlighted!
5. The Weight of Your Words: Measuring the Impact of What You Say by Joseph M. Stowell
A short but powerful book. Practical, applicable. Challenging.
6. A Fresh Vision of Jesus: Timeless Ways to Experience Christ by Cheri Fuller
This was the find of the century! I got it for $2 at a bargain table at the local Christian Bookstore.
It is one of the most encouraging, quotable, books I have read. I would pay full price for it without hesitation!
7. How to Be Born Again by Billy Graham
Timeless, classic Mr. Graham.
8. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
We read this book as a family out loud together when my daughter was in either Kindergarten or first grade. She loved it and it was a wonderful book, which we all appreciated.
9. 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues
I actually discovered this book on the shelf of a sister in Christ and I borrowed it. Soon after I bought my own copy and have read it repeatedly. For obvious reasons. I will be rereading again soon. I also bought the workbook so may use that for the next reading round.
10. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, M.D.
The best book I have ever read, which accurately assesses and addresses the problem of the time management mentality within our current cultural mindset with a biblical, appropriate perspective.
11. Every Child Needs A Praying Mom by Fern Nichols/ Janet Kobobel Grant
Fern Nichols and her ministry have shaped and changed my life and approach to prayer, ministry and live. I love this book and of course the usefulness of it as well as the inspiration and topic!
12. 8 Choices That Will Change a Woman's Life by Jill Briscoe
Great book for women on so many of the choices and temptations we face daily: Touching on the many potential traps : Me, Money, Mouth, Minute, Morality, Ministry, Misery, and Mystical we potentially can fall into...without the proper perspective.
13. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
Simply one of the best devotional readings available.
14. My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
OK, this IS the best ever devotional I have ever read. Except for all his other writing as well.
He is my favorite Christian writer of the male persuasion.
15. Daily Thoughts For Disciples by Oswald Chambers
A collection of Ozzie's (my nickname for all things Mr. Oswald) writings
16. My Utmost Devotional Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
OK, I wore this Bible out and loved it to mess. It is tattered, taped and worn
but someday I might just get another one. Just because.
17. A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George
I read this book as part of a women's Bible Study Group the year I got engaged to marry my hub.
It was meaningful on many levels at this time in my life. I have re-read it (and bought it for my Kindle) and appreciate her straightforward, practical approach to biblical truth with regard to women, marriage and faith.
18. A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy With God Through A Daily Devotional Life
by Nancy Leigh Demoss
This book is one of the best on the subject of quiet time with the Lord.
I would say that after E. Elliot, Nancy offers some of the best biblical teaching- practical application and iron sharpening resources with her books, website and radio speaking.
19. Quiet Times Alone with God: A Devotional For Women by Emilie Barnes
I love this book which is written by a Jewish woman who accepted Christ as a teenager!
A true gem of a read.
20. How To Listen To God by Charles Stanley
I really appreciate Charles Stanley and have read a number of his books. I love a book I can hand to a new believer with full confidence they will grasp and be able to comprehend. Simple and easy to digest. This one hits the mark.
So many books and so little time....
But if I only have time to read one book today, I will choose to read my Bible.