For years, I have read books by recent and older authors that have shaped my walk with Jesus. Having a mentor in my life has always been important in my spiritual growth, but there are several “mentors” that I have never met and will never meet. These people have mentored me through their writing and through their fervent love for Christ. Most people would define themselves as either an “avid reader” or “I never pick up a book non-existent reader.” I used to be the latter. But during college I began to pick up books out of my hunger to know God more, and ever since then I haven’t been able to stop reading. When I don’t read books, the fire in my heart starts to fizzle. There is a great stir of the fire in our hearts when we read other’s passions, lessons, and wisdom!
Here is my challenge for 2017:
First, commit to reading your Bible every single day. The Word of God is the most important thing that we should be filling our minds with every single day. Next, I want to challenge you, whether you love to read or (think) you don’t like to read, to pick up a book that will challenge your heart and awaken your mind. Below are some books that I have wrestled through and recommend. I am also sharing books that our team has read and plans to read. I would love for you to comment below with other books you have read that have been instrumental in your own life as well! Always remember, though, that no book will ever replace the Word of God. We should never place the words of man over the inspired word of God. Rather, we should pick other books to read that will enhance our knowledge of the Word and encourage us daily to live in obedience to God’s calling. Books should make you hunger for God’s Word even more. That is my desire in the list that is below.
Grab that cup of coffee, a cozy blanket, and pick up a book.
You will be amazed the things God teaches you through the obedience of reading.
Gretchen’s 2016 Books
- What’s Best Next by Matt Perman* – I highly recommend this book for learning more about productivity in light of the gospel!
- None Like Him by Jen Wilkin* – This book has challenged me to pause, take a step back, and just praise, admire, and worship the Lord!
- Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin – If you are looking to learn how to study your Bible and have a quiet time, this is the book I constantly recommend!
- Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore – I picked this book up at book store during a hard season this past year and was grateful for the wisdom Beth Moore reveals as she walks the reader through Psalm 40.
- Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas – This was an excellent book on marriage!
- Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler – I loved reading Lauren’s story and was blessed by her passion and love for the Word!
- Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman – This book is not what you would expect for a book on motherhood. It will take you deeper into the Word and give you a broader perspective on how Christ impacts motherhood and how our mission is to make disciples. Even if you don’t have a biological child, you are still a mother to women in the faith and this book will encourage and challenge you!
- Preaching by Calvin Miller – This may seem like a random book to read! It was accidentally purchased on my kindle last year and I love Calvin Miller. I decided to read through it and learned so much wisdom on how to be a more effective writer and teacher of the Word!
- Don’t Follow Your Heart by Jon Bloom*
- My Name is Hope by John Mark Comer – This year I went through a season of anxiety and depression that hit like a whirlwind! My friend, Val, recommended this book to me during this time and the Lord used it to heal my heart in many ways!
- When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper – Another great book speaking gospel truth into depression and anxiety in the life of the believer, always looking to Christ as the answer!
- Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor – I try to read one biography a year and was so encouraged and challenged by the life of Hudson Taylor!
- Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot – I wish I had read this book before getting married! I am always blessed by the wisdom of Elisabeth Elliot. This book is included in our giveaway that you will find below.
- Who Am I? Identity in Christ by Jerry Bridges – I read this book on my kindle and have often gone back through the highlights. Jerry Bridges shares poignantly about the believers identity in Christ!
- Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan – I am so blessed by these two women of God and know you will be, too!
- Hope Heals by Jay and Katherine Wolf – Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down! Wow. That is all I have to say. You need to read this!
* indicates that I am still reading these but almost finished!
Below are a few books I plan to read in 2017:
- Called to Lead by John MacArthur
- The Scars that Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Rendall Risner
- Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Bonhoeffer by Eric Matrixes – This one will take me a while to read but I am going to slowly go through it in 2017!
- Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan
- Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- Side by Side by Ed Welch
- Vessels and Flowers by Sally Pickard and Brenda Dulmage
- Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
Plan to Read:
- When Breathe Becomes Air
- Never Say No: Raising Big Picture Kids by David C. Cook
- Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You
- None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
- Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
- Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman
- Look and Live by Matt Papa
- Heaven by Randy Alcorn
- Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield
Plan to Read:
- The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
- Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller
- Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller
Ready? Let’s be women who are faithful to read the Word and to read books that will stir our affections for Christ! What books will you be reading? What books have made an impact on your walk with the Lord? We would love to hear below!
Read past “Read A Mentor” posts here:
Read A Mentor Giveaway!
We want to encourage you to read words that stir your affections for Christ in 2017 and are giving away some of our favorite books along with a Give Me Jesus Journal and pen! Find the entry details below. Giveaway ends Monday night at 9 PM EST!
reading to know Jesus more,
Gretchen + the LLB Team
**This post contains Amazon affiliate links that support the ministry of Life Lived Beautifully! We are grateful for your support and pray that these books encourage you to walk with Jesus!