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!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C. S. Lewis
HERE IS MY CHALLENGE FOR 2018:
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. This year I started the challenge, #Wordbeforeworld, and thousands of you are joining me in putting time with Jesus before our phones, to-do’s, and technology. You can read more about how to join us here! 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 at the things God teaches you through the obedience of reading.
GRETCHEN'S 2017 BOOKS
*The majority of the books I read are on my Kindle. After having a Kindle paperwhite for 3 years, I’ve become an almost 100% Kindle reader. I read before bed each night using the backlight on my Kindle and am able to throw it in my purse or bring it with me when I travel. I still love a good paperback, but the ability to search the Kindle, get cheap e-books (I follow @dailykeller for e-book sales), and read in the dark has me hooked! You can find the specific Kindle I use here.*
Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow - This was one of the last books I read in 2017 and is one I will reread some day. Linda’s wisdom about what it looks like to give our anxieties to the Lord is something I am daily practicing. She brings her own experience and journey into the book and solidifies it with the Word of God.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Quereshi - I couldn’t put this book down. Nabeel shares his own story of becoming a Christian after growing up in the Muslim faith. This is an excellent book, and one that I’ve passed along to several friends. Nabeel passed away from stomach cancer this fall and shared his journey through a Youtube page. I wept as I watched his last videos before his death. His wife continues to share their journey and his legacy on the page.
Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson - This was by far one of my favorite reads this year. If you haven’t read Hannah’s book, I highly recommend reading it this spring! You can also listen to an interview she did with Risen Motherhood here.
Word-Filled Women’s Ministry by Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson - I am a huge Gloria Furman reader. Her ability to lace the Gospel into every conversation and subject is beautiful. If you are passionate about women’s ministry, I definitely recommend this book.
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp - This was a book I was able to purchase through a Daily Keller deal and was my first book by Ann Voskamp. It was a beautiful story of the hope we have in Christ in the midst of a broken world. If you are walking through suffering, I highly recommend this.
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung - This small book is a great encouragement to the person struggling to understand the will of God and follow Him in obedience.
Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower - This was another book I purchased at a discount and ended up enjoying. As a mama seeking to raise my children in a gospel-centered home, I was encouraged by the practicality of this book.
You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons - In 2016 I experience my first set of panic attacks and debilitating anxiety. Praise the Lord He rescued me from the very depths. Rebekah’s book is an encouragement to anyone who has suffered with anxiety and panic.
Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity by John Piper - I loved learning more about the daily life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon through this book. You can download it for free at Desiring God.
Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen - In a world that proclaims that we are enough, we can find comfort in the fact that only in Christ do we find the enough we long for. This is the message of Jennie Allen’s book, Nothing to Prove.
None Like Him by Jen Wilkin - This is an excellent book about the attributes of God. Any of Jen's books and Bible studies are at the top of my list. I plan on going through her new study on Genesis this spring!
UPDATE: I forgot to add a few more wonderful books I read last year that couldn't be missed!
GraceLaced Book by Ruth Simons - This books is not only beautiful on the outside and inside, it is also full of wisdom and truth. You can put it on your coffee table and read it each day or incorporate it into your quiet time, but I guarantee you will love Ruth's art and words!
Still Waiting by Ann Swindell - Ann shares her own story of waiting throughout this memoir. It is a powerful reminder that God rescues and redeems, and the outcome is not always what we think it might be. In any season of life, you'll be encouraged by Ann's story and the story of the Bleeding Woman.
Cultivate by Lara Casey - Lara example has made me into a rookie gardener. In her book she weaves gardening into everyday life and how we can cultivate a meaningful one.
Books I am currently reading/plan to read in 2018:
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Mindscape by Timothy Witmer
Margin by Richard Swenson
Hello Mornings by Kat Lee
Unseen by Sara Hagerty
The Tech Wise Family by Andy Crough
The Historical Jesus by Gary Habernas
- Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
- Alive in Him by Gloria Furman
- Show Them Jesus* (linked above)
- None Like Him* (linked above)
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- Union with Christ
- You Are Free* (linked above)
- You Are Free* (linked above)
- Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
- Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction by Asheritah Ciuciu
- Discipline by Elisabeth Elliot* (linked above)
- None Like Him by Jen Wilkin* (linked above)
- Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung* (linked above)
To help get you excited about this process, we want to bless one of you with a set of books that are some of our team's favorites. We are including Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson, Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, and Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. The winner will receive a hard copy of these four books!
UPDATE: WE'VE SELECTED OUR WINNER FOR THE GIVEAWAY, JENNIFER. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!
Are you 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: