"Hooked on Books"
“The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey
Yancey gives us a new and unique look at the life of Christ and his time on earth. He writes of his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection. It is about who he was and why he came; it probes the question that Jesus asked "Who do you say I am?" It is for anyone looking for a deeper relationship with Jesus. I found this book thought provoking and compelling.
“BRUCHKO” written by Bruce Olson
This is the inspiring true story of a young man who followed God’s call to live with and minister to a tribe of native Indians from Columbia called the Motilones. Noone until Bruce had been able to reach this tribe in the forest and live to tell the story. Read of the obstacles and harsh realities that came with Bruce’s astonishing ministry. This is a story of complete surrender to God’s request to follow him. I had a hard time putting this book down! It is an astonishing story of one missionary’s passion and determination to communicate God’s truth.
“Embraced by the Spirit” By Charles R. Swindoll
This is an inspirational read guiding us to embrace the Holy Spirit; allowing us to experience him intimately in our lives every day. Swindoll’s insights speak of how the power of the Spirit is able to embrace us, stirring our hearts, calming our fears, and strengthening us in times when we are weak and fragile. God intended for this relationship to be transforming. “Embraced by the Spirit” takes you to a deeper more intimate place with God; being near, abiding with the Holy Spirit. A spiritually uplifting, excellent book!
"The Sisters of Sinai" - How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels By Janet Soskice
Read a true account of the extraordinary life and travels of twin sisters who were born in 1843 during the Victorian Age in Scotland. Their lives were destined to be anything but ordinary! In 1892 these two formidable women ventured on a travel yarn of a lifetime travelling alone, through the Sinai Desert, wanting to walk for themselves the pathways of the Israelites over their 40 year journey across the desert. Overcoming incredible obstacles Agnes and Margaret Smith would make a most important spiritual discovery that would change their lives forever. An exciting tale!
"The Bible Jesus Read Why the Old Testament Matters" By Philip Yancey
Yancey teaches us in this book how essential it is that we spend time reading and understanding the Old Testament. It is God’s biography. He uses lessons from Job, Moses, the Psalms, the Prophets and others to help us recognize our own world today in these stories of old. It was the bible that Jesus read, quoted from and used to settle arguments with his antagonists. Yancey states, “After spending time exploring the Old Testament, I can truthfully say that I come away more astonished, not less” An excellent book!
From the Series: “Christian Heroes: Then and Now” Rescuer of Precious Jems – Amy Carmichael By Janet and Geoff Benge
This is the true story of a woman who at a young age dedicated her life to God and the less fortunate. She served as a missionary in many areas of the world but India became the land of her heart. She lived a life of compassion spurred on by the strength of her faith and purpose. Read about how God gave her the courage to defy the hateful barriers of the caste system in India. Amy became the mother of hundreds of young girls and boys who were introduced to a love and protection that they had not known before; the love of Jesus Christ.
"The Broken Way" by Ann Voskamp
Brokenness is found not just in our physical illnesses but also in times of emotional fragility that can manifest itself in many different ways through every life. Ann Voskamps’ book “The Broken Way” approaches this in a very raw, vulnerable way as she opens her life and her heart to us, the readers. How do we go forward using that brokenness for good? Ann says, “We are made in the image of God. And wasn’t God’s heart made to be broken too? Wounds can be openings to the beauty in us. And our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory.” Ann speaks to us of how we can use these times to grow our faith and allow God to build something beautiful from something broken.
The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected By Nik Ripken
This is an incredible read! It is a missionary’s real life journey which takes him around the world seeking out Christians living in some of the hardest places on earth. In these dark places he discovers disciples living and risking their lives for God’s grace and salvation. This story will move you, reading of the persecution and suffering that people endure daily in order to be obedient, accepting the consequences, living and sharing their faith in Jesus Christ. In these stories we hear about how our all-powerful God is not blind to the evil of our world. It is how the Holy Spirit moves in our lives independent of us encouraging us to pick up our cross and follow him. The powerful message of this book will inspire and challenge you.
"SON OF HAMAS": A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue and Unthinkable Choices By Mosab Hassan Yousef
This is a gripping autobiography of a young Palestinian man who was the young son of a founding member of the terrorist group, Hamas. Mosab grew up being groomed to be part of this violent organization; to assume his father’s status and power. Through a simple invitation to a bible study one day, God was able to reach Mosab, touching a place in his heart through his Word, changing his direction, revealing to him his truth. The consequences of his conversion were dangerous and isolated him from the family he loved. Mosab’s pursuit for peace and healing rather than violence in his homeland, the Middle East, had begun.
“The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
Keller has written a thought provoking book for skeptics and believers, making a case for God. He examines the common objections to Christianity and the positive reasons we believe as we do. He makes sense of our faith in today’s culture of doubt. This book is very interesting and easy to read. He discusses many questions and subjects we hear argued commonly in concern with our faith. This is a very relevant book for our generation.
Great Lives: Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance By Charles Swindoll
Swindoll examines the book and life of Job. He interprets each chapter and character giving us insight and encouragement we can apply today, during times of hopelessness and tragedy. Job is not seen as a victim in this story but as a hero for his long suffering, patience and endurance. His love and unwavering faith show us his strength of character. This book is easy to read and a great lesson in faithfulness and how deeply we are loved by God. A great book!
Run with the Horses By Eugene Peterson
This book reflects on the life of Jeremiah the prophet. What does it mean to live your life to its fullest; to live a life of faith. Jeremiah 12:5 says, “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses.” Peterson states, “ In Jeremiah, it is clear that excellence comes from a life of faith, from being more interested in God than in self, and has almost nothing to do with comfort or esteem or achievement.” Jeremiah followed God’s plan for him despite experiencing struggle, rejection and anguish but he refused to be beaten down. This is a very uplifting book encouraging us to live a life full of hope and encouragement honoring God. It is a great read!
Voice in the Wind – Book #1 of “ Mark of the Lion” Series by Francine Rivers
This excellent Christian fiction series begins around 70 A.D. with the fall of Jerusalem and the capture of a young Jewish girl named Hadassah by the conquering Roman army. She is forced from her home, transported to Rome, and sold into slavery to a prominent Roman family. Hadassah lives a life of humility and unwavering faith despite the dangers of living in and being surrounded by the forces of a decadent, self indulgent Rome. The characters in this story will stay with you long after you have finished the book. This is a highly recommended series!
Gods & Kings – Book #1 of “Chronicles of the Kings” Series By Lynn Austin
This biblical historical fiction series is written based on the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. In this series the author brings the Old Testament to life. The author remains accurate to the scriptures creating a story that is truly enthralling. The characters are diverse and believable. This was a time of violence, power struggle and infidelity to God. In book #1 Hezekiah, as a young boy, and his Mother, Abijah, must find a way to save him and their people with the help of their one true strength, Yahweh. This series is very compelling and exciting! It is a “must read”!
“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers
This book is Christian fiction based on the biblical story from the book of Hosea; a love story between Hosea and Gomer. The writer has taken these characters, changed the setting and names, writing an adapted version of what happens between them. There remains the main plot that God tells Michael Hosea he must take a wife to himself and chooses someone who tragically has been flawed, used and abused by men most of her life. Because she has had a very difficult life it is hard for her to trust any man or believe in any God. Hosea loves her unconditionally as God instructs him to but the relationship is not easy, filled with emotions and trials that test both of them. You will be very touched by this story. There is great depth and spirituality to this writing revealing how God always loves and cares for us. Highly recommended!
"The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith" By Timothy Keller
In this book Keller takes a look at the tale of the Prodigal son. He tells the classic parable with a different perspective, looking not just at the younger brother but also the relationship of the older brother with their father. There are two different ways that we can be alienated from God’s heart. The younger son lives a destructive, self centered life. The older brother lives a self-righteous, moralistic life. Both ways will end in separation from God. This is a thought provoking read of reconciliation and God’s grace.
"One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" By Ann VosKamp
This is a beautifully written book about thanksgiving; how to live a life of gratitude being thankful whether we are empty or full. Ann introduces the word “Eucharisteo” which is a Greek word meaning a life full of thanksgiving, joy and grace. How do we find this in the middle of our everyday life when we feel everything is so mundane? Ann states that the important thing or the secret is that “wherever you are, be all here, stay present to God’s presence”. We will find beauty in every moment. The author tells her story, her best moments as well as her most painful ones; her struggles and her times of joy. She leads us to live eucharisteo. Ann’s style of writing is like poetry. You will be blessed by this book.
"LED BY FAITH" Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide By Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin
This is a powerful testimony from a young woman who was witness to a horrific genocide in the year 1994 in the African nation of Rwanda. It is a story of faith and hope for her future and her country’s. Her unwavering prayer and trust in God carried her through a frightening period of violence and hatred. Immaculee sought forgiveness versus revenge, love versus terrorism. She rallied against bloodshed and chaos, praying for peace and a return to God for her people of Rwanda, Tutsi and Hutus. Speaking up at this time put her life at risk in many circumstances, in the end, resulting in her need to relocate to the United States to protect herself and her family. The loss of her parents, brothers and sisters in the massacre was overwhelming and unimaginable but never diminished the love in her heart for the Lord and her crusade and trust following him no matter the uncertainties in her life. This story is remarkable and inspirational; darkness turning to light.
“ALL IS GRACE: A Ragamuffin Memoir” Written by Brennan Manning with John Blasé Brennan gives us a powerful, brutally honest autobiography. He tells us of his great successes but also his failures; dealing with his brokenness and sin admitting their cost. His lifelong addiction to alcohol throughout his life damaged him physically and emotionally. Brennan writes with all of his heart and soul of his longing for God and how he found him through his tragic flaws. It was because of these same flaws that Brennan found a gift of grace that carried him through everything in his life. He believed "God loves you just as you are, not as you should be." As a renowned speaker and writer Brennan was sent out by God touching many people with his lifelong ministry. It is an inspiring story that will lead you to the place where you learn what he means by: All is Grace.
"The Holy Wild" - Mark Buchanan The question in this book is “Can we trust in the character of God”? Is he a good God? Will he be there for us both in good times and when we feel broken? This is a very thoughtful, uplifting read. God wants us to surrender our anxieties and worries, resting on him, leaning into his goodness. Will we trust him as we walk into the unexpected; will we let God lead us into the “wild”? Buchanan’s writing is real and very inspirational. A great book!
"Peace Child" - Don Richardson This is an unforgettable true story about a missionary who truly lived on the edge to bring Christ’s story to a tribe of indigenous people. Don Richardson tells how he and his young family answered God’s call to bring redemption to a group of natives, known for their violent culture, living in a remote, secluded area of New Guinea. Read how he risks everything, leaning on his faith, praying for the patience and perseverance it took to bring Christ into their lives: to turn their treachery and cannibalism to love and forgiveness. How would he deliver Christ’s message that he was their “peace child” and that everlasting peace could be theirs forever. This is a wonderful, captivating story about how important it is that we communicate about Christ to others in our lives.
“Simply Christian” – N.T. Wright Why do we seek justice, long for relationships and find such joy in beauty? This simply written book answers these questions renewing our faith as Christians revealing who God is and how he loves us. A wonderful read!
"Spiritual Rhythm" by Mark Buchanan “Being With Jesus Every Season of your Soul” What season of the heart are you in? Is it winter? Dark and cold? Did it come suddenly? Is it lasting too long? Are you in summer – lush and green, joy-filled, effortless? Are you in spring? or fall? This book explores the seasons of our heart. It incorporates some great stories, scripture, and poetry. With grace and insight it points us to Jesus. He truly is the “Man For All Seasons”. Christ’s presence in every season and some practices that can help sustain us in every season are incorporated. Jesus said that if we abide in Him we will bear much fruit. In a very loving manner this book encourages us to “abide”.