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Woman Reading a book

Want a good book to read?

9 Books I highly recommend

I LOVE to read a good book.

When I was a child, my very favorite thing to do was to read in the haybarn during a rainstorm. It had a tin roof so you could really hear the rain.  I felt so cozy and safe. I savored every sentence of the stories I read there.

However, what I loved most of all was listening to my mom read to us on winter nights while the rest of us worked on a puzzle or some other craft.  Or better yet, snuggled up in my sleeping bag when camping, while rain batters the tent making it impossible to go outside.  It’s hard to describe just how much I relished those times of experiencing the story together as my mom read aloud.

I also love going into bookstores.  The smell of all those new books.  The sight of hundreds of books lined up on shelves. All those possibilities.  Lands to explore, people to know, adventure to experience, all there just waiting for me.  It is quite intoxicating.

Mark Batterson, the pastor of the National Community Church in Washington DC, has an intriguing philosophy on the value of reading books.  He says that most books take about two years to be completed, two years’ worth of the writer’s life as he/she pours their wisdom into the book.  Therefore, every book you read gives you two years’ worth of wisdom.

Read 10 books in one year, gain 20 years’ worth of wisdom.  Read 50, gain 100 years’ worth of wisdom in one year.

I love this philosophy because, over my lifetime, God has certainly used books to bring healing, to answer questions, to encourage me, to admonish me, to give me a new perspective, to grow me spiritually, to bless me exponentially, or just to escape for a time. And I have absorbed a lot of wisdom.

So, from one friend to another, here are nine books that I recommend you read in 2022. That is 18 years’ worth of wisdom. Some are informational, some are more recreational.  But all of them will help you grow and strengthen your own spiritual experience, your relationship with God, and/or your relationship with family and friends.

I have provided links to them on Amazon for your convenience.  Some of the links are affiliate links which means if you buy the book using my link, I will receive a tiny commission and you still pay the regular price.

Let me start with my favorite category:

Biblical Fiction – A fresh look at a familiar Bible story

All My Glory – Terri Fivash

I have to share this one with you first because it is my all-time favorite biblical fiction book.  It has been out of print for many years but I was thrilled to discover that the author just re-released it as a Kindle book in 2021.

It details the story of Joseph’s transformation from a self-righteous, exacting rich kid to a slave. How he rose through the ranks to become the steward of his master’s house and then was thrown into prison, and finally his elevation to second in command of the nation of Egypt.

It was there that Joseph finally realized how God had used all those experiences to give him all the skills and connections he needed in order to save the people from the famine that very few, other than Joseph and the King, believed would actually happen.

It is true to the biblical narrative, but brings the characters to life in full color, with all the intrigue and suspense of a good novel against a rich cultural backdrop.  The story will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.  Don’t miss this one.

 

Love in a Broken Vessel – Mesu Andrews

This book is for adults only. It is an intimate look at the story of Hosea, the prophet, and Gomer, the prostitute God told him to marry.

I listened to this book on Audible and was convicted. It is a living allegory showing how we, like Gomer, find it so hard to trust God (represented by Hosea).  We continually think that we have to take care of ourselves because we don’t think God cares enough to give us what we need or, sometimes, we think we know better what is good for us.  It made me analyze my own reactions to God and recognize some of the ways I don’t allow God to care for me because I don’t trust Him enough.

It’s painful to listen to at times, but inspires hope that God never gives up. He continues to work and to woo us, and will ultimately save us from ourselves if we will only trust Him.

 

The next two books I want to share with you are books that have helped feed my faith:

Stories that build Your Faith

God’s Smuggler – Brother Andrew

The incredible true story of how a boy from Holland who dreamed of becoming an undercover spy against the German army that occupied his land during WWII, eventually became an undercover agent for God.  He spent decades smuggling Bibles into closed countries. In this book, he relates his adventures for God and the miraculous ways God provided for him no matter where he went.  A real page-turner and faith booster.

 

One Miracle After Another – Gregg Budd

The amazing true story of Pavel Goia who committed his life to God in communist Romania and the miracles God performed on his behalf when he chose to honor and obey God, no matter the cost to himself.  Inspiring and faith-affirming.

 

The next three books are more educational in nature but have touched my life profoundly this past year and helped me to grow and change.

Wisdom for Living the Christian Life

Change Your Words, Change Your Life – Joyce Meyer

I bought the Audible recording of 4 live presentations by Joyce Meyer on this topic

It concerns the words we habitually tell ourselves.  The words we use to speak to other people.  The words we use to talk about our experience with God.  And how those words have a profound effect on our own lives and the lives of those around us.

If you only pick one from this category, this would be the one. It is packed with life-transforming food for thought and only requires 4 hours of your time.

 

Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind  – Timothy R. Jennings, MD

Dr. Jennings is a Christian psychiatrist who was deeply disturbed that he could not provide his patients with true healing for their troubled minds and souls.  They struggled with issues like: feelings of worthlessness; low self-esteem; illegitimate guilt; the inability to forgive; bitterness and resentment; dependency; unhealthy relationship patterns.

These issues plague the minds of millions of people, including Christians.

In Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind Dr. Jennings shares his discovery of God’s original ideal for the mind and His beautiful plan to restore His children back into His image. He also exposes many of Satan’s subtle tactics that interfere with God’s plan to heal the mind and how you can cooperate with God to achieve emotional and mental well-being and gain real spiritual victory.

The first two chapters may leave you feeling a little out of your depth, not because of the vocabulary or the way he writes, but because it defines the psychological concept he basis the rest of the book on.  Stick with it because it lays the foundation. Once you lay the foundation, the rest of the book is easy to read, thought-provoking and very interesting.

His writing style is conversational and he mixes in real life experiences of clients that help you make applications.  If you take the time, you will not be disappointed.

 

It’s Not Your Turn: What To Do While You Are Waiting for Your Breakthrough – Heather Thompson Day

We all desire to see God use us in a powerful way to change the world we live in, change our generation, our circle of influence, or our family.  But often we grow frustrated because nothing is happening.  Heather proposes that it is because it isn’t your turn yet.  God is still working on you to make you into what he needs you to be in order to do what he has planned for you.

Heather is authentic and transparent as she helps you realize that when God has you waiting in the wings, it is because He is working on transforming you so that when your turn does come to be on stage, you are ready to shine for God’s glory and honor.   She gives pointers on how to take full advantage of the waiting time.

It’s a lot like Moses who thought he was ready to deliver the Israelites when he was 40, but God sent him off to herd sheep for 40 years.  The transformation that took place in Moses’ life during those 40 years is what enabled him to be used by God to deliver Israel and showcase His glory and power.

If you are wondering why God is not using you in a bigger way.  If you feel like it seems to be everyone’s turn but yours and you are frustrated, this book is for you.

 

And last but not least, I am always looking for solidly Christian books on marriage because no matter what is going on in our marriage, good or bad, we can always learn something to make it better.

Strengthen Your Marriage.

Boundaries in Marriage – Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

This book is incredible.  Biblically sound with concepts that may be new to you, or may just refresh and strengthen what you have already discovered.

Even if your marriage is good, this book can make it better.  And if your marriage is struggling, this book can help you take godly steps towards improving it. But you have to commit to reading it all the way through so you understand the full concept of what they are teaching.  Then, go back through and read it slowly and prayerfully to figure out how best to implement what you are learning in your marriage.

This is not a book about how to change your spouse.  It is meant to help you learn to make godly choices and set godly boundaries that enhance your ability to love your mate more fully and accept love more fully. It will help you determine what you have control over and what you don’t.

When you and your mate learn to respect each other’s needs, choices, and freedoms, then your marriage will flourish.

 

The Great Sex Rescue – Sheila Wray Gregoire

Yes!  I did dare to actually put a book about sex in my blog.

This book was refreshingly honest, open, and biblically sound.  Marital sex is not a subject that most Christians feel comfortable discussing which has resulted in a lot of misinformation for Christian couples.  Generations of women have grown up with messages about sex that make them feel dirty, used, or invisible, while men have been sold such a cheapened version of sex, they don’t know what they’re missing. The Great Sex Rescue seeks to change all that by developing a truly biblical view of sex where mutuality, intimacy, and passion reign.

 The Great Sex Rescue exposes the problematic teachings that wreck sex for so many couples and the biblically-based teachings that free couples to experience sex the way God intended.  After all, God created sex.  Therefore, He surely intended it to be good, wholesome, and affirming for women as well as men. Unfortunately, sin has derailed it.  This book seeks to get us back on the right track and moving in the right direction.

 

If you are interested in other books that I recommend for reading, check out my Resources page on my website by clicking here.

 

Now it’s your turn.  Have you read a good Christian book lately that you would highly recommend?  Tell us about it in the comments.  I am always looking for my next good read.

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