The Book Shelf

As a child I remember staying up all night when I was “sick” to read Treasure Island. I have fond memories of my father falling asleep reading me Dr. Seuss before bed. As a teenager you could find me lost in adventure on a beanbag at the library. Somewhere in college I started reading more for work and less for fun, but I still continued to find the occasional book to read “just because”.

Reading has always been a large part of my life (as well as my husbands, he reads more than me currently). It is something that the next generation does not seem to value or know the excitement of as much as we did as children. The world is at our fingertips with the internet, TV, cell phones, etc. Yet, there is something about reading a book that seems to stimulate the brain in a greater way. Knowledge is power, and who are we to deny ourselves of the powerful knowledge of books.

Read. Challenge yourself. Have an adventure.

Here are some books I have read and recommend:

Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson

This book is probably the #1 most needed book to be read by people who are in any type of church ministry. She takes us through some of her own struggles as well as those of men and women in real churches today. It is the raw truth behind some of the issues that everyone in ministry faces, yet most are either afraid to admit it, or do not see it because of misconception of what ministers are supposed to be. For me it helped to see that there is hope out there for those who have burnt out, and there are boundaries and thought patterns to put into place for those who have not yet burnt out. I would highly recommend for anyone who is in church ministry, is going into church ministry, or has burnt out. (and that’s not just pastors, but volunteers too). In fact I’m about to mail this book to a Children’s Pastor friend of mine.

Day of War by Cliff Gram (Lion of War Series)

A book that a friend of mine sent my way. It feed the adventure side of my personality. The basis of the story line is David’s Mighty Men. An up close and personal look at their lives, faith, and fears and they go to war and a people are divided. Obviously it is fiction, but gives a thought provoking view on how life must have been for them. I still have not finished this book, but I do like what I have read so far.

Forbidden by Ted Dekker (The Book of Mortals)

I am currently reading this book through Kindle (I have a free app on my phone and computer). I have not gotten as far into the book as I would have liked, but it sucks me in when I do have time to sit down and read. I am personally a huge fan of Ted Dekker’s writing and have read quite a few of his books. They have a mystery/thriller feel with giant twists and deep plots. I like the idea portrayed in this book that people eventually do away with every emotion except fear and no longer truly live, until one day a young man finds a secret that he never wanted to know and drinks from a vial that gives him emotions and feelings back. Now he is weaved into a fate that is greater than he ever imagined… and I still have to find out what happens in the end.

Just Enough Light for the Step I’m on & Stormie (a story of forgiveness and healing) by Stormie Omartian

When I was 18 or 19 a young woman at my church gave me this book before she went overseas as a missionary. It spoke to me in places I did not even realize I needed healing in my life. In the book Stormie takes you through her life story. Pain. Healing. More pain. Forgiveness. Struggling with being abused. Struggling with becoming an abuser. I recommend this book to anyone who was ever verbally or emotionally abused by their mother. I spoke to many of my hurts and fears that I had being someone who was abused by their mother emotionally, verbally, and sometime physically. The second half of the book is a great devotional.

Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

I just received this book in the mail from a friend who had it sitting around in their house. I have read it before, but am excited to read it again and absorb even more. Recently I read a portion of what Stasi says in this book to a woman who was questioning her spiritual significance in this world. It was a powerful moment to read her exactly what that was through tears streaming down my face. Everything I have read from the Eldredges is amazing. This book is definitely one that ever woman needs to read as they ask God to reveal to them their role as a woman. It can powerfully change the way you think and carry yourself in every area of life.

Alicia Britt Chole

I have personally read and gleaned so much wisdom from “Anonymous” and “Pure Joy”. Anonymous walks you through the hidden years of Jesus. Everyone goes through times when they feel they are not seen or of use to anyone. In those times we are being prepared for when we are in the spotlight. They can be wonderful times, not just inactive and non useful. Pure Joy is a simple devotional with amazing wisdom to apply to your daily life. This once atheist has a unique preservative and is an amazing speaker and woman. I have heard her speak at a woman’s conference and was able to spend some time with her personally. Her peaceful passion is a rare and beautiful thing.

God Chasers By Tommy Tenney

A friend tapped me on the shoulder, “Are you ok?”. Tears streamed down my face as I had finished the first few chapters of this book. It had shaken my soul. It had moved me deep in my Spirit. Something awakened. It was indescribable. This book will remind you of the hungry you once had, or make you desire the hunger you never experienced.

The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger

I started to read this book one day while killing time in Barnes & Noble, and loved what I read. She emphases the view that is not often seen today when it comes to men and relationships. So many times media and society see men as unimportant and easy to “train” and run over. Unfortunately women often do not see them with eyes of respect and consideration. If you find yourself looking down on men, wanting to change your man, or falling into society’s cliche bashing for men then read this book. Let it change your mindsets and free you from being the woman that brings men down and allows your to speak life into them.

Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

This study of the Titus 2 woman is relevant to both married and single ladies. A group of my friends are reading it together as a study (there are discusion questions in the back). As I read through the first few chapters I wondered, “Where was this book as I was going through my first year of marriage?”. One that you will want to read before you jump into married life.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Beautifully written from a humble view. A dare to live fully, right where you are. It challanged my mindsets and heart’s motives. There are times I could hardly finish a chapter because I needed to stop and ponder what I had just read.

Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

I love the variety in Dekker’s writing styles. In this book he pairs with Erin Healy (they also wrote “Kiss” together, another excellent read) to write a simple to follow, yet unexpected twist of a tale. Lately I’ve been too busy and mentally exhausted to read anything with too complex of a story line. This was just the book I needed. It deals with a woman who has to live with a choice she made and face the darker parts of herself and her past.

The Cleric’s Vault by Ernest Dempsey

A great mystery adventure read. Very well written and keeps you intrigued. The main charter discovers a power that if allowed into the wrong hands could alter the course of the world.

Saint by Ted Dekker

I’ve been on a Dekker kick lately. He is one of my favorite writers. Saint is an assassin who is able to do nearly the impossible because of his training, or so he thinks. When he is sent to New York for his first official mission- to kill the president- he begins to question his identity and abilities. Definitely will keep you wanting to read one more chapter and looking inside yourself to ask questions too.

Cesar’s Way by Cesar Millan

I read this book to help me better understand our hyper, smart, slightly obnoxious Dalmatian. Some of his ideas are far fetched, and some are not doable for the average person. I DID however learn a lot about myself, my dog, and how to better our relationship and his behavior.

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

I just started reading this book. The first chapter had me applauding and contemplating. He has some very good points and a refreshing view.

Take Flight by Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan

A devotion book for women. Great for a group study or personal devotions. There are scriptures with each section and a place for reflection. It breaks down everyday life in Biblical application. I enjoyed reading this one.

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