What follows is a brief list, with minimal reviews, of several books that really stir my heart – some challenging, some encouraging, some doing both at the same time. Hopefully, your interest will be piqued, you will read one of my recommendations, and will find yourself changed, as I have.
Biography – My favorite biographies are mission-oriented. It happens that way because the nations are in my heart! 🙂
- Love Has a Face, by Michelle Perry – Because of a deep desire to fulfill God’s call on her life, this single young woman – born without her left hip and leg – heads to Sudan and begins a home for orphaned children in guerrilla warfare territory. Through her story, “the love walk of Christ” became reality for me. It’s a must-read!
- There’s a Sheep in My Bathtub, by Brian Hogan – A modern-day story of a family sent by God to be among the first church planters in Mongolia after the fall of communism. In the midst of humor is real living (and painful growing) in the Spirit, personally and corporately, helping bring needed change to mission theology.
- Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun – The final words of Xu Yongze in the Preface say it best: “I have read this book with a heart of gratitude to God and sincerely recommend it as a true testimony of the great things God has done in China’s church.”
Christian Living – All the listed biographies fit this category.
- Forever Ruined for the Ordinary, by Joy Dawson – As the title implies, when you begin to recognize Holy Spirit in the simplicity of everyday living, and begin to follow His direction, you are ruined for the ordinary Christian life – forever! The author uses personal examples and Scripture to make clear the exciting life we can have in Christ.
- Making Jesus Lord, by Loren Cunningham – Through the author’s personal life stories and the lessons he learned from them, you will be challenged to allow Jesus to be Lord in all parts of your life; for example, responding to people and situations as the Spirit of Christ would – which is always the opposite of the spirit of the world.
- the Love Revolution, by Joyce Meyer – not just another nice book about the love of God. This one is all about practical living in God’s love – what it looks like in everyday situations and in special outreaches. Besides that, you run into statements such as this one from Pastor Tommy Barnett: “The amount of love you have is directly influenced by how much love you give. . .” I was challenged and enlarged throughout.
Prayer – First, a warning: Do not allow condemnation to have an inroad as you read these books by comparing yourself to the authors or the people they tell about. Glean from what they share, and let Holy Spirit show you what fits you and what doesn’t. (This warning is from personal experience!)
- Authority in Prayer, by Dutch Sheets – We have been given all authority in Christ to bring His kingdom to earth, but our prayers don’t often reflect or affect this. In very clear and personal illustrations and teaching, Dutch Sheets helps me see not only that I have been given this authority, but how to pray with it – and it has made a difference!
- Rees Howells Intercessor, by Norman Grubbs – Yes, this is a biography, but of a man who lived a life of prayer and intercession, with many lessons along the way. I’ve read this a few times, and am always awed by a life so given to the Spirit and prayer. It challenges me to give up more of me so there will be more of Him in my life of prayer.
- The Happy Intercessor, by Beni Johnson – Do you think of people who call themselves intercessors as intense, serious, unsmiling, etc.? This book pulls back the blinds on that lie and reveals the joy of working with Holy Spirit in prayer, even though the situation may be serious, because “we can pray from victory – not for victory.”
Christian Fiction –
- The Shack, William Paul Young – I do re-read good fiction from time to time, but this one was within two weeks of the first reading! The author has such an amazing personal revelation of our Father and His love, and has put it into a very readable story so that we, too, might grasp His love for us. Light bulbs turned on for me in many unexpected areas as I read this “fictional” tale. The result from this book – Freedom in Christ!
- Tides of Truth series, by Robert Winslow – Every one of his books are among my favorite novels! (See below for the titles.) In going through real-life situations, the various characters cause me to reconsider my own life, beliefs, attitudes, and actions – in a needed way. I get lost in the reading of these books, and emerge a stronger follower of Christ.
- Blessed Child, by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright – I have lost track of how many times I’ve read this book, or how many times I have lent it to others. Every time I read it again, I’m profoundly touched in a different area – from the purity of worship and relationship this young child has with Jesus, to the amazing grace and mercy of God when we choose the way of our flesh, and more . . .
All Robert Winslow titles:
Tides of Truth series (in order): Deeper Water; Higher Hope; Greater Love
Santee series: Life Support; Life Everlasting
Single titles: Jimmy; Mountain Top; The Trial; The Sacrifice; The List