Great Reads

Again, time to update! Here are a few I’ve read in the last year.

Unquenchable by Carol Kent

Carol has once again delivered a powerful book challenging shallow faith and calling us to live the unquenchable fire of the Spirit within.

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin

This is a hard read; don’t say I didn’t warn you. The agony of loss and destruction, rejection of the gospel, and persecution of the underground church cause Ripkin to ask the same questions many of us have grappled with, “Why does an all-powerful God allow such suffering? Where is he when it hurts? Why doesn’t he intervene?” Ripkins search for God takes him on a grueling journey of conviction and grief, joy and discovery. You won’t want to miss it!

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza

OK, I admit, this is another tough read. But powerful. Really powerful. Immaculee’s trust in God no matter what, and the power to forgive because of God’s work in her life, make this a must read!


It is well-beyond time for this page to be updated. I am adding several new “favorites” to the list, but my “old” favorites are still listed near the bottom because they are timeless, powerful, and rich reads.

Some of the books I have read recently and loved are:

How People Change By Paul D. Tripp

I am working through this book together with a good friend. It is challenging and encouraging–a timely reminder that God works change in our lives as we yield to Him. The process is never static, but it does take TIME.

Unquenchable by Carol Kent

This is the fourth book I have read of Carol’s and I love every one. For one thing, she is an outstanding writer, with a winsome, honest, and simple style that makes me feel like I’ve just had a nice long conversation with her. Carol’s deep insights into the fire of God’s faithfulness in our lives is at once beautiful and challenging.

Remember Me

The Breath of Peace by Penelope Wilcock

These are sequels in the Hawk and the Dove Trilogy. Powerfully written these books drive me to know God better and love others with purposeful intensity.

The Hawk and the Dove trilogy

The Hardest thing to Do

The Hour Before Dawn

This series by Penelope Wilcock although historical fiction, inspires me to know God more deeply.  The stories follows the lives of several monks in the Middle Ages in England. Though time and place, culture, and technology separate us, I have experienced a keen identity with these men. Their struggles with love, forgiveness, devotion, and trauma are exquisite reminders of our own humanity. But the common thread that draws me into their lives and keeps me reading, is the amazing faithfulness of our Lord. His light and glory shine through  illuminating the story of my life with His truth.

When I lay my Isaac Down

by Carol Kent

Carol shares the tragic story of her son’s conviction for first degree murder in FL after shooting a man in a restaurant parking lot. Understandably their lives changed forever the night they received a desperate phone call alerting them to the situation. Carol’s story of God’s sustaining grace, and compassion in the midst of their grief is beautiful. The pain the experience every day is real, and raw, and constant. But God is with them in that grief and the Kents are precious testimonies of His presence. Carol has also written two follow-up books– A New Kind of Normal and Between a Rock and a Grace Place. I have read them both and found them very thought provoking as well.

Shattered Dreams

by Larry Crabb

This book is not an easy read because it is so blunt. However, God used it powerfully in my life to show me that my agenda, my plans, even my definition and idea on issues such as suffering are not necessarily the same as Gods. And He’s the one that’s right! Larry talks very bluntly about the raw emotions that often lead us to wonder if God is present at all in our suffering. He discusses our tendencies to blame God, question His goodness, and seek comforts elsewhere when He doesn’t provide what we’re looking for. Reading this book was a real wake-up call for me.

A Grace Disguised

by Jerry Sittser

Sittser experienced an excruciating tragedy when a drunk driver hit his car head on, taking the life of his wife, mother, and four year old daughter. His story is precious and powerful, because in the midst of indescribable sadness, he found a capacity to desire God, and seek God more passionately than ever before. This book was almost suffocating in its sadness. But I felt like it was a therapeutic sadness for me. It reminded me that pain and suffering may seem random to us, but God uses that randomness to create a mosaic of beauty in our lives.

Don’t Waste Your Life

by John Piper

First of all, for you theologians out there, let me just say up front that I am not reformed. However, I find great soul food in Piper’s books. So while we may not agree on everything, I do read and ruminate on his material regularly. This book is small but powerful. Joel and I read it together before he was sentenced. We were seriously challenged by his message. It compelled us to passionately pursue God.

I will be adding more books to this list. Hope you have the chance to check these out. They’ve really meant a lot to me.

I promised to add some more books to this list…Here are a couple more that have been insightful.

Choosing to See

by Mary Beth Chapman

This book, written by the wife of Steven C. Chapman, after the tragic death of their five year old daughter was a beautiful reminder of how God holds us in the middle of our worst nightmares. Her story of faith, pain, and the amazing support of the body of Christ really spoke to me. The great thing about this book, is that she clearly has a wonderful sense of humor, so your emotions will run the gamut from side splitting gales of laughter to hiccuping sobs.

Your God is too Safe

by Mark Buchanan

This book was a great challenge to me. The idea that many of us spend our Christian lives in what he calls “borderland” because we are fearful of the “wild frontier” is sobering. It really brought to my mind a great quote from C.S. Lewis’s book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When one of the children asks if the Lion (Aslan) is safe, the reply is, “Safe! Whoever said anything about safe? He’s not safe. But He’s good.” This book is about learning and applying that concept. Safe and Good are not one and the same. God is good always–He just is not the kind of safe that we like to imagine.

One Thousand Gifts

By Ann Voskamp

Ann’s writing style is more poetry than prose. Her way of weaving deep spiritual truths into daily life is compelling, and challenge to allow thankfulness to shape our thinking and attitudes, is timely and powerful. I found myself identifying with her struggles and her discoveries. This book is both honest and rich. It made me want to pursue God harder, love Him more, and forsake all other cisterns.

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