Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Books

Just a little preview - I am planning to start a giveaway later this week. Stop back by on Thursday, or better yet, follow the blog on either Facebook or enter your email in the right sidebar to receive the posts right in your inbox.

Many Little Blessings has decided to host a top ten link up and I thought it would be great to join in the fun (and to see what the other top ten lists will be).

This week, my Top Ten list will be {drumroll please}...

the Top Ten Books I Recommend

note: I love books. I love to read a book and come across something so profound or heart touching that I pull the book close, take a deep breath, give the book a hug and say, "Thank You, Lord for this author".

1. the Bible. Period. It is God's Word and when you read it, you are close to Him. God describes His Word in the book of Hebrews as:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. {Hebrews 4:12}

Who wouldn't want to read THAT every single day?!

2. Pilgrim's Progress. I love this book. It is such a great analogy of my own walk with Christ (and most likely yours as well). I loved every single chapter, well, except one, but you'll have to figure out which chapter that is for yourself. Here is a hint: it has to do with Faithful in the town of Vanity.

3. The Little Pilgrim's Progress. This is just as wonderful as the adult version, but it has the added bonus of being able to share it with your children. I read it to my daughter when she was 5 and now that she is so big (she is 6), she has read it 3 times on her own. She loves this book as much as I do. I think her favorite part was when she realized there was an entire section for Christiana (smile).

4. Holiness. C.J. Mahaney (in a different (but also great) book, 'Humility') suggests that in order to develop a humble spirit, one key thing we must do is meditate and focus on God's characteristics that are different than our own. This is how we prevent ourselves from creating our own image of God that resembles a pocket-sized genie to whom we turn when we need or want something. The book, Holiness, will help anyone put God into perspective. God is awesome and He is so much greater than we can even imagine. He is Holy, and not because He meets a standard. Holy is His Name. He sets the bar - and we fall SO SHORT!

5. Crazy Love. I have to confess that I did not read this book, but listened to the audio version (which was fantastic!). This book has you look at your relationship with Jesus (it is supposed to be a relationship) and basically examine how committed you are to Him. Do you love Jesus the way should? I mean, He did die for you and save your soul from eternal damnation. One powerful statement that Francis Chan says refers to the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. Chan says, "do not assume you are good soil". Pow! That is powerful! Most people assume they are Christians because of something they did/do but they do not show the fruit of the life changing gospel. There should be a change if you are in fact 'good soil'. There should be evidence that you love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. I had better stop before I write my own book. But I definitely recommend getting a copy for yourself.

6.  Same Kind of Different as Me. This is a fabulous true story about two men whose lives intersect at a homeless mission in Texas. One man is married to a woman who is serving in the mission and the other man is homeless and is receiving help from the mission. God works in a big way in both men's lives and it is such a heart touching story to read. Grab the tissues though. There is a part of the book that would even make Rocky weep.

7. Under the Overpass. A couple of guys (who did not know each other prior to this adventure) decided to live life on the streets. They put some stuff in their backpacks and set off to live homeless in 6 different cities, spending one month in each city. The people and situations they encounter are eye-opening for sure! One thing that stood out to me is how they were received (stinky, raggedy and everything else that goes with being homeless) at different churches along the way. Take a few minutes and think how you might react if a couple of homeless guys showed up at your church services on Sunday morning. Would they be accepted, ignored or even worse - asked to leave?

8. The Excellent Wife / Exemplary Husband. If you are married, engaged or hoping to get married sometime in your lifetime, these companion books are essential. The culture around us paints a completely different picture of what a wife should be/do than the Bible. The only way for your marriage to glorify God is to follow His design for biblical womanhood (or manhood if your husband is reading the Exemplary Husband). The Excellent Wife is a book I could read every year from now until I am 90 and learn something new each time. It is full of scripture and real life examples that just convict (and warm) my heart.

9. Shepherding a Child's Heart. This book talks about how disciplining our children is more than behavior modification. We need to look into the deeper heart issues and help them to mature their walk with the Lord (or to seek Him if they have not accepted Jesus as their Savior yet). We need to help point out the actual sin problem and that we are all failures without Christ. We need to seek Him for our salvation and for everyday forgiveness, grace and strength.

10. Love and Respect. This is one of the first books on biblical marriage that I read that truly convicted my heart. This book points out that women long to be loved (which we all know with the millions of sappy romantic movies available), but that to an equal or even greater degree, a man longs to be respected. Most men would rather be respected by their wives than loved (and as a woman, that doesn't make sense to me, but I believe it because my husband totally agrees). This book points out that a wife saying a man must "earn her respect" is the exact same things as the husband saying a woman must "earn his love". We don't want that, right? We want our husbands to love us for who we are.  Then why do we say that our husbands must earn our respect? We need to respect them for who God created them to be. They are not perfect, and neither are we {shocker!} - but we are perfect for each other.  Marriage was designed to make us holy, not happy.


  1. we loved reading Love and Respect! :) great list of books! especially #1 :)

  2. I put a few of these books on my list. Some I have already read. :)

  3. Looks like some good books to add to my to read pile. I loved Crazy Love, and want to read his other two books soon. :)

  4. I am hoping to read Crazy Love sometime soon. And I read The Excellent Wife, but I did find the author just a tad legalistic - assuming all glitches faced by busy wives is a result of sin on the wife's part. I would issue a caveat for those in particularly difficult situations, that some of her thoughts are not normative on the matter. I agree - at times things fall apart because of our sinful choices, however, there are people in abusive and strained/unhealthy relationships where this advice would not apply, and I wouldn't want a vulnerable young wife to read it and flounder.

    1. @Sarah - I would agree that there are special circumstances but I believe that our God is powerful enough to still use that book for His Glory even in a difficult marriage. I know one particular person that I lended the book to read it and enjoyed it, even though she is in a very difficult marriage. We are only responsible for our part of the marriage, but we are responsible 100% for our part. In my own case, most of the difficulties we face are direct sin issues and I am very thankful for the guidance I received from Martha Peace and the conviction of the Holy Spirit as I am "caught in the act". But I am also thankful for the grace and forgiveness I find each day through Jesus and I can start new each day.

  5. I am so glad that you guys liked the list! If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


I love to hear from my readers so if you are thinking something that is beneficial and profitable (which does not mean you have to agree with me, but at least be nice), then I would love to hear from you!