Books Worth Reading and Re-reading


Just like so many of you, I am always reading something- a book or two or five. I love reading posts about what other people are reading and why, so here’s a list of what’s currently on the front of my bookshelf and a couple of Scriptures about why I love to read so much:

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” – Proverbs 28:26

“Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her – believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go – she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.” – Proverbs 4

Here are a few resources in print that have meant so much to me recently that I’ve been going back to re-read what I underlined and digging into new portions to underline more:

  • The Message by Eugene Peterson – I love to read all versions of God’s Word, but this paraphrase version has been in my bag for a couple of years now as it’s the one I think most prepares me to speak scripture into the lives of people today.
  • Healing the Sick by TL Osborn – This book literally turned my theology upside down about 7 years ago when we were living in Sydney while my husband studied at Hillsong International Leadership College. In all my days I have never been challenged so much, nor have I walked away from another book that has so become a part of who I am apart from God’s Word and this book. It is full of scripture, and God really has used this to change me. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to learn from this one.
  • Scriptures and Meditations for Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen – Okay, before you close the window at this choice, let me tell you that I very rarely pick up a book that millions of people find amazing. Normally, I get as far away from those as I can and look for something that is more organic and hard to find. However, this past summer I was stuck at a friend’s house while our camper was being repaired, and we could not drive to a book store or a library, so I was limited by what she had on her shelves. This little book caught my attention, and I started to read through it, only to be blown away at how many of the principles written about were within my heart already. Throughout the week and a half that I spent in this book, the Lord spoke so much life into the dreams He had planted in me so many years ago. I will forever be thankful for this one, and I pray it will be used in the same way or better for you!
  • The Love Revolution by Joyce Myer – I just thought I was walking in love for others before I read this book. I am so thankful to my friend and her Bible Study group who shared the resource and helped me process this book, and I am still learning from this valuable resource.
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – I read this novel aloud to my first newborn baby when he was just a few weeks old, and it was really a pivotal moment for me. I was all of 23 years old, spending 30 minutes out of every two hours nursing my new baby, and honestly struggling just to remember my name those first few weeks. Somewhere along the way a beautiful older mother had told me that if you read to your baby aloud – it doesn’t matter what it is – it will soothe him and help his brain develop, and I was trying anything just to get my baby not to cry. I don’t remember purchasing this book, and I don’t know where it came from, but when I got through the first few chapters I realized that it was a secular, outside view of a missionary family, and I was intrigued. Having felt like I was meant to be a missionary since I was 16 years old, I had never thought about what the outside world might think about missionaries, and this book was the start of something really amazing the Lord was speaking to me. I truly believe that it’s because of this book (and several other words from the Lord) that I am so committed to being the same person on the stage as I am off the stage. This transparency can be annoying at times, but I believe it’s key if we are going to be able to share Jesus with anyone, especially our own families.
  • How to Stop the Pain by James Richards – Last year I went through an extremely painful experience with a coworker, and I found myself second-guessing everything I did or said when I was around other people. As someone who often cannot help but lead, teach, and speak, this became a huge stumbling block for me, and there were times when I felt like I might never be able to step out in confidence again. Then a dear friend recommended this book to me, and my life was forever changed. Through the words on these pages, the Lord spoke life back into my soul, and He confirmed His promises to me. I gained so much freedom from just realizing that the actions of other people have nothing to do with me, and when someone hurts me either intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn’t say anything about my worth, but it does mean that they are in need themselves. I could never do it justice here, but I will say that through this resource I have discovered the difference between feedback for my good and abuse for my demise, and that the first one requires my attention while the second requires my letting go.
  • The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer – I bought this lengthy book when I was a freshman in college, and I did not finish it until 4 years later. By it I was so empowered to pray in a new way, that I had to include it here.
  • I’ll Have What She’s Having by Bobbie Houston – This woman has so deeply impacted my life, and this book only represents a small part of that. Over the past 7 years I have submitted myself to her teaching, and by it I have been equipped to step into what God has called me to. I am truly enjoying re-reading this book again these days, so I’ve included it here, but don’t be surprised to see other resources from Pastor Bobbie Houston in other sections of this website.
  • The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian – Eleven years ago, just a few nights after I became engaged, I stopped by the bookstore and bought this book. I was so blown away that I stayed up most of the night reading it and spent the next week with my nose buried in every inch of this book. Still, to this day, I will pull it out for a shot of adrenaline into my marriage, and it has never failed to deliver.
  • The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian – Having been so impacted by her previous book, I bought this one believing it would help me have the words to pray over my children, and it certainly has.
  • Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud – I am actually in the middle of reading this for the first time as part of a book discussion with my coworkers at the nonprofit I have been working with for the past several years, and I can already tell that it has a lot of wisdom for those of us who have a hard time letting go when it’s time to step into a new season. For me, the Lord is using this book to confirm that I’ve made the right decision to step out of full-time employment and into full-time ministry, travel and homeschooling.
  • Sidewalk by Mitchell Duneier – Sometime during my junior year of college, I changed my major to Sociology on a whim, and it was one of the best hasty decisions of my life. This is one of the first books we studied, and it opened my eyes to the realities that people who are homeless must face daily. If you’ve ever thought that you could just never be like “them,” you might want to give this one a read.
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning – Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat up, and Burnt Out – amen! This book was a wake-up call for me about 13 years ago, and I’m happy to say that through it (and several other words of wisdom), God set me free from my legalistic, Pharisee ways quite a few times.
  • Shadow Boxing by Henry Malone – If you have ever felt like you were in a losing battle of spiritual warfare and you needed a way to equip yourself with a strategy to grab hold of the victory Jesus bought for you, then this book is definitely for you. I’ll have to describe for you the deliverance that I experienced in another post, but for now, you can know that this book was a major part of that deliverance and a new life of freedom for me.
  • Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis – Just after Christmas last year I was feeling blue, so I dragged my kids to the bookstore and decided to treat myself to a new resource, and I’m so thankful it was this book. Through this woman’s story, I believe the Lord can encourage and ignite anyone to go after all that God has for them. I have read it and shared it with so many friends, and I’m not finished – it’s still on the itty bitty cubby beside my Airstream bed, and I’ll keep sharing this and other resources, believing in what can happen when EVERY one of God’s children are activated and on mission.
  • My Seventh Monsoon by Naomi Reed – As we were preparing to leave Australia to return to the States in 2008, a beautiful Aussie friend of mine gifted me this book, and I cannot begin to describe how much it encouraged me. Life really is about seasons, and sometimes the season is easy, sometimes it is difficult, sometimes it is exciting, and sometimes it is full of the mundane. However, through it all, God has a purpose for what you’re going through, and if you keep the course, He is working it all toward what He’s called you to do and be. That is what this book has taught me – quite a few times now.
  • The Shack by Wm Paul Young –  In my opinion this book is one that will broaden the horizons of even the most open-minded person. I’ve read it multiple times, and I plan to read it several more in my lifetime. Needless to say, this is one book I don’t plan to give away. I love the way the author describes God as so many different personalities with so many different tastes, and although my heart is ripped out each time I read it by the tragedy in the first few chapters, my soul is stretched by every single page. Rarely can I say that a book changes me every time I read it, but that is the only way to describe The Shack. If you give it a try, persevere through the first painful chapters – you’ll see why in the end.

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