Arranged alphabetically by author, I am posting the titles of books as I read them, along with a short review as I complete them.
Table of Contents
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Blight on several occasions and hearing her speak. She’s an amazing woman of God and I know her faith is tremendous — she’s the kind of prayer warrior that I aspire to be! But I didn’t know her story. Wow. Wendy has endured a horrific event in her life and in her book, she shares the journey. The ups and downs of how she fought painful memories and how she eventually allowed God to transform her heart in the process.
I read Mark Bubeck’s books out of order. This book actually came out before his book, “Warfare Praying.” But in truth — I don’t feel that I messed things up by going out order. I won’t lie though — Mark Bubeck’s books are not for sissies. For many Christians, myself included, the idea of demonic influence is terrifying. But Mark, through Scripture, takes the reader to a better understanding of how equipped and protected we really are. The enemy is formidable, make no mistake. But when we embrace the tools and resources Jesus has given us, we have His power. “The Adversary” has many powerful truths that Christians need to know. Living our lives with our heads in the sand doesn’t help. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not — as Christians, we are at war. And our only defense is found in the The Word.
I saw this book at She Speaks in the event bookstore and picked it up, then put it down. “I don’t need another book — my reading list is a mile long.” But I literally couldn’t walk away from it. I felt an overwhelming need to buy it. And the next day, in one of the sessions I attended, I met the author’s daughter (she was the presenter). I told her about how I had felt so compelled to buy the book. The title says it all — this book is for prayer warriors. The author, the late Mark Bubeck, shared real-life examples of the power of prayer. The book is full of references to the verses we can claim in order to pray powerful prayers that are strengthened by the whole Armor of God. I was about halfway through when I ordered his other book, “The Adversary” on Amazon. It’s the next book on my reading list! I’m grateful for a book like this because it’s a tool filled with practical application strategies by a man who clearly lived his life for God… A man who clearly embraced a strong, bold, and confident prayer life.
I’m very picky about what I read and it’s because of books like this. I am going to be honest — I can’t even read the whole book. I’ve read the first part and spot-read / heavily skimmed. Beyond the confusing way the book is set up and the fact that it is just poorly written, my main concern is how little emphasis is placed on the need to be a born again believer in Jesus Christ in order to experience the joy of Heaven. I cannot believe that Lee Strobel, someone I respect, recommended it. I trusted his review that this book was Scripturally sound. But there’s a difference between using a lot of Scripture and using Scripture correctly. The book includes stories of people who have had near death experiences of Heaven and yet claimed no belief in God during their life. That’s not Biblical. I find this especially concerning since the book was written by a pastor. I even looked up this man’s church and read their Statement of Faith. I can’t believe his own church didn’t call him out because the Bible is clear — Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). So to sum up — my copy is going in the garbage. I’d regret wasting my money but it was only $0.75 at the used bookstore.
What can I say? If I know there’s going to be a movie coming out based on a book, I generally try to read the book first. “I Still Believe” is an autobiography by Christian-singer Jeremy Camp. The book details some of the challenges he’s faced in his life, namely the relationship he had with his first wife, Melissa. It’s a beautiful story of faith through heartbreak and loss and choosing to trust God even when we don’t understand why he allows us to go through valleys of grief and pain.
I heard Whitney Capps speak at the first She Speaks Conference I attended in 2017 and she absolutely blew me away. She is a passionate Jesus-girl and her message has stayed with me ever since. I was thrilled when I learned she had written a book, and after I read it, I felt like I’d just had a very open and raw conversation with a friend. Whitney has pinpointed a lot of the common issues that make us look inward and challenged us redirect our focus up. We are on a sanctification journey. We’re not supposed to have it all figured out this side of heaven, but we can embrace the process of letting God mold us to be more and more like Jesus.
Besides the Bible, this may very well be the most powerful book I’ve ever read. Author Francis Chan challenges the reader to break the habit of trying to confine God to our own understanding and realize that we owe Him nothing… He is bigger than our imaginations can conceive, and yet — He longs for a personal relationship with each of us.
This was the first book I ever read by Francis Chan, and I thoroughly loved it. It is a great book to explain the power of the Holy Spirit as He resides in believers. The author spends time exploring Scripture that helps us better understand the role the Holy Spirit has in the life of the believer.
I am turning into a big fan of Francis Chan’s writing not only because it’s good writing – but because he 1) writes Biblical truth and 2) his writing feels like he’s having a conversation with you. “Letters to the Church” is a challenge to the modern church to revisit their current models and compare them to the model set for us in the Bible… to realize that church isn’t about what we can do for the congregation, but training the congregation about how we can serve the world. A powerful book, this one is a great read for anyone in church leadership or who is looking to follow the Biblical calling to “be the church.”
What does it mean to be a backslider? I was fresh off my prodigal journey when I read “The Way of the Master,” so it’s ben a few years. But this book was profoundly impactful for me. I was the backslider he spoke of, but by God’s grace — I am spiritually alive and in a relationship with my Heavenly Father today. But what causes backsliding to happen? It doesn’t happen overnight, but often — the root of the problem is because of poor evangelism. This book looks at true, Biblical evangelism. It’s not watered down, but it’s straightforward with kindness — just as Jesus modeled. So many churches are singularly focused on the message that God is love, that they forget to preach that God is just. He is both and to embrace one and ignore the other is a big problem. Especially when we sell Christianity like a cure all for all of life’s problems. In order to be a Christian — we have to understand the depravity of our own sin. We have to see it for the ugliness it is and admit our brokenness and desperate need for a Savior. That’s how we fully appreciate grace — and God’s love. This book shows the reader how to evangelize with honesty and help lead people to the Truth of Jesus Christ.
A 20-chapter book that profiles men and women of the faith, this book is designed to help the reader learn from the lives of others. However, despite some powerful truths, it was a difficult book to read. The writing is very academic and the phraseology is a little archaic to a modern reader. Other than two of the 20 testimonies, I didn’t know who any of these people were, yet the author seems to assume the reader has some degree of familiarity with the names. I had to Google all the names to know who they were and when they lived. I’m glad I read it, but probably wouldn’t read it a second time.
“Keep Showing Up” will publish on February 26th and is going to be a lifeline for many frustrated women who are ready to give up on their vows. A Christian perspective on marriage, the author encourages the reader to look at marriage — and themselves — from a Biblical point of view. It’s not about us as wives, or about changing our husbands… it’s about letting God change us through our marriage. A great read for any woman no matter what season of marriage… and honestly, I think it’s a great book for single women too. I found several takeaways that will benefit me in other situations! Karen’s writing style is funny and relatable. She is totally transparent and in the process, gently applies wisdom and experience to the common frustrations that come with married life.
This is possibly one of my favorite Christian application books I’ve ever read and the tagline is nothing short of genius — “other-centered living in a self-centered world.” If you want to learn how to show the love of Jesus to others and be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world — read “Listen Love Repeat.”
I was honestly terrified of this book. It’s a heavy topic — prayer. And then you add the word “Dangerous” to the title and it’s no joke. This book will jar your prayer life. It’s going to challenge you and make you take a long, hard look at the way you approach prayer. It’s a call to action kind of book and one that will definitely challenge you to pray with more boldness and confidence than you can imagine.
I had the opportunity to hear Chris Hodges speak at the 2017 She Speaks conference and found him to be a great, engaging, Biblically-minded teacher. At the conference, we were all given advance copies of his book, “The Daniel Dilemma” and it only took me two years to get to it. The book’s tagline is “How to stand firm and love well in a culture of compromise.” This is a book that any Christian needs to read. The author spent time explaining different situations Daniel faced and how he maintained his faith in the face of adversity. The author used those stories, as well as the stories of Jesus, to parallel situations we face today. As sin is embraced more every day and the world becomes more jaded to the Truth of God’s word — “The Daniel Dilemma” gives the reader an opportunity to truly explore the question, “What would Jesus do?” and helps guide and direct to Biblical solutions.
In a world that tells us to “be ourselves” and “find ourselves,” the truth is — we’re already defined. While many look to self-help books to explain themselves to themselves, all the answers are in Scripture. And specifically, this book is a deep dive study in the book of Ephesians. The authors’ do a brilliant job of explaining how to find our identify in Christ through His Word. And from there — we can learn about our value in His eyes and about our relationships — with Him and with others.
If you’ve seen the movie “War Room” and wanted to implement prayer strategies as depicted in this powerful Christian film, then here you go. Written by the director / producers of “War Room,” this book outlines every possible question you may have about how to pray. It’s a powerhouse of a tool for any believer, so much so that I plan to take my copy to FedEx Office and have the spine cut off and turn the book into a spiral bound book for quick access. There is so much wisdom and insight – it’s a great resource for new and not-so-new believers in Jesus Christ.
Without question, Greg Laurie is my favorite pastor. I wish the commute between North Carolina and California weren’t so great — we’d definitely be members of his church. I have listened to enough of his sermons to know that he had a difficult childhood, but to read his biography is to get a front-row seat to the magnificence of God’s grace and His ability to bring beauty from ashes. For anyone who enjoys biographies, this is a great read. For anyone who enjoys reading about radically changed lives — it’s a must-read.
Laurie, Greg. “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today.”
This book was part historical. Part autobiographical. And 100% about the power of the Holy Spirit. Our world needs revival in the worst way. And by taking on us on a nostalgic journey back to the Jesus Movement revival of the 60s and 70s, Pastor Greg shows how limitless the Holy Spirit is…. He reminds us of how much the Holy Spirit can do with a few willing hearts, even if they may seem to be ill-equipped and unqualified. For those who are praying for revival — this is a must read.
I love to read Greg Laurie books because he writes the way he talks. So you can be promised that you’re going to get Biblically sound theology in simple, easy-to-understand ways. Given the world we live in — I’ve read a lot of end time prophecy in recent months. This book covers the full spectrum of questions…. What is the Rapture? Who is the Anti-Christ? Where and when does Armageddon take place? What can we expect in heaven? What is hell like? The book offers a solid, comprehensive overview of these questions and more. It’s great for new believers as well as more seasoned believers too because as always, Pastor Greg addresses every topic in his approachable, down-to-earth way.
This book is a deep dive into Hebrews 11 — “The Hall of Faith.” Chapter by chapter, Pastor Greg unpacks the amazing ways God used everyday, normal people. It highlights the realities of how fallen, broken, sinful people can be used in powerful ways when, despite their limitations, they hold on to that mustard seed of faith, trusting in our limitless God.
This was my second time reading “Anxious for Nothing,” and I so needed his words. Jesus told us not to worry, but it’s easier said than done. Max Lucado wrote a book that breaks down the instructions found in Philippians 4:6-7. Using his relatable writing style, the author offers Biblical truth, wisdom, comfort, and assurance that our feelings aren’t unique to us. We all struggle with these feelings of anxiety and worry. He uses Scripture to remind us to take our worries to our Heavenly Father.
I never fail to be impressed by the way Max Lucado paints the most beautiful pictures with his words. He is such a gifted writer. He has a knack for putting Spiritual truths on the lower shelves — so anyone can understand them. And in this book, he breaks down the story of Christmas. He gets back to the basics and away from the commercialism of Christmas. He explores the deeper meaning of what Christmas means for us as Christians.
Max Lucado has said that he is a guy who “writes books for people who don’t read books.” Probably because his books are such easy reads. Mr. Lucado has a gift for applying spiritual truths to every day situations and for quickly and succinctly getting to the heart of the matter. He has a way of illustrating his points with an almost enviable turn of phrase. And though I’m familiar with his writing style, I never fail to be blessed and impressed when I read his books. “Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Name” is a book that goes section by section into Jesus’ life and reminds the reader of who we are in the eyes of God. We don’t have a Creator who created us and then abandoned us… We have a Creator who is deeply invested in us and our lives. So much so, that He purposely experienced life with us so that He can relate to all the feelings and emotions we have. Jesus knows us and He wants us to know Him. This book invites us to do just that.
I bought this gem at a used bookstore right after Christmas, really not sure what it was about. But I had previously read Max Lucado’s book, “Anxious For Nothing,” and really enjoyed it. This book is an examination of life storms compared to the promise and hope found at the cross. The book refers to the three anchor points that Christ Himself established for us to cling to in the middle of our storms. An excellent read. I had a very hard time putting this one down. Max Lucado is gifted at painted pictures with words and he described scenes from the Bible that gave them renewed life in my mind.
Colleen Mehrer has written an excellent book that touches on a common issue for many women — self-worth. We live in a culture that celebrates “being yourself.” Yet, it’s a real problem for many women. We tell ourselves half-truths and outright lies based on our experiences and the comparison games we play. Colleen’s book explores what the Bible has to say about us as individuals. She cites Scripture to help women identify their value and worth from a Biblical perspective. The book encourages the reader to truly embrace who God has made us to be. The book is designed for one-on-one reflection and also includes a leader’s guide for a group setting.
This is one of those rare situations where I saw the movie before I read the book. My mom had given my husband the movie for Christmas and after I watched it, I bawled my eyes out. It’s an amazing story focused on Bart Millard, the lead singer for the Christian band, MercyMe! His story, and relationship with his father, is an incredible testimony to the grace and forgiveness of God! But because it was a movie, I knew it was a truncated version of the story. So, I ordered the book. The book. Oh my goodness, this one just jumped up to the top of the list of my favorite biographies. I found the writing to be so honest and so real. By the last page, you feel like Bart has been talking to you and telling you his story in person. Best of all — he credits God with every miracle in his life. The tragedy of his childhood that ended up giving him a front row seat to God’s redemption and mercy! And the way God took every hope and dream Bart had… and made them more than he could have imagined. A powerful testimony and great book!
This book is a great way to gain additional insights and a solid overview of the Bible through prayer. Praying God’s Word back to Him is a powerful prayer tool and Stormie’s book is a wonderful guide to get the reader started on a strong Bible-centric prayer life. My only criticism in this is that there is no topical index. If I want to read a passage about praying for wisdom, it would be really nice to have a reference tool to go back and cross-check the devotions. I may even end up making one on my own because I really enjoyed this book. It’s set up in a way that easy to read one per day.
My husband and I have been students of Dave Ramsey for several years and deeply respect his wisdom when it comes to managing money. He’s got a profound insight and this book takes a deeper look at what the Bible has to say about money. I’ve long known that the adage, “money is the root of all evil” was not biblical; the Bible actually says it’s “the LOVE of money” that is the root of evil. Dave presented some spiritual truths in the book that I had not considered before. Specifically about how God wants us to be managers of all the resources He provides. I highly recommend this book; I will certainly refer to this wisdom each month as I write budgets and manage my business.
A friend of mine sent this book to me and it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. As a former prodigal, I appreciate the strategies employed by so many people in my life. This gave me a new appreciation for how my mom and grandparents prayed over me to return to my faith. And as a mother of a prodigal, I found so much hope in this book too. So I read it from two perspectives. If you are praying for someone to come to faith in Jesus, this is a wonderful book full of testimonials and strategies of those who share the burden of prayer for prodigals. And if you want a new appreciation of those who prayed over you — read it.
I held Charles Stanley in the highest esteem before I read his autobiography and even more so afterwards. His story outlines his difficult childhood and early beginnings in ministry. The subtitle is “My Story From a Life of Obedience,” and it’s a beautiful summation of the Courageous Faith the book entails. A wonderful book, Dr. Stanley has led a life surrendered to the will of God. A great read to encourage anyone who wants to walk in faith.
Charlies Stanley is one of my favorite preachers. I love his kind approach to the Gospel. He doesn’t sugar coat it, but he doesn’t talk down to anyone either. He’s a great man of God and one I deeply admire. “Handle with Prayer” was a book I desperately needed to read. Though I write daily prayer prompts, I still need my own coaching and guidance through prayer life. It’s an ongoing, daily testament to faith and perseverance. It’s about discovering more about who God is and how to seek His will in every situation. “Handle with Prayer” gave sound, Biblical advice on how to approach prayer from a variety of angles and insight on how to pray to our Heavenly Father.
If you want to understand how to let the Holy Spirit guide you — this is a great place to start. Charles Stanley breaks things down into manageable chunks, starting with — who is the Holy Spirit? From there, he explains how to listen for the Spirit’s voice and how to begin to truly live for Christ through the Spirit’s direction.
For the first time, I’m writing a review of a book before I’ve finished it. But I am so excited about this one, I want to get it on my website as quickly as possible. This is the book I’ve been looking for… for months and months, I’ve been on a search for someone to explain to me the various views of the Rapture. Having grown up as a Southern Baptist, I always felt that the pre-tribulation Rapture was a given. It never occurred to me that Christians would see things differently, and I’ve earnestly searched for something to explain these various positions. While the book does ultimately take the stance in favor of the pre-tribulation Rapture, I now understand the different points of view. The author has done an incredible job of outlining the various points of view. Each point of view includes the belief and the basis of the beliefs… then, it outlines the Biblical problems and objections with said belief. While my mind has not changed, and like the author, I believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture, and the book has helped tremendously as I work to understand other points of view.
I’ve often said that when I get to heaven, after hugging Jesus, hugging my Papo and Mamo, the Apostle Paul is the first person I want to meet. His contributions to the New Testament have had a profound impact on my life. But I admit, this book seemed like an impossibility to me. How do you write a biography about someone who lived and died 2000 years ago? But only a few pages in, I was blown away… and continued to be so all the way through. Author Charles Swindoll did a masterful job of exploring Paul’s life, giving the reader insights into his ministry and travels, cultural references, and tying it all up with practical applications we can learn from the life of the Apostle Paul. This book is a part of a series that Dr. Swindoll wrote in the 90s called, “Great Lives From God’s Word.” I have a few other titles from the series (David, Esther, and Joseph). I cannot wait to read them!
I am not remotely a football fan. The only reason I know who Tim Tebow is is because of the incredibly legacy of his Christian faith. Indeed, he has fearlessly lived as a man of faith. Many of the football stories meant very little to me in context of the sport itself, but I applaud Tim’s ability to turn those moments into examples of how to live for Jesus. I found the book to be very inspirational and my respect for Tim Tebow increased tremendously. A great book to read!
This is one of the prettiest books I own. Definitely gift quality. But the content is even better. 100 devotions to help the reader explore God’s love and His gentle embrace of all who place their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
In 2019, I heard Lysa was writing a book on forgiveness and I was especially excited since that was my 2019 Word of the Year. The book came out a year later — in November 2020. And like every Lysa-book, it’s a book filled with her personal testimony and honest truth. Many people know of her marital problems and her husband’s infidelity. And there may be some assumption that the book is only for those who have experienced those kinds of marital issues. But that’s not the case. Forgiveness is needed for any and all kinds of hurts. And while she does reference those pains, she also refers to other kinds too and validates the various hurts we all experience.
This was my first book of 2019 and it is a game-changer. When it comes to disappointments, Lysa TerKeurst is a survivor. She has experienced the highs and lows of life; she uses her experiences and heartbreak to show others how to lean on God no matter how painful our circumstances.
This is the second book on the list that was a second-read through. I actually listened to Made to Crave on Audible several years ago. This book is the most relatable health-book you could ever imagine. Lysa is funny, poignant, and she so gets me and my struggle with food and weight. It’s a wonderful book that embraces the truth — the weight on the scale does not reflect our value as women.
Wallace, J. Warner. “Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels”
For a girl who loves real-life mysteries and “Forensic Files,” finding a faith-based book written by a cold-case homicide detective was a huge win. And I absolutely loved it. The author has applied his experience in forensics to analyze the validity of the Gospels. I really don’t know how any skeptic could read this book and walk away with doubt. It’s a thorough review of every aspect and argument for or against Scripture. Detective Wallace has left no stone unturned, and he has made a rock-solid case for the claims of Christianity.
I had the great privilege to hear author Sheila Walsh speak at the Billy Graham Library’s Women Tea back in October. She was a powerful speaker with a great message, so I was excited to read her book. Bonus: She is from Scotland, so after hearing her beautiful Scottish accent, I was able to read the book in a Scottish accent too. But even better — Sheila touched on some beautiful truths about prayer. She used a lot of real life anecdotes and experiences that personalized her own journey to develop a strong and vibrant prayer life.
Welch, Brian “Head.” “Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story.”
This was definitely not my typical reading material. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I definitely loved hard rock and old school metal music, but I’ve never been a fan of Korn. I can’t remember how this particular title crossed my path, but I decided to order it on Audible (another variation from my norm). I had a passing memory that my son (who is a Korn fan) mentioned this — back when “Head” Welch had converted to Christianity. So I decided to read (listen) to this book because of my son’s interest in the band. Brian “Head” Welch has a hard story to hear. He shared about his childhood and love for music. But he doesn’t hold back. At. All. You learn it all — the good. The bad. The ugly. And the really ugly. Even though he’s a born-again Christian, there is some language that the reader needs to brace themselves for…. However, it’s truly a story of redemption and hope found in Christ. While I have some theological differences of opinion, namely about speaking in tongues, I can tell that “Head” genuinely loves Jesus Christ. He is a devoted follower and believer.
This book was sent to me a few years ago after I signed up for a mailing list from the ministry, Voice of the Martyrs. But I only recently got around to reading it. This first-hand account of being a Christian in a Communist country shamed me. I live so comfortably here with a Bible in practically every room of my house, while throughout the world — people are imprisoned for their belief in Jesus. The idea of having even a part of a Bible, much less multiple copies, would be a treasure. The author, Richard Wurmbrand, described his experiences working with the underground church as well as details of his (and others) imprisonment in Romania. But beyond the horrific torture and in some cases, death, endured by these martyrs, is a genuine love for people — including the people who tortured them. The believers written about in this book are examples of what it means to have joy for the privilege of suffering for Christ.
Philip Yancey has written some of my favorite Christian living books and while this book is definitely not new (it published in 1999), it has proven to be another thought-provoking, challenging read. This book is an insightful look at some of the most complex Old Testament books — the books of the Bible that Jesus knew and related to. And Yancey explores the modern-day relevance of these books and explores how they all point back to Jesus Christ.
This was a used-book store find that has proven to be a priceless treasure. This book is a deep-dive reflection of the word “grace,” and the impact it has on individuals, families, communities, countries, and the world. It’s full of Biblical truths that offer modern-day insignt into how we give, receive, and respond to grace.
If you want to gain a deeper insight into the personality and life of Jesus Christ – this is the book to read. I was overwhelmed by the insights about Jesus that I had never considered. Especially the Beatitudes. An entire chapter is dedicated to the beatitudes and I would have never imagined there would be so much to say. But Yancey has delivered such incredible insight with an astute eye for detail. This book has enabled me to get to know Jesus in a more personal way…. To see Him not as the tranquil and soft rendering on a Sunday school wall…. But to see Him as a man with passion, heart, conviction, passion, and unparalleled love. A deity who donned the cloak of humanity in an effort to truly understand life. A Savior who truly does understand our needs, our wants, our struggles, and our emotions.