Several books that I found influential in my journey to personal peace and confidence in my identity in Jesus. Along with a close brother in the faith helping me, these books helped me navigate difficult issues from my past and provide a hope for my future.
Reader beware – this is open heart surgery kinda reading. I went into these books with an open heart before God. Willing to let God mold me and shape me by relating to the authors or having God teach me through their writing. I frequently cried through these books as God revealed things relating to my identity, my hurts, my hopes, my fears, my weaknesses, my strengths, who God wanted me to be, who God designed me to be, what the enemy lied about me and stole from me.. You get the idea.
Personal Life Stories
* “Who Told You You Were Naked?” The Counterfeit Compassion of Culture by Thom Hunter
I have made several meme’s based on quotes from the book Visit the photo album on Facebook.
“Who Told You You Were Naked?” is for men and women who seek freedom through Christ from the bondage of sexual sin. Thirsting for lasting freedom? Searching for truth? Crying out for uncompromised compassion? Yearning to move beyond shame and guilt? Ready for restoration?
Sexual sin — whether it manifests itself as homosexuality, sexual addiction, pornography, lust, idolatry, or adultery — wreaks havoc. It can destroy the broken one and devastate the lives of family members and friends close enough to feel the impact of the personal implosion. Our 21st Century enlightenment leads us down a very dark path. In the interest of compassion, we re-define marriage, re-manufacture the military, re-shape education to focus on sexual identity, re-define the family, and refrain from sharing the truth.
“Who Told You You Were Naked?” reminds us that God restores and rebuilds based on His never-changing truth rather than by surrendering His people to the whims of ever-changing cultural chaos. In the midst of all this chaos, there is truth, if we can find the courage to share it and the compassion to voice it. “Who Told You You Were Naked?” not only does that, but it shows the reader how he can as well. It will make a difference in the lives of men and women who want to be free from the bondage of whatever sexual struggle has enveloped them.
“The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.
Rosaria’s story was unknown until she was featured in a January 2013 Christianity Today article, which has been read by more than 1.7 million people. That same month she was interviewed by WORLD magazine’s Marvin Olasky, and the video went viral.
* Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge
Every man was once a boy. And every little has dreams, big dreams, dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.
But what happens to those dreams when we grow up? Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man? Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there. Most Christian men are . . . bored.
John Eldredge revises and updates his best-selling, renowned Christian classic, Wild at Heart, and in it invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God. And he invites women to discover the secret of a man’s soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer
* “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I mentioned this in New Grace Part 2!
Before his arrest by the Nazis in 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was head of a seminary of the German Confessing Church. In “The Cost of Discipleship”, he focuses on the most treasured part of Christ’s teaching, the Sermon on the Mount.
Without a doubt, the book that has most changed my life is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. It is incredible. I first read it at Bible college and then read it again three years ago. Bonhoeffer writes about cheap grace – how we can make the gospel what people want to hear so that we get a bigger response- and how we must fight against that. As an evangelist, I can sometimes feel the temptation to give a softer message to get more people responding, but actually we need to be true to the message that belongs to God. You can change the style, but don’t change the substance. — Gavin Calver Christianity Magazine, Jan 2016
“Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough” by John Bevere
These days the terms good and God seem synonymous. We believe what’s generally accepted as good must be in line with God’s will. Generosity, humility, justice—good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty—evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does the Bible say that we need discernment to recognize it? Good or God? isn’t another self-help message. This book will do more than ask you to change your behavior. It will empower you to engage with God on a level that will change every aspect of your life.
“When I read the stories of people who did unprecedented things out of love for God, I find myself longing to be among them. Good or God? speaks to what happens in the minds and hearts of those who truly embrace God’s best―rather than settling for easier counterfeits. If you share this desire to know and serve God in a radical way, I urge you to read this book.”―John C. Maxwell, best-selling author and speaker
“The Classic Works of Roy Hession: The Calvary Road” (Audio Narration) (Free Version)
Roy Hession was a British evangelist who was the minister at many churches in Europe, North America, Brazil and Africa. Hession believed strongly in the power of repentance. Hession’s best known works are The Calvary Road and We Would See Jesus.
* “A Covenant With My Eyes” by Bob Sorge
This was the baby step to understanding the tangible power of Grace to overcome temptation and break the addition to porn. I wrote about it here in New Grace Part 1.
This books sounds a bold call to the highest consecration in our sexuality. Get ready for a unique book that is apprehending, prudent, and empowering. Based on Bob’s own experience with Job 31:1, this book extends an invitation to actually make a covenant vow before God with our eyes. Written for all ages, men and women alike, this book excavates from the ancient spirituality of the book of Job the master key to consecration and illuminates its relevance to us today. The careful writing style will make you feel safe recommending this book even to teens.
“Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature” by Peter Scazzero
Peter Scazzero learned the hard way: you can’t be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. Even though he was a pastor of a growing church, he did what most people do:
- Avoid conflict in the name of Christianity
- Ignore his anger, sadness, and fear
- Use God to run from God
- Live without boundaries
Eventually God awakened him to a biblical integration of emotional health, a relationship with Jesus, and the classic practices of contemplative spirituality. It created nothing short of a spiritual revolution, utterly transforming him and his church.
In this best-selling book Scazzero outlines his journey and the signs of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. Then he provides seven biblical, reality-tested ways to break through to the revolutionary life Christ meant for you. “The combination of emotional health and contemplative spirituality,” he says, “unleashes the Holy Spirit inside us so that we might experientially know the power of an authentic life in Christ.
False Justice: Unveiling the Truth about Social Justice by Stuart Greaves
I have made several meme’s based on quotes from the book. Visit the photo album on Facebook.
Justice for all!
False Justice specifically calls for a paradigmatic shift in the way most people think about justice. Having a right paradigm of fairness is crucial to withstanding the type of deception that is rapidly permeating our culture today. False Justice equips you with the Christ-focus and the biblical backing needed to form a right and godly mindset regarding social justice.
Distinct from other Christian books about social justice, False Justice:
- has a Christ-centric focus—it defines justice in relation to Jesus Himself.
- doesn’t simply suggest methodologies, it calls for a change in the foundational paradigm of justice.
- tells how Jesus intends to bring godly justice upon the earth.
- reveals how the message of the gospel is the message of justice.
False Justice brings you closer to God by clearly revealing His desire for righteousness, honesty, and integrity in the earth, setting Christ as the ultimate vision of justice and calling you to set your attention solely on Him.