2015 Reading List

Here is a list of the books I read in 2015.  Feel free to ask questions about any of them, especially if you are looking for a new book to start!

ZFraming her own story of staggering loss and soaring hope with the biblical story of Job, Nancy Guthrie takes her fellow sufferers by the hand and guides them on a pathway through pain—straight to the heart of God. Holding on to Hope offers an uplifting perspective, not only for those experiencing monumental loss, but for anyone going through difficulty and failure. Includes a study section for readers who want to dig deeper into what the Bible says about dealing with suffering and grief. Additional sections include a Foreword by Anne Graham Lotz and a Resource section linking Scriptures with each chapter’s lesson.

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9k=In 2008, Angie Smith and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth.Upon receiving the original diagnosis, Angie started a blog (Bring the Rain) to keep family and friends informed of their journey. Soon, the site exploded in popularity, connecting with thousands who were either experiencing their own heartbreaking situations or simply curious about how God could carry someone through something so tragic. I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.

Z-1Their love story is not one of fairy tales. It is one of faithfulness from the beginning through to its tragic ending.

Richard and Margaret Baxter had been married only nineteen years before she died at age forty-five. A prominent pastor and prolific author, Baxter sought consolation and relief the only true way he knew- in Scripture with his discipline of writing. Within days he produced a lover’s tribute to his mate and a pastor’s celebration of God’s grace. It is spiritual storytelling at its best, made all the more poignant by the author’s unveiling of his grief.

J. I. Packer has added his own astute reflections along with his edited version of this exquisite memoir that considers six of life’s realities-love, faith, death, grief, hope, and patience. He guides you in comparing and contrasting the world’s and the Bible’s ideals on coping with these tides of life. The powerful combination of Packer’s insights and Baxter’s grief gives you a beacon if you are searching for God, a pathfinder for your relationships, and a lifeline if you are grieving.

9k=-1“Is my baby in heaven?”

This is the most important question a grieving parent can ask. And even if the little one is someone else’s child, the issue remains: What happens to children?those unborn, stillborn, or youngsters?when they die? Can you hope to see them again? Can you let go of your fear and guilt? Can God’s love soothe a wound so jagged?

With scriptural authority and the warmth of a pastor’s heart, bestselling author John MacArthur examines the breadth of the entire Bible and reveals in this compelling book the Heavenly Father’s care for every life.

“I have sat by the grave of our daughter and son and wondered out loud if my belief that Hope and Gabriel are in heaven has any solid scriptural support. John MacArthur offers truth from God’s Word that puts the doubts of any grieving parent to rest. Safe in the Arms of Godreveals that confidence of heaven for the child you love is based on much more than mere sentimentality; it is revealed in the Word of God and reflective of the very heart of God.” ?Nancy Guthrie, author of Holding On to Hope

Z-2Mother and daughter tell this unforgettable, inspirational story of how a lovingly-anticipated baby was born and given just seven days to live. With candid intimacy they share how two families:

  • Met bad news with faith
  • Pulled together instead of apart
  • Learned how (and how not to) enter into grief
  • Celebrated the moments and memories, and
  • Found the hope of heaven

Stirring and affecting, the story of Molly Ann Mutz reminds readers that even the tiniest, most fragile life, regardless of how brief, matters—and how its strains linger and lift one from darkness into an Everlasting Song of beauty, hope, and redemption.

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Z-3This book is for anyone who has been hurt in life and would benefit from a hope-filled daily companion. Critically acclaimed author Nancy Guthrie offers insightful daily reflections based on the Word of God to comfort, encourage, and uplift those who are feeling the aches of life—whether it’s because of everyday disappointments or deep losses. Through a year’s worth of thoughtful entries, the reader will learn how much God longs to lift us up, carry us through in times of difficulty and uncertainty, and give us true, lasting joy. Each daily step draws you closer to a God who truly cares and the hopeful life he wants you to enjoy.

In short:
Daily Scripture readings.
Daily reflections for those experiencing pain, disappointment, or grief.
Daily opportunity to “dig deeper” into God’s Word.
Weekly questions for reflection, opportunities for further meditation, and directed prayer.

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_240_360_Book.1456.coverThe Bible can seem like a big, intimidating book—mysterious, archaic, and often hard to understand. Written over a span of fifteen hundred years, and completed nearly two millennia ago, God’s Word sometimes feels like a mishmash of stories and literary styles. How can twenty-first-century readers—like you—make sense of it all?

Author Stan Guthrie’s answer: begin by zooming in on one key verse for each of the Bible’s sixty-six books. Seeking to bring clarity and simplicity to the study of God’s Word, Guthrie has written a concise, easy-to-digest collection of wisdom anchored by one verse for each book, from Genesis to Revelation—a verse that summarizes or lays the foundation for that book, placing it in context with the rest of the Scriptures.

Read this book, and you’ll feel as if you’ve read the entire Bible—but you’ll also yearn to continue exploring its depths and mining its riches on your own.

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AmyAmy Carmichael (1867-1951) was a missionary and author who spent over fifty years of her life without returning home serving mainly low caste girls and boys in South India. Iain Murray’s concise biography provides an enlightening and moving account of her remarkable life and love for her Saviour, as well as perceptively drawing lessons from it.

‘This is a love story of the noblest kind. It is an enriching consideration of a woman’s relentless love for her Saviour, her Bible, her friends, and most uniquely, her love for lost, suffering and desperate sinners to whom she gave her life. Such devotion as hers seems so distant. Reading this brief history will confront and help to close that distance.’  —John MacArthur

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GrippedWhen was the last time you were really and truly gripped by God’s greatness? Most Christians recall heartfelt resolutions around a fire at bible camp as children, and perhaps a revival meeting or two. But what causes the fervor of those experiences to translate into a consistent life pattern? Pastor and author James MacDonald believes that the better we understand God, the better we understand ourselves, and the less likely we are to favor our own will over God’s. He writes, “e;God is not safe and He will not be squeezed into some neat, respectable Sunday discussion…No. To know God at all is to watch Him explode any box we put Him in with His terror, majesty and indescribable wonder.'”e;

Expounding upon Isaiah’s encounters with God, MacDonald prods snoozing saints to rediscover the wonder of God’s attributes. He also shares candidly from his experiences in life and ministry where God proved Himself to be the Great I AM. This book will spur new and seasoned believers alike to detest mediocrity in their spiritual walks. Ideal for individual or small group study.

walkingThe problem of pain is a perennial one; and for those who undergo particular sufferings it can often be the largest obstacle for trusting in a good and loving God. If such a God exists, why is there so much suffering in the world? And how do we deal with it when it comes into our lives? In his most fullest and most passionately argued book since 2008’s bestseller THE REASON FOR GOD, New York pastor and church planter Tim Keller brings his authoritative teaching, sensitivity to contemporary culture and pastoral heart to this pressing question, offering no easy answers but giving guidance, encouragement and inspiration.

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HidingCorrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.

Here is the riveting account of how Corrie and her family were able to save many of God’s chosen people. For 35 years millions have seen that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. The Hiding Place continues to declare that God’s love will overcome, heal, and restore.

 

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What will heaven be like? Randy Alcorn presents a thoroughly biblical answer, based on years of careful study, presented in an engaging, reader-friendly style. His conclusions will surprise readers and stretch their thinking about this important subject.Heaven will inspire readers to long for heaven while they’re living on earth.

 

 

 

 

516-iMf6Z8L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAnnie F. Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same.

As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie F. Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.

How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person―it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward―even when it’s scary.

This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage―nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

 

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