Best Books Review {Farm on Friday}








TThat’s what I tell Hope when she says she fell asleep reading a good book.

Falling asleep with a good book in your hands is about as close as you can get to someone rocking you to sleep.”

And I wink and she laughs, “Is that why you have all those stacks by your bed?” And I nod and laugh with her.

And the hens peck and cluck happy on a Friday at the farm and who doesn’t want to settle right down into some good words?

The day’s calling may be collecting the eggs or hanging out a string of worn jeans or serving up a plate of greens — but

good reading should be the vocation of a lifetime.” ~ John Piper on Teaching, Schooling and Reading


So … here’s what is stacking up on the farm these days…


Your Church Is Too Safe: Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down

May I just quietly offer that Mark Buchanan is one of  very favorite authors?

A Canadian pastor, no one quite wields words like Mark — a pastor’s heart, a poet’s pen, a storyteller’s wit, Mark’s words leap off the page, shake you awake, and startle you by Grace and Truth and Beauty and Christ.

I continually return to all of Mark Buchanan’s books and Your Church Is Too Safe had me hooked by the first page. Highly recommended.

Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir

A very kind reader sent me this book because she thought I might fall for these pages too — and she was right!

I didn’t get two pages in to realize Canadian author, Carolyn Weber, is one very brilliant, warm, and ruthlessly honest woman.

A deserving ECPA finalist this year, Weber’s story of finding Jesus  at Oxford had me riveted, smiling, nodding — grateful. A surprising, deeply thoughtful read.

Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You

Brian Hardin of Daily Audio Bible (you have tuned into this fabulous free online soul food, yes?) takes us on this unforgettable  journey of reading the Bible in a year.

And when this book lay here in the grass and the morning light and a butterfly landed on it ? (oh did you see that in the photo above?) — I so smiled at the happy providential moment!

Because yes, reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You — just like a butterfly taking to wing!

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life

This is the perfect read as we memorize Sermon on the Mount!

Scholarly yet in layman’s terms, what Tverberg uncovers brings Scripture to light in contextual, astonishing ways.

She makes me hunger to dig deeper in the meaning of the Word…

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

Simply, Martyn Lloyd-Jones book is a classic.

I have underlined so much of this book — and am praying to live it.

If you are memorizing, or want to understand and live, Sermon on the Mount, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

She Did What She Could Do: Five Words of Jesus That Will Change Your Life

I carried this book with me on the Compassion Ecuador trip last fall…

Because if you ever wanted to be inspired to change the world, your world? This very little book and easy read — just those letters: SDWSC — speak to a woman’s heart about doing what you can, where you are: She Did What She Could.

Last year, I listened to Elisa Morgan, the founder and long time president of MOPS International and author of SDWSC, powerfully share this message and as a woman who knows the hearts of women, Elisa right kindled me. I love this woman and friend and her heart after her Savior’s heart and how she rallies her sisters to do what we can — a pouring out of love for our Lord.

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited

What really is the Gospel?

Isn’t that the one question we really have to know the answer to? 

And isn’t the answer to that question the one we really have to live

Theologian and professor, Scot McKnight cuts to the quick and shakes you up and uprights you and this is one very thought-provoking, needful read.

A Silence of Mockingbirds

Karen Zacharias is one unflinchingly honest writer, a probing investigative journalist and a passionate Christ follower.

April was National Child Abuse Prevention month. And if you love children? And have a heart to be part of a community that protects children from abuse?

I am grateful Karen unforgettably tells the hard stories and asks us not to turn away. This true, heart-shattering story of Karly Sheehan and how her father desperately worked to protect her — is a powerful read that may drive us to our knees. And to be change in our own communities.

Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment … Can Last Forever

Do you have a minute?

That one moment — it could forever change the life of a child.

This book, written by Wess Stafford, the president of Compassion International, made me more attentive and mindful of how each moment with a child is an opportunity to speak hope and grace and Jesus into an eternal soul. A great read as we’re all getting ready to watch the Compassion Bloggers head out for Tanzania this week!

 Always There: Reflections for Moms on God’s Presence

Looking for Mom-encouragement?  

It was a joy to contribute to this book with my friend Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries and so many other wonderful mothers.

Just  newly released, this MOPS compilation of real encouragement for moms in the glorious trenches, offers what every mom needs to know:

His presence is always there… 

So…. will you come on over and tell us what you are reading these days?

And next week’s Friday on the farm? Oh… well, let’s just say yes ma’am!