10 Great Books for Soul Growth {a farm weekend}









10 Books for Soul Growth

Some happy reading recently here on the farm … Here what’s on the bookstand {besides um… a little piggie!}:

Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live – A Journey that Will Change Your LIfe

Ken Davis is truly one of the best speakers I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. And this book? Made me laugh out loud, made me turn more   toward Jesus, made me breathe deep and smile and deeply look at where I’m not really fully living — and begin!

Vulnerable, powerful (and at times hilarious!) read that is guaranteed to not only lighten — but to inspire you to live!

Quotable line regarding social media & connecting with people: “But if we confuse communication with communion, we miss friendship.”

Idol Lies: Facing the Truth about Our Deepest Desires

I began this book accidentally — and couldn’t stop.

Dee Brestin is one thoughtful, well-read, Scripture-saturated woman and I wanted to sit at her feet and be mentored to.

Warm and deeply Biblical, Dee explores three heart idols and how to be freed of them: 1. Control/power  2. affirmation/approval  3. comfort/security.

I am seeing my life very differently…

Quotable regarding idolatry: “God uses an absolutely shocking analogy to bring us to our senses. He tell us we are guilty of *adultery.* What? Yes.

When we practice soul idolatry by running to things other than God to meet our needs, we betray our one true Lover…. This is betrayal. This is *adultery.* … Unless we sense God’s *ravishing* of us — we will fail to submit to Him and life will be futile.”

(For more on this startling but Biblical metaphor, see here and here.)

88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates: Fun, Easy & Creative Ways to Build Memories Together

Completely doable, entirely inspiring — for Dad with Daughter — or any parent with any child.

Example of a date: Shadow Fun

Grab: flashlight

Go: {A fascinating little vignette  about all the creative things you can do with shadows together some evening, including a little keepsake}

Grow: Talking points about how small obstacles can cast huge shadows in our lives, about our fears and shadows in our lives, and about the light of Christ who dispels all shadows.

What if every dad (or mom) just read 2 very brief pages a week and did one of these 15 minute little dates? Could have an eternal, generational effect.

The Girl’s Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World

Simply, I absolutely love Liz Curtis Higgs — conversational, down-t0-earth, wise , one-of-a-kind Bible teacher.

Spending years studying the book of Ruth, pouring over hundreds of commentaries, Liz takes one through a book of the Bible where “two woman command the leading roles”, women “who are cooperative instead of competitive”, women “who make things happen instead of wait for things to happen”… a Biblical narrative told from a female point of view — and when you get to the last page, all  the women fade away and you say…  what a Redeemer!

(Our kids love Ruth too– how can you watch this and not just love her — and her Savior! Wonderful! )

Liz takes you right to the feet of Christ in her signature way and you leave these pages “nearer to the One who knows you fully, loves you completely, and holds you close to His heart.”

Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder

As the mother of 6, including 2 daughters, we so pray to avoid any eating disorders….


A homeschooled, pastor’s daughter,  Emily Wierenga writes transparently and tenderly about her own journey and how God has brought healing and brings to the page the wisdom of some of the continent’s most esteemed disorder experts.

A deeply helpful read for those in ministry with young women…

Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids

Another book I didn’t intend to read — but I found myself … stuck to Sticky Faith {smile, wink}

How do we live out our faith in Jesus in ways that it “sticks” for our children?

The research of this book had me at the first page: “Only 50 % of kids you graduate from youth group will stick with their faith in college.” Instead of really understanding the gospel, many kids have adopted a Gospel of Sin Management — but kids whose parents talk about faith have a more sticky faith.  And the practical? Five Star.

A book this mom couldn’t put down.

Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do

And  then a book I didn’t mean to read twice. 

The second time, I picked up — and read it all again in one sitting, late into the night. I believe it with every fibre of my being, God has raised up Christine Caine for such a time as this.

Her startling story about the truth of her family and the ensuing, unravelling revelations — and how she is now changing the world — is held out like a hope: God can use anybody to go into the world to change the world.

Quotable: “The darkness should be afraid of the Light — because the Light of Christ will eat it up.”

God’s used Christine Caine to turn me right inside out this year — turn me more completely toward Him. When you are ready to face this world and your life Undaunted… this book. 

Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood

I hold Gene Edward Veith in the highest esteem and agree with the late Chuck Colson, “Gene Veith is one of the most powerful thinkers and apologists in the Christian world today.”

Wondering what does it mean to be called as a wife, a parent, a Christ-follower — I have found Biblical answers on these pages that thoughtfully explore the vocation of family and what it means to be called.

Quotable: “Motherhood is a rebuke to everything gnostic, the heresy that says only ‘spiritual’ things are worthwhile… Motherhood is the perfect illustration of vocation. God has empowered a woman to be a mother, and God works with a mother to sustain that fragile life.”

Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

A unique read for Advent, this book invites into the story, not of Mary and Joseph, but of Zechariah and Elizabeth, a story of profound sorrow and deep yearning.

An Advent read about longing and grief — and joy anyway.

Quotable: “Part of receiving God’s Word comes in learning to offer thanksgiving as anticipate the fullness of things to come. Expressing our gratitude is an act of asserting our belief that God is true to God’s Word.” 

The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics

This. Perhaps one of my best reads this year? That I’m still working my way through.

Seven of C.S. Lewis’ masterworks, all in one volume.

Absolute 5 Star Read. Highly Recommended Must-Read.

Quotable: “The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word “love”, and look on things as if man were the centre of them.

Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake. “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest “well pleased”.”

{Oh —  and… too… before tucking this little pig away here, clearing my throat & risking some serious Saturday uncomfortable in hopes that it helps even just one person? Christian Books let us know that, through Monday, they’re offering 59% off  of One Thousand Gifts — so the jacketed hardcover is just $6.99…. Just for those who asked if we might let them know if there was still a sale anywhere, to have a few for gifts? Ah, you all are changing the slum in Guatemala with each gift. So, just — thanks for crazy grace, friends… and for making one little $6.99 gift for someone — into  One Thousand Gifts of praise, peace and real joy!

And now? Back to the barn with one little pigge! ~warm smile~}