By Cheryl Moses
I’m a reader. It’s true. I can usually be found reading three to four books at a time, bouncing back and forth between them as my mood, or need changes.
I am a learner, a ponderer, a creative thinker, and a dreamer. I consistently recognize that I am so far from where I want to be that I devour material that I think will help me get there, wherever “there” happens to be today.
I’m also rather fickle. I will insatiably tackle several books at a time for a few weeks at a time and then stop cold turkey. No rhyme or reason for the abrupt hiatus except for that fact that maybe my mind needs a break from other people’s words filling it up. That seems likely to me having written it out. Yep. I bet that’s it.
We’re in a new year now and my hiatus of 2016 has carried over for far too long into 2017. I’m officially ready to prop my feet up again with a good book, or two, or three, or most likely four, and do some soul tending. Good books can help you do that!
Here’s my list…
Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You, by John Ortberg
When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul?
The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith. In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries to buy its way to happiness, many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We’ve neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world―and not without consequence.
Bestselling author John Ortberg presents another classic that will help you discover your soul―the most important connection to God there is―and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth. With characteristic insight and an accessible story-filled approach, Ortberg brings practicality and relevance to one of Christianity’s most mysterious and neglected topics.
The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God, by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson
Supernatural Ways of Royalty reveals your true identity as a child of the King of Kings–royal heir to the eternal Kingdom of God.
Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton denounce the pauper mentality many Christians have and present your royal inheritance through Christ’s ultimate act of redemption.
As a member of God’s royal family, you can:
* Share the King’s power of grace and mercy.
* Think and act with His authority.
* Reveal royal qualities for future generations.
* Promote honor and humility–with confidence.
* Cultivate His love for one another.
The authors’ personal, supernatural experiences will convince you of your own royal status and inspire you to claim your personal inheritance gift from your Father–the King of Kings.
Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement, from the (in)courage community
We all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community. But where do we start? Craving Connection is a journey with (in)courage writers sharing real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to:
Embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection
Invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you
Become the friend you wish you had.
The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection. How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?
The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, by Beth Moore
Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death. It’s not like they were close. She hadn’t seen him―or her grandmother, the ice queen―in almost 20 years. But when Adella Atwater, the manager of her grandmother’s apartment house, called and said Jillian’s expenses would be paid if she’d fly in for the burial, a free trip to New Orleans was too intriguing to resist.
What Adella didn’t tell her was that the apartment house wasn’t a house at all and, whatever it was, bore the dead weight of a long and painful history. As soon as Jillian meets the odd assortment of renters and realizes that her grandmother had no idea she was coming, she hatches a plan to escape. But the investigation into her father’s death quickly unfolds and Jillian is drawn into the lives of the colorful collection of saints and sinners who pass through Saint Silvanus. She soon discovers there is more at stake than she ever imagined. Who is behind the baffling messages and the strange relics left on the steps? Is it possible that her family is actually cursed? Or is it just this crazy old house that holds them all under its spell?
Jillian walks into a web of spiritual and personal danger borne out of her family’s broken history, and despite Adella’s wiliest efforts, only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.
Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard, by Jennie Allen
No More Pretending. No More Performing. No More Fighting to Prove Yourself.
Are you trying your best to measure up—yet you still feel as if you’re losing ground?
You are not alone.
Jennie Allen understands the daily struggle so many of us face with the fear that we are not enough. And she invites us into a different experience, one in which our souls overflow with contentment and joy. In Nothing to Prove she calls us to…
* Find freedom from self-induced pressure by admitting we’re not enough—but Jesus is.
* Admit our greatest needs and watch them be filled by the only One who can meet them.
* Make it our goal to know and love Jesus, then watch what He does in and through us.
As you wade into the refreshing truth of the more-than-enough life Jesus offers, you’ll experience the joyous freedom that comes to those who are determined to discover what God can do through a soul completely in love with Him.
Discover the answer to your soul-deep thirst
Too many of us have bought into the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, and people—and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?
My single goal with this book is to lead your thirsty soul to the only source of lasting fulfillment: Jesus. He is the living water, a limitless supply that will not only quench your thirst but will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world.
Because of Him, you are loved. You are known. You can take a deep breath.
Because you have nothing to prove.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, by Bob Goff
As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.
Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.
When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.
Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.
Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, by Jennie Allen
In the years since the initial release of Anything, God continued to stretch Jennie Allen and her faith because of the courageous prayer of surrender that she and her husband, Zac, prayed, “God, we will do anything. Anything.” Previously caught in the dizzying haze of worldly happiness and empty pursuits, Jennie went on to begin living out the adventure God had written for them—to include becoming the founder of IF: Gathering, an organization to gather, equip, and unleash the next generation to live out their purpose.
Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move you to stop chasing things that just make you feel happy and start living a surrendered life that matters.
This newly revised edition is updated throughout to include a new introduction and an in-depth Bible study component for those who have been wanting to lead a study on this topic.
Join Jennie on an adventure to discover your anything, those things that actually mean nothing until you know the God truly worth giving it all up for. And when you do, that will change everything.
Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life, by Dr. Caroline Leaf
Science is beginning to understand that our thinking has a deep and complicated relationship with our eating. Our thoughts before, during, and after eating profoundly impact our food choices, our digestive health, our brain health, and more. Yet most of us give very little thought to our food beyond taste and basic nutritional content.
In this revolutionary book, Dr. Caroline Leaf packs an incredible amount of information that will change readers’ eating and thinking habits for the better. Rather than getting caught up in whether we should go raw or vegan, gluten-free or paleo, Leaf shows readers that every individual is unique, has unique nutritional needs, and has the power to impact their own health through the right thinking. There’s no one perfect solution. Rather, she shows us how to change the way we think about food and put ourselves on the path towards health.
Anyone who is tired of traditional diet plans that don’t work, who struggles with emotional eating, or who simply isn’t satisfied with their level of health will find in this book the key to discovering how they can begin developing a healthier body, brain, and spirit.
Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads,
by Suzanne Eller
What if there was a real-life invitation to a lifetime of unexpected destinations and adventure? What if your faith was the key?
In her warm, conversational way, Proverbs 31 author Suzie Eller shows how your faith is just that. How when you take a step away from the uncertainty, the to-do list, the busy life, the worries and excuses, you take a step toward the One who promises to delight and surprise. Who brings you deeper than you ever thought possible.
Two thousand years ago, 12 men answered the call to follow a man they hardly knew–and they were changed in ways they never imagined. Today that same invitation echoes across history, beckoning you to an adventure that will spill into every aspect of your faith and life. Come with Me. Will you say yes?