Courage Dear Heart by Rebecca Reynolds – this was by far my favorite book this year. It met me right where I was. It is one of those books I want go back and reread. It is incredibly well written…but what I love the most about it is the heart with which Rebecca wrote. She gives fresh and powerful glimpses into God and all He is for us in Christ. She faces the raw brokenness of this world honestly, with deep compassion and with deep insights into the human experience. If you are interested in counseling or in caring for others with wisdom and grace, this book will bless you.
Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash – a really helpful book on how to serve sacrificially without forgetting our limitations. It is an easy read – I read it in one afternoon. It would help anyone with a ministry mindset in whatever vocation God has called them to.
(A) Typical Woman by Abigail Dodds – I wrote this review for this one. It is timely and comes out of a heart zealous for the Lord and His design for womanhood. Relevant for any woman, especially women discipling women (which should be all of us! :))
The Prodigal Prophet by Tim Keller – I read it as part of a book club in the Spring. It is a very helpful study/meditation on Jonah. Helpful to read alongside reading Jonah in personal devotions and it worked great for a book club and discuss with others.
The Heart of a Servant Leader by John C. Miller- a collection of letters on ministry. The author was a seasoned pastor and cross cultural worker. He was also a counselor. With lots of insights into the human heart and the gospel, this book was a great encouragement and challenge. Helpful for anyone doing ministry and/or cross-cultural work
Teach Me To Feel by Courtney Reissig This book uses the language of the Psalms to give language to our emotions. Courtney’s grasp of Scripture and her wise insights into human nature make this book a true gift. One of my favorite things about it is that she writes knowing the implications of our union with Christ and her insights into Psalms are decidedly Christ-centered
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart is the story of 4 gifted children on a secret mission. It is suspenseful, humorous and keeps you turning pages to find out how it all works out.
Tell Tale by Jeff Archer – this is a collection of short stories, recommended by an Aussie friend. I really enjoyed the pace of short stories and seeing how he developed a plot from start to finish in just a few pages.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – I realize this one might be a little controversial – depending on where you stand in political preferences. But I really loved reading this book. I think it is a pretty significant book given it is written by the first African American First Lady. It gave me so much insight into influences that shaped Michelle and why she has some of the convictions and leanings that she does. It fueled my compassion for her. It is really well written and it contributes to the important conversation going around right now around race.
I think it is important for us to read books by authors that hold to different beliefs than we do. It teaches us to listen, to have empathy and to see them as much more than just people that believe things we don’t agree with. We are all a collection of people, places, cultures…and each story God is writing in the world is worth paying attention to.
What about you? What were two of your favorite reads in 2019?