Faith Encouragement, Real Life/Living Abroad, Writing Encouragement

7 uplifting Christian books on my reading list for 2019

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Happy February! (She says a week and a half late).

Forgive me for banging on about New Year resolutions, but one of mine includes reading more. Reading will carry me toward my bigger picture goals which are to grow spiritually and become a better writer.

Reading will carry me toward my bigger picture goals which are to grow spiritually and become a better writer. Click To Tweet

I’ve always loved reading but sadly somewhere in between dropping out of uni and moving abroad I seemed to have stopped doing it as frequently. I read mainly when I’m at an airport which isn’t often.

I can devour a novel when I’m travelling but for some reason I don’t make time for it day to day. That could be afforded to the excessive use of social media which I’m trying to kick the habit of this year too. And as I consider myself to be a somewhat-of-a-writer-kind-of-but-not-really-more-of-a-wannabe-writer?-person I think it’s wise I’m also a reader, not just a writer. You know, learn from the greats.

Not to mention, there are so many books that have been sitting on my ‘to read’ bookshelf on Goodreads for… well, years. So, this year I’m aiming for at least one book a month and these are my top Christian reads I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

If you do only thing today, let it be the purchase of this book! I devoured this book this month. I discovered Emily P Freeman through her podcast The Next Right Thing which is an easily digestible, 15-minute, food for the overwhelmed soul kind of podcast.

You can “sit down on the inside” and relax when you listen to her podcast. Her book Simply Tuesday has the same effect which is a calming of the soul. We can only do so much and be so much; Freeman encourages you only to “do the next right thing in love,” whether that’s say a prayer, take a nap, or pop your family’s supper in the microwave.

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

‘Lamott offers a new message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she writes, but they change us–our perceptions, our perspectives, and our lives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find the joy in getting lost and our amazement in finally being found.’ (From Amazon).

I came across Anne Lamott by her book ‘Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life’ which is on my writing growth to-read list. It seemed perfect I came across this book at a time I was embracing the idea of celebrating micro-victories and small moments in my life. Definitely can’t wait to devour this collection of essays.

The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up To God’s Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to believe is that I am not where I am supposed to be in every season. There are times where I feel like where I’m at isn’t enough and that I’m at a disadvantage. I’ve written about this over and over here on my blog.

In comes The Ministry of Ordinary Places. The title alone caught my attention. The greatest commandment of all is to love others. In Martin’s book, she shares that investing in others is our assignment no matter our season or our placement. I’m certainly ready to give this a read.

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper

Writing about Biblical topics is… not necessarily difficult but it’s not devoid of pressure and uncertainty. Speaking of uncertainty, if there’s anything I am unsure of, John Piper (both himself personally and is easily one of my most frequently used resources.

Piper’s book Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is on my list first and foremost as I instruct others in wisdom despite being extremely unqualified. As I haven’t read it yet, I’m not sure if he is referring to the at-arms-length kind of pastoral professionalism or if he is driving home the point we are all extremely unqualified to do God’s work, or both or neither. But either way I can’t wait to read this.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Now, I haven’t read this book yet but based on what I know about it, Crazy Love by Francis Chan seems to speak directly to my own heart: a heart bound by dos and don’ts, rules and regulations around my faith, and a desire for deeper intimacy that’s more than turning up to church every Sunday only to feel guilty about not having prayed by Wednesday. Know what I mean? Again, can’t wait to read this one.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Remember when I mentioned that years old Goodreads list? Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis has been on my to-read list that predates Goodreads.

The idea of a hardcore atheist turning Christian… and subsequently writing some of the most thought provoking work in the Christian book-sphere intrigues me like no other. I love stories of redemption, especially when someone starts off with disbelief, or even hatred of God. They make beautiful testimonies.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

I won’t lie; the first time I heard about this book, I wrote it off. I wasn’t interested. But, it seems to pop up over and over on a lot of other Christian blogs I read in their recommendations.

TerKeurst is said to write about feeling lonely and rejected in this book and let’s face it. I am in a season of loneliness. I spend a lot of time on my own away from my best friends and family in the States. I often feel like a bit of an outsider. I bide my time, hoping others will spend the time pursuing a friendship with me. So, I can’t deny I should probably read this book.

Well, I hope you’ve discovered something different. What are your New Year resolutions? If you plan on reading more this year, please tell me what’s on your own list in the comments. Also, feel free to add me on Goodreads!

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About Rachel Chamberlayne