Books

Sanctity of Life & Abortion

ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments by Randy Alcorn
In the book, Alcorn takes on all aspects of the pro-life discussion, from the humanity of the unborn to the social issues surrounding the conflict, even addressing the perceived character of pro-life individuals. Few books could match the scope and precision of this book while dealing compassionately with such a polarizing controversy.

Pro-life Feminism: Yesterday & Today edited by Linda Naranjo-Huebl


Real Choices: Listening to Women, Looking for Alternatives to Abortion
by Frederica Matthews-Green


Abortion: A Rational Look At an Emotional Issue
by R.C. Sproul
R.C. Sproul believes that a factual, well-reasoned approach should prevail as we seek to understand the most profound ethical dilemma of our time. In this book, Sproul cuts through the emotion that surrounds the issue by examining both sides of the debate-in light of biblical law, civil law, and natural law.

Sanctity of Life: The Inescapable Issue by Chuck Swindoll
Chuck Swindoll wants his words to help Christians “get their arms around” the nation’s most divisive issue, reach out to women and their families who are enduring the aftermath of a bad decision, and then move beyond the tension of the issue to join in a plea for lifetime morality. Sanctity of Life is a book on resolve, courage, and compassion.

Speaking the Truth In Love & Ministry Versus Manipulation

Ragamuffin Gospel: by Brennan Manning
This book reminds us that Jesus did not come for the pretty, pious and powerful. Instead, he came for the “bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out” ragamuffins who desperately need his grace. Dispelling the myth that you must work to receive God’s gift of grace and joy, Manning, a fellow ragamuffin, reveals the true nature of a freely-given and unrelenting grace that’s available to all. Drop the burden of never measuring up and revel in the comfort of a God who loves you for who you are – not for who you think you should be.

Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God by Brennan Manning
His major work—The Ragamuffin Gospel—reminded us how furiously God loves us. Now Manning examines the major obstacle to living in that unconditional love and grace—our inability to trust God ruthlessly. A life-changing discussion of how the whole of Christian practice can be summed up in a single 5-letter word—trust.

What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
Grace is the church’s great distinctive. It’s the one thing the world cannot duplicate, and the one thing it craves above all else for only grace can bring hope and transformation to a jaded world. This book explores grace at street level. What is grace? If grace is God’s love for the undeserving, then what does it look like in action? If Christians are its sole dispensers, how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy? Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace’s life-changing power. He searches for its presence in his own life and in the church. He challenges us to become living answers to a world that desperately wants to know What’s So Amazing About Grace?

The Curate’s Awakening by George MacDonald
C.S. Lewis once said that he has never written a page that did not bear the marks of George MacDonald. The Curate’s Awakening is the first in a series beginning with the fictional life of Thomas Wingfold, dutiful but lifeless curate in the Church of England and the transformation that occurs in his life. [This book is out of print but may be available used from Amazon.]

Lady’s Confession by George MacDonald [see below]
The Baron’s Apprenticeship by George MacDonald
This unforgettable trilogy depicts the spiritual awakening of curate Thomas Wingfold and the lives of those he touches: Surgeon Paul Faber believes in nothing but his own goodness until a beautiful patient reveals her secret past. Richard Tuke searches for the truth behind his mysterious heritage with the help of a thoughtful and independent woman. Filled with suspense and love, these novels reveal God’s infinite and loving means of drawing hearts to himself.

Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan
This book thoughtfully explores why Christians get stuck in the place of complacency, dryness, and tedium and how to move on to new levels of spiritual passion! Buchanan shows how most Christians begin their spiritual journey with excitement and enthusiasm only to get bogged down in a “borderland”—an in-between space beyond the “old life” but short of the abundant, adventurous existence promised by Jesus. Citing Jonah, Buchanan examines the problem of “borderland living” where doubt, disappointment, guilt, and wonderlessness keep people in a quagmire of mediocrity. He then offers effective solutions to get unstuck and move into a bold, unpredictable, exhilarating walk with Christ.

Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen
My Grandfather’s Blessing by Rachel Naomi Remen
Two books filled with stories about healing and blessing and serving from a doctor who counsels with cancer patients and suffers with a chronic illness of her own. The book draws upon a variety of spiritual traditions but the truth of how we can serve, heal and bless each another in the midst of life’s most painful moments is the gift Rachel Remen gives us throughout these books.

Who Is She?

braveheartsBrave Hearts: Unlocking the Courage to Love with Abandon by Sharon A. Hersh
Within every woman is the desire for extraordinary relationships. We crave intimacy and interconnectedness, companionship and camaraderie. What is behind this yearning? Is it healthy? Is it normal? Does it have a purpose? Yes, says author and licensed professional counselor Sharon Hersh. In Brave Hearts, she’ll teach how your deepest longings can lead you to rich relationships and give you the courage to love with abandon.


The Allure of Hope: God’s Pursuit of a Woman’s Heart
by Jan Meyers
The author’s refreshingly honest and compassionate look at both sides of hope will help you find the courage to keep seeking—even in those places where hope seems to have been destroyed. And while hope is never without risk, its transcending power can make you more fully alive.


Traveling Mercies
by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott is truly iconoclastic. She writes with the wisdom of an elder and the freedom of a child. Her memoir is not for the timid or easily offended. She is irreverent, passionate, joyful and hilarious. Many have found a friend in her style, wit and honest reflections on what it means to be human

Crisis

Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner
A meditation on the connection between knowing and sharing secrets and discovering the reality of a loving and merciful God. This book tells something about what it means to be human. Buechner speaks in a sensitive and quietly humorous voice as he describes crises in his life. An uncommonly rewarding and inspirational book.

 

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
An intimate look into the grief process of C.S. Lewis after his wife died. A honest and gut-wrenching look into the process of grief physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 


Good Grief
by Granger Westburg
A short book on working through the grief process well.


Rapture of Cannan
by Sherry Reynolds
A novel about a young girl living in a legalistic religious sect who becomes pregnant. This book is a great study on the disconnect that happens within ourselves and those around us if we are to live in a legalistic world where we are judged by what we do and not who (or whose) we are.

 Qualities of an Effective Helper

Bold Love by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III
A provocative work on what it means to richly and intently love those who do us harm with a love that is disruptive and enticing rather than simply accepting and tolerant.

 

 

 The Cry of the Soul: How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III
Find out how attempting to control your anger, fear, and wrong desires may actually be rebellion against God. The Cry of the Soul is a penetrating look at the condition of the human heart. You won’t find the kind of answers that alleviate struggle or help you overcome anger, jealousy, or despair in three easy steps. But you can encounter God Himself, who exults in using darkness to reveal the brilliance of His infinite goodness. The result is joy – not a superficial happiness that ignores the problems of our lives, but a profound emotion that can confront darkness with open eyes and confidence.

The Wisdom of Tenderness by Brennan Manning
Rooted in the author’s compelling grasp of God as a loving parent, The Wisdom of Tenderness gently invites us to embrace the unfathomable mercy, grace, and love of God. By relating to God as a loving parent with the heart of tenderness, we can develop a spiritual life that allows us to let go of worry, stop organizing everything as a means to an end, and begin to live fully in the awareness of God’s infinite grace and mercy in each moment. As we come to accept the tenderness of God, our hearts will begin to open, our minds can discern truth, and we can more readily see the divine in others. A profound exploration of the challenges of Christian living, The Wisdom of Tenderness will lead you to a greater experience of compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, and reverence. 

Communication Skills

Caring Enough to Confront by David Augsburger

Anger, resentment, mistrust, and blame are emotions many of us feel when we disagree but what is the Christlike response to conflict? In this revised edition of his bestseller, Augsburger encourages you to address sensitive issues with your family and friends, and offers solid biblical principles to help you move toward conflict resolution.

Sexuality

Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell
Just as the physical world is linked with deeper spiritual realities, sex and God are intimately connected. But how? With unusual beauty and insight, Bell addresses this intriguing question to help you better understand that we can’t talk about ourselves as sexual beings without asking who made us that way. An enlightening exploration of sexuality and spirituality.

Evangelism

truthTelling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner
Telling the Truth is for the preacher who must pull the little cord that turns on the lectern light, must look out over the people and the silence, must begin to speak of a truth beyond telling. It is for the woman who wants to understand how people believe what they cheerfully acknowledge is a tragic, comic fairy tale. It is for anyone who believes that faith, like art, can hold a special mirror to human experience.

Evangelism Outside the Box: Helping People Experience the Good News by Rick Richardson

It used to be that providing clear evidence for the resurrection of Jesus or the reliability of the Bible was a pretty effective way to reach people with the Good News. But today, many folks think all truth is relative, even our historical and scientific data about Christianity. So how can we reach them? We need new ways of telling people the old, old story. We need to look again at our usual mental habits if we want to reach people who have a brand new mindset of their own. We need to get outside the box of ideas and practices that are sacred to us but are not sacred to God. That’s what Rick Richardson’s book is all about. Here are fresh perspectives on relying on the Holy Spirit, awakening spiritual interest in others, appealing to what they value (instead of what we think they should value) and leading them into a transforming experience with God. Also included is Richardson’s Circles of Belonging, a new, straightforward presentation of the message of Jesus (yes, it can even be sketched out on a napkin!) that is true to Scripture and true to the new way people live and think. As an experienced evangelist and leader of evangelism programs, Richardson offers in this helpful book the principles and practices that will help us all grow in love for—and communicate effectively with—people who need Jesus.

Emerging Hope: A Strategy for Reaching Postmodern Generations by Jimmy Long

Is there hope in this era of cynicism? Jimmy Long, a campus minister for more that twenty-five years, is convinced that we are in the middle of a societal hurricane. As our culture moves further into postmodernity, now is the time of enormous and rapid change. How do we “do church” in such an era? How do we reach the lost? How do we communicate hope? In this book Long traces the connections between postmodernism and the emerging generations—Generation X and the millennial generations—highlighting implications for evangelism and discipleship. What emerges is a compelling strategy for ministry that will appeal to a generation starved for a sense of belonging.

Jesus for a New Generation: Putting the Gospel in the Language of Xers by Kevin Graham Ford, etal.

What does the gospel look like through RayBans? Born in the 1960s and 1970s, today’s generation of young men and women is in crisis. Many grew up in broken homes. They face skyrocketing college costs and the prospect of underemployment—not unemployment—after college. They have never known a time not plagued by ethnic strife, rampant crime and public scandal. Generation X has been bred on skepticism and cynicism. That’s why it’s difficult to reach them with gospel. But Kevin Graham Ford, born in 1965, refuses to give up on his peers. Instead, in this often gripping book, he offers some of the most innovative and practical guidance available on introducing a new generation to Jesus. Touching on postmodernism, narrative evangelism, life in cyberspace and a host of other timely topics, Ford’s book will be welcomed by evangelists, pastors, campus fellowship workers, seminary students—all who teach, minister and live among Generation X.

WhereGodHurtsWhere Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey

“If there is a loving God, then why ... ?” No matter how the question is completed, at its root lies the issue of pain. Does God order suffering? Or did he simply wind up the world’s mainspring and now is watching from a distance?

 

Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud by Philip Yancey
In this book, Yancey tackles the questions caused by a God who doesn’t always do what we think he’s supposed to do. Insightful and deeply personal, Yancey points to the odd disparity between our concept of God and the realities of life. Why, if God is so hungry for relationship with us, does he seem so distant? Why, if he cares for us, do bad things happen? What can we expect from him after all? Yancey answers these questions with clarity, richness, and biblical assurance.

Any book by Max Lucado. My favorites are listed below:
God Came Near , Six Hours One Friday , No Wonder They Call Him the Savior , In the Grip of Grace

Post Abortion & Sexual Abuse

seasontohealA Season to Heal: Help and Hope for Those Working Through Post-Abortion Stress by Penny Salazar and Lucy Freed

A compassionate book for women who are struggling to come to terms with having had an abortion, offering hope and encouragement.

 


The Wounded Heart
by Dan Allender
This classic text on the tragic reality of sexual abuse has been formative and life changing for many. Even if sexual abuse is not part of your story, read this book for it’s potent discussions on the structure of the human heart.