2017 was a year filled with excellent books, and I would be remiss if I didn't share some of these amazing titles with all of you. Books titles are one of my favorite things to share.
One of my goals for 2017 was to read 36 books. Well, I ended up reading 24, which isn't too bad. I thought I would share the ten best books out of the bunch to recommend to all of you.
Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson
Why I Loved It: Hannah Anderson has a way of taking biblical principles and helping to draw them out in everyday moments and events. The main focus of this book is how humility gives us a firm foundation and actually helps us to flourish. What Hannah fleshes out is that anxiety and stress in our lives is a result of pride, and humility before the Lord helps us find peace in the midst of those struggles.
12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
Why I Loved It: This book challenged and impacted me in a number of ways. I will never look at my phone the same way ever again as a result of the observations that Tony Reinke shares in this book. It's amazing to think how much our phones affect us and how little we care or pay mind to it. Tony Reinke calls us to prayerful reflection about our phones and their control and pervasiveness over our lives.
You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are by Rebekah Lyons
Why I Loved It: A thoughtful memoir by Rebekah Lyons as she walks in freedom in Christ in the wake of anxiety and depression. I didn't know I needed to hear this message until reading this book. There are some books that encourage you simply by a person sharing their personal journey and finding freedom in the midst of it. This is one of those books.
Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen
Why I Loved it: I appreciate Jennie Allen's down-to-earth writing and her way of taking deep theological truths and helping ordinary, everyday women understand them. After a year of studying the gospel of John, Jennie Allen shares the insights she gained from observing Jesus' ministry and being reminded that because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have nothing to prove and can stop trying so hard to earn our salvation or prove ourselves to others.
Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands by Shona and David Murray
Why I Loved It: This book was like an ice cold glass of water in the middle of the summer sun. Immensely practical and encouraging, Shona shares her journey of fighting for rest in the grace of God in the midst of a world that makes a lot of demands upon us. I did not expect for her to give so many practical ways to embrace a grace-paced life, but I am immensely thankful for her gospel-focused insights.
Zeal without Burnout by Christopher Ash
Why I Loved It: At this point you might be sensing a theme. I've read a lot of books about rest, resting in the Lord, and freedom from sin and anxiety. Well this book was the cherry on top. Short and sweet, Ash gives seven keys to a life-long sustainable ministry. This book is for more than pastors and full-time missionaries. I would recommend this book those that serves in the church in any capacity. We all need to be reminded that while we can work hard for the gospel, we need to rest in God's grace and not our own efforts.
Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice
Why I Loved It: This is an area where I am continually learning to grow. It is not easy or natural for me to talk about Jesus with random strangers or even with close friends that are not Christians. I often fall into the fear of man, and need to be reminded to choose love over fear and talk about Jesus even when it's tough. This book was practical, encouraging, and it made evangelism less fearful and more exciting and fun.
The Circle Series by Ted Dekker
Why I Loved It: This is my husband's favorite book series, and I've owned a copy since we became friends my freshman year of college, but didn't read it until this year. I'm sad I didn't read it sooner. It is a fiction series, but tells the story of the gospel in lieu of an alternate universe. I laughed. I cried. I desperately didn't want it to end.
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Why I Loved It: I'll be honest. I'm a big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines. I appreciate their business model and the ways that they model working together as a married couple. I don't know what I expected from this book, but I appreciated them sharing how God was the one that wrote their story and opened up the doors for their business, Magnolia, which led to the TV show Fixer Upper. They started from almost nothing, and now they use the something that they have have given to bless others and their community.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
Why I Loved It: This book is different from the others on this list. This is an organizational book, but boy does Stephen Covey give a lot of helpful insights and lessons about personal growth and being effective. His habits are different from what most might think, but helpful in that they truly are effective. I've found them helpful since first reading this book.
Reading is a discipline that many do not take the time to enjoy, but I hope sharing these titles encourages you to pick up one and enjoy the good gift of a good book.
As you make your list of books to read for 2018, I would highly recommend reading these ten.
I've already started working on my list for 2018, and can't wait to share with you the books that I read over the course of this year. What books are on your list for 2018?
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Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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