Sunday, January 5, 2014

Top Picks from My 2013 Reading List

Okay fellow literature lovers, of the 39 books that I read in 2013, here are a few that topped my list

In the spirit of sharing, please oh please let me know what your favorite reads were. I am particularly in need of good fiction references!

Best Classic: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Graham had to read this for his American Literature class, and since I hadn't read it since high school, I decided to give it a gander. The truth is, I think I loved it even more as an adult than I did as a youth. As a Literature Major in college, I have read most of the classics, but I try to reread a few of them every year, and I am never disappointed. What classics did you discover or revisit this year?

Favorite New Author: Tom Hilpert

Earlier this year I made a Facebook plea for suggestions of good fiction, and an old friend of David's family (a woman I also know and love) suggested her son's books. While I love Sharyn and Ted Hilpert, and I had met their son Tom years ago, I was hesitant. It's  hard to believe that a mother might be objective about her own son's writing. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot. After all, Superior Justice was only $3.99 on Kindle, so what did I have to lose? Much to my delight, I absolutely LOVED Tom's writing. He is funny, he creates great characters, and he tells a good story to boot! I quickly bought the sequel, Superior Storm, and found it just as pleasing. The third in this mystery series, Superior Secrets, came out two months ago, and I just downloaded it today. Have you discovered any good new authors this year?

Book that has had the biggest impact on my ministry: Miracle Work, by Jordan Seng

My mother-in-law sent me this book, seemingly out of the blue. What she did not know was that God has been calling me to a deliverance ministry in France, and I had been fighting God about it. I just don't like dealing with demons and find life to be more pleasant when I can ignore the reality of their pitiful existence. This book, whose sub-title is A Down-to-Earth Guide to Supernatural Ministries, is a practical manual, a heartwarming memoir, and a challenging call to action all rolled up in one. It was exactly the encouragement that I needed for the unexpected ministry that God has given me. What book did God use to bolster your ministry this year?  

Most Inspiring: Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey

Jesus Feminist was like a tall glass of water. It was refreshing, invigorating, and downright necessary. Bessey is first and foremost a lover of Jesus. It is her passion for her savior that shapes and defines her worldview as a feminist. I have never read anything like it. She is not angry, she is not bitter, and she is not anti-men. She is honest and hopeful and intelligent. As I am trying to find my place as a Christian Woman Leader, this book inspired and empowered me. 

Most Life-Changing: Godly Servants, by David Teague

Godly Servants spoke to a deep void in my life. I was in danger of replacing my relationship with God with my ministry for God. The two are not interchangeable. This book woke me up and helped me re-prioritize my life so that my work for God now flows out of a rich and satisfying love relationship with God. After reading Teague's book, I began Brian Rice's Spiritual Exercises, which have helped me learn to invest daily in my own spiritual formation. I am so thankful for these resources that are helping me to  rediscover my First Love. What book pointed you back to the essential truths in life?

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