As a teenager I loved reading novels about vampires and mysteries. I remember I would read five hundred page novels in two days. I was obsessed trying to escape my real world problems with fictional stories of romance and danger. When I came to Christ though, He asked me to give that up for my own good. Jesus was asking to confront my fears and insecurities once and for all. This is when Christian books were introduced into my life.
In this blog I want to share some of my favorite books that have literally changed my life. I read most of these books as a teenager and they are absolute must reads. In the list below I share what each book is about and how they personally impacted me.
1) Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Honestly, this book ripped me apart and put me back together. Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it really confronted a lot of weird lies I believed about God. Francis Chan is a former lead pastor who gave up his life as the pastor of thousands for the sake of educating the church on the need to leave conformity. Here he dives deep into what God’s love for us is really all about. I read this book as a teenager struggling to connect with God and this really helped to understand the extend of God’s love.
2) The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
I remember reading this book back in 2011 while away on a youth retreat. Every night before falling asleep, I would read this book and journal on it. This book was written back in 1948 so it is a bit of a hard read, but completely worth it. A. W. Tozer never finished school but taught himself how to write by reading famous writers and praying. God gave this man such a talent for communicating that ’til this day he is one of the most influential Christian writers.
3) Outrageous Courage by Kris Valloton and Jason Valloton
This book I read in my third year of college after coming back from a missionary trip to Mexico. In this book the authors tell the first hand story of Tracy Evans, a missionary to Africa. Here she tells her stories of persecution and near death experiences as well as the supernatural miracles she witnessed on her trips. This book really shook up my faith. It convicted me to live for Jesus in a more radical way. Tracy Evans came from a dysfunctional home yet God has done wondrous things with her life. It is absolutely inspiring!
4) Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis Majors
Now this book I also read after coming from back from my first missionary trip to Mexico back in 2014. Here Katie Davis Majors tells her story of how she was led by God to leave her more than comfortable life in Texas after graduating high school, to go to Uganda, the poorest country in the world. She went on to adopt over a dozen little girls as her daughters and start a nonprofit organization. This book really ministered to my life and taught me a lot about obeying the Lord’s commands.
I hope that you read one of these books in this new year. I want to encourage you to set a goal of how many new books you want to read this year to grow in your faith and relationship with God.
Remember that the best book you can invest time in is the Bible, God’s own message to you.
Carla, Co-Founder of Empowered Beauty