Crash the Chatterbox, by Steven Furtick
This is currently my favorite and most needed Christian book besides the Bible. One of the keys to lasting change and a peaceful, productive, and fulfilling life is learning to control the chatter—the negative, accusing, undermining, discouraging, and self-defeating self-talk we all deal with. The Bible teaches that we are to take “every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and this book provides comprehensive and practical advice on how to do just that. An added bonus is the wit and personal anecdotes of Steven Furtick. Do not miss this book.
The Most Important Place on Earth: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One, by Robert Wolgemuth
The sub-title is pretty self-explanatory. If you have any lingering questions about how to make your home a healthy, God-honoring, spiritual-growth-promoting place for you and your family members to hang out in, then this is the book for you. Sad to say, the homes of many Christian families are not the peaceful, reasonably happy, and safe sanctuaries they are called to be. Instead, these homes are disfigured by a variety of unchecked issues, such as addiction, abuse, neglect, betrayal, discord, lack of discipline, lack of love and warmth, rampant disrespect, and yelling. Even if you are pleased with the atmosphere in your home, this author is a fount of great ideas that you can share with your Christian brothers and sisters so that they too can be urgent, focused, and intentional in their home-making.
His Needs, Her Needs, by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
This book is the Five Love Languages on steroids. Simply put, if couples will identify their most important emotional needs, teach each other how to best meet those needs, and become experts at meeting their spouse’s needs, they will have a fabulous marriage. Every interaction in a marriage is a “transaction”—and either makes a deposit to or a withdrawal from each person’s Love Bank. It’s not rocket science: Lots of deposits create loving feelings, while lots of withdrawals create a loss of loving feelings. Love may be a decision, but love is a whole lot easier when it feels good, too.
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He So Desperately Needs, by Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs
According to Eggerichs (and I think he’s right), the bottom line is that women crave love and men crave respect. This is essentially another take on speaking your partner’s “love language.” Think about it: Even the Bible commands men to love their wives and women to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). How could this not be a key to marital success and happiness? This book, together with His Needs, Her Needs, should be required reading for all husbands and wives, betrothed couples, and marriage-minded singles. If a couple learns and applies the principles and suggestions offered, a strong and loving marriage seems extremely likely, if not guaranteed. These two manuals are now my standard wedding gift.
The Power of a Praying Husband/Wife, by Stormie Omartian
These are two books: If you are a husband or are going to be a husband, then read The Power of a Praying Husband. If you are a wife, or are going to be a wife, then read The Power of a Praying Wife. Each book is a concise, easy-to-read, and effective manual for interceding for one’s partner. The opening chapter gives the “why” of the book and the author’s personal story. Subsequent chapters are devoted to various areas of a husband or wife’s life that one might want to pray for. All the work is done for you, including the looking up of pertinent scriptures and sample prayers. This is a great book for when there are problems and also helps to prevent problems.
The Power of a Praying Parent, by Stormie Omartian
This book is a critical tool in the toolbox of parents or soon-to-be parents. There is also a version for parents of adult children, called The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children. Both of these works have the same format as the other Power of a Praying books. If you are concerned about a child, or just want to increase the likelihood that life goes well for your child, then these books will help you to be specific, intentional, methodical, and persistent in your prayers. Instead of being passive, wringing your hands in fear, or feeling as if there is nothing you can do to stop some terrible thing, you will experience the awesome power of being a praying parent.
How to Live & Not Die, by Norvel Hayes
You may not know when you will need it, but it is almost certain that one day you will need this book. Written in a clear, straightforward, and easy-to-understand manner, this book is for the person who is fighting for their life or facing some other overwhelming trial or tragedy. A person in an ultimate crisis needs faith in the promises of God, a Biblical confession, and tenacity to overcome. After reading my own copy, I bought ten others and gave them all away. I suggest you do the same.
Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer
If you want to change your life, then change your mind. Are you plagued by worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, or feelings of condemnation? These attacks originate in your mind, and it is there that the battle is won or lost. You need to learn to identify damaging thoughts and how to think as God thinks. God’s Word, prayer, and praise can bring freedom and peace.
Addiction & Grace, by Gerald May
People, including Christian people, are addicted to many things̶̶ ̶ alcohol, drugs, food, exercise, tattoos, nicotine, pornography, gambling, approval, relationships, sex, work, cleaning, golf, and on and on. In fact, Dr. May concludes that pretty much everyone is an addict of one kind or another. Attachments to substances, activities, experiences, ideas, people and things can become concerns over which we have lost control. We are no longer free. Whether or not you see yourself as an addict, you almost certainly know and care about someone who is. It is, therefore, important to develop a compassionate understanding of yourself and others, and of why it is so hard to “just stop.” This book explains the hallmarks of addiction, the involvement of the mind, body, and spirit in addiction, our need for grace, and the way toward love, freedom, and wholeness.
Don’t Waste Your Sorrows, by Paul Billheimer
The question is not whether you will suffer, but when. In fact, the Bible indicates we should not be surprised by the fiery trials that assault our lives (1 Peter 4:12). Adversity is part of the human experience. Instead of getting angry or feeling sorry for ourselves, we who belong to Christ can reframe times of suffering as opportunities to develop our faith, grow spiritually, and bring glory to God. If you are trying to make sense of suffering or are tempted to blame God when bad things happen to good people or the innocent, then read this book.
How Christian Counseling Can Help You Live Life Better
A Christian Counselor is a health care provider, not unlike a doctor, dentist, physical therapist, or a masseuse. You may not need one all the time, but once in a while, it can be so beneficial to meet with one when a difficulty springs up. The timeless truths that are shared through great books are a God-send amidst struggles, but sometimes their application can be challenging. Christian counseling provides a sounding board, a second perspective, strategy, encouragement, and accountability to help in your time of need. If you are facing a challenge in your life today, consider making an appointment for a consultation.
“Girl Reading,” courtesy of Kathrym Bennett, http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/, CC0 Public Domain License; Cover of “Crash the Chatterbox,” by Steven Furtick; Cover of “The Power of a Praying Parent,” by Stormie Omartian