If you know me very well at all, you know that I’m an avid reader. I love to find good books on all subjects, but when it comes to cultivating a life of faith in your home, these are my very favorites.
Picture books & Children’s Bibles
The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung – Delightfully illustrated ten-chapter story about the “how the snake crusher brings us back to the garden.” This is one of my kids’ very favorites.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp – This is an Advent Bible that starts on December 1st, and traces the story of Jesus through his family tree. There are lovely printable ornaments online to accompany the book, or you can get this version that comes with ornaments and a pop-up tree.
Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This is one of our very favorite children’s Bibles, The stories are well-crated, and it brilliantly shows how the entire Bible points to Jesus.
The Big Picture Storybook BIble – From the folks at The Gospel Project. It’s probably best for older kids, as each story is a long one-page reading with only a single illustration to accompany it, but it’s extremely thorough. It even covers the messages of the Old Testament Prophets.
The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross by Carl Laferton – This beautiful story tells about how Jesus offers us a way back through the curtain that separated people from God’s presence in the Old Testament. Really great book.
The Big Picture of What God Always Wanted by Charles F. Boyd – Another homerun from The Gospel Project, this picture book is great retelling of the overarching narrative of Scripture.
The Big Red Tractor & Halfway Herbert by Francis Chan – We love these two picture books. Halfway Herbert is about a little boy who is learning to follow God with his whole heart, instead of just half of it. The Big Red Tractor explains, in a way that’s easy for kids to undertand, how the Holy Spirit empowers us to live for God and tell others about him.
Parenting & Family
Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson – I read this with a group of moms in my church, and we all absolutely loved it. It’s encouraging and challenging at the same time, and definitely showed me how we need older women speaking into the lives of younger women within the church.
Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas – As a mom of boys, this helps me understand them just a little bit better. It also breaks down the different stages of a boy’s development, from toddler to adult, and explains what boys need from their parents at each stage of life. I revisit this book almost every year.
Good Enough Parenting by John & Karen Louis – This is by two licensed counselors and helps parents see any dysfunctional patterns we may have learned over the years, and help us not pass those on to our kids. This is about loving kids well, and making sure their most basic emotional needs are met through their relationships with us.
A Family Shaped by Grace by Gary Morland – This book came out last year, and I’m already reading it a second time. It’s a powerfully encouraging story about how a man from a family of alcoholics walked away from his drinking and changed the course of his family. He’s got tons of great tips for any family, whether it’s crazy dysfunctional, or you just want to love each other even better.
Things Not Seen & Not By Sight by Jon Bloom – These two books really helped me as I walked through one of the darkest seaons in my life, marriage, and ministry. Jon Bloom has a real knack for reminding us what the way of the cross actually looks like – and that is more often death and pain and obscurity than it is fame and forture, and he reminds us gently how God always meets us there as we follow Him.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – Can gratitude really change your life? Most studies indicate that it can. But what does that look like lived out practically? Ann Voskamp took a dare to find a thousand things to be thankful for, and she was never the same. Her writing style is unqiue, but if you can get used to it, this book is absolutely amazing.
Multiply by Francis Chan – This book is an excllent primer for anyone who is new to following Jesus, or is beginning to really study the Bible for the first time, but it’s a great read for anyone. What’s unique about this is that’s it’s meant to be used with someone else. I have used this to disciple a new believer and I highly recommend it. And if money is a concern, you can actually read all the content online. Their website also has videos to help you if you’re leading someone through it.
Radical by David Platt – Before Jason and I planted our church, this book articulated so many things we had been thinking and feeling. We kept reading passages aloud to each other and saying “Yes! That’s what we’ve been saying!” We also really love the companion for churches, Radical Together.
The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis – Technically, this is novel, but every time I read it, I’m challenged by it. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s written as a series of letters between a young demon, who is tasked with tempting a new Christian, and his uncle. It’s a wonderful story of what overcoming the enemy looks like in a believer’s life.
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – I read this in college, and was so inspired by the stories of men and women throughout history who have laid their lives down for the gospel. My favorite quote is what the apostle Andrew is believed to have said at his crucifixion: “O cross, most welcome and long looked for! with a willing mind, joyfully and desirously, I come to thee, being the student of Him which did hang on thee: because I have always been thy lover and have coveted to embrace thee.”
Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge – Another favorite from my college days. My copy is absolutely falling apart. It’s a classic that shows the importance of spiritual disicplines like prayer and fasting, along with suggestions on how to pray. If you read this book, and follow its advice, your time with the Lord can’t help but become richer and sweeter.
My husband, Jason, just recently finished a certificate of apologetics from Biola University. He is passionate about equipping the next generation to understand the vast evidence for the things we believe, including the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the evidence for a Creator. These books are some of his favorites.
The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side by Natasha Crain
Cold Case Christianity by J Warner Wallace
Stealing from God by Frank Turek
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