Ten books that changed me…

Books have been my friend for a very long time.

My earliest infatuation with reading was in part due to me being the only girl in the family, but also because my parents insisted I read. Reading was also a great way to pass the long hours on the road as the daughter of a traveling preacher.

I do enjoy a good fiction book and read my fair share, but you’ll notice the books on this list are of a different nature.

As I began putting this list together {which took me all of about ten minutes} my memory rushed back to other times and places in my life. God has used many authors and their books to change me.

What books changed you?

If you’re not so much a reader, maybe your “10 that changed…” is a list of music, poetry, or people. It’s good to reflect on what helped bring us to where we are today. Here’s my reflection. Maybe you’ll find something in the list that speaks to you today.

The 10 books that changed me…

Shepherd of the Hills

by Harold Bell Wright – As a teenage girl, this book had a profound effect on me. Children of the 1970’s may remember the book. Our family later visited Branson, Missouri, and my parents took us to the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama. I was spellbound as the story played out before me. When I hear, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills…” (Psalm 121.1) I’m reminded of this book and of God’s power to change people.

My Utmost for His Highest

by Oswald Chambers – I credit this book with first showing me how God uses His Word to speak to us in personal devotion time. I’ve come a long way since picking up my first copy of My Utmost for His Highest, but when I pick it up today it still speaks to me.

The God Chasers: My Soul Follows Hard After Thee

by Tommy Tenney – In my mid-thirties, someone introduced the book God Chasers to me. It was a season of searching for “more” – I just wasn’t sure what the “more” was. After reading the book, I knew. God Chasers taught me of our responsibility to pursue Him – every day. I’ve returned to God Chasers again and again, and been reminded of that responsibility.

Exploring Worship

by Bob Sorge – As a young worship leader in the 1990’s, I read this book by Bob Sorge. Then, I read it again – so many times, it literally fell apart. I bought a second copy. Exploring Worship defined so much of what I felt about worship but struggled to express. This book helped paved the way for the freedom of worship we experience in the church today.

Come Away My Beloved

by Frances J. Roberts – This is the favorite devotional book of my life, to date. Though I read and loved the book fifteen years ago, I recently came across Come Away My Beloved on a shelf in my office. God again used its words to speak life and healing to me at a time when I could hardly lift my voice in worship or prayer.

Books changed me at different times in my life. Here are "Ten books that changed me" and why. What has changed you?David: Shepherd, Psalmist, King

by F. B. Meyer – In the first semester of my return to university {at the age of 40-ish}, this was a required textbook. Reading the book, I cried {and tried not to weep throughout the lectures}. That probably had something to do with me being a worship leader, but the impact of this book went well beyond my involvement in music and worship.

Isolation: A Place of Transformation in the Life of A Leader

by Shelley Trebesch – During my second year of graduate school, we studied the concepts of living a ¹focused life and finishing well. In the middle of completing course assignments, God used this little book to reveal specifics about where I was in my life, how I got there, and how He wanted to grow me in my time of isolation. It was a major turning point in my faith journey.

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land {Study Book}

by Priscilla Shirer – In the middle of a difficult and dark season, I saw this book on the shelf at my favorite bookstore. Little did I know the impact this teaching would have when I carried it home. I credit this study with igniting in me a hunger for God’s Word that I had not experienced before.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

by Eric Metaxas – This biography had a profound effect on me. Bonhoeffer is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. The intimate look into the his life gave me a better grasp on who he was, what he accomplished, and all he sacrificed in the process – and why.

The Chronological Study Bible

by Thomas Nelson, Inc. – In this Bible, I found the text of God’s sovereign Word come alive. As one who’s been in the Church her entire life and used many wonderful translations of the Bible, that’s saying something. Reading the events of God’s Word in chronological order helped me visualize His plan for humankind in living color!

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¹Strategic Concepts that Clarify A Focused Life, by J. Robert Clinton.

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14 thoughts on “Ten books that changed me…

  1. I’m in the middle of Oswald now and I agree wholeheartedly with The Chronological Bible- a friend gave me a copy 3 years ago and it became such a treasure to me- like you expressed, for the first time, the Bible as a whole came alive and made sense. God is so good! Thanks for sharing such a great list!

    • I am SO glad to hear you share your thoughts about The Chronological Bible! It has impacted me deeply. These days, it really is my #1 resource for Bible study {and I have a library full of texts, commentaries, and Bible translations} so that’s saying a lot.

  2. I’ve read a couple of these and loved them too! (My Utmost for His Highest, Bonhoeffer) The one by F.B. Meyer sounds so good. I’ve never read anything by him, but I’ve wanted to, so I may start with this one!

    Thanks for sharing. I’m visiting from the RaRa link-up.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Karrilee. This post made me feel a little like I was serving myself instead of the readers. So good to know you were able to take something away.

    • I’m write there with you, Angela. Glad to know there’s at least one someone who finds my list worth loving – it probably looks a little ‘heavy’ to most. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Books are wonderful things, aren’t they? Thank you for sharing your top 10 with us and for linking up with Grace and Truth! “Stepping Heavenward” was one of my all-time favorite books for spiritual growth. Someone gave me a copy for my high school graduation, and it was one of my favorite gifts of all time!

    • I’ve been wanting to do this post for awhile but just kept pushing it to the back burner. Once I started, it ended up being one of the easiest posts ever! Probably because those books are so precious and evoke special memories. So glad to connect, Julie.

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