Married life has brought on a new phase - a phase of rest and learning. This has been quite in contrast to the last phase I was in and I am trying to enjoy and soak up all that I can during this time, knowing it will only last for a season. God is so good though, always faithful, and He provides us with just what we need whenever we need it.
So my husband and I really like to read. And we love to learn. And we love to worship. So between the two of us, we have quite a collection of books and worship music. And we are busy devouring each others books, since our collection has doubled due to marriage, and we are also busy adding more during this season we have to read and learn from the Lord. I'm just so happy to have time to read again, after grad school and then 2 years of missions. So I want to share with you some of the titles and musicians we love and think you should check out. Some of these books are pretty well-known, and others are not so much. Same with the music. The Lord has really been drawing us to intimacy with Him, and a deeper understanding of His love and how that effects the way we live our lives for Him, so much of these reflect that theme.
Here's some of my recommendations:
"Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. If you haven't heard of him, you are in for a treat. Look him up online. He pastored a large church in CA called Cornerstone and there are tons of his podcasts available to listen to online. And they are really good. He also wrote a second book - "Forgotten God" that Dan read (I haven't read it yet) and says is also good.
"Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne. Amazing, and life changing book, written somewhat autobiographical about his stories. This guy was challenged to take the Bible seriously and it has taken him to Iraq, India and the slums of Philly, living in community and loving like Jesus. You really have to read this. It will change you. And if you like it, he's written a few others - "Jesus for President" and "Follow Me to Freedom".
"Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun. This is the true story of a Chinese Believer who basically lead the underground church in China. His story took place during our lifetime, which just blows me away. It is another must read.
"The Missions Addiction: Capturing God's Passion for the World" by David Shilbey really helps to answer why we should be doing overseas missions. Very inspiring. I read this while at Global Infusion.
If you like Biographies/autobiographies, I really recommend reading Reinhard Bonnke's book. He is an evangelist to Africa primarily, and has seen millions of people accept Christ. No joke. He holds crusades with more than 1 million people coming in a night. He's got some crazy God stories. He just came out with a new autobiography called "Living a Life of Fire", but there's a smaller book of his stories too called "Even Greater." I think any of his books would be good, though.
Oral Roberts' book, "Expect a Miracle" is another great autobiography, and dear to my heart since I went to ORU. He's such an anointed healing evangelist.
Someone a bit heavier, but really good is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a martyr during Nazi Germany and wrote extensively on the Christian faith. I would put him in the category of C.S. Lewis. We have "Cost of Discipleship" but I also saw a new biography about him "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" that I want to get.
Hungry for revival? Read "Jesus Culture" by Banning Liebscher. This tells the story of Jesus Culture, a ministry birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Bethel and Jesus Culture have some really amazing musicians and worship leaders as well. This was the conference Dan and I went to in July. Check out Jesus Culture Band, Kim Walker, Chris Quilala, Brian and Jenn Johnson, and Bethel Live for some really incredible praise and worship.
I know there are a ton of other good books out there, but these are some of my favorites. I'm always looking for more though, so let me know some of your favorites. I'm not too into fiction - I prefer biographies to fiction, and love books that teach me something, I guess you would classify them "Christian Living."
Happy reading. :)