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Christian Encouragement

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The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

A classic is a book that doesn't have to be written again.

Definition of a classic: a book everyone is supposed to have read and often thinks they have.
--Alan Bennet

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations -- such is pleasure beyond any compare.
--Yoshido Kenko

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
--Desiderius Erasmus

Read first the best books. The important thing for you is not how much you know, but the quality of what you know.
--Desiderius Erasmus

Books are the best of things is well used; if abused, among the worst.

The worth of a book is to be measure by what you carry away from it.
--James Bryce

There is more treasure in book than all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island, and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.
--Walt Disney

It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people.
--John Wesley

The Bibliophile's Niche...

Christian Encouragement

Created to Be His Helpmeet
By Debi Pearl, 2004
This is an extremely well-written book, packed with practical, Biblical teaching vital for all women, married or not. Regardless of some controversy and theological criticisms I have heard, I found this book very challenging and helpful. Certain sections contain more details than I thought necessary, so I'd recommend that unmarried girls, especially teens, have a mother preview this book for them (I skipped a chapter myself).

Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman
By Anne Ortlund, 1980
I don't agree with everything presented in this book, and the author and I come from extremely different backgrounds, but I really appreciated the chapters on priorities and using one's time to serve God. It was this book that inspired me to beginning using a day planner, and that has been very beneficial to me in many ways.

God's Guidance, a Slow and Certain Light
By Elisabeth Elliot, 1973, 1992
This is an excellent little book, written in EE's own clear style -- full of encouragement and practical advice for those seeking God's will. It seems quite comprehensive and insightful.

God's Missionary
By Amy Carmichael, 1939
A little book, but very good -- applicable to everyone, not just missionaries. It's full of good reminders to keep Christ first, setting aside all distractions, however "innocent" or "good" they may seem from a human perspective.

He Loves Me!
By Wayne Jacobsen
I wasn't sure what to think of this book at first; the title and graphic seemed rather fluffy and too much like the common "positive thinking" approach. I'm so glad I decided to read it anyway -- this book is absolutely amazing! It made me realize like never before the truth that God loves me unconditionally, always, forever and ever, regardless of what I do or don't do. Wow! I'd highly recommend this book to anyone: read prayerfully with a Bible in hand, it will change your entire relationship with the Lord. Read it online free!

I'm Lonely, Lord - How Long?
By Marva J. Dawn, 1983
This is a deep and insightful look at 31 different Psalms, showing how they apply to us today. It's very encouraging and comforting for anyone going through trials.

Joshua: Man of Fearless Faith
By W. Phillip Keller, 1983
An wonderful, insightful look at this amazing man of faith -- very thorough and inspiring! Would be perfect for a group study setting.

Lies Women Believe, and the Truth That Sets Them Free
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss, 2001
An excellent book!!! Very well written, with something to encourage everyone. Deep and challenging and full of Scripture -- I can't recommend this book highly enough!

Little House on the Freeway
By Tim Kimmel, 1987
This excellent book is not nearly as well-known as it deserves! It is polished yet personal, interesting and entertaining yet firm. Covers many areas of practical Christian living, not just busy-ness.

Mere Christianity
By C.S. Lewis, 1943
This book is really amazing in it's logical approach to Christianity -- it gave me a lot to think about and the persuasive writing style is excellent! A few conclusions made in the book seemed a little odd to me, and there is a brief allusion to evolution as fact, but overall it is very good.

Mourning Song
By Joyce Landorf, 1974
Here's a great book on facing death (losing loved ones or chronic illness) from a Christian perspective. It explains the 5 stages of grief and gives very practical insights -- Mrs. Landorf has been through it and understands, so it's more than theories. I found it comforting and encouraging.

Passion & Purity
By Elisabeth Elliot, 1984
A timeless classic for obvious reasions -- this book gives a glimpse of the good God brings through times of waiting, and the necessity of complete surrender to His best, even when it means giving up dearest dreams. Very, very good.

Talking With God
By Fenelon (1651-1715)
Not only on prayer, as the title would seuggest -- this book covers many aspects of the Christian life. It's very encouraging and thought-provoking, especially in the area of dying to self and accepting crosses from the Lord. It's divided into short sections, so works good as a devotional.

The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life
By Hannah Whitall Smith, 1870
This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read, and I can only say that I think each Christian would be benefited by reading it. So many Bible truths are explained in it so simply, and it has really encouraged me to draw ever closer to Christ, forsaking all else. Please read this book if you ever get the chance!

The Pursuit of Holiness
By Jerry Bridges, 1978
A surprisingly interesting and easy to read book, this is very practical and relevant. My only complaint is that it doesn't use the KJV, but otherwise it is very good and challenging.

There's a Snake in My Garden
By Jill Briscoe, 1975
Here's an excellent, humble testimony of the Lord's leading in Mrs. Briscoe's life. She challenges us to not listen to the snake (Satan), but to heed God instead - very good!

Trusting God in a Twisted World
By Elisabeth Elliot, 1989
This is a great collection of short articles by EE, covering many difficult situations that cause us to ask "Why?" Very insightful and encouraging.

When the Pieces Don't Fit...God Makes the Difference
By Glaphre, 1984
I found this book to be a humble, straight-forward, and honest testimony of God's working in the life of an ordinary woman committed to Him. It's very, very encouraging and life-changing. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand
By Anne Graham Lotz, 2004
This is probably the most encouraging book I have read on the difficult issue of why God lets "bad things" happen to "good people." It's an excellent, insightful look at the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus that gave much much to think about. Incredibly encouraging and well-written -- would highly recommend it to anyone going through hard times.


The Burden is Light (autobiography)
By Eugenia Price, 1955
This is an amazing book of how a very angry, self-willed woman came to know the Lord as her Saviour, and how she served Him since. I found it of particular interest because Eugenia Price wrote many scripts for the wonderful radio drama "Unshackled" -- she tells in the book how that came about.

By Searching (autobiography)
By Isobel Kuhn, 1959
Simple and easy to read, yet interesting and challenging, this book shows the benefits of seeking God and the peace and joy that comes from living for Him. I highly recommend this book!

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (story of Nathaniel Bowditch, mathematician)
By Jean Lee Latham, 1955
This book is written for younger readers, I know, but I really enjoyed it! It's very well written and shows how good character, dependability, and a good name is what makes the difference in life -- not money or power.

A Chance to Die - the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael
By Elizabeth Elliott, 1987
This book is SO good that I scarcely know what to write except that you need to read it for yourself. =) It's a very thorough, encouraging look at Amy Carmichael's life -- you will be inspired by her determination to serve God no matter what hardships came her way. Many of Amy's beautiful poems are also included.

Conqueror in Chains (biography of the Apostle Paul)
By Donald G. Miller, 1951
Though not one of the best-written books I've read, this volume is unique, I think. I've read a number of fictionalized accounts of the early church, etc. and, while they are exciting, they don't really focus you on Christ most of the time. This book adds very little to the Scriptural accounts besides historical and cultural details, yet is easy to read. It really helped me understand more what Paul's life was like, and what he was going through at the times he wrote each epistle.

My Time in His Hands
By Christine Wood, 1994
This is an autobiography that focuses not so much on "what happened" as what was learned. It is easy to read, yet very thought-provoking and insightful, making one realize that God is in control and at work through every situation of life.

Secret Invasion
By Hans Kristian and Dave Hunt, 1975
This is a very well-written and exciting book -- I found it very hard to put down! In an easy-to-read and convicting way, it tells the story of one man's efforts to smuggle Bibles to believers in Communist Russia: his narrow escapes, and lessons the Lord taught him. Very inspiring!

Tongue of the Prophets
By Robert St. John, 1952
A gift from my Granddad, I found this book very enjoyable. It is the biography of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the "Father of modern Hebrew." It's well-written and interesting, and not too-technical, yet very fascinating to anyone interested in languages and history.


Day of Small Beginnings
By folks at www.allathisfeet.com
This is one of the best fictional books I've ever read! It's a tremendously challenging look at the church in America today: the problems and dangers of the traditional institutional church and difficulties that come up in homechurches and other settings. You'll be amazed at how much deep truth and insights are packed into each page, shared in such an easy-to-read story format that you won't be able to set it aside. Can be downloaded free here.

In His Steps
By Charles M. Sheldon, 1897
I was excited to finally read this "famous" book last summer -- it is what started the recent "craze" of "WWJD" merchandise, and I was interested to see what it was all about. Though I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the writing, it's still a very interesting and thought-provoking story! I thought it was neat to see how big a difference it could make if all true believers really sought the Lord's direction in every detail of their lives. It's quite a challenge!

Hinds' Feet on High Places
By Hannah Hurnard
I was also excited last summer to finally be able to read this book which I'd heard so much about -- I wasn't disappointed at all! It's an excellent allegory that teaches many important lessons in the Christian life. It's the type of book one has to read slowly to soak it all in. :-) I highly recommend it!

Light From Heaven
By Christmas Carol Kauffman, 1948
This is an excellent story (based on a true account) of a young man whose father greatly disliked and mistreated him. It is a sad story, but it is encouraging to see how he overcame his trials and went on to be a great man of God (largely due to his mother's Godly influence and prayers). He was even able to honor and love his father in extraordinary ways. Don't let the 452 pages scare you off: it is pretty fast reading, and will really impact you.

Martha, Martha
By Patricia McGerr, 1960
This is a very interesting and unusually clear Biblical novel. Not as superbly written as some books, but quite good. Very thought-provoking and with many good lessons. I can relate to Martha in many ways.

Mountains of Spices
By Hannah Hurnard
This book is kind of a "sequel" to Hind's Feet on High Places. Many beautiful poems are included throughout the book, and when read slowly and prayerfully it cannot but have a huge impact on your life.

By Kathleen Norris, 1911
After hearing high praises for this book in homeschool circles, I was positively thrilled to find an old copy of this book at a thrift store! It is a good story, written in Mrs. Norris' inimitable vividly descriptive style -- full of homor and emotion, along with a good lesson. Makes one appreciate the noble task of motherhood more than ever before.

Not My Will
By Francena H. Arnold, 1946
This is another of my library book sale "treasures." It is fiction at its best -- an interesting, believable, well-written story with an unforgettable lesson. I've read it a number of times and we also read it as a family. It clearly shows the importance of just letting go and letting God control your life -- when we are in charge, we only make a mess of things!

By Lance Webb, 1980
A very nice book -- well-written and much more factual and spiritually encouraging than many Biblical novels. Thought-provoking!

Pontius Pilate
By Paul L. Maier, 1968
This is one of the best historical fiction books set in the time of Christ that I've ever read (and I have read many!). It's extremely factual and historically as acurate as possible while yet being very clean. Hard to put down -- very good!

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore
By Jake Colsen (aka Wayne Jacobsen), 2005
Ready to be challenged? This book is amazing -- it'll make you rethink many things you've always taken for granted. Each page is packed with spiritual insights, shared in a simple, memorable story format. I highly recommend this book to all Christians, regardless of their church situation. Read it online free!

That Printer of Udell's
By Harold Bell Wright, 1902
This is actually one of those books I originally bought for its looks -- it's such an old book! I was pleasantly surprised when I read it, and found it to be a good book. Although a little over-dramatized in places it's well written and hard to put down. The theme of the book is "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me" -- and that message really sticks in your mind the whole time you're reading it! It clearly shows the huge importance of following what Christ wants you to do, instead of going along with the crowd to avoid embarrassment or inconvenience.

The Brother
By Dorothy Clarke Wilson, 1944
This is definitely one of my all-time favorite books! I've read it a number of times, and Mother also read it to us as a family. It's a fictional account of Christ's life, from the perspective of his brother, James -- it sticks much closer to scripture than many similar books I've read, and nothing offensive is included. It really has made an impression on me every time I've read it. If you ever see this book, buy it!! :-) I got mine at a library book sale and consider it quite a treasure.

The Young Carthaginian
By G.A. Henty
This is the best Henty book I have read: I was fascinated with it! In an exciting and easy to read style, Henty tells about Hannibal's life-long devotion to save His beloved city of Carthage from Roman conquest. His amazing trek across the mountains with many soldiers (and, yes, elephants, too!) and his wonderful leadership, and his unheard-of victories over the Romans are very inspiring. It is tremendously sad that the corrupt Carthaginian rulers didn't support his valiant efforts... in the end, Hannibal had to surrender to the Romans because of lack of reinforcements. Even if you're one that doesn't like Henty's books, this one is definitely worth reading!!

Miscellaneous Nonfiction

Paris -- Underground
By Etta Shiber, 1943
This is the fascinating true account of soldier-smiggling in wartime Paris. It's very well-written and hard to put down; a great adventure story of unselfishness and courage. Though not Christian it is postive towards God and it totally clean. Definitely a good book.

Saved! The Story of the Andrea Doria
By William Hoffer, 1979
I found this book impossible to set down -- it's an action-packed story of the sinking of the Andrea Doria in 1956. Also gives an interesting glimpse of the changes in society and culture from the time of the Titanic's sinking. Not technical or boring in the least, and very clean except a couple bad words.

The Case Against College
By Caroline Bird, 1975
This book is outdated as far as stats and studies, but the principles still ring true. Shows how college is by no means necessary for "success" in life, for earning a living, etc. Quite convincing and thought-provoking, confirming my personal decision to continue to stay at home after finishing highschool.

The Endurance
By Caroline Alexander, 1998
"Shackleton's Legendary Antartic Expedition" is truly a life-changing story. This book portrays the story in gripping terms, with many fascinating details. Extremely clean, and would make and excellent read-aloud story, so long as everyone could handle the suspense! :-) Totally amazing, and highly recommended.

The Light and the Glory
By Peter Marshall and David Manuel, 1977
Here's a tremendous book -- a must-read for all Americans! It's an exciting and superbly written look at America's Christian heritage. Very thrilling! I wish I'd had this back when I studied American history in school.

The New Birth Order Book
By Dr. Kevin Leman, 1998
I really enjoyed this fascinating, fun look at birth order tendencies and how they affect personality. While not blatantly Christian, it is written from that perspective so is totally clean and lacks things secular books on the topic tend to unecessarily include. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in understanding personality differences, especially to perfectionists, since the book focuses on that a lot.

The Rescuer
By Peter Maas, 1967
This is a vivid account of a submarine disaster, and how 33 men were rescued against all odds. It's also an overview of Swede Momsen's amazing life. I found it hard to put down, and very educational. Only has a tiny bit of swearing but is otherwise totally clean.

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