Books You Might Like Too

In a click of a button we have a never-ending supply of reading material; isn’t this why we LOVE Amazon?  If you are looking for your next book to read, here are a few of my recent favorites:



Life and belief collide – the title pretty much sums it up.  I’ll let others give their thoughts:

“Thoughtful, scholarly, and motivating . . . should inspire and encourage women for years to come.” –Joni Eareckson Tada

This outstanding book offers the best demonstration that everyone needs theology, the best expository account of Mary and Martha, and the best trajectory for women’s ministry in modern North America that I have yet read.” –James I. Packer


EXPLORING CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY  —  Nathan D. Holsteen & Michael J. Svigel


I am convinced now more than ever, each of us must be responsible for what we believe – not just agreeing with a pastor, a husband, a friend, or a family member.  (See “The Stuff of Life)

The Exploring Christian Theology series provides a wonderfully helpful tour of basic Christian beliefs. Nathan Holsteen and Michael Svigel have put together a unique way of teaching theology that is thoroughly biblical but also highly engaging. A good resource for pursuing Christian discipleship. —  Michael F. Bird, lecturer in Theology, Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College


Most people seeking to grow in their faith want practical principles, not theoretical concepts.  They want to know God, not just know about Him…we cannot experience real spiritual growth without solid spiritual truth.  We can’t know the true God without knowing God truly. — Nathan D. Holsteen & Michael J. Svigel


IS IT MY FAULT?  Hope and healing for those suffering domestic violence  —  Lindsey A. Holcomb.  Justin S Holcomb.


One in four women suffer in an abusive marriage (Abuse can be emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, or financial).  Tragically, women are often told and believe it’s all their fault.

“This book is a tour de force of wisdom, goodness, and compassion for those who know the agony and shame of domestic violence and for every leader who interacts with more than four families in a year. One out of every four homes in America will experience domestic abuse and it is no different in the church than in the so-called secular world. In fact, conservative Christians are more likely to remain in violence and think it is biblical. This treasure of a book invites the reader into a sweeping and life giving understanding of the Bible’s view of women, violence, suffering, and redemption that if embraced would radically alter how victims and care givers address this heartache. This is a must-read book.”

Dan B. Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology and founding president of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology


WHY DOES HE DO THAT?  Inside the minds of angry and controlling men  —  Lundy Bancroft.


An abusive man has an excuse for everything he does and tells you it’s everyone else’s fault.  This expert provides multiple accounts of angry and controlling men and answers the question all abused women ask : Why Does He Do That?

About the author:  Lundy Bancroft has spent the last fifteen years of his career specializing in domestic abuse and the behavior of abusive men and is considered one of the world’s experts on the subject. He is the author of The Batterer as Parent and several journal articles on abuse that have appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of Contemporary Psychology. The former co-director at Emerge, the nation’s first program for abusive men, Bancroft now practices in Massachusetts while training various state and judicial agencies in dealing with domestic abuse situations.


Haddix (Found)  —  Margaret Peterson


My granddaughter is reading this with a group of 5th graders at school and I have joined her! It’s fun, suspenseful, and age appropriate for a 10-year-old.


The Stuff of Life

Can you recall the moment when you realized not everyone thought, behaved, or lived like you?  I remember back to first grade when I was able to ride the bus home with a friend.  So cool.  We jumped off the bus and skipped down the dirt road leading to her house.  My friend opened the back door, we stepped into the kitchen and were greeted by an inviting smile from her mom but most importantly – a snack.  The cookies were yummy!  I took a sip of the milk and…ICK.  What-is-this?  Who knew any family would drink unprocessed whole milk.  What is wrong with these people?

My family doesn’t do it that way.

Through out my childhood I found to my continual surprise and sometimes envy, other families lived life in various ways from mine.  Some went to church, mom and dad worked outside the home, some didn’t have set bed times, others ate food I’d never heard of  and each spent their free time differently than what I was accustomed to.  From home decor to the family dynamic, each was unique.

We don’t do it that way.

Getting married brought the same predicament.  The menu served on Thanksgiving. Best Food mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (soooo good).  The Christmas tree – Douglas Fir or silver tipped, colored or white lights, large lights or small bulbs.  The direction the toilet paper rolls (from the top!),  where to grocery shop, owning a dog or a cat… seemingly simple, non-issues of life.

This dilemma brought me to the question:  Is this a matter of who is in the right?  Horror of horrors, does it make me wrong?  Do I need to be defensive?  In my most insecure of moments I confess I have succumbed to slamming differing ways down to prop mine up.

Because I’ve always done it this way.

Let’s face it, my thoughts, my opinions, are a direct result of what I have learned from others, education and life experience.  Add those together with all my choices, equals me.

Are you familiar with Oswald Chambers? His writings go beyond the devotional titled My Utmost for His Highest.  I highlighted and saved this quote from the book titled The Moral Foundation of Life:  A series of talks on the ethical principles of the Christian life:

Never run away with the idea that it does not matter much what we believe or think;

it does.

What we think and believe,

we are;

not what we say we think and believe,

but what we really do think and believe,

we are;

there is no divorce at all.

Considering Chambers words I wondered: Just how much of what I believe, how I think, remains from someone else?  If I ask God to search me O God and know my heart (Ps. 139:23-24), would He in His search, find someone else?  Would God find more of my husband, a pastor, a parent, a friend, a politician, a talk radio person, a teacher, an author – more of them, than me?  Just how much of me – what I think and believe – is my own?

What we think and believe, we are.

I’m talking about the things of everyday life; the things that aren’t written in black and white.  Examining the motive behind the stuff of life that has become automatic and taking the time to understand why.  Am I following someone else’s lead or have I come before the Lord and asked Him what His will is for me?  It feels a bit risky;  I mean, what happens if I discover I’ve been just going with the flow without investigating why?


It is quite the challenge to allow the tension between what I’ve always been told to be present and listen to another point of view (Prov. 18:2).  I wonder if I can withstand the uncomfortable feeling, allowing the tension to push me to learn instead of immediate rejections or quick judgements.  But, also be able to dismiss tension born from knowing something is not right.  You know, when the red flag is unfurling and beginning to wave!

What we believe and think, we are.

I often pray to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord; it seems I’m being called out of my comfort zone to uncover the motivations behind the actions; sorting through the ‘we don’t do it this way’ I can be prone get in line with.  I have no delusions of grandeur, I have been and will continue to be humbled by this process.  I am ever reliant upon the word of God, starting here in Matthew 22:37-39

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and the great commandment.  And the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

This is a command, the greatest one (Matthew 22:38).   But I believe it’s an exceedingly generous invitation into an intimate relationship with The Almighty God.  This relationship includes the small things; maybe not how to stuff the turkey or decorate a christmas tree, but the habits, attitudes and the bias’ I’ve accumulated, which add up to the stuff of life.

For when the math is done on what amounts to me, I want the first influence to be God’s word, learning from the life of Jesus and the leading of His Spirit; not me defaulting to ‘this is just how I’ve always done it’.