It's been said that you'll be the same person 5 years from now except for the books you read and the people you meet. Below is a list of books that God used this year to strengthen my faith, open my heart, and challenge my thinking. I commend them to you with a brief description of each. Please post your comments and recommendations if you have read any of them. A Praying Life by Paul Miller -- This is my absolute favorite book of the year. It affected me deeply. Paul Miller showed me what it means to become like a child in prayer. It was one of the most refreshing books I've read in a long time. I cannot recommend it to you enough.
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore -- My heart was opened as I read this book. It's a true story about a homeless, black man who grew up in virtual slavery ... a rich, international art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani ... and a gutsy woman with a big dream that brings them together for the glory of God. This book changed me.
Romancing Your Child's Heart by Monte Swan -- This is a lesser known parenting book, but one I highly recommend. It's a vision of capturing our children's hearts for Christ by cultivating real relationships with them. I was challenged to really know and love each one of my kids as I point them to the One for whom their hearts were made.
You Can Change by Tim Chester -- Chester writes in an honest, fresh, and simple way about the gospel and how it changes us. I highly recommend it as a helpful resource for struggling Christians (that’s all of us!) who need to be reminded of the hope we have in Christ.
Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller -- What a challenging book! I was humbled. This one line was worth the price of the book: “Jesus must become more beautiful to your imagination, more attractive to your heart, than your idol…If you uproot the idol and fail to ‘plant’ the love of Christ in its place, the idol will grow back (172).”
The Outward Focused Life by Dave Workman -- What if, more than anything else, Christians were known as servants? That's the question Dave seeks to explore with biblical reflections, memorable stories, and lots of practical ideas. I found myself thinking of ways I could serve someone each day and challenge others to join with me.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan -- Chan writes (and speaks) with passion. He challenged me to want more of Jesus and to be willing to take risks for his kingdom. Though he's a little weak on gospel depth, he writes in a way that wakes us up to what is at stake in living for Christ. I was challenged to let go of my little kingdom and live for God's.
Did you read any of these books? What were your top books of 2009? Feel free to share.