Books that changed my world, that is!
The other night, I randomly grabbed a piece of paper and started writing down books that had changed my life. Not my favorite books (though there's a lot of cross-over), but books that changed my life. Either my mind or my life's direction was different after reading one of these books than it was beforehand.
So, just for the fun of it, here they are! Though this was not by personal design, you will notice that almost all of these books (okay, all of them), are faith-based. Not surprising, since faith is truly the underlying basis of life, Christian or otherwise!
- The Bible - This is rather obvious, but here you have it! The first time the Bible really meant something to me was in junior high, when I received one of those tiny green Gideon Bibles. I was intrigued by the size of it, so I read it - and it meant something much deeper than I had ever before gleaned from the Bible. Ever since, it has been in the business of changing my mind, my heart, and my life - on a daily basis.
- The Hiding Place - The true story of a Christian woman in Nazi-occupied Holland who helped to help and hide persecuted Jews, and whose father and sister both died in the concentration camps. We found this book in my grandmother's house after her death, and it gave me insight into the Christian faith that I had never had before - especially the place that suffering holds in the Christian's life. Absolutely life-changing.
- A Mom Just Like You - A retiring homeschooling mom gave me this book a couple of years ago, and it (along with several other sources) has completely changed my mind on several areas of life (oddly enough, homeschooling is not one of them). Our life will never be the same.
- A Woman After God's Own Heart - This book was my first brush with concepts of biblical femininity, and when I ran into it in college I found it absolutely mind-blowing. I had never come across these concepts, and they were totally foreign. I am forever grateful to Elizabeth George for opening my mind and my heart to what the Bible has to say about women.
- No Compromise - This is my husband's favorite book! So, of course, when we started dating, it became absolutely essential that I read it. I did.... and again, it changed my life. I had never known that a life devoted to Christ was such a deep and life-changing event, or that the Christian faith could be so meaningful and universe-changing. This is now one of my favorite books, and I read it every year or two. If you haven't read this one, check it out! Right now!
- Left Behind - When I was in college, my childhood pastor read a brief passage from this book in one of his sermons. I was intrigued! I had never heard of the Rapture, or of Revelation theology, or end-times theology at all. I immediately went out and bought the book and read it ravenously - along with the rest of the series (or what there was of it at the time - it wasn't finished at the time). This series helped to form my conception of the Christian faith, and I learned so much while reading it! I never finished the series, and I no longer embrace a pre-tribulation Rapture view, but this book was essential to bringing me to faith and shaping the beginnings of my Christian beliefs.
- Family-Driven Faith - I bought this book randomly a few years ago, and it blew my mind. True - my brain pretty much exploded. Voddie Baucham presented so many ideas that I had never even considered, and a good deal of my church-theology changed as a result. This book is so stinking good - if you haven't read it, go get it! Right now!
- Grudem's Systematic Theology - This took me a loonnngggg time to read - a year or more. But it was awesome, and completely worth it! I had never looked into serious theology past the usual Christian living books, and reading a really good systematic theology (which is also user-friendly) was very stretching and challenging in a wonderful way. If I ever have time, I will read it again! That won't be for another forty years or so, but I'll get around to it! Really!
- Total Truth - I read this book many years ago, and it really changed a lot of my ideas. Oddly enough, I can remember almost nothing of it - I need to go back and read it again. But it changed my thinking a good deal, even if I cannot now remember how! (Profound, no?)
- The Once and Future King - My first introduction to really good literature, and to really good historical fantasy. Definitely a turning point in my reading habits! As a matter of fact, I never read it now because the cat scene and the unicorn scene totally freak me out - but it is still an excellent book.
- Pride and Prejudice - My first introduction into what would become a life-long passionate love of historical British literature. When I first opened it, it seemed complete gibberish - and it is now one of my all-time favorites.
- I Kissed Dating Goodbye - My first idea that there was something out there different from the usual American dating scheme. An awesome book, and it totally changed my thinking. I wish that I had found it a few years earlier!
- The Upside Down Church - I came to Christ (I believe) through the ministry of Calvary Chapel, and this book (written by a Calvary pastor) explained many things that shaped how my baby-faith grew in the initial years.
Just for fun, I asked DH for his own list. He couldn't think of very many, but those five that he did think of are:
- The Bible
- No Compromise
- The Cross and the Switchblade (and other writings of David Wilkerson)
What books would be on your list? (And I'm sure that my list is very incomplete.)
Happy Sabbath, all!