This year I asked my co-workers to send me the name, along with a short commendation, of a book that has been special to them, and that they would recommend others might give as a Christmas gift. Here are the responses I received:
Paul Anderson: Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace, by Dave Burchett. You’ll laugh, cry and be moved by this tale of a dog who knew the way to live and showed her master how.
Kylie Badgley: It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, by Lysa TerKeurst. I would give this book to someone I love because we all suffer. Her book provides answers to why God allows things in life to go the way they do, even when we want to cry, “but it’s not supposed to be this way!”
Jessica Calley: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. I recommend this book to almost everyone who loves sci-fi and fantasy. It’s a great example of how love conquers evil and how to accept our faults and in turn, grow from them.
Dave Carroll: How The Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins. An organizational leadership book to help you avoid decline and flourish in the future.
Jesse Contreras: The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer. Challenges you to think deeper about the mysteries of God. God’s Words, by J.I. Packer. Foundational studies of key Bible doctrines and themes.
Wesley Eaton: The Mortification of Sin, by John Owen. This 16th century work opened my eyes anew to the vileness of my sin and the greatness of our perfect and holy God.
Amanda Kennedy: Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms, by Tim Challies. For any faithful mom on a shopping list. It’s interesting, encouraging, and convicting.
Karen Kennemur: CSB Read to Me Bible. The Read to Me Bible is a wonderful gift to give a family with preschoolers because of its realistic pictures and parental helps.
Tammi Ledbetter: Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. Wisdom for every season of a Christian’s life.
Bart McDonald: The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. Read and consult this more than any book in my library and am blessed every time by these timeless truths.
Micah Meuer: Walking on Water When You Feel Like You are Drowning, by Steve Leavitt and Tommy Nelson. Two testimonies of mental health struggles.
Joshua Owens: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, by Jon Krakauer. Besides being masterfully written, there is, as my Mom would say, ‘a sermon illustration in there somewhere.’
Marsha Nance: A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Van Auken (contemporary and friend of C.S. Lewis). Beautifully written biography of a couple deciding to follow Christ and the price they were willing to pay to follow him. Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. Everyone should read at least one Dickens work, shouldn’t they? I think this is the best one.
Kenady Shope: The Next Right Thing, by Emily P. Freeman. Start the new year with practical steps in making decisions from a Christian’s perspective. The Meaning of Marriage, by Timothy Keller. A great gift for married and single people alike.
Gayla Sullivan: A Thankful Heart, by Carole Lewis. Encouraging, a 158-pg easy read, a great reminder of Romans 8:28.
Laura Taylor: Jotham’s Journey, by Arthur Ytreeide. A children’s book about a little boy who lived in Bethlehem and his journey to the manger. Read as an advent story.
Tony Wolfe: Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald. In the pressured busyness of life, here is a timely word toward cultivating a healthy soul.
Mark Yoakum: The Way of the Shepherd, by William Pentek and Kevin Leman. Everybody is a leader in some form. This book gives excellent tips on how to lead those God has given you.