- Loving God When You Don't Love The Church - Chris Jackson
- The Emotionally Destructive Marriage - Leslie Vernick
- Give Them Grace - Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
- Lit! - Tony Reinke
- Working The Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity - Eugene Peterson
The first book is an excellent book one on learning to heal from church wounds. It starts by accepting and validating that there are many churches out there that harm people. Then it moves to working through the issues and the importance of getting involved in a community again.
The second book is the one I won in the Goodreads drawing. I finished it in 2 days. I wish I'd had this book when my marriage was failing. While it might not have changed the outcome, it would have given me more knowledge to confirm my experiences, more courage to stand up for myself and help me know I'm not alone. I would highly recommend everyone get this book so you know what abusive marriages are like. And if you are in an abusive marriage I would recommend showing it to your church leaders! If I'd had this book I would NOT have accepted advice I knew was wrong just because it came from the church!
The 3rd book is a parenting book on how best to teach your children what true grace is like. Many of us do focus more on good behavior and so we create systems to get the desired results. This book shows that every one of our instructive and corrective conversations is an opportunity to explain to how children how gracious God is to us - an undeserved people. This book has changed the way I have conversations with my children. (And they are already responding better.)
The 4th book is about reading. Why we should read, how to read and what we should read. It has a great section on reading classics and non-Christian books, including movies. He doesn't tell us what is right and wrong, but gives good thoughts on why we should be more inclusive of the material we read.
The 5th book is about the three areas pastors need to work on to maintain integrity of the gospel and their lives. The first area is prayer. He does a great job of explaining that prayer isn't initiating conversation with God, but continuing the conversation he's started already! The second area is Scripture. Here again he brings up new points that reading of scripture is meant to bring us to listening. Reading isn't the end, but listening and understanding what is being read is important. The third area is spiritual direction and he points out that it actually take two people to accomplish this. The spiritual director needs to know how to appropriately guide the recipient, who of course needs to listen and act. He pointed out that in all these areas pastors often become lax because of their training and the amount of time they have to study. The main goal of his book is to call pastors to rethink their calling and be more focused and intentional in their duties.