Courtney’s 6 Favorite Spiritual Growth Books
Courtney and I met about a year ago on Instagram. It’s funny how faith and the internet can connect people across so many miles (she is from Minnesota). As the year has progressed, I have been amazed how much we have in common with our faith journey, the books we enjoy, people we follow, and the podcasts we listen to. As she has posted and shared her devotions nearly everyday, she has challenged me to talk more about my faith in a public forum. When I thought about sharing my favorite faith based books for 2017, I knew I wanted her to join me in that conversation. You can follow her more regularly at With Love From Courtney, or on her Instagram @courtney.tracy.
Here are her book recommendations! Some of them I have read, and some I have added to my reading list. Also each heading is a link so you can find and purchase each book easily!
The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms
Courtney said this is one of the daily devotions she has enjoyed most. We both really have enjoyed the author. Below is the bio for the book! I have not yet read this one, but I’m certainly adding it to my “must read” list!!
“The Book of Psalms is known as the Bible’s songbook—Jesus knew all 150 psalms intimately, and relied on them to face every situation, including his death.
Two decades ago, Tim Keller began reading the entire Book of Psalms every month. The Songs of Jesusis based on his accumulated years of study, insight, and inspiration recorded in his prayer journals. Kathy Keller came to reading the psalms as a support during an extended illness. Together they have distilled the meaning of each verse, inviting readers into the vast wisdom of the psalms.
If you have no devotional life yet, this book is a wonderful way to start. If you already spend time in study and prayer, understanding every verse of the psalms will bring you a new level of intimacy with God, unlocking your purpose within God’s kingdom.”
The Promised One (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in Genesis
When Courtney told me this one was on her must read list, I got sooooo excited. I adore this series. It makes inductive Bible Study so much easier. Our church has done three of them, and we are getting ready to do her study on the books of history! Here is the introduction bio for this book. We both highly recommend these!
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)
After the resurrection, when Jesus used Scripture to explain who he was and why he came, where did he start? In the Old Testament. And this is where The Promised One begins to look for Christ, finding him in the people, promises, and patterns of the Old Testament scriptures.
With contagious passion and theological soundness, Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie shows how the book of Genesis points us to the person of Christ. Throughout ten weeks of guided personal study, relevant teaching, and thoughtful discussion questions, The Promised One will help you:
- make new discoveries of Jesus as seen in the shadows of the Old Testament;
- apply the gospel found in Genesis to issues such as shame, fear, and the desire for security and significance;
- develop your longing for what is ahead when the world is once again made new.”
Why Do You Believe That? – Bible Study Book: A Faith Conversation
I hadn’t heard of this one either, but when Courtney shared how it helped make her more comfortable with the idea of sharing her faith it got added to my list. Be aware: that there is a DVD series that goes with this book, though a stand alone study with just the text is possible. Here is the intro to this book! (according to my introduction, I obviously need to read this one.)
“How confident do you feel in talking about matters of faith? Do you wish you could express your beliefs with more effectiveness? Join Mary Jo in a practical seven-session study and gain understanding and skill to share Jesus effectively with others, and you’ll better understand your own faith. Answer your doubts, build your confidence, and start changing lives.
Participants who take this Bible Study will:
- Become equipped to share their faith and defend their faith conversationally with friends and neighbors
- Feel more confident in their faith and knowing what they believe
- Feel comfortable representing Christ to someone who doesn’t believe
- Take the mystery and fear out of sharing their faith
- Gain education, build a firm foundation, and be practically equipped”
Shepherding a Child’s Heart
Courtney said that she loved going through this book with her church family, before they moved last year! It is all about sharing the grace you receive from Christ with the little ones that He has given you to point to him! This book is less about a list of rules to follow and more about tailoring your parenting experience to fit your family style.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child. The things your child does and says flow from the heart. Luke 6:45 puts it this way: “…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life.
Loving God with All Your Mind
Courtney said she loved how this book focused on your thought life. She said it shed light on how her thoughts can quickly blind us to what God’s truth actually says about how we are to respond in certain situations and circumstances. A good chunk of the book revolves around the passage in Philippians 4 “…What ever is true, whatever is honorable whatever is just whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Elizabeth George’s Loving God with All Your Mind (more than 200,000 copies sold) has been revised and expanded. Elizabeth lets women know that loving the Lord involves action! Focusing on six main scripture passages, she helps readers understand what it means to truly—
- let your mind think on what is true about God and about life
- grasp and move toward God’s purpose for life
- trust the Lord in all things
Drawing on biblical wisdom as well as personal experience, Elizabeth helps women handle their emotions and discover inner peace that comes from focusing on what is true. She shares six powerful Bible truths that will help readers draw closer to God and know His joy and love.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Not going to lie I struggled when she said this was one of her favorites. I read it 4 years ago and tried so hard to like it, but it all seemed so disjointed. I was sharing this when Courtney responded “At first I felt that way, but then I would have to remind myself, “Okay, this is the point of the book! Slow down, savor the moments big and small! The point is to see God’s grace in the everyday gifts. Taking the time to appreciate the small things will change the way you see every circumstance and obstacle you will face!” So on that note… I’m going to have to try to go back and re read it.
“Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!”
*For sake of full disclosure like on my personal reading list, any book you purchase with my links will provide me with a tiny commission! So thanks for the cup of coffee!!!