For years I never cracked open any book besides the Bible. I thought I was way too busy to read. I was so distracted by all the craziness that came from juggling family with ministry responsibilities, homemaking, and friends that I missed an important opportunity to encourage my faith and invest in myself.
I loved my Bible and read it every day, but I didn’t realize what I was missing by not reading Christian books to grow my faith.
Today it’s harder than ever to find time to read with our busy schedules, and it’s definitely harder to focus on a book when our minds are used to scrolling social media.
However, I’m learning 10 minutes can make a difference.
Setting aside just 10 minutes to read each day enables me to take advantage of the wealth of encouragement found in Christian books. Some mornings I set a timer and take a book to my back porch; some evenings I set aside the time before bed at night.
Often 10 minutes turns into 15 or 20, but even if it doesn’t, at least I invested 10 minutes in my own spiritual growth. And somehow, it’s easier to start reading if I tell myself, “Just 10 minutes.” (Find more reading tips and books in this post.)
Summer is a great time to embrace a reading mindset to encourage your faith.
I’m sharing my current list of favorite books. Click on the book images for more information:
(Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I earn a small commission towards the maintenance of this site at no cost to you.)
Streams in the Desert by LB Cowman
I was late to the party in discovering the devotional loved by generations of readers. Streams in the Desert has been a lifeline of hope for me this year, a constant reminder of God’s promises. This little book contains powerful encouragement and wisdom for people going through tough seasons and faith-trying times. Each daily reading features a verse from Scripture, as well as quotes from devotional writings and poems by famous Christian writers.
I bought myself this updated version of the old classic, edited for today’s reader, and it has been the best money I’ve spent all year.
Shift: Changing our Focus to See the Presence of God by Abby McDonald
The book Shift helps us recognize the presence of God in the middle of our problems. Especially when we’re not seeing God work the way we hope. Like a friend, Abby McDonald comes alongside us and weaves real life stories into her message of encouragement.
If you’re struggling right now and wondering why God isn’t changing your hard circumstances, the book Shift will help you see Him with fresh eyes. It will encourage you to seek God in the middle of your challenges, focus on His presence with you, and open your eyes to the good He is working in ways you didn’t expect.
Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus by Sarah Geringer
Sarah Geringer’s new book helps us see how everyday Christians can meditate on Biblical truth to transform their thoughts. I appreciate Sarah’s stories from her own life and her practical insight into how we can use Scripture to change our negative, fearful, or anxious thought patterns.
Each chapter focuses on a different kind of battle in our thought life: fear, anxiety, criticism, poor self-image, regret, anger, or thoughts of defeat. The chapters include encouragement, a specific Christian meditation exercise based on Scripture, helpful related Bible verses, and reflection questions. I love this quote from Sarah, “Day by day, as you hide God’s Word in your heart, you will move closer to the heart and mind of God.”
More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times by Betsy de Cruz
If you’re new around here, you might not know about my book, More of God. I wrote it to help busy, distracted women take small steps to let more of God into their day so they can experience more of His presence and power. More of God will help woman connect with God and hear His voice during their quiet times, but it will also help them walk with Jesus all day long. You’ll find inspiration and practical steps for growing closer to God and experiencing more of Him in your everyday.
If you’d like to read my book with a small group, you can find discussion questions here.
Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety by Alli Worthington
Alli Worthington presents practical steps, Biblical truth, and life coaching tips to help women overcome fear, worry, and stress. She uses humor and engaging personal stories to draw us in and help us relate to her. Fierce Faith draws our attention to the daily fears we experience, from small twinges of social media-induced FOMO to fear of failure or betrayal. The book identifies negative coping strategies we use to deal with fear and also lays out a battle plan to help readers fight fear in their lives.
Each chapter ends with an “Action Steps” section, which features life-coaching questions, Biblical insight, and references to the “Battle Plan” included in the appendix.
Guarded by Christ: Knowing the God Who Rescues and Keeps Us by Heather Holleman
After reading Seated with Christ—my favorite book in 2019—I was excited to get my hands on Guarded by Christ. Heather has a unique gift of making her teaching memorable and easy to remember through vivid images and stories. Her books contain solid Biblical teaching, and in this one she describes how God set her free from depression and anxiety through Biblical truth centered around Psalm 97:10: “God guards the lives of His faithful ones.”
This book will help you learn to turn your mind towards renewed thought patterns and move from anxiety and despair to peace and hope as you rely on the Holy Spirit’s power rather than your own efforts.
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin
Jen Wilkin’s book encourages me to go deeper as I study Scripture and reminds me that the Bible is first and foremost a book about God. That sounds simple, yet sometimes we make it a book about us. Jen encourages us to make a simple shift in our thinking; instead of approaching Bible study with the question, “How can this passage encourage me?” let’s first ask, “What do I learn about God in this passage?”
Jen teaches us practical steps we can take to get more out of God’s Word as she follows an outline easy to remember: Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process, and Prayer. I know I’ll refer to this book again and again.
Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life by Ginger Harrington
Ginger Harrington’s book Holy in the Moment encourages us to make daily choices to Believe, Choose, Love, Abide, Surrender, and Rest in God moment by moment. Ginger’s transparent sharing about her battle with anxiety pulled me in from chapter one. If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or burned out, this book will help you find refreshment and renewal.
I loved this book for its practical ideas on how to invite God into our hard moments. I also enjoyed the real-life tips for letting go of our own stinking thinking to embrace God’s truth and choose to enjoy the life and people God has given us.
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison
Although I have not yet read this book, it is next on my list. I want to share it with readers because a woman of color whose ministry I respect recommended it. I believe I need to learn more about racism in America and God’s heart for reconciliation. I invite you to join me by taking a look at this book.
“With racial tensions as high within the church as outside the church, it is time for Christians to become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. This power-packed guide helps readers deepen their understanding of historical factors and present realities, equipping them to participate in the ongoing dialogue and to serve as catalysts for righteousness, justice, healing, transformation, and reconciliation.”
Happy Reading, friends!
I hope you find something here to encourage your faith. I treasured reading these books and look forward to reading Be the Bridge.
Now it’s your turn: What’s the best book you’ve read lately? Which one of these appeals to you most?
Lisa Appelo says
These look good Betsy. I think I always have 2 or 3 books going! Yours is a solid book list.
Thanks so much, Lisa. I bet you could make some great recommendations as well.
Rosanne Burck says
Best book I’ve read lately: The Red Sea Rules:10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times by Robert J Morgan
Book off your list I want to read: Be the Bridge
Wow, that sounds like a great title I’d like to look into myself. Thanks for sharing it. Blessings.
Jarm Del Boccio says
Great list, Betsy — thank you!
You are so welcome! I appreciate you, Jarm.
I haven’t read any of these books on the list, but they look good! I’m especially interested in Fierce Faith!
Fierce Faith is a great read, Jennifer. So encouraging. One thing I love about it is that she is so funny! Makes it an engaging book!