Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Books That Have Stuck With Me

A friend tagged me in a post on Facebook, a "Bookish Game" as she called it, which she answered then tagged us to answer as well: What 10 books have stuck with you?

I have been pondering this since last night.  I could do 10 recent books, more impressive, more in alignment with what I think and believe now, or I could just be more vulnerable and honest.  Choosing books that have helped to shape who I am today, in small and big ways, depending on the book.  So I am.  And instead of just listing the titles on facebook, I wanted to expound a little on why I chose the ones I did.  I prefer to give a more lengthy answer on a blog than merely on facebook.  Those who were curious enough to click the link can read more.

Please note, the scriptures have "stuck with me" the most, so it receives the highest regard.  But this is a list that have supplemented the scriptures.

Ten Books That Have Stuck With Me:

David Livingston Biography
 Little Pilgrims Progress
 Authentic Beauty 
Mere Christianity
Tortured for Christ
Law & Liberty
Westminster Confession of Faith
William The Baptist
Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America

  I have color coded the books in order of the time of life I read them.   Red books were ones I read in my younger years, specifically "junior high" age.  I don't remember which I read first, possibly Little Pilgrims Progress, which was part of the school curriculum my mom bought.  I wasn't required to read it, I was just intrigued by the title.  I never heard of John Bunyan, and this particular book was very close to the original, just updated for younger readers to grasp, and a slight modernization of language. (I read the original a few years back).  It was very likely the first "Meaty" book I ever read by myself and I've never forgotten it.  I still can picture the cover of the hardback book, little Christian on a path toward the celestial city.  It was my first taste of the realities of Christian living, and though it took many years for me to actually understand the ramifications, I know the Lord had me read it then to plant the seeds in my life to grow later.  The David Livingston Biography I read shook me to my core.  I was absolutely enthralled with this selfless, courageous, disciplined, man of God and his life!  But it also absolutely terrified me.  I hated the thought of becoming a missionary and did NOT want God to "make me be a missionary" as I thought back then.  I was also acutely aware of the fact that this man was everything I was not, I was selfish, scared, and very undisciplined.  Though this is a very mild biography of David Livingston, as I have come to find out this past September (due to Peter Hammond's talks given on his life), I am grateful to have read this simpler biography many years ago.  It turns out the heart and theology of Dr. Livingston was incredibly more robust than I ever knew. I am highly in favor of naming a son after this mighty man of the faith!  His life and story has impacted me and I've thought of it very often over the years.  

Orange books were ones I read during my "high school" age.  A dear friend of mine had asked me if I wanted to do a bible study with her, Authentic Beauty, and this book was one that literally rocked my world.  Through reading this book and doing the study, I came face to face with the ugliness of my own sin and pride.  It was using this book that the Lord began to change my heart and I began to understand what love and grace truly meant.  I prayed my first "Calvinistic" prayer (hah!), by being utterly honest with God and telling Him that either He was who He said He was in His word, or He was the wimpy God I knew through church and the shallowness of everyone around... so I told Him, I don't enjoy reading your word, and I think I know pretty much all there is to know about You... and I can't stand to believe in a god like that, so IF You are who you say You are in Your word (that I thought I knew well! hah!), then reveal Yourself to me, and give me a desire to read and love Your word!  It is here I will link you to an older blog post where there is a Quote From Ludy Book, though it is after high school, it is a excerpt from one of their books, not sure if it's from Authentic Beauty or not.  It portrays my thoughts after reading things such as this.  In any event, I came face to face with the reality of my faith and realized how puny it was, how I knew so little of the cross, and that I could care less about reading the bible (but I never would have admitted that to ANYONE at the time, I was the "Angel" Christian).  How faithful God is in drawing me unto Himself and bringing friends into my life to give me good reading that would convict and be a tool to change my life.  His Spirit was doing such a work in me at the time!  Mere Christianity is one I read that prompted me to realize believing in Christ & His Word was more than "blind faith", but there is so much more intellectually.  I never thought much about apologetics until I took a class at one church, then read this work of Lewis'.  It was a whole new world to look at the bible and realize there was such depth to it!  Without reading a few works of C.S. Lewis, I never could have been ready to read Bahnsen or Rushdoony (let alone Van Til, which I read an article of his before the two previous mentioned).

Yellow books were ones I read after my short duration as a student at Texas A&M.  (After Fall 2010).  Tortured for Christ was one that left me speechless.  Here I wrote a little one it in This Blog Post.  This sparked a passion in me to live and be content where God had me (which was a very difficult place at the time), and a new understanding that to suffer for Christ was not something to be resistant to, but rather to walk the path God had ordained for me to walk on... suffering or no. (Hint, lot's of suffering followed, but that's another story for an in person kind of conversation).  Law And Liberty was a jolt into the reality that God's word is for every area of life.  I turned each page and said, yes... yes... yes!- I couldn't believe someone explained things so well and that I had missed so much before.  Something I knew, but was slowly coming to understand was that faith was for ALL of life, and that there was a definite, amazing, and wonderful congruency between the old and new testaments.  God's standard is not something that changes or passes away, it is something for me here and now, and for all men.  I need to read this one again soon. (:  I'll admit, I actually have not read the entire Westminster Confession of Faith, it is a work in progress.  But when I first stumbled upon this confession it was after reading an article written by Van Til, which was posted on a reformed website that I explored, seeing the confession.  I was blown away!  I had NO idea that such a thing existed, that faithful men of God had systematically laid out the essential truths of the Christian faith, with scripture proofs!  All I had been exposed to were those teeny tiny little "Statements of Faith" most of the baptist churches I attended/been a member of had on their websites.  I did quickly discover the London Baptist Confession too, and read it as well.  Now I am a member of a church that holds to the Westminster Standards, which would have been totally foreign to me a few short years ago.  My how things change!

 Green is 2011 when I first began to be aware of a richer and deeper understanding of the scriptures and how it affected my entire life.  So I was visiting different churches because I was so hungry to hear the word of God and was tired of listening to sermons online... I wanted to fellowship with those who heard the word being preached.  I first visited the church I am now a member of, and the pastor (now my father in law! Again, how times change!) and he asked what questions I had after the service.  I was very drawn to the Presbyterian form of government, the little I read before visiting, but just didn't know what to think of their views on baptism.  So he recommended William The Baptist which was the exact introduction I needed, a short easy to read book chock full of scripture, and it helped that it was a fictional story setting to make it more engaging to read on the doctrine.

Blue is during the time I was engaged to my now husband, just over 2 years ago.  Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America  is without a doubt one of the best things I have ever read on modesty, hands down.  This was during a time where I was struggling inwardly with establishing a standard of dress for myself, of which I was resolved that being pleasing to the Lord and dressing modestly was of more importance than what my clothes looked like.  Not that I dressed horribly, it was just different than times before, and this "new style" or lack of style some might say, caused me a lot of grief from others.  This book helped to round out my understanding considerably, and actually prompted the one of the first blog posts on this blog, Here.  I wrote the blog post a few months after reading the book.  This book gave me more biblical understanding and reasoning for why, and gave me much freedom in this area.  I can better articulate the "why" I dress the way I do since reading this book.  Which is of utmost importance, to give a biblical reason for why you live your life the way you do!

Other Blue (I know, I could call it royal, but whatever) is this past year.  Samuel gave me Apostate for my birthday this year.  An excellent book!  After finishing it, now months later, Samuel and I are reading it together.  Kevin Swanson is such a good writer; witty, intelligent, serious, and thorough on all points.  This is the book to read to get an understanding and engage in the worldview battle.  

Why did I not choose the book title for which this blog is centered around?  Since this blog is centered around it, I figured I have exclaimed my love for Luther quite enough and to give recognition to others for once. (;    There now.  A little insight into why these books have stuck with me.  They have all been a part of me and shaped who I am today.  I thank the Lord for giving me a love of reading and books, and that He has used so many different authors to impact my life throughout the years.


  1. I was in the Bible study for Authentic Beauty! Did we join that together??
    I remember that class was a huge turning point in my life as well.

    1. Erin, I didn't know you read it! Different study. Mine was an informal one that my friend Carlee asked me to do with her Sophomore/Junior year. When did you read it? (:


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