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As previously mentioned, a lot of things happened over the last few months.

Though books have long been some of my most faithful companions, they took a backseat in June and July. However, the sunny days of August had more room for those magical portals of the written word and, for my sanity’s sake, they were devoured.

Here’s what’s been filling my heart library. I’d love to know what’s filling yours!

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”
-C. S. Lewis

JUNE

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The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read/listened to this jewel. It’s a story of God’s grace and faithfulness, His sustaining mercy and His commitment to His children and to His mission. Read it.

A Thought A Day by John the Ghost

John O’Callaghan is the frontman for The Maine and this is his second book, which is really a catalog of 365 tweets from him. My favorite:

“Don’t be so desperate for meaning that you ignore truth.”

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My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Oxford, England is my favorite city in the world. This is the story of Ella Durran who goes to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and must choose between love and what she always believed her dreams to be. The best part was the reminders and word pictures of Oxford. Though the story was good, I wouldn’t read it again. 

JULY

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Knowing God by J.I. Packer

There aren’t enough words to explain how much I love this book or how significantly God used it for me. Y’all, call me a mystic all you want, chains fell off during the reading of this gem. I am so grateful for Dr. Packer’s life, words, and ministry, and for a God who has allowed Himself to be known. If you haven’t read this, stop and read it right now. I have too many favorite quotes to list, so by reading the whole book you’ll be sure to get them all. 🙂 

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If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey

Life-giving. Freeing. Real. I loved this book. It’s such a quick read but packed with truth and freedom. Jamie shares the hard, dark, vulnerable parts of her life and story, entrusting her identity to Something much more valuable and in so doing sets an example for all of us. 

“Maybe we somehow feel safer doing life the way we’ve always done it, even if it’s done nothing but hurt us. Maybe we’re almost scared of trying anything different.” 

Conviction central for me and my fearful heart. So grateful for this book (and for the reminder that Jesus is better, the title of the last chapter). 

The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters by Sinclair Ferguson

Sinclair Ferguson is just a beast. This book is wonderful. Heady and deep and full of freedom. 

AUGUST

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Spurgeon on the Christian Life: Alive in Christ by Michael Reeves

This is definitely in my top-three favorite books of 2018. I’m convinced our hearts will thrive on God’s grace through anything Spurgeon writes, and Michael Reeves does a phenomenal job of allowing Spurge to speak for himself in this book. It’s all caps AMAZING and you should do your soul (and joy tank) a favor and read it.

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I’ll be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos

I listened to this audiobook while cooking and cleaning and driving and it did the trick of allowing my brain to relax and just enjoy a good story. This book is two parallel stories told simultaneously and the way they blend together (even if it was a little bit predictable)? So good.

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A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin

This book was compiled from sections of Calvin’s Institutes and it’s wonderful. Read it. 

Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada

A sweet, easy-to-read book that fills your brain with truth and relaxes your heart simultaneously. My favorite quote:

“If the man and woman twine their lives around each other in marriage, that is good, and they’ll be stronger for it. But if both of them twine themselves around the living God, that’s the best of all. It’s a union that will hold through anything that life—or even hell—might throw at them.”

Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

This is the fourth book in the Anne of Green Gables series and my least favorite one so far. It took me months to get through it because I hated it. 

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Awe: Why it Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp

This was my second listening of this book this year and it was just as great the second time. With words filled with truth and the Gospel, PDT is a master encourager and his sentences, because they’re so Gospel-drenched, lead to life. I still can’t recommend this one enough.

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Supernatural Power for Everyday People: Experiencing God’s Extraordinary Spirit in Your Ordinary Life by Jared Wilson

Loved this. Easy to listen to and extremely helpful. (Also, I really appreciated that the same guy who read Wilson’s The Imperfect Disciple read this one.) Some of my favorite quotes:

“You don’t need a miracle. You have one: a book straight from heaven. And if we really believed the Bible was the very Word of God, we would steal away to it constantly.”

“Fasting for most of us does not mean going without chocolate for a month, but assassinating our idols.”

“You will find it easier to fast joyfully if you are feasting on the revelation of his Word. Feasting on the Scriptures and Christ himself prepares us to joyfully fast from the promises of fulfillment made by our consumer culture.”

“It is hard to convince others of the goodness of the kingdom of God, when we are seen not being able to live without the goodness of the world.”

“If the primary way you relate to others is to get love from them, you will always be dissatisfied because nobody can love you like God can.”

“When we realize our cup has already been filled by the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel of Jesus, we begin to see ourselves as need-meeters rather than need-takers.”

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