This one I actually found quite hard because it is asking me to list books that actually CHANGED who I am - not merely books I enjoyed. I have read plenty of books that I enjoyed immensely, but they didn't change who I am.
I'm not going to include the Bible in the five because I think that's a given.
God drew me to this book in 2005 when I was still recovering from a very low period in my life from the previous year. I had started to feel that I wasn't a true Christian because evangelism scared me silly, and it was at a camp bookstall that this book caught my eye. Written in Dickson's usual down-to-earth style, this book breaths grace on every page by showing that there are many ways to promote the gospel, and that we are all part of the body of Christ - different yet with the same mission. It brought me great comfort and encouragement and I plan to do a proper review on this blog later.
Another book God used to help me. For the past few years I'd been concerned and sceptical about the strong belief in what Brauns calls 'therapeutic forgiveness' - that is forgiveness offered without repentance. This book will challenge many people and some people won't like it for that reason, but it is very biblical and practical. It was just what I needed after a conflict-ridden past few years. I'll review this one properly as well when I get it back from a friend who has borrowed it.
This is one biography I cannot stop thinking about. As confronting as he is inspiring, Keith's life and passion for God continues to challenge me. He shows me how far short I fall, but that we serve a gracious God. I found myself nodding as he journeys through a series of thoughts, sometimes swinging too far to the side of judgementalism, because I've been there myself. I was inspired by the way he and his wife, Melody, took in so many homeless and drug-addicted people, showed them love and told them the gospel. It makes me realise how addicted to comfort I am and challenges me to believe that nothing is impossible with God. Read my review here.
I admit I picked up this book because I felt sure it would be a great book to give to Christians who I considered to be annoying hypocrites, but when I read it, I felt it challenging me and stripping me of my pride. The book shows how different our standard of holiness is compared to God's. Bridges writes in such a way to show us how serious sin is (even the things we don't consider to be sin, such as gossip, anxiety etc), but he also writes 'from the trenches' as he shares the struggles from his own battles with sin. The book showed me that we have a holy God.....but also a God who is committed to refining His people. Read my review here.
Fiction doesn't usually make as big an impact on me as non-fiction, but this is probably the book that has impacted me the most. I saw the movie when I was in Year 12 and read the book after I graduated. Although I've never suffered racist taunts, I found myself being able to relate to Josie's struggles of not fitting in (she is Australian-born, but of Italian heritage). Like Josie, I care too much of what other people think of me and burden myself with trying to live up to their expectations. Josie's coming of age at the end of the book is something I often remember when I feel like a dork. Some people like to feed off other people's insecurities so the key is not to give them that opportunity. I may not be popular, but I have the best friends in the whole wide world.
Now, this is a meme so I get to tag a few people at this point. Here are the rules.
- Tag between 3 and 5 people
- Link back to this post
- Call the post ’5 books that changed who I am’