2018 Recommended Books

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As Dave shared in his AVP 2018 Presentation, our pastoral vision for this year is “Cultivating Intimacy with God.” If you’re wondering what “cultivating intimacy with God” means or how to approach it, we’ve curated a list of books that will be a great help. All of these books are available for purchase at our Sunday book table or online.

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God
Skye Jethani
One of the most common theological errors of our time is a failure to appreciate Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us. Jethani’s book offers easily digestible insights into how we commonly relate to God as well as practical wisdom on what our posture truly ought to be. With our pastoral theme this year being Cultivating Intimacy with God, our pastors recommend you start here. Trust us.

Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23 (Available February 27th)
Dallas Willard
In this previously unpublished work, Dallas Willard revolutionizes our understanding of Psalm 23 and reveals the secret to enjoying God’s presence and becoming utterly caught up in his abundant generosity. Our 2018 Lent series Life Without Lack through Psalm 23 is based on this book. We don’t often base series on books, but when we do it’s because they are amazing.

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
John Ortberg
Our souls are often starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by the false promises of status and wealth. In this book, John Ortberg unpacks the Biblical concept of the soul and offers a way out of spiritual shallowness into true depth with God. If you’re having a hard time answering the question, “Why should I cultivate intimacy with God?” this book wonderfully shares the answer: because our souls, the deepest part of us, long for it and need it. This book is practical and approachable.

Prayer: Our Deepest Longing
Ronald Rolheiser
With simple, down-to-earth language, Ronald Rolheiser illustrates the importance of prayer and offers techniques on how to pray, using examples from daily life, Scripture, and contemporary writers. Most books on prayer can be good but very long. This book can be read in one sitting or slowly, leading you into great times of prayer. It can also be read over and over again, used as fodder for a life of prayer with God.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
Sally Lloyd-Jones
Sally Lloyd-Jones shares profound spiritual truths from the Bible, drawing insights from creation, history, and famous writers. Through it all, she aims to turn our eyes toward the wonderful God who loves us immeasurably. Just as God draws us toward Himself, so He does with our children too. This book is just one resource to help parents spend time with their children and Jesus, forming their hearts through intimacy with their Heavenly Father.

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry
Ruth Haley Barton
Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls. In each chapter, she offers a spiritual practice to ensure your soul gets the nourishment it needs. For you leaders in our community, please read this book. All ministry we do must come from the overflow of our intimacy with God. This book is one of the best in unpacking that.

Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation
M. Robert Mulholland Jr.
In this book, Mulholland helps Christians new and old understand the gradual process of becoming like Jesus. He reviews the classical spiritual disciplines and demonstrates the importance of undertaking our spiritual journey with (and for the sake of) others. Intimacy with God is the beginning of a long journey of spiritual formation. If you have heard the term “spiritual formation” but don’t know what it means, this is one of the best introductions to the subject.