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Pain & Suffering
Grief & Loss
I recommend this book (I read the revised edition) for anyone asking or being asked the question, "why, God?" in response to human suffering. Yancey discusses the basics of pain and the importance on how humans (especially Christians) respond to suffering. I appreciated the respectful tone and gentle approach of this book. Even if the reader doesn't land at the same conclusions as Yancey, the questions, stories, and Biblical discussions are worth considering.
Where is God When it Hurts?
Healing from Childhood
Gibson breaks down 4 difficult parental styles that often leads to children growing up feeling alone and emotionally affected. I appreciate this book because she professionally describes these difficult parental styles without parent bashing. The author does a good job directing the reader toward understanding and equipping versus blaming and encouraging victimhood. I especially recommend this book if you are having struggles setting up boundaries, want to grow in emotionally maturity, and/or are having a hard time with intimacy in your personal relationships. This is also a great book to consider and better articulate how your childhood effects you now, and how to (if needed) move closer to forgiveness.
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
Dark night of the Soul
By far the best book I have read thus far on depression. I cannot agree enough that depression (and anxiety) are NOT the cause but the symptoms. Depression is the alarm system telling the individual something is off. This book not only covers the biological factors of depression but also destructive thinking, self-acceptance, stereotypes of depression, and self-rejection. This book does come from a Christian worldview.
Gary Lovejoy & Gregory Knopf
Light on the Fringe
This book is no light read. Manning, the author of Ragamuffin Gospel and over 19 other books and devotionals, goes straight for the heart. I recommend journaling along side reading this book.
I recommend this read for almost anyone, but I especially will encourage those who have a viscerally negative reaction to the idea that their Daddy in heaven loves them tenderly to read this book.
One of my favorites. Lister breaks down the meaning and implication of "God with us". This book points you directly to Scripture in every paragraph. I recommend this book for anyone questioning or struggling with the Old Testament narratives or who wishes to integrate their head and heart on the power of God's presence and His desire to dwell with us. I recommend a highlighter and being willing to mark up the pages; this book is dense in the best way possible.
J. Ryan Lister
The Presence of God
Lipsky discusses 16 warning signs of the trauma exposure response. She suggests new ways to navigate and steward your life well through suffering and oppression. I highly recommend this for those working with suffering and who are wanting to find ways to better manage their self-care.
Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk
The Trauma Stewardship
From my perspective I have trusted the Bevere's to point their readers to the Word of God and encourage them to be obedient to the Ways of Jesus. They demonstrate well how a man and woman can lead together while following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I have read Without Rival, Girl's With Swords, Lioness Arising, & Adamant. Also, I have been through John Bevere's DVD Bible studies Killing Kryptonite and Foundations. Instead of listing a review on all the books I'm providing the link to John & Lisa Bevere's online book store: https://store.messengerinternational.org/collections/books?page=1
Lisa Bevere & John Bevere
Insecurity & Shame
Recently I read this 2011 book by well-known Bible study author and teacher Beth Moore. I would confidently say Moore was talking about shame and vulnerability long before the TED talk star Brene Brown. I appreciate both of these women's work, but for those who want a Christian perspective of similar material I recommend this book. Be warned that this is a wordy book where Moore shares several narratives; however, I found that it added to the relatability factor.
So Long Insecurity
Extreme emotional outbursts/violent behaviors
This book gives a clinical yet relatable perspective on what it's like living with or being close in relationship with another who suffers from a personality disorder. For anyone who is struggling with the shifting ups and downs or extreme sweet then sour relational dynamics of another they love, I highly recommend this book. You will be able to better make sense of the chaos, stand up for yourself and assert your needs, defuse arguments and conflict, and protect yourself and others from violent behavior.
Paul T. Mason & Randi Kreger
Stop Walking on Eggshells
This book can be used for many kinds of relationships ranging from co-workers, children, marital, faith-communities, and family members. Rosenberg gives a enriching perspective on how communication can bring peace and unity. He provides guidance on how to share your feelings and thoughts honestly without triggering a defense response in another person in order to bring resolution and solution. I recommend this book for anyone who avoids conflict at all cost to those who tend to stream-roll others in conflict.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
"Letters to the Church" by Franchis Chan
"The Master Plan of Evangelism" 2nd ed. by Robert E. Coleman
"Disciple: Getting your Identity from Jesus" by Bill Clem
"Life Together" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Chan, Clem, Coleman, & Bonhoeffer
Books on Discipleship
"Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala
"Secrets of a Prayer Warrior" by Derek Prince
Cymbala & Prince
Books on Prayer
I've heard it said many times, "Every Christian should read this book". I can see why. Scazzero makes the point that our emotional and spiritual maturity is intertwined. As we grow in sanctification towards the image of Jesus and intimacy with the Father through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, it's unlikely we'll remain emotionally stunted and captive to our emotional reactions. I recommend this book especially for those who are curious to see how their emotions fit into God's design and practical understanding on how to steward emotions well in relationship. I recommend you journal and reflect in prayer. Also note, Scazzero has a book for churches, women, leaders and possibly more that you can look into as well.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
"Encouragement for Today" by Swope, TerKeurst, Evilsizer, & the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team
"My Utmost for His Highest: An updated Edition in Today's Language" by Oswald Chambers
"Sparkling Gems from the Greek" (Vol. 1 or 2) by Rick Renner