Sunday, January 3, 2021

Please Help Me Find Some Books For My Friend

Dear Sweet Community ~

I had a warmhearted chat on the phone with a dear lifelong friend this afternoon. She is in the midst of a courageous ongoing battle with cancer and begins yet another round of chemo tomorrow.

She's a quiet member of this blog community and right now she's looking for some Christ-centered inspirational non-fiction that will companion her through this next season of her journey.

She's a wonderful, godly woman, her faith is strong, her spirit is tender and peaceful.

I know of no better group than you to ask for book recommendations!  Please share a title or two in the comment section that you think might minister to her soul ... and include the author's name and what touched your own soul in those pages.

And even more than books, your prayers would be priceless.

Bless you ~

Linda 

66 comments:

  1. Praying as requested.

    Sorry to advertise. Some of my Christian books can be downloaded FREE on your PC or tablet. Others are priced low to cover printing costs. See www.holyvisions.co.uk

    God bless.

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    1. Victor, thanks so much! Nope, you're not advertising, you're responding to my plea and I am appreciative.

      Bless you.

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  2. Dear Linda - This is such a precious act on behalf of your friend. As I sat here thinking, I thought of a few books, some of which I am using myself at this time :)
    the updated version of Streams in the Desert
    Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore
    Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
    Prevail by Susie Larson

    And I will be praying for your friend. May God give her strength and courage as she undergoes treatment. May He cause the treatment to be effective and bring healing to her body to the glory of His Name. And may God bless you and use you to keep encouraging her as you walk alongside of her. Blessings!

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    1. Oh Joanne, what a precious gift you've shared this morning. That powerful prayer, the thoughtful selection of volumes.

      Bless you, sister ...

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  3. I'll be praying for your friend, Linda! I would recommend my series of books, but they are fiction. Here is the website, though, if your friend would like to take a look. Reminder: These look like children's books, but they are great for adults, and do provide lots of encouragement, laughter, adventure, and mystery.
    www.gladetrilogy.wix.com/theglade
    Blessings!

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    1. Martha, I'm glad you've sent along the link to your Glade Trilogy! I just put the first volume in my cart.

      ;-}

      Finally, I'm reading your fiction ... and will be passing these titles on to a loved one or two who'll be sure to enjoy these stories.

      Thanks, friend!

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    2. I highly recommend Martha's books Linda. I also highly recommend Glynn Young's Dancing Priest series (5 in all).

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    3. Yes, both are on my to-read list!

      ;-)

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  4. Hi Linda. I'm so sorry your lifelong friend is in an ongoing battle with cancer. I pray God will carry her through this heavy trial in His loving arms and give her strength and peace for each moment and healing in every way. I pray for strength for you, too, dear friend, to help you through to keep encouraging your friend. The book that immediately came to my heart is It's Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst. About finding unexpected strength when disappointments leave you shattered. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. 'It's Not Supposed to Be This Way'

      Wow, Lysa's title says it all, about so many things we are encountering in this life.

      Looks like a must-read to me, suggested by one with a tender heart toward God. Bless you, friend ...

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  5. I looked through my book shelves looking for a particular one that helped me through a hard time. It is not there. Most likely I leant it out! And I cannot remember the title. Soul Keeping by John Ortberg comes to mind. He is such a good story-teller, gentle with his message, and real.

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    1. Oh doesn't that make you crazy when you just KNOW that something is there but it's not?!

      Soul Keeping ... gentle and real hits home for me every time. Thank you for sharing this favorite volume, Lynn.

      I'm so appreciative!

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  6. Oh I will pray throughout today for your friend. So many good books out there to choose from. I have such a hard time choosing one for sure. I want to read them all. So sweet of you to ask a prayer favor for your friend. Just like Jesus by Max Lucado comes to mind for me right now. I have read that book many times and it God always speaks something new to my soul. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. I love those books where a re-read is a whole new blessing yet again, Cindy. Max Lucado has hit home for so many of us along the way.

      Thank you for sharing this title!

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  7. There is a book of which I'll tell,
    in which your friend may find some worth;
    'twas writ by General Kenneth Bell,
    "100 Missions North".
    The author was a Godly man,
    not perfect, but then, who is?
    He flew jets in a foreign land
    to bomb railway and bridge
    that sent supplies to those who would
    bring tyranny to who still lived free,
    banish gentleness and good
    and through blood seize victory.
    I strongly recommend this tale
    though right, at end, did not prevail.

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    1. Wow, only you could put a recommended book right into yet another of your famous poems.

      Thanks, Andrew, for your thoughtfulness ... and again, creativity!

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  8. I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's struggles with cancer! It is such a tough battle to go through. What a great idea to share a book list with her of books that have blessed other's lives. I have several favorites that encourage my heart. Catherine Marshall "Beyond Ourselves". Carrie Ten Boom "Oh How He Loves You" (anything by either Catherine Marshall or Carrie Ten Boom is sure to uplift the heart!)

    And of course, I did write and publish a book last year that I've been told is very inspirational and a blessing to all who read it. You can find my book, Through Love's Eyes here: https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/807088-through-loves-eyes

    Prayers will continue for your friend's battle with cancer! May the Lord bless you for being a source of encouragement for her!

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    1. Through Love's Eyes is a beautiful volume, a wonderful treasure to share with someone who needs encouragement and peace.

      I've been thinking of Catherine Marshall, too, Marilyn. I have a few of her books ... and maybe it's time to unearth them again.

      Thank you for these selections and your prayers.

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  9. I'm praying for your friend, Linda. And the book that comes to mind for me is Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton. It's a collection of short reflections/ devotions and the kind of book that's perfect to dip into, and full of hope and encouragement.

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    1. Oh this sounds perfect, Lesley! Often short reflections are the best, just bite-size nuggets of spiritual nourishment that get us through the next few hours and remind us that God is near us, tender and compassionate.

      Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  10. Linda, I have several I could send her. Will you share her address with me? hopehearthome@gmail.com

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    1. Hey Susan, that's so sweet. I'm not sharing her name or address, but if you can share the titles here that would be such a gift ...

      Thanks for your kindness in reaching out.

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  11. Most of my books have been trauma based or other types of counseling books so I am not much help. But I love that you are asking and seeking to build a list for your friend. Such a sweet thing to do!

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    1. I knew I didn't have the resources that this collective group had! What a treasure trove when we all bring our strengths to the table!

      So good to see you again, Nicki. You've been missed, girl ...

      ;-}

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  12. Hi Linda,
    I was blessed to be part of this devotional compilation. I gave a copy to my friend and neighbor who is battling pancreatic cancer and she has really appreciated it: "Take Heart: 100 devotions to seeing God when life's not okay." May you have a hope-filled new year sweet friend!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Yes, Bev ... I remember when that devotional came out ... I was so proud of you for this important accomplishment. Thank you so much for putting this book on the table. It sounds so meaningful and needed.

      Bless you, friend.

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  13. I highly recommend “Streams in the Desert” by L. B. Cowman. It was such a comfort when our family was going through some very tough times. A wonderful devotional book that I’ve given to many friends. Praying for your friend as she walks through this journey.

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    1. Susan, you're prompting me to head to my bookcase and pull my copy out. Thank you! It's so good to connect with you again today. I love when that happens. God is good!

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  14. Praying right now for your friend, her family, her caregivers, and you, Linda. What a beautiful gift you are giving her with book titles. I just started reading the sample of "Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy" by Mark Vroegop this afternoon, so I can't recommend it from personal experience yet, but it was recommended to me by someone (I can't remember who!). It's about lament. That may or may not be helpful to her, but if it does appeal, this looks like it could be an important book. May God's tender mercy cover her completely!

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    1. Thank you for praying for her and her family, Lisa. What a hard season.

      Lamenting is something I'm guessing we're all doing in one way, shape, or form. And the author is right, until we're lost in those dark clouds, we never know how deep God's mercy is.

      And oh, it is deep and rich and sweet.

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  15. Aw, Linda ... my heart goes out to your friend as she fights this hard battle. The book that keeps coming to my mind is one I've only just begun reading: "Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers" by Dane Ortlund. It was on several "best of 2020" lists, if that helps at all.

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    1. Lois, thanks! That phrase 'Gentle and Lowly' speaks softly, offers peace and comfort.

      This is what we need as we battle. His precious presence.

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  16. Hello Linda,

    Blessings to you and prayers for your friend. I have three titles: Searching for Certainty by Shelly Miller (I just finished it and plan to start it again so I can linger in it more slowly-- it's a gem)! Also, The Power of Praying Through Fear by Stormie Omartian was helpful. And I just purchased and am starting What If... God Has Other Plans?: Finding Hope When Life Throws You the Unexpected. I hope these are helpful.

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    1. These all sound so good, Gail, so appropriate for where we're finding ourselves in this season. Thank you for taking the time to share these three titles. And thank you for praying ... the most urgent gift of all.

      Bless you.

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  17. I recommend anything from Bob Goff and especially his first book, Love Does.

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    1. Kathreen, thanks for your recommendation! I've heard good things about Bob Goff's books and about his character as a person.

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  18. I will keep your friend in my prayers.

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  19. I was given "Streams in the Desert" and loved it also. One of the things which sustained me was Christian music and there is plenty out there to feed the soul!
    Praying for your friend!

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    1. Oh yes, Lulu ... Christian music calms and comforts and gives us hope that all will be well.

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  20. Red Sea Rules - the same God who led you in will lead you out
    by Robert J Morgan
    My husband and I read this book out loud together at the beginning of the pandemic - one short chapter every morning before he headed to work. Highly recommend.

    The Lord Is My Shepherd - resting in the peace & power of Psalm 23
    by Robert J Morgan
    We are reading through this book now. Again, highly recommend.

    Man's Search for Meaning
    by Viktor E Frankl
    Every time I read this I think I need to read it once a year.

    Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
    by Jerry Bridges

    The Grace of Catastrophe: when what you know about God is all you have
    by Jan Winebrenner
    I felt like Jan's friend when I read this book. She's walked the path.

    A Pace of Grace - the virtues of a sustainable life
    by Linda Kavelin Popov
    The author is of the Bahai faith but her language of virtues is universal and her book is FULL of wisdom how to navigate life when you have limited energy because of illness.

    The Hardest Peace - expecting grace in the midst of life's hard
    by Kara Tippetts
    Kara has gone to be with Jesus since writing this book. Look for her on-line to hear her speak or be interviewed.

    Hinds Feet on High Places
    by Hanna Hurnard; arranged by Dian Layton; illustrated by JoAnn Edington
    A simplified sweet version of the original that is comforting to read.

    It Will Be Okay
    by Lysa TerKeurst
    An illustrated children's book about a little seed who's afraid of the dark.

    The Farmer
    by Mark Ludy
    An illustrated children's book about a farmer who experiences hardship.

    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
    The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Series by James Herriot
    Christy by Catherine Marshall
    Good story-telling.

    I would also encourage your friend to consider subscribing to her favorite magazine or two - or ask a friend to pick some up for her that relate to her favorite hobbies, etc... Sometimes you just need eye candy and fluff.

    With prayers for hope and peace for your dear friend,
    Carla

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    1. Oh wow, Carla ... this is a treasure trove of goodness. That you've taken the time to pull this list together is sheer gift indeed.

      Amazing grace.

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    2. I saw this on one of my bookshelves this morning and had to add it...
      One Year Book of HOPE
      by Nancy Guthrie
      An extremely well written devotional book totally devoted to hope. Each week of the year has a theme... six days of devotions followed by one day of reflection. And this feels like such a good time of year to start through such a book.

      Thank you for what you are doing for your friend; we all benefit from it.
      Continuing to pray for her, Carla

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    3. Yes, I have Nancy's devotional. Looks like this is a good time for a re-visit!

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  21. Linda, I have seen several readers recommend Streams In the Desert already. When I was going through a hard time, it was so helpful. Praying for your friend!

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    1. When a book is repeatedly recommended around here, I sit up and pay attention. Thanks for your input, Pam ... be sure that it is valued!

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  22. My heart goes out to your friend, Linda. Sending prayers her way. One book that came to mind was The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle, Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado, and Uncommon Ground by Timothy Keller. You are a good friend for helping her out this way!

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    1. Laurie, hi! I've heard so much about Madeleine L'Engle ... you have a lovely selection here and I'm so grateful!

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  23. Praying for your friend, Linda. The Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller would be a blessing, I'm sure. Blessings to you!

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    1. Timothy Keller is showing up on this ongoing list which tells me something good! Thanks for those prayers and for your suggestion. We're all pulling together a huge feast of goodness here! I love that.

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  24. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and prayed just now for her and for you. I looked through the comments to see if these were mentioned and didn't see them.

    One that has helped me a lot is A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot. If you know Elisabeth, she's very plainspoken and straightforward and weighs everything by Scripture. A new book by her published posthumously is Suffering Is Never For Nothing. That one is transcribed from talks she gave during a conference. It covers some of the same ground but is told a bit differently and without as much detail.

    Rose From Brier was written a long time ago by Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, but I love it. Amy spent the last 20 or so years (if I am remembering correctly) of her life as an invalid. Once her ministry received a bunch of tracts for patients at their hospital. But they didn't sit well with Amy. She felt they sounded like they were written by well people telling sick people how they ought to feel. She felt led to write from her own experience in the trenches of pain and illness.

    Another favorite is When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes. Joni, as you know, was paralyzed in a diving accident. When she got well enough to do so, she just had to dig deep and wrestle with what the Bible said about suffering in order to come to terms with her new life.

    I agree with the Mitford series someone mentioned for lighter but still nourishing reading.

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    1. Interesting, Barbara, that I had been thinking of both Elisabeth Elliot and Joni Eareckson Tada ... I'm glad that you've come up with these reads. Your reading life is so rich and full and so I know your selections will be very well received.

      And yes, Mitford is a wonderful place to be when all is not well on earth! Karon served me well a year ago and my mom is now devouring her series.

      ;-}

      Again, thanks for your thorough input. I'm so appreciative.

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  25. Praying with everyone as she begins another round of chemo. Many wonderful memories over the years. What a wonderful list of books here, so many sound helpful as someone goes through trials.

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    1. She is so excited and overwhelmed by all the love here this week.

      I'm so thankful I didn't have to come up with a list on my own! Let's hear it for community.

      ;-}

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  26. Linda, I love your heart for your friend. I'll be praying for her, her family, and for you as you encourage her on this journey. As for books, I've read a lot more fiction than nonfiction. I must agree with Streams in the Desert. I need to pull that one out again. :)

    Two fiction books that really spoke to my heart in 2020 Secrets of Paper and Ink, by Lindsay Harrel and The Printed Letter Bookshop, by Katherine Reay. The characters are real, the stories are realistic and left me thinking about them for awhile afterward. They're not super heavy stories, so they may be soothing to read when the mind needs to rest a bit.

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    1. Hi Jeanne! Happy New Year ... it's so good to see you again! Looks like Streams in the Desert is in the lead for the most mentioned book and I know I'm going to be pulling my own copy off the shelf in a few days.

      Yes, I read The Printed Letter Bookshop last year and am jotting the other title down ... for myself. I'm all about soothing books these days and have no bandwidth for anything heavy.

      ;-}

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  27. I am reading Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller. I can’t critique it cause I have only read 2 chapters so far. Keller can be a tad academic but in a celightful way. Keller says something worth pursuing for me; “Nothing is more important than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose in the midst of painful adversity.” “And heaven will make amends for everything.”

    Pain and suffering is the hardest fact of life to understand but there has to be a way to trust God in suffering.

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    1. Tim Keller keeps appearing on this list. That tells me something!

      You've never led me wrong, friend ...

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  28. I'm sorry I'm late to this party Linda. Over the past couple of years I have read but also given away several books on cancer and dealing with it. I have a text right now into someone whose husband died of cancer two years ago. I have not heard back from her to get the names of the books. One that was really helpful to me was called "Out of the Blue" by Greg Murtha. It was quite a insightful book on his 4 year struggle (and ultimate death) and something like 80 chemo treatments. He was also a Christ-follower. If I ever hear from the lady about the other books I will pass them on.

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    1. Bill, thanks! And you're never late to the party around here ... trust me. Your wise observations are always welcome.

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  29. Yeah overthinking is so annoying. I do feel a lot of non-fiction books are guilty of overthinking or even a 600+ page novel but I believe Ann Bogel’s books are short and precise, hopefully this one is too.

    I am a chronic over thinker in some areas but yet very decisive in others. I tend to easily get annoyed though when others do it. How many meetings have we attended that were so ridiculously full of overthinking and at my age now, I can’t bear to waste the little time I have left LOL. Can’t wait to see Ann unfolds this subject.

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    1. Oh those meetings ... I don't miss one single minute!

      ;-}

      Yes, Anne is short and precise and this book quite simple to work through. I'm banishing anything heavy from my reading life in this season.

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  30. Jesus Himself by Andrew Murray and Facedown by Matt Redman. Both books are simple, but full of deep-hearted nuggets of Truth. They are small books that will fit easily into her purse. They are great for reading a paragraph or chapter, then meditating on the truth just read. I think they would be life-giving to your friend.

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    1. Lisa, welcome ... and thanks! I remember seeing Andrew Murray on my parents' book shelf. Don't you just love books that are small, simple, spiritually deep and stand the test of time?

      ;-}

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  31. This Wasn't Supposed to Happen to Me (Bev Smallwood), When God Weeps (Joni Eareckson Tada), and It's Not Supposed to Be This Way.

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    1. Beth, thanks for sharing these important books. Joni Eareckson Tada is a dear favorite. What a legendary woman of God.

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