Planet Impressions. Encourage. Inkblots in Rainbow Colors. Doing community in the global south and other places. "Higher up and further in!" with an outreach twist.

Posts tagged “favorite books

A quick thought, quote and photo. For today. For us.

“Growing in faith, hope and love by BASKING in the presence of God” -SDH-pttu. by Adele Calhoun


our longing for deep relationship and how spiritual disciplines can help us achieve it.

“For the sake of brevity this handbook often leaves the stories and relationships surrounding spiritual disciplines for another to tell. For me, all these disciplines come with faces and names and times and places. It is my prayer that these thumbnail sketches of spiritual practices will open you to the breathtaking and inexhaustible world of relationship – relationship with God, others and even yourself. Let these disciplines draw you deeper into your life and the people you live and work with. Let them reveal the human, authentic, God-given truth of you that we all long to see.” – p. 22, Adele Calhoun

Copy of the “Good Books Read, and Reading” Page




Self to Lose, Self to Find; a Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types – Marilyn Vancil

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The More With Less Cookbook – Herald Press, Scottsdale, Pa. “There is a way that gives not less, but more. More joy, more peace, less guilt, more physical stamina, less overweight and obesity, more to share and less to hoard for ourselves.

QUIET by Susan Cain

The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Practices that Transform Us by Adele Calhoun, IVP.

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller

The Reason for God by Tim Keller

When the Darkness will not Lift by John Piper (small and short, almost a booklet) (on psychological health)

Christy by Catherine Marshall

The Lord of the Rings (trilogy) by J. R.R. Tolkien

NARNIA (series) by C.S. Lewis

Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (on creative writing)

The World Book Encyclopedia, hard copy

Feeling Good by David Burns (on psychological health)

Where there is No Doctor – Hesperian Foundation

Where there is No Dentist – Hesperian Foundation

The King James Version, Holy Bible. Also, the New King James Version, Holy Bible. Also, the English Standard Version, Holy Bible.  (all my favorites.)

NIV Thompson Study Bible –  1984 NIV and with the wonderful, OLD, Thompson chain link reference notes usually found only in KJV.  Kirk bride Bible Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. Possibly out of print, might find in used book shops. My most-used Bible – I love this Bible…

Extending the Table – Herald Press, Scottsdale, Pa.

Living More with Less – Herald Press, Scottsdale, Pa.

Healing Your Emotional Self – Beverly Engel (on psychological health)

Here I Stand – Biography of Martin Luther – Roland Bainton

Surprised by Joy – Autobiography of C.S. Lewis

AGATHA – Memoir of Agatha Christie

A Chance to Die – Biography of Amy Carmichael – by Elisabeth Elliot

Candles in the Dark – Amy Carmichael

No Graven Image – Elisabeth Elliot

Let’s Roll! – Lisa Beamer

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

Self-Compassion – Stop Beating Yourself up and Leave Insecurity Behind  by Kristin Neff (on psychological health)

Finding Calcutta – Mary Poplin

FLOW – the Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (on psychological health)

Effective Biblical Counseling by Larry Crabb (on helping others with psychological health)

Unashamed – Healing our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame – Heather Nelson (Biblical theology and psychological health)

How God Became King – N.T. Wright

Legacy – Mary Stewart

Page by Page – Heather Sellars (on creative writing)

Bonding – Brewster & Brewster  (on the outreach task)

Language Acquisition Made Possible – Brewster &Brewster

Sleeping with Bread – Holding what Gives you Life by Dennis Linn

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Kisses for Katie by Katie Davis

Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart

Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart

Writing Fiction by Gotham Writers’ Workshop (on creative writing)

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Volumes 1 and 2 by Josh McDowell

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The Law of Happiness by Henry Cloud

Hidden Art by Edith Shaeffer

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What is Family? by Elisabeth Elliot

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Listening to Prozac by Peter Kramer (on psychological health)

All is Grace by Brennan Manning

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller (small, short, almost a booklet)

The Message by Eugene Peterson

The Shack

Radical by David Platt

The Winds of War by Herman Wouk

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

Simply in Season – a Cookbook    Herald Press

The Instinct to Heal by David Servan-Schreiber

A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

A Resilient Life by Gordon McDonald

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Orphaleena by Sara Currey

Holy Bible, NLT

The Message by Eugene Peterson

Golden Cord by Amy Carmichael

Patchwork and Quilting WITH Kids by Maggie Ball

The 101 Habits of highly Successful Novelists compiled by Andrew McAleer

Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

To the Golden Shore – about Adoniram Judson

Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge

His Thoughts said, His Father Said..    by Amy Carmichael

The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

Laurel’s Kitchen (cookbook, vegetarian) by Laurel Robertson

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer McCauley

Stones of Fire by Isobel Kuhn

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden

Hold Me Tight – Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Spurgeon Gems (clippings from the many sermons of Charles Spurgeon)

A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear

Marriage to a Difficult Man – biography of Jonathan Edwards’ wife

The Complete Father Brown Mysteries – G.K. Chesterton

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

Gaudy Night – Dorothy Sayers

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman

Knowing Scripture – R.C. Sproul

Authentic Happiness – Martin Seligman

Caleb’s Crossing – Geraldine Brooks

Jesus Driven Ministry – Anith Fernando

All the Light we Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling – John G. Kruis

Call the Midwife series, the books, not the video series. or both.

The Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer

The Amplified Bible (AMP)

How the Irish Saved Civilization – Thomas Cahill

Humility by Andrew Murray

Lord, Teach us to Pray by Andrew Murray

The Pirate Coast by Richard Zacks

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

The Siege of Washington by John Lockwood

The Alexander McCall-Smith Africa short novels (#1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Morality for Beautiful Girls, and all the following books)

Gerald Durrell African animal books

The Art of Beatrix Potter by Enid Linder

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

All of the Jan Karon “Mitford series” novels

Escape from Reason by Frances Schaeffer

L’Abri by Frances and Edith Shaeffer

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom

Letters Never Sent by Ruth Van Reken (on third-culture-kid stuff)

Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax

Why Johnny Can’t Read by Rudolph Flesch

CHILDCRAFT (hard copy)

Sonlight (classics-based, excellent homeschooling curriculum)(very adaptable to different situations) (time-consuming and demanding in a good way!) (TRULY for authentically “deep love-of-learning-for-learning’s sake” families – others might find it unsatisfactory for one reason or another)

CALVERT CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL – a very basic, very thorough, very structured but also somewhat classics-based homeschooling curriculum that has been around for a long time. Good for when a homeschooling teacher is first starting to teach and feeling a lack of self-confidence for the responsibility (which is SO much more than just a task!) (If you do this curriculum, concientiously with your child, step by step, not skipping anything, you can KNOW that your child will have received a top-notch education that school year, in every subject. However, it is not onerous for most children and leaves the child plenty of time for extracurriculars of their and their parents’ choosing. Enough flexibility is there, but, not too much.)

getting back to other kinds of books: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

God’s Smuggler by Andrew (autobiography)

The Heavenly Man (autobiography)

Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore

Bruchko by Bruce Olsen

Changes that Heal by Cloud and Townsend

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

Death at La Fenice – Donna Leon (a whole string of character murder-mysteries set in Venice)

Seven from Heaven – Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey (memoir. about having septuplets)

In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Turnham (memoir)

Joy of Cooking (classic Western cookbook)

These Strange Ashes by Elisabeth Elliot

anything by Dan Allender

Give Me This Mountain (memoir) by Dr. Helen Rooseveare

Confessions of Saint Augustine

Born Again by Chuck Colsen

The Rest of God – Restoring sabbath to your life and your life to sabbath. by Mark Buchanan

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? by John Joseph Powell

Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

The House on the Strand – Daphne du Maurier

How People Grow by Cloud and Townsend (on psychological health)

for delicious leisurely relaxation, pure and simple : each of the M.M. Kaye India and Madagascar epic novels (The Far Pavilions, Tradewinds, etc.)

the M.M. Kaye murder mysteries set in the late forties and early fifties

The Peacemaker by Ken Sande (on conflict resolution)

The Third-Culture Kid Experience by Ruth Van Reken and Tim Pollock (on third-culture-kid stuff)

The Enneagram by Richard Rohr

Breathing Under Water – Spirituality and the 12 Steps – Richard Rohr








Keller books gleanings

On human suffering:

“All human beings are driven by “an inner compulsion to understand the world as a meaningful cosmos and to take a position toward it”. And that goes for suffering too. Anthropologist Richard Shweder writes: “Human beings apparently want to be edified by their miseries.” Sociologist Peter Berger writes: “every culture has provided an explanation of human events that bestows meaning upon the experiences of suffering and evil.” Notice that  Berger did not say that people are taught that suffering is good or meaningful. (This has been attempted at various times but observers have rightly called these approaches forms of philosophical masochism.) What Berger means rather is that it is important for people to see how the experience of suffering does not have to be a waste, and could be a meaningful though painful way to live life well.

Because of this deep human “inner compulsion”, every culture must either help its people face suffering or risk a loss of its credibility.

Every society must provide a “discourse” through which its people can make sense of suffering.

However, not every society does this equally well. Our own contemporary Western society gives its members no explanation for suffering and very little guidance as to how to deal with it.”  – Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, pp. 14 – 15, selected excerpts, Penguin Books, copyright 2013. Tim Keller.

The Maisie Dobbs Mystery Stories, by Jacqueline Winspeare

They are subtle, well-written, well-plotted, with intriguing historical and psychological bents and a gentle and early women’s rights agenda.  Here is a quote from the thoughts of the main character, as portrayed in talking to herself, in “A Dangerous Place”.  It delighted me today.

“Knowledge is the light.  Information is the light.  Come out of the darkness one lamp at a time.  Paint your picture of what came to pass question by question —– and remember, some are never meant to be answered because the response closes the door to the knowledge you most want and need.”   Jacqueline Winspeare, A Dangerous Place, 14 percent on Kindle. (HarperCollins, Australia)

Friendship and Books according to Lewis

“You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread.  You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words……….  Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling……… of that something which you were born desiring…..?     – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (Harper One 2001), 150.

Thinking about the first “Christmas”…

This quote I read, in Josh McDowell this morning, made me think…

“According to Deuteronomy 18, a prophet was false if he made predictions that were never fulfilled…   (Many) -predictions, some of them given hundreds of years in advance, have been literally fulfilled. The time (Daniel 9), city (Micah 5:2), and nature (Isaiah 7:14) of Christ’s birth were foretold in the Old Testament, as were dozens of other things about His life, death and resurrection (see Isaiah 53).”- Josh McDowell in his collection of research notes entitled “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict” Volumes 1 and ll.IMG_5761

Scraps and Pieces from a Good Textbook: “Effective Biblical Counseling” by Lawrence Crabb

” the results of the Fall include separation not only from God and from others, but also from ourselves.  we “come apart” as persons, unable to genuinely accept ourselves as we are.  Our consequent struggle to be, or to pretend to be what we are not explains much of our deep discontent and personal suffering.”

Thoughts on Love by Brenne Brown

” In ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ I share the definition of love that I developed based on my data.  Here it is:

‘We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.  Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.  Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.  Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.’

Developing this definition was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  Professionally, it just seemed arrogant to try to define something as big and important as love.  It felt like an endeavor best left to the poets and artists.  My motivation was not to “nail it”, but to start a conversation about what we need and want from love.  I don’t care if I’m wrong, but let’s talk about love.  Let’s have some conversations about the experience that gives meaning to our lives.

Personally, I fought the data with everything I have.  Over and over, I heard the idea of self-love as a prerequisite to loving others, and I hated it.  Sometimes it’s so much easier to love Steve and the kids than it is to love myself.  It’s so much easier to accept their quirks and eccentricities than it is to practice self-love around what I see as my deep flaws.  But in practicing self-love over the past couple of years, I can say that it has immeasurably deepened my relationships with the people I love.  It’s given me the courage to show up and be vulnerable in new ways, and that’s what love is all about.

As we think about shame and love, the most pressing question is this:  Are we practicing love?  Yes, most of us are really good at professing it – sometimes ten times a day.  But are we walking the talk?  Are we being our most vulnerable selves?  Are we showing trust, kindness, affection, and respect to our partners, to our “small groups”? It’s not the lack of professing that gets us in trouble in our relationships; it’s failing to practice love that leads to hurt.”- Brenne Brown, in her book “Daring Greatly”


Asleep in church. Psalm 62: one and two. A psalm of King David.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”IMG_4964