Tag Archives: Shane Claiborne

4 Books That Are Changing My Life

stack of books

I’m a self-proclaimed “book binger”. As in, I binge on books at various seasons of my life.

After undergrad and grad school, I needed a major break from reading.

During that season of being told what to read, my brain needed a break in the worst way.

So, I’ve slowly picked up reading again. {Slowly, as in…I have three small children, so any free time is a constant inner battle: cleaning, Netflix or reading? Ahh, the struggle!}

The following books are reads that have really made me think, given me hope and even challenged my beliefs.

It’s so healthy for us to read pieces that aren’t in the box we normally go to…on topics that push us; propel us to the next level.

While this is certainly not THEE list of “best books to ever read”, they have been crucial in my faith journey, in this current season of life.

There have been many other books that have strengthened and challenged me along the way, but these have spurred my heart to believe, trust and hope for the greater things right now.

The very things God is stirring in my heart and calling me to.

And, so, the list of books I’ve loved in this season of life…

1. Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons

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This book really challenged me to think about the person God created me to be. Not my friends, not my family, but me. Lil’ old Laura.

Rebekah does a great job of being effortless, relatable and brutally honest. I love the way she describes her journey and lays it out bare for the rest of us.

This book will especially resonate with anyone who’s ever struggled with anxiety or fear  {hi, like, all of us}.

Pick it up and expect to learn more about yourself, and to go deeper into what your calling might be…how you were created to be uniquely you.

2. Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith by Jen Hatmaker

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This book is for two very different types of folk.

This book is for the churchy. You know, the ones who grew up singin’ the hymns, were at church every single moment the doors were open. It’s for the ones who know all the “right” answers. The “good”, “clean” folk.

This book is equally for the people who are disgruntled with Church, Christianity and maybe even God all together.

It’s for the people who look around at the churchy folk and inwardly cry “hypocrite!”.

Yeah, it’s awesome.

Interrupted is a book I appreciate on so many levels. It’s refreshing, honest and raw.

Jen Hatmaker {one of my fave among favorite} authors, does a beautiful job of recounting her life story:  how everything was picture-perfect and comfy-as-could-be until God came and messed it all up.

Due to her authenticity, Jen reaches audiences wherever they’re at. She knows what it’s like to a “churched person”. She also knows what it’s like to look around and say…

Is this really all there is?

So, read Interrupted and be prepared to laugh, cry and have your world rocked. 😉

3. One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace For an Exhaustible World by Tullian Tchividjian

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Crazy last name, but this guy is actually Billy Graham’s grandson (now there’s some immediate credibility for ya!).

This book was recommended then kindly gifted by  someone who Jason and I greatly respect and would even call a friend – Greg Stier, President of Dare 2 Share Ministries {if you know teens, are a parent, a pastor or a youth leader, you need to get familiar with them! After 9 years in student ministry, I can confidentially say that Dare 2 Share is hands-down the most impactful, genuine, spot-on student ministry you’ll EVER see}.

This book is all about grace. God’s grace.

What it is, why we need it, and all the beautiful reasons we should extend this grace to others.

Tchividjian does an amazing job of gently explaining the difference between law and grace. He beautifully and practically paints pictures of what lives lived through both look like.

If you’re like me and struggle with “law living”, meaning, you air on the side of: “These are the rules” and are more justice focused, (perhaps, like me, speak a lot of truth but need to work on that whole truth in love thing) then this book is totally for you!

Reaching into your soul, and lovingly offering various ways of responding to difficult situations and even your view of yourself, One Way Love is a book you’ll want to soak in and truly get. 

4. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne

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This is one of those books that I wasn’t ready for until now.

You know how you can listen to a sermon, hear a piece of advice from a friend, etc. and know that you know that if it would’ve come any earlier you would’ve just brushed it off?

Yeah. That’s totally this book for me.

“Unconventional”, completely flipping-church-on-it’s-head, I love Claiborne’s humility and transparency throughout this book.

Premise? What if the Church today looked like the early Church (the one in the book of Acts)?

What if we all actually loved each other...and lived it out?

Claiborne spent some time in Calcutta learning from and being mentored by Mother Theresa right before she passed. For real, for real.

It appears as though Claiborne and I have the same major beliefs theologically. We both believe in the Trinity, that Christ came down as God with flesh on to take care of our biggest problem (sin) and then rose again three days later.

We also are fully in-line with the fact that God isn’t just about heaven, although heaven is going to be awesome and such a beautiful gift.

That God longs for us to have life to the full (John 10:10), or an ABUNDANT life here. and. now.

For me, this book isn’t something I fall in-line with theoretically point-for-point. However, I do believe there is a ton of merit in his message…

If we’re Christians, wouldn’t it be awesome if we acted like it?

If you’re like me, and aren’t familiar with communal living or a more “free/gypsy” lifestyle, then totally take this book with a grain of salt.

However, I will promise you that if you’re open to God doing a new work in your heart that He’ll most certainly speak to you through Irresistible Revolution.

Leave me a comment on what books are rocking your world right now!

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura