Recommended Reading

Can you imagine pulling together a faculty the likes of C.S Lewis, Dallas Willard, A. W. Tozer, George McDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas A’Kempis, John Eldredge, Greg Boyd, Leanne Payne and more? These are just a few of the professors and teachers that have walked with God and left us, entrusted to us, what they have found along the way. We have attempted to assemble a list of guides and counselors as well as their notes and encouragements that they have passed along for others on their journeys.

We are all apprentices—learners—as well as teachers and helpers. It is our hope and prayer you step into these roles well and you will take some of these elective classes and more from a Faculty guaranteed to stretch you, comfort you and encourage you for the road ahead.

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The HeArt of a Warrior: Before You Can Become the Warrior, You Must Become the Beloved Son, Michael Thompson Men have a glorious and significant role in God’s Larger Story. They also are the target of a special warfare aimed continually and ruthlessly at the center of their being… their masculine hearts. Naivety and ignorance keep many men running in circles while misinformation and poor training keep many more in bondage. Men are wounded, frustrated, angry and being crushed under the weight of criticism and expectations. The attempted solutions of recent years is education; tell men what they are doing wrong and give them a list to memorize. This strategy isn’t working and its time we fall back to an Ancient One. What if we are setting men up for failure rather than helping them be free? Join author and guide, Michael Thompson, as he invites men to a place of training and orientation that will ensure both a settled heart and a fierce courage. A man cannot enter this battle without knowing he is a Beloved Son. After all, that is what the battle is all about!

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Search and Rescue

Search and Rescue: The Life and Love that is Looking for You, Michael Thompson When meaningful stories are told and passed down through time, elements and components of those stories often get lost. The stories evolve and pieces get misplaced, parts get left out and the truth can go missing. What once was central can become secondary. Secondary elements end up central. Add to that an evil force that is deliberately working against the story, tainting it, distorting it and you risk losing the true message altogether. This is what has happened to our story. And this is the backdrop of Search and Rescue: The Life and Love That Is Looking for You. We desperately need to recover critical components of a much Larger Story, a Larger Gospel that has been lost, misplaced and even stolen. Search and Rescue is an invitation to look for and find that which has been lost in the lives of believers. It’s also a lifeline for countless others trying to survive, hoping that help is on the way.

In the book, Search and Rescue, Michael Thompson, the author invites readers to look for what has been lost in their lives and more importantly, to acknowledge their own need to be searched for, rescued and restored.

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Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart, John Eldredge Every man was once a boy. And every little boy has dreams, big dreams: dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.But what happens to those dreams when we grow up? Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man? Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there. Most Christian men are…bored. In Wild At Heart John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God. And he invites women to discover the secret of a man’s soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer.

CaptivatingCaptivating, John and Staci Eldredge Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child’s play. They are the secret to the feminine heart. And yet–how many women do you know who ever find that life? As the years pass by, the heart of a woman gets pushed aside, wounded, buried. She finds no romance except in novels, no adventure except on television, and she doubts very much that she will ever be the Beauty in any tale. Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, chores and errands, the effect has not been good on the feminine soul.

But her heart is still there. Sometimes when she watches a movie, sometimes in the wee hours of the night, her heart begins to speak again.. The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman–they are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to come now, as the Hero of your story–to rescue your feminine heart and release you to live as a woman, fully alive. A woman truly captivating!

The Way of the Wild at Heart

The Way of the Wild at Heart, John Eldredge This is a book about how a boy–and a man–becomes a man. It’s a guide to the process of masculine initiation–that ancient path every boy and man must take if they would become the man they long to be. The path whereby they come to know they are a man and are able to live and love from a deep, centered strength.

We live in a time where most men (and boys) are essentially fatherless. Whatever their circumstance, they have no man actually taking them through the many adventures, trials, battles, and experiences they need to shape a masculine heart within them. They find themselves on their own to figure life out, and that is a lonely place to be. Their fears, anger, boredom, and their many addictions all come out of this fatherless place within them–a fundamental uncertainty in the core of their being. .. But there is a way.

The Message

The Message What would happen if you received a letter from God? Would your heart pound? Would your mind race? Would your life change? With The Message, Eugene Peterson’s best-selling paraphrase of the Bible, you can join the millions of readers who have experienced God’s Word in the form of a personal message.

Enthusiasm for The Message has boosted its popularity as the most reader-friendly Bible available today. All 66 books of Scripture unfold like a page-turner you can’t put down! Chapter and verse are included in this New Testament edition.

My Wife

My Wife, Jay Stott My Wife is written to assist men as they discover or rediscover their wife’s heart. It’s not a book to start and then not finish. It’s a journal, a guide through the challenge and joy of discovery. There are questions in several categories to serve as prompters for discussion. The questions range from: “What is my wife’s favorite color?” to, “What are her hopes and dreams?”. In addition there is space in the back of the journal for you to come up with your own questions. The key is in the follow through, and you will find it is worth the effort.

 

Epic

Epic, John Eldredge It is critical to understanding our own story. Knowing the story in which your story is in will make all the difference in the Life that you lead. We believe this is one of the most significant “little books” our friends can read.

 

 

Hearing God

Hearing God, Dallas Willard This book by Dallas Willard captured us and has never let us go. Can you imagine, hearing God speak into your life with counsel, guidance and direction as well as with “love notes” and deep intimate words your heart desires? We have too and He is! In life, you make thousands of decisions, big and small. You want these decisions grounded in “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and you lift your petitions to God in prayer, but communication with God is a two-way street. Are you listening to Him? In Hearing God, you’ll learn how the other half of the conversation works in practice. At its end, you’ll have a biblically-based portrait of what intimacy with God looks like and a vision of life enriched by hearing God’s voice. Willard has others we’ve not recovered from like Divine Conspiracy and Spirit of the Disciplines.

Anything and Everything Goes, C.S. Lewis Few people have had as much impact on Christianity in the last 100 years as C. S. Lewis. His books continue to take readers much further into Christianity than just the facts, truths or theology of the faith, no Lewis takes us into much more. Themes like longing, desire and invitation to experience, feel and truly observe. It is the difference between looking at the mathematical formulas that would enable a bi-plane to fly verses setting in the two seater with an experienced pilot punching holes in the clouds and chasing a sunset. Which would you believe to be more impacting? We’ll take the clouds over the chalk board too!

Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis Lewis sought to explain and defend the beliefs that nearly all Christians at all times hold in common. His simple yet deeply profound classic, originally delivered as a series of radio broadcasts in the 1940s, is a book to be thoroughly digested by believers and generously shared with skeptics. We purpose to read it at least every other year for as we grow in Christ so does its impact in our hearts!

 

 

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia, C S Lewis As we said earlier of C S Lewis… “we recommend anything and everything he has written, but here we must promote the brilliant truths conveyed in the land of Narnica and all its mythical reality for the Christian to enjoy. The themes rehearsed again and again in this collection speak to the very themes of life we all experience at life’s different stages. Few knew the spiritual realm as well as Lewis and even fewer were able to write about it in such a way that a 8 year old or 80 year old would follow the author into another adventure of a world closer to our own than we’ve known. We look forward to the films but even more to the next time we set down and reread their origins.

Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem Don’t let this “text book” scare you off. This staple in many Seminaries and Divinity schools is also a staple in our squadrons walks with God. Grudem is brilliant in his kind way of taking the lofty theological and making it real, easy to read and clear to comprehend the system of theology the scriptures make up as a whole. We truly champion chapter 21 on Satan and Demons as a resource that we teach from and make available as often as we can. The Bible is the standard for what we believe and Grudem has offered maps that make the journey into the scriptures much more competent and confident. If you only own one Seminary Text Book…make it this one.

Victory Over the Darkeness

Victory over the Darkness, Neil Anderson After the alter call or before we are dry from the baptism this book should be thrust into our hands with a hug and an nose to nose warning…“This is going to get rough, read this and lets talk”. When we begin our Christian walk we are overwhelmed with joy, but it does not take long before the Kingdom of darkness releases a subtle and aggressive attack at our new place in the spiritual realm. The attacks often come regarding intellectual doubt, emotional confusion and physical pain and come with accusations, guilt, fear and confusion…all aimed at and committed to threaten our person and place in the Kingdom of God and ultimately to separate us from our Savior. Neil Anderson explains that our Identity in Christ, the power of Scripture and the love of a Redemptive Community will help us to EXPERIENCE Victory Over the Darkness. We love this book and offer it to others often. For those who want more from Anderson we recommend his related book to Victory over the Darkness, The Bondage Breaker. And friends, be assured…there is more!

My Utmost for His Highest

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers For nearly seventy-five years, countless millions of Christians the world over have trusted the spiritual companionship of Oswald Chambers’ classic daily devotional. It is amazing how often the daily reading aligns with our daily experience. We love when God does that. Os is one of our favorite mentors who has walked with God and met with God often…we don’t live through him vicariously but are encouraged to have our own experience with God through his writings and encouragement.

 

Knowing God

Knowing God, J. I. Packer This book is another in our list because Packer brings the deepest theological truths to the truest desires of our hearts. To be known is a fundamental hope that rests below the layers of apprehensions, self protections and image posing that we construct or construct us. If known will God still love me, can I trust Him, is He for me? Packer whispers yes, yes and yes and practically winks as he writes invitation after invitation to come and see for yourself. Knowing God is one of the most helpful and encouraging books on the character and heart of God we’ve found.

 

The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence The encouragement of a little French monk has captured the hearts of others for three centuries. Brother Lawrence has taught Christians that God is as present in the kitchen as in the cathedral and as accessible in the living room as He is around the Lord’s table. People sought his wisdom and discernment from Kings to fellow monks. Knowing God is not the same as KNOWING God and this little book speaks of a man who had intimate conversations with God and KNEW the Father well. It is a book that truly should be read at least every other year to bear witness to how the reader has grown in his own experience of walking with God.

 

Heaven

Heaven, Randy Alcorn As the years pass and we watch more and more of our family, friends and mentors pass away, it is only natural to ask questions about heaven. However, our understanding of heaven was limited to a few half-forgotten Sunday school lessons and the insubstantial images provided by popular movies and T.V. Fortunately for us, we came across this book, in Heaven Randy Alcorn provides us with a thoroughly researched and biblically definitive description of heaven. As Alcorn addresses our most serious questions about heaven, including the nature of judgment, and answers a few of our less serious questions as well, including the accessibility of cafe mochas you will develop a deeper understanding of our eternal destination and will find the courage to strive for heaven while living on earth. We recommend the “50 days of Heaven” devotional as well.

The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer In the muddle of day-to-day life, have you somehow forgotten that Christianity is a living, vibrant relationship with a personal God? In the The Pursuit of God, Tozer reminds and challenges us to renew our relationship with our loving God. In each of the 10 chapters, Tozer explains one aspect of hungering for God and ends with a prayer. It is a great devotional read or small group study. We believe you will see through this book that we are to be active and engaged in the Christian life and it is in that posture we truly see God’s pursuit of us!