It is my pleasure to turn the screen over to my guest, Amanda Everett! Amanda is a tender-hearted author I’ve had the blessing of connecting with. I’m sure you’ll find her equally delightful. Take it away, Amanda!
There’s a wonderful quote by Cassandra Clare that says, “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
How true that is! Words are powerful, and what we fill our mind with will often overflow into other areas of our lives. It’s for this reason alone I primarily read Christian fiction.
Whether or not you’re an avid reader, I think it’s safe to say that we all have at least one book which has profoundly affected our lives. Here are five of my favorite novels, in no particular order, and the ways they have influenced my walk with the Lord.
- The Glenbrooke series by Robin Jones Gunn – Secrets, book one in the Glenbrooke series, was the first contemporary Christian novel I ever read. It opened my eyes to a world of romance and the joys of God-centered relationships as I’d never seen before. Gunn’s writing gave me hope and made me raise my standards for the type of man I wanted to marry. I know some people may say that romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations, but in this case they couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, they encouraged me to hold out for a man who loves and serves the Lord whole-heartedly.
- Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – No other novel has made me more aware of my own sin and of God’s relentless, unconditional love than Redeeming Love. While reading this book for the first time I was smacked across the face with the many ways I run from God and all the times he pursued me when I didn’t deserve it. Any book that points out my need for a Savior is a definite favorite.
- Though None Go with Me by Jerry B. Jenkins – The heroine in this novel makes a promise to follow Christ no matter what. That’s a cliché phrase we often toss around, but what does that actually look like? Though None Go with Me showed me the power of choosing to follow Christ in the small, everyday moments and the far-reaching impact it can have on those around me. It took the concept of laying down my life to follow Christ and made it relatable to me as a woman in the present day.
- The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers – This series. Wow! It had me examining my own walk with the Lord and the way I serve others. The heroine, Hadassah, is a humbling example of what it means to love and serve others, even our enemies, as Christ loved us. I often found myself questioning whether or not I would have the same kind of faith if I was in her shoes, and that alone challenged me to dig into God’s word more. It also gives a staggering glimpse into what early Christians endured for the sake of following Christ.
- A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade – I finished reading this book a week before we became foster parents to two little ones. During the sleepless nights and heart-wrenching days that followed, when I didn’t have the energy to shower let alone read my Bible, the message of Becky’s book stayed at the forefront of my mind. God is good. I clung to those words, repeating them over and over to myself when it felt like my entire world was falling apart. While the children have since moved on, the impact A Love Like Ours had on me during that time still brings me to tears. I know God used Becky’s writing to minister to me when I didn’t have the strength to seek Him on my own.
I’ve heard people write off Christian novels as being too preachy or filled with trite clichés, or worse yet, accuse them of being irrelevant. But as Cassandra Clare said, words are powerful. God himself gave us the greatest love story ever told—written on pages and bound together for us to read. While Christian novels are no substitute for spending time in God’s word, they have the unique ability to reveal different aspects of God’s character in a way we may not have known before. As a writer, what could be greater than impacting others for Christ?
I’m curious to know, what books have most impacted your life? Tell me in the comments section below.
It’s Teresa again… Thanks to Amanda for this great post! Have you been enjoying the tour around the blog-sphere this week, chatting with other authors/bloggers about Someplace Familiar? If you’ve not visited yet, be sure to check out these posts and chances to enter the Someplace Familiar Blog Tour Giveaway!