Wild at Heart & Captivating

Wild at Heart
Author: John Eldredge

Author: John & Stasi Eldredge

Submitted by: Jim Schuster

These two books had a profound affect on my life. I read Wild at Heart right after college during my first year of seminary. It enabled me to grapple with the longings of my own heart and what motivated me, helping me sort out what were authentic expressions of the masculine heart and where I was acting out of brokenness. My second reading of it a few years later was even more profound than the first, and it led to me making some major changes in the direction of my life (feel free to ask me more about it!)

Captivating was an eye-opening look at the interior life of women and their uniquely feminine battles. Many women I know who have read it found it incredibly validating and empowering. (Example: modern translations of Genesis give Eve the rather unflattering title of being Adam's "helper," or worse, "helpmeet." But the Eldredges point out that the original phrase, ezer kenegdo, was only used of one other person in the whole Bible - God Himself!) Reading this book was one of the most profoundly beneficial preparations for me for entering into dating and marriage.

God's Voice Within

God's Voice Within: The Ignatian Way to Discover God's Will 
Author: Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux SJ

Description from Amazon:

"Many of us do not trust our own thoughts, feelings, and desires when it comes to discerning God’s will. Instead we look outside ourselves to determine what God wants from and for us. In God’s Voice Within, spiritual director Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ, shows us how to use Ignatian discernment to access our own spiritual intuition and understand that the most trustworthy wisdom of all comes not from outside sources, but from God working through us.

God’s Voice Within is intended for people who know that there is more to the spiritual life than they are currently experiencing and are ready to take the next step in their walk of faith by making effective discernment—specifically Ignatian discernment—a daily practice.

Ultimately, God’s Voice Within teaches us to discern what is at the root of our actions and emotions, which in turn allows us to respond to God’s promptings inside us rather than unconsciously reacting to life around us.

If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat
Author: John Ortberg

Submitted by: Karolina Terrazas, Women's Group

It is an inspirational book written by a Christian pastor and author John Ortberg. It focuses around Matthew 14: 22-32 (Jesus walking on water and calling Peter). In an engaging and relatable way, it discusses trusting God with your life and decisions you are making. It examines the drawbacks of being a "boat potato" and encourages you to respond to Jesus's call to "walk on water" with Him. Our group loved it and and found it very applicable to our lives.

Crafting a Rule of Life

Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way
Author: Stephen Macchia
Amazon | Website

Submitted by: Francesca Gross, Couples Group

This book helped our group develop our own personal and family rule of life so that our lives truly revolve around the love of Jesus. The writing is very practical throughout the book and gives small group questions to use during meetings. I highly recommend it, not only for a married group but for any small group!