Get Caught Reading Month 2011

by Joan C Webb on May 20, 2011

Book open 5-2011 for blogOn my 13th birthday I opened a gift from a friend and found a book of prayers. Each time I read one my desire to pray grew. (Yes, I was a normal teenager with peer problems and flighty episodes!)

More Book-Gifts

Years later after receiving several lovely wedding gifts of towels and household supplies, I unwrapped a devotional book titled Streams in the Desert, a compilation of daily thoughts and scriptural insights.

Then during my slide into burnout flamed by trying-too-hard-to make-it-all-just-right, I received another gift—this time from an employee. It was the book, My Utmost for His Highest.

Throughout my life reading devotional books has enriched my alone times with God. Sometimes I read several devotions and study scripture for an extended period. Other times I only read one short devotion before I scoot out the door. Some days I have no time to read at all.

Books Have Changed My Life

Yet as I digest the words others have written about what it means to follow Christ, I’m inspired to stay committed to my decision to be a woman after God’s own heart (as imperfect King David was. Acts 13:22)

I still have the daily prayer book I received as a teenager. Recently I scanned the prayer-notes that I jotted in the margins. I chuckled when I noticed that even as a teen I often felt overwhelmed and self-critical. God proved patient and graceful with me then as He is now.

Joan praying by creek Sedona trip May 30-31 2009Reading devotions and inspirational messages causes me to want to spend time in prayer, to listen to God and rest in His presence. When I read something that catches my attention, I jot my response or question on the page.  Then later I go to the Bible to confirm or challenge what I read.

Reading Draws Me to God

When I’m feeling numb and don’t know what to do I open a devotional book and gain support to move forward. Reading devotional material has been such a vital part of my spiritual journey that I’ve wanted to pass on the joy to others. As a result I’ve written several devotional-type books.

I love how God is teaching the overwhelmed and self-critical teenager who grew up to be an overwhelmed and people-pleasing adult that He loves and cherishes me whether I read the right books or pray just the right prayer or have perfectly consistent faith. He knows my genuine desire to be intimate with Him and serve others. And God continues to teach me through the written words of others who love Him, too. I guess I get caught reading quite a lot!

Books stack GET CAUGHT READING MONTH 2011Rich Inspirational Reads

Here’s a list of devotional type books that have made a big impact on me.

  1. A Diary of Daily Prayer by John Baille (It’s a classic.)
  2. Streams in the Desert, Vol. Two by Mrs. Charles Cowman (Classic, too!)
  3. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (Well-known and loved.)
  4. Intimate Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire
  5. Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen by Charles Ringma
  6. God Grant by Paul E. Keller
  7. A Guide to Prayer by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck
  8. The Secret Place of Strength by Marie Chapian
  9. Psalms for Recovery by Barbara Stephens
  10. The Message//Remix: Solo–Eugene H. Peterson, Jan Johnson, J.R. Briggs, Katie Peckham
  11. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (A current best-seller)

There are more. Perhaps I’ll post another list later. The following books are the devotional books I’ve written as a result of my journey.

  1. It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life by Joan C. Webb
  2. Everyday Wisdom by Joan C. Webb
  3. Meditation for Christians Who Try to Be Perfect by Joan C. Webb
  4. Devotions for Little Boys and Girls by Joan C. Webb (a four book series for children and their parents.) 1.) Old Testament; 2.) New Testament; 3.) What is God Like?; 4.) Jesus and His Friends

Your Turn to Get Caught Reading

What inspirational-type book has impacted your life?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

MaryL May 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love books too Joan. The best inventions ever in the history of man have got to be paper, books, and the printing press. A book that God put in my path that led to some real light-bulb moments was a condensed gift book version of “The Search for Significance.” It finally got through to me that God is the only person I have to please and that I don’t have to DO things to make Him happy or approve of me. That I have great worth, my identity is in Christ and it does not depend on what I do! This was a real turning point in my life.

I read three devotionals every day. They are an important part of my day. They keep me grounded. I would include your blog in that category too. Your topics and questions are thought provoking and I enjoy the way they make me think about my imperfect life.
I recently received your book “The Intentional Woman” from Amazon. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for your list of book recommendations. I am saving it to my Books I want to Read list.

Denese B. May 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I love my EXPERIENCING GOD DAY BY DAY devotional by Henry and Richard Blackaby. There is a space beside each reading for my own responses. We have used ours over and over since 1998 (not daily) and it’s been a blessing. My hubby also likes MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST which we lovingly refer to as reading “Oswald”. ; )

Joan C. Webb May 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

Hi MaryL! I didn’t know that Search for Significance has an edited gift book version. That’s cool. I know it has helped many people. Glad it made such a difference in your life.
Thank you for your affirming words. How lovely that you just got The Intentional Woman. I hope you enjoy working through it. It’s great to do together with a partner. You can learn from one another. Let me know how it goes.

Joan C. Webb May 22, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thanks for telling me about the Experiencing God Day by Day. I’d love to see that book. Like many others, I appreciated the Experiencing God workbook.
Loved your comment about “reading Oswald!”

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