So, I'm working on putting together a little resource list for each of you dear hearts. It's by no means complete, but a core selection of reading material that helped me move out of one world into another. If you have something to add to this list, PLEASE do! Leave it in the comments.
Please, please do not let money come in between you and these books. Rent them at the library, or find them through bestbookbuys.com. Or carve out time in your week to go sit at Barnes & Noble and read them on the floor. That's how I read most of them.
Sex God - by Rob Bell :::::: We never talked about sex. Ever. It was dirty, sinful, wrong. I recommend this book to every person regardless of their past or present.
Sex & The Soul Of A Woman - Paula Rinehart :::::: Girls, this is a must-read. Even if you haven't had sex. You are an absolute gift to man. Paula writes about sex and heart-stuff in a way that only a woman can.
Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning :::::: The gospel is simple. The church has complicated it. Get it un-complicated.
Think Differently, Live Differently - Bob Hamp :::::: This book will change the way you view absolutely everything. It's no longer about doing more right, more good. It's about knowing that "more right, more good" won't get you any closer to the life Jesus created for you. It's about living from the Tree of Life, not from the branch of Good on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
What's So Amazing About Grace - Phillip Yancey :::::: Get this, or at least get the Visual Edition for starters. Weeks after I ran out and away from my family, I probably wouldn't have read anything other than the super-awesome visual edition. This book showed me, for the first time, that Jesus loved me. No matter what. And that all of us were sinners, and equally dirty. No matter what.
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How To Say No - Cloud & Townsend :::::: This book is important for every single person, and absolutely necessary for someone who grew up in an controlling or manipulative environment. I am a people pleaser, I can't say no, I over-commit, & I get irrationally emotionally involved. For the first time in my life, I know it's okay to do what I want with my life.
The Hidden Heart* - Bob Hamp :::::: The idea that "the heart is deceitful above all else" and must be ignored and smothered, is something that has been grossly mis-interpreted in a lot of conservative Christian circles. I was racked with guilt and ended up severely depressed because of it. Read Bob's brief *blog post on how you are SUPPOSED to treat your heart.
Radical - David Platt :::::: The gospel in its simplest form. Learn to live how Jesus lived.
Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics - Alisa Harris :::::: If you were raised in a very political-oriented family like I was, read this.
A Tale Of Three Kings: A Study In Brokenness - Gene Edwards :::::: Very, very short book. If you've lost family members, moved away, or gone through any sort of grief - read it.
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers :::::: This is a pretty hefty novel (yes! novel!) about a prostitute. This book I hid in my room when I was 17, and it pulled at my heart strings just enough to give me the courage to leave home and seek out a God who was this loving, this forgiving, of a woman He dearly treasured.
Blog Posts I've written on my experiences:
A New Definition Of Love
How To Deal With Pain
Letter To The Girl Without A Father
Grief, Lightning Storms, & A Broken Spirit
Jesus Will Change You
When Christianity Says You Aren't Enough
Love Was The Plan
What books do you recommend? PLEASE share them in the comments.