Spiritual Life DevelopmentWholly Living

Summer reading for you

Can you see yourself sitting on a bench, feeling a cool breeze, while reading some wonderful books with your friend? Enjoy these suggestions from Spiritual Life Development (SLD) and have fun!

Other Voices: Exploring the contemplative in Salvationist spirituality
by Major Christine Faragher

Did you know that spiritual formation historically played a role in the life of The Salvation Army? Other Voices contains articles from past Salvation Army leaders about the deeper life. William Booth, Samuel Logan Brengle, and General Albert Orsborn are just a few of the writers who share their thoughts on the subject. Articles include: “The Priority of Prayer,” “Tools for Transformation,” “Our Need of Quietness.” If you love Salvation Army history or want to go deeper in your own spiritual walk, this book is for you.


Social Holiness: The Company We Keep
by Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond

This book discusses how holiness is full and complete salvation, which must be reflected in Christlikeness, healthy relationships, and service to others. Dr. Raymond’s thoughtful words help readers journey to where they have been in their past and explore the importance of relationships made along the way. His book also includes personal reflections and group discussions.


The Pastor
by Eugene Peterson

We are all well–acquainted with The Message Bible paraphrased by Presbyterian minister, scholar, theologian, author, and poet Eugene Peterson. The Pastor is Peterson’s memoir of his journey in becoming his most beloved role as “Pastor Pete” of a small church outside of Baltimore, Md.

Peterson openly admits he wasn’t sure what he “wanted to be when he grew up,” but this book is a story, beautifully told, of his formation as a pastor and how the vocation of pastor formed him.

Peterson challenges conventional wisdom regarding church marketing, mega pastors, and the Church’s too–cozy relationship to American glitz and consumerism. He presents a simple, faith–based description of what being a minister means today. In the end, Peterson discovers that being a pastor boils down to “paying attention and calling attention to ‘what is going on now’ between men and women, with each other, and with God.”


From Brokenness to Community
by Jean Vanier

Community is not an end or a final goal in itself. It is the place where we can meet Christ and discover his love for humanity and for every person.”—Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier’s From Brokenness To Community (Paulist Press, 1992) is a short book that contains a challenging yet inspiring message about the purpose of Christian life in seeking God’s will for us in this wounded world.

Jean Vanier is the founder of L’Arche (Daybreak) international communities where they “seek to create for people with mental disabilities a family–like environment in which they gain a deeper sense of their own worth through the bond of friendship.”

The hope is for the reader to grasp a better Christian worldview and spiritual guidance to the issues of human brokenness and sufferings in individual and communal aspects. The book also explores how people can build a missional community of faith and love together out of our own brokenness and vulnerableness in this complexed and secularized society.


Grace for the Good Girl
by Emily P. Freeman

“If the masks we wear are the false identities we show the world, then our performance is the rubber band that holds them in place.” The subtitle to Grace for the Good Girl is “Letting go of the try–hard life.” Freeman’s ongoing pursuit to be known as the “good girl” kept her from sharing who she really was. In fact, her desire to be good even kept her from exploring her own opinions as she believed they didn’t matter. This carefully crafted persona helped her avoid vulnerability, fear of rejection or being labeled as “needy.” Good girls aren’t needy, they are needed. Instead of living free, they live safe.

The author invites you to release your tight grip on the “try–hard” life and lean into the love of Jesus in a fresh, relatable kind of way that continually gives the reader many “aha” moments.


Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
by Shauna Niequist

We live in a society where striving for better, wearing many hats, and busyness is a sign of status. If we aren’t busy then we are labeled as lazy. But, what if busyness, unnecessary chaotic schedules, and trying to obtain perfection could all be stripped away? What if we could instead include words such as peace, rest, presence, silence, and connection into the rhythm of our lives? If you prefer those ideas, then this is a book for you. Shauna Niequist eloquently reveals her journey and how you can go from busyness to being more present.


The Road Back to You
by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

There are a million personality tests out there, from the Myers Briggs ISFJ, ENTJ and so on, to the BuzzFeed, “Which Disney Princess are You?” We love to learn about ourselves (even though learning that we’re most like Cinderella is relatively useless information). 

Maybe one of the most helpful personality tests is called the Enneagram. It’s an ancient personality typing system that suggests that there are nine personality types that people generally fall into. Working with the Enneagram helps people develop the kind of self–knowledge they need to understand who they are and why they see and relate to the world the way that they do.

Understanding and then working with the Enneagram can be a large undertaking. The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile makes it easy to understand with helpful stories, humor, warmth, and clear language to make this ancient tool accessible to the Modern Christian.


The Very Veggie Book of Prayers
by Peggy Schaefer

Does your child say “grace” at bedtime because it’s the only prayer they know? Pre–schoolers can learn to pray as you read the Very Veggie Book of Prayers together. Prayers for morning and evening, prayers for when they’re worried, prayers for illness, and prayers of praise are just a few of the many prayers included in this book. The short, rhyming prayers are easy for toddlers to learn and demonstrate that we can talk to God anytime, about anything. Kids will learn to thank God, to pray for others, and to trust God as they bring their prayers to Him.

Contributions by: Major Santa Correa, Major Lauren Hodgson, Matt Hodgson,
Lt. Colonel Pat LaBossiere, Joanna Polarek, Major Young Sung Kim


Additional Recommendations:
Every Body Matters
by Gary Thomas
Ruby Joy
by Katie Luse
Christ at the Door: Biblical Keys to Our Salvationists Future
by Phil Needham
Holiness for Ordinary People, 25th Anniversary Edition
by Keith Drury
The Cross and the Lynching Tree
by James H. Cone
The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope for and Believe
by Richard Rohr
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
by Rachel Held Evans
The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning
by Aaron Niequist
Irresistible Faith
by Scott Sauls
by Lysa TerKeurst
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