Each December I love sharing with you some of my favorite things – books, podcasts, and organizations I’ve enjoyed reading, listening to, and being connected with during the year.
Like nutrition for your body, your mind and your soul need nourishment too. In today’s world the resources are endless. And these are some places I’ve been nourished that might be helpful for you also.
I usually have a few books on the table beside me. I read almost every evening.
And here are some of my favorites I’ve read this year. (Some of them were published a few years ago but are new to me.)
- Where the Light Fell: A Memoir by Philip Yancey (Convergent, 2021). A raw and gripping family narrative marked by turbulence, Southern fundamentalism, civil rights pressures – and grace. This memoir brought up strong emotions in me, at various times anger, grief, identification, gratitude, and grace. Yancey’s writing masterfully invites you to bring parts of your story into the story he experienced.
- God, Sex, and Your Marriage by Juli Slattery (Moody, 2022). Presenting sex in marriage within the context of God’s covenant love, Dr. Juli Slattery outlines four pillars that form the basis of sex as God intended it – faithfulness, intimate knowing, sacrificial love, and passionate celebration. A must read for anyone married or contemplating marriage.
- Loving God: The Cost of Being a Christian by Charles Colson (Zondervan, 2018). Filled with fascinating stories and engaging theological insights, reading this book makes you want to be more like Jesus and follow God more lovingly. I was moved and encouraged, and wished I had read this book sooner.
- Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries by Gerald Sittser (IVP Books, 2010). Our Christian faith has a deep heritage shaped by many movements, and reading this book will broaden your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Today’s church has lost much of the richness of these narratives, and this book helps remedy that in a very readable and memorable format.
- Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction by Lina Abujamra (Moody, 2021). Deep church hurt has led many to “deconstruct” from the faith they thought they had. This book talks about the way back, about how to make what you replace your false faith with be the real thing and to discover the real God.
- Follow Me: Make Disciples the Way Jesus Did and the study guide Let’s Go Deeper: A Practical Guide to Following Jesus by Lee Grady (Charisma House, 2022). Is what you or your church doing truly making disciples? Crowds and events weren’t Jesus’ primary paradigm, and this book helps you understand how Jesus made disciples and how we are called to do the same.
- Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience by Krispin Mayfield (Zondervan, 2022). How securely are you attached to God? Combining attachment science and spiritual formation, this book will help you chart a new path toward a truly intimate and secure closeness to God that will withstand life’s assaults.
- More Than Your Number: A Christ-Centered Enneagram Approach to Becoming AWARE of Your Internal World by Jeff and Beth McCord (Thomas Nelson, 2022). A thoroughly gospel-centered approach to this popular personality paradigm, you’ll discover how truth and grace together can change your internal world and bring true wholeness.
- Theology of the Body for Beginners: Rediscovering the Meaning of Life, Love, Sex, and Gender by Christopher West (Wellspring, 2018). A simple and clear presentation of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Written from a Catholic perspective, there is a wealth of material here to enrich any Protestant wanting a deeper understanding of “life, love, sex, and gender.”
- Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright (HarperOne, 2018). Do you see the end of the Christian life as “going to heaven when you die”? Wright is one of my favorite authors, and this is no exception. He argues that the end is heaven coming to earth, not us going to heaven. His Biblical case is compelling, and it affects how we live and worship here and now.
I’m quite voracious in consuming podcasts. You can gain an education while you jog, drive, or clean the house. I keep my podcast feed full with these nourishing resources.
- Being Known Podcast, with Curt Thompson MD and Pepper Sweeney. Conversations about the mind, spiritual formation, and interpersonal neurobiology. One of the most life-changing podcasts I’ve encountered.
- The Emotionally Healthy Leader, with Pete Scazzero. Exploring themes around spiritual authenticity and growth in the Christian life and church. I don’t miss an episode.
- Java with Juli, from Authentic Intimacy. Conversations about sexuality, intimacy, and culture from a solidly Biblical worldview. Unafraid to “go there!”
- Ransomed Heart with John Eldredge. Conversations about the life of the heart, and the ongoing restoration God intends us to all experience.
- The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. Interviews with top leaders from the church, business, and culture about leadership, change, and personal growth.
- Dream Big Framework, with Bob Goff. Conversations about helping you discover, declare, and realize the ambitions you were created for.
- 48 Days to the Work You Love, with Dan Miller. Talk about finding or creating work that is meaningful, purposeful, and profitable, from a man of deep faith.
- Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. Practical insights from the leader of one of the largest multi-site church organizations in America.
- Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. From successful pastor, author, and awesome communicator, helping leaders go farther faster.
- Relationship Prescriptions with Dr Carol. OK, shameless self-promotion. This is my weekly podcast about the deeper matters of the heart around relationships with each other and with God, and I’d love you to join me!
Here are some organizations I connect with, believe in, and am glad to recommend.
- Christian Healthcare Ministries– believers helping to share the costs of medical care for each other. (I am honored to be a member of the Board of Directors.)
- Emotionally Healthy Discipleship– helping believers move from shallow Christianity to depth in Christ. At least take the free personal assessment on their website, and discover if you’re a spiritual/emotional infant, child, adolescent, or adult.
- Compassion International– releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. (I sponsor a precious child in Columbia, Luz Esther.)
- Charity Water– they do water – and charity – right. I love donating to this organization.
- Covenant Eyes– amazing organization providing help for those who want to break free from pornography and related sexual bondage. (Use code DrCarol for a free month.)
- Be Broken– Helping men and women find freedom from a life of sexual brokenness and addiction.
- Ransomed Heart– a bunch of resources and events helping men and women regain the life of the heart as Jesus intended.
- JuicePlus+ – the only nutritional supplement I take. It’s the next best thing to fruits and vegetables.
- The Sex Talk – are you as a parent equipped to have “the talk” with your kids? This video course with top experts answers your questions and equips you to be the parent and have this decade-long conversation. (Use code DoctorCarol for 10% off.)
- Noom – a revolutionary way to control weight and get fit, providing a personalized custom plan and help to develop a healthy lifestyle.
May these resources be inspiring and fill your winter days and evenings with meaning and growth.
** Note: Listing a resource here does not imply that I or Dr Carol Ministries endorse every idea promoted in these resources. Amazon links and links to Covenant Eyes, JuicePlus, The Sex Talk, and Noom are affiliate links, whereby you can also support Dr Carol Ministries by purchasing/connecting with them.