First Friday Book Faves- March 2014



That's the question we will be asking COF contributors and you, our readers, each month. Is there a book that you just can't seem to put down, that's teaching you a profound spiritual lesson, or making you laugh amid your struggles? We want to hear about it!

There are two ways you can join us! Tell us in the comments what you are reading or use the LinkUp below to share your blog post about a favorite book you've read.

Chelle Wilson

Praying With Our Hands: 21 Practices of Embodied Prayer from the World's Spiritual Traditions by Jon M. Sweeney

In words and pictures, this book illustrates the power of using the body as a tool of prayer and worship. As a liturgical dancer, I often find it easier to speak fluidly to God without words. Included are traditions from both within and outside Christian tradition.

A great read for anyone interested in refreshing their prayer life.


Book: Hannah Coulter
Author: Wendell Berry

I am currently enjoying this fiction book by one of my all-time favorite poets/authors. It is the story of an old woman living in a small town in Kentucky, reminiscing about her life, particularly after World War II. Hannah Coulter is written very simply, and yet is full of profound truths about life that are relatable and connect to all of us.

Noelle Rhodes

The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
By: John C Maxwell

After being encouraged by several friends from several different circles to read this book, I finally caved in and downloaded it to my Kindle. It is a fantastic read for anyone who holds any kind of responsibility. The idea is even if you’re not “at the top,” you have greater influence than you think. The book includes practical disciplines you can apply and use no matter what or who you are leading. 

Susan Panzica

Undaunted by Christine Caine, Founder of A21

Christine Caine uses her personal experiences with adoption and abuse to demonstrate the power of God to overcome life's challenges. As she transparently shares the depths of her despair and the comfort and strength she received from God, she challenges us to live life undaunted. To see how this broken little girl grew up to create and lead the global A21 human trafficking 

Denise Trio

A few months ago, I downloaded a free e-book called Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt. On a mini-road trip recently, I aptly had the chance to listen to it, and I am so glad I did.  In this book, Allison chronicles her six-month-long road trip to all fifty states with a friend who is an aspiring singer/songwriter.  She quits her job, sells all of her stuff, and even leaves a budding romance behind to embark on this journey to find what really matters in life - not the accumulation of baggage, but the reduction of it. Allison's candor and vulnerability through what may have been the most difficult experience of her life is genuine and inspirational.  It challenged me to once again purge my "stuff" that I didn't realize I was carrying, and instead pursue Kingdom "stuff."  I hope it does the same for you

Kimberly Amici

I have been bitten buy the YA series bug again. FIrst it was Twilight, then Hunger Games, now it's Divergent by Veronica Roth. I first heard the buzz about this book amongst my daughter’s friends. Then when I heard it was going to be made into I movie, I thought I would give it a go. In Divergent people are born into one of five factions, each focuses on a different virtue. After the age of 16, they are tested and given the option to join another faction or continue life where they were raised. Tris decides to leave her family and everything she knows to join the brave Dauntless. During her faction training, Tris’ eyes are opened and she sees that those governing are not what they seem. Tris, and a few other like her, try to stop the chaos that is about to ensue.

Elise Daly Parker

God for Us - Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter is written by a number of leading North American spiritual leaders, each of them taking a topic, such as Feasts and Fasts and/or week of Lent to explore the meaning and richness of this Holy Season. The book unfolds as a daily devotional/reflection, followed by prayer, and sprinkled with a range of classical art. The book promises to be a companion on the journey of understanding what Lent is all about… “called the ‘bright sadness’ of Lent—that it is not about becoming lost in our brokenness but about cleansing the palate so that we can taste life more fully.”

Susanne Ciancio LPC

The book I'm currently reading, RELENTLESS: The Power You Need to Never Give Up, by John Bevere, is the title of a DVD-facilitated bible study I'm attending at my church, Calvary Temple in Wayne. It is one of those faith quickening, hope inspiring books that reawakens you to the empowerment that is ours through His Grace. I was hooked from the first chapter when Bevere said that one of the purposes of the book was to help us develop a relentless spirit in prayer and just how important that was.  He asked how many of us became passive when something is going on in our lives or the life of a family member and we don't know how to continue so we default to "God is in control?"  I must say this kicked off a very lively discussion.

Even without a bible study, however, the book is a great little paperback designed to prime your faith pump and get you back to right believing.

This month we are giving away a copy of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. Enter to win below!

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