All good things must end

Alas, I have decided to discontinue the Christian nonfiction review project. Though I love reading Christian nonfiction, and I read it for a couple of hours each evening (generally), I discovered that writing and posting reviews is not a joy for me, but a burden. It diverts too much time from my larger goal of writing and publishing novels (and possibly devotionals someday).

Originally, I hoped to post three reviews weekly, which would enable me to review all of my Christian nonfiction within THREE years, assuming my book collection remained static.

That's a problem. During the past two months alone, I bought 19 books and downloaded samples of an additional 27. Once I've read the samples, I'll probably purchase a good number of them.

Unless I work full time at this, there's no way I can keep up with the reviewing. I can't keep up with the reading, either. But that doesn't trouble me, and I'll enjoy it far more, knowing I won't have to write a review.

I've included a list of all the books bought in the past two years (when I began buying Christian nonfiction). Apologies for the list being imperfectly edited, but other projects of higher priority are screaming at me for attention at this time.

The list includes 300+ titles, from a variety of Christian persuasions. 
See any of your favorites among them?

If you're wondering about the cost of buying so many books, here's the secret: The lion's share were bought via a BookBub ad. BookBub sends out a daily email showcasing e-books (according to your genre preferences) at a drastically reduced price. It means a book normally selling for $9.99 will be offered for $.99, but for that day only.

BookBub's served to introduce me to many new authors, after which, if I really enjoy their writing, I will buy their other books at full price.


100 Bible verses everyone should know by heartmorgan 
100 most encouraging verses of the bibleschmidt
100 most powerful morning prayers every Christian needs to knowPowers
19 gifts of the spiritFlynn
199 promises of God
21 prayers of promiseHogue
30 days to understanding the BibleAnders
30 prayers of devotionHogue
30 prayers of faithHogue
30 prayers of gratitudeHogue
30 prayers of joyHogue
30 prayers of peaceHogue
30-day Advent devotional from heavenTozer
4 absurd decisions God wants you to make today
4 Keys to hearing God's voiceVickler
40 Days of DecreaseChloe
40 prayers of praiseHogue
40 ways to get closer to God
45 transformational evening prayers that every Christian should knowMyer
45 transformational morning prayers that every Christian should knowmeyer
50 people every Christian should know: learning from spiritual giants of the faithWiersbe
52 weeks through the Bible
60 second scholar: 100 observations on Bible DoctrineHeiser
77 most powerful evening prayers to end your day inspired
77 most powerful morning prayers to start your day energized
a grace disguisedsittler
A hunger for GodPiper
A long obedience in the same directionPeterson
A peculiar glory: how the Christian scriptures reveal their complete truthfulnessPiper
a thousand giftsVoskamp
A year with God: living out the spiritual disciplinesFoster

A.B. Simpson collection: 32 classic worksSimpson
Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God
Absolute SurrenderMurray
Adventures in Prayer: praying your way to a God you can trustConnors
Adventures in the propheticGoll
And he dwelt among us (gospel of John)Tozer
Answers to prayer from George Muller's narrativesMuller
Art of praying the scripturesjackson 
Artist's RulePaintner
Ask for the rain: receiving your inheritance of revival & outpouringEngle
At the Still PointArthur
Atlas of Bible HistoryHarpercollins
Beginner's guide to spiritual giftsStorms
Beginning at Moses: A Guide to finding Christ in the Old TestamentBarrett
believe frazee
Believer's secret of Abiding PresenceMurray & Lawrence
Between midnight and dawn: a literary guide to prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and EastertideArthur
Bible from 30,000 feet
Bible in its ancient contextBarry
Bible prophecy: 60 predictions everyone should knowGuthrie
Bible verses: the best 500 Bible verses every Christian should know
Biographical Bible: Exploring the Biblical narrative from Adam and Eve to John of PatmosTucker
Book of Common Prayer(Episcopal church)
book of common prayer and the Scottish liturgyScottish
Book of GodWangren
Born after midnighttozer
Broken WayVoskamp
Brothers, we are not professionals: a plea to pastors for radical ministryPiper
Bruised Reed: in today's EnglishSibbes
Building your spiritual core: 101 creative ways to connect with GodParrish
bumps are what you climb onWiersbe 
Case for faithStrobel
Cast of characters Lost & FoundLucado
celebration of discipline: the path to spiritual growthFoster
Celtic book of days: ancient wisdom for each day of the year from the Celtic followers of Christsimpson
Centering prayer
Choosing Real: an invitation to celebrate when life doesn't go as plannedPogue
Christ beside me, Christ within me: Celtic blessingsRichardson
Christ in the psalmsReardon
Christian book of mystical verseTozer
Christian history devotional: 365 readings and prayers to deepen and inspire your faithLang
Christian's secret of a happy lifesmith
Circle of Grace: a book of blessings for the seasonsRichardson
City of GodHippo
cold-case ChristianityWallace
Collected sermons of George WhitefieldWhitefield
Comeback: it's not too late and you're never too farGiglio
complete collection of EM Bounds on prayerBounds
Contemplative WriterCz
Crazy LoveChan
cruciality of the crossForsyth
Daily Light (written 200 yrs ago)
Daily Reader for contemplative livingKeating
Daily reflections on the Names of GodPennington
Daily reflections: Advent & Christmas
Dangers of a shallow faithTozer
Dare to laugh: devotions for those full of yearsVanLiere
Dawning of indescribable joyPiper
Dead Sea ScrollsHolman Guide
Dear AbbaManning
Deeper Waters
Diary of Private PrayerBaillie
Disappointment with GodYancey
Divind RomanceEdwards
Divine ConspiracyWillard
Divine Hours (Volume three): Prayers for Springtime: a manual for prayerTickle
Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and WintertimeTickle
Divine Hours: Prayers for SummertimeTickle
driven by eternitybevere
Encountering the manuscriptsComfort
Erasing HellChan
ESV study BibleGod
every day in his presencestanley
Every prophecy of the bible: clear explanations for uncertain timesWalvoord
Everyday Prayers: 365 days to a gospel-centered faithSmith
Experiencing GodBlackaby
Experiencing God day by dayBlackaby
Experiencing the Holy SpiritMurray
Eyes of the HeartPaintner
Face to face with God: get ready for a life-changing encounter with GodJohnson
faith shiftescobar 
Falling UpwardRohr
Final days of JesusGibson
Finding God in all things: a companion to the spiritual exercises of St. IgnatiusBarry
Finding God in Unexpected PlacesYancey
Finding God's willMatte
Finding the real JesusStrobel
Finding TruthPearcey
Finishing our course with joy: guidance from God for engaging with our agingPacker
Fire of the WordWeb  & Foster
For the life of the worldschmemann
Forgotten God: Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy SpiritChan
Fox's book of martyrsFox
Fresh wind, fresh fireCymbala
From Jesus to ChristianintyWhite 
Fruits and Gifts of the SpiritKeating
Future of FaithCox
Gifts of the spiritPrince
God Hunger
God is closer than you think Ortberg
God's voice within: the Ignatian Way to discover God's willThibodeaux
Gospel Truth: on the trail of the Historical Jesus
Guided tour of the BibleBoa
Handbook to PrayerBoa
Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to GodBoa
healing damaged emotionsseaman
Hearing God Willard
Hearing God through Biblical meditationVickler
Heart made whole: turning your unhealed pain into your greatest strengthGifford
History of the Christian churchSchaff
Holy SpiritRohr
How Christianity Changed the WorldSchm-
How God became King: the forgotten story of the GospelsWright
How to be filled with the Holy Spirittozer
Human ConditionKeating
Hungry for more of Jesuswilkerson
I (still) believe: Leading Bible scholars share their stories of faith and scholarshipByron
I stand at the door and knockTen Boom
I Want GodWhittle
I will carry youSmith
I, JesusMissler
Ignatian ExamenThibodeaux
In the Secret PlaceRankin
Inspired by Tozermulti-author
is Hell for real or does everyone go to heaven?4-authors
It's not about meLucado
Jesus in the present tense: the I AM statements of Christ Wiersbe
Jesus on every pagemurray
Jesus person promise bookwilkerson
Jesus RevealedRoberts
Jesus: a novelWangerin
Jesus: a pilgrimageMartin
John for Everyone: part 1; chs 1-10Wright
Journal of sacred readings: spiritual formation through personal encounters with scriptureBoa

Keys to the deeper lifetozer
Know your BibleKent
Knowing God Packer
Knowing God through the year: a 365 day devotionalPacker
Knowledge of the Holytozer
Last days of JesusMoore
Learn the Bible in 24 hoursMissler
Lectio DiviniaPaintner
Life and times of Jesus the messiahEdersheim
Life lessons from my gardenBryant
Life of ChristStalker
Life of God in the soul of man in modern EnglishLamb
Life with God: reading the Bible for spiritual transformationFoster
life-changing moments with GodJeremiah
Lifestyle of a prophet: a 21 day journey to embracing your callingGoll
Light upon light: a literary guide to prayer for Advent, Christmas, EpiphanyArthur
Live dead joy: 365 days of living and dying with JesusBrogden
Living your strengths: discover your God-given talents and inspire your communityWinseman
Lord, teach us to praymurray
Lost art of Practicing His PresenceGoll
Lost art of pure worshipGoll
Man the dwelling place of Godtozer
Manifesting GodKeating
Mansions of the Heart
Mirror for the Soul
Missing KylieMyers
Morning and EveningSpurgeon
Morning and evening prayers for all the days of the week …
moving mountainseldredge
my daily pursuittozer
Mystery of providenceFlavel
Naked Now Rohr
Names of GodHemphill
NIV, the story, the Bible as one continuing story of God and his peopleGod
Not a fanIdleman
Not a fan daily devotional: 75 days to becoming a completely committed follower of jesusIdleman
one more step: finding strength when you feel like giving upWo-
One year coffee with God: 365 devotions to perk up your dayArthur
Opening to GodBenner
Organizing your prayer closetDuke
Parables of JesusBoice
Parables workbook: the mysteries of God's kingdom revealed through the stories Jesus toldMacArthur
Playdates with GodBoggess
Power in Prayermurray
Prayer: 81 powerful prayers for connecting with God everydayLance
Prayers that Unlock the Gifts of the SpiritWomack
Praying God's wordmoore
Preparing for JesusWangren
Presence and EncounterBenner
Prophecy answer bookJeremiah
Proverbs: Selected comments on twenty-two proverbsBridges
Psalm 119Kramp
Psalms: the prayer book of the BibleBonhoffer
pursuit of GodTozer
pursuit of the holy russell
Reading the Bible supernaturally: seeing and savoring the glory of God in scripturePiper
Recapturing the Wonder
Reflections on the UnknowableKeating
Religious affectionsEdwards
Reliving the PassionWangerin
Renovation of the heart in daily practiceWillard
Renovation of the Heart: putting on the character of ChristWillard
Return of the prodigalnouwen
Revelation for EveryoneWright
Rewriting your broken storyBoa
Roots and Sky: a journey home in four seasonsPurifoy
Run with the horsesPeterson
Ruthless TrustManning
Sacredness of questioning everythingdark
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchEvans
secrets of meditationdavidji
Self to lose--self to find: a biblical approach to the 9 enneagram typesVancil
Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the CrossPink
short stories by Jesus: the enigmatic parables of a controversial rabbiLevine
Signature of JesusManning
Simple PrayersBoa
Simple Prayers: a daybook of conversations with GodBoa
Simply ChristianWright
Sitting at the feet of Rabbi Jesus: how the Jewishness of Jesus can transform your faithSpangler
Soul at RestRhodes
Soul KeepingOrtberg
Soul of prayerForsyth
Soul of the PilgrimPaintner
Sovereignty of GodPink
Spiritual misfitDeRusha
Spurgeon gemsSpurgeon
St. Francis of AssisiChesterton
Streams in the DesertCowman
Strength you need: the twelve great strength passages in the Bible
surprised by hopeWright
Telling God's story: The Biblical Narrative from Beginning to EndVang
the 52 great stories of the BibleBoa
the air I breatheGiglio
The Apostle: The Life of PaulPollock
The Book of MysteriesCahn
the day that changed foreverRoehl
The FishermanHuntsberger
The Gospel according to Jesus: what is authentic faithJohn MacArthur
the gospel according to Moses: what my Jewish friends taught me about JesusDickson
the Jesus I never knewYancey
The ProdigalManning
The Reason for God: Belief in an age of skepticismKeller
The Spiritual ManNee
These are the days of ElijahKendall
Thomas Merton: a life inspiredNorth
Through the eyes of NT Wright: a reader's guide to Paul and the Faithfulness of GodVreeland
Through the eyes of the lionLusko
too deep for wordsHall
total commitment to Christtozer
Ultimate commentary on Proverbs: a collective wisdom on the BibleBarnes
Understanding the BibleHolman Guide
understanding the book of Job Tompkins
Unlocking the scriptures: what the Bible is, how we got it, and why we can trust itLasseigne
untethered soulsinger 
Upper room: Jesus' parting promises for troubled heartsMacArthur
Walking in the dust of rabbi Jesus
Walking with GodBaxter
Walking with God: talk to him. Hear from him. Really. Eldredge
When God doesn't fix itStory
When the will of god is a bitter cupWoodward
When your heart cries out to Godsala
Wicked women of the BibleSpangler
Wild in the HollowHaines
Wind and FireZamore
Women of the BibleSpangler
Words of JesusTickle
your 100 day prayersnyder 

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by [Peterson, Eugene H.]

In this work Peterson, who spent ten years creating the Message translation of the Bible, writes about the fifteen Songs of Ascents (Psalms 120-134) which the ancient Jewish people memorized and sang on their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover. Of the impetus to write the book, Peterson says,
"I knew that following Jesus could never develop into a "long obedience" without a deepening life of prayer and that the Psalms had always been the primary means by which Christians learned to pray everything they lived, and live everything they prayed over the long haul."
Peterson uses Psalms 120-134 as a frame to show us what Christian discipleship is. Though the book I reviewed yesterday, Spiritual Discipleship: Principles of Following Christ for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders, is also about discipleship, there is a stark contrast between the two in what each author does in expounding the basic concept of discipleship.

If Sanders’s book reads like a cookbook, Peterson’s reads like philosophy and poetry.

And, indeed, Peterson draws from poetry to talk about discipleship. Of the Psalter, which I have heard some refer to as a mini-Bible within the Bible, he says,
"There is no literature in all the world that is more true to life and more honest than Psalms, for here we have warts-and-all religion. Every skeptical thought, every disappointing venture, every pain, every despair that we can face is lived through and integrated into a personal, saving relationship with God-a relationship that also has in it acts of praise, blessing, peace, security, trust and love."

Psalm by psalm from 120-134, Peterson goes deeply into the meaning of each one as it relates to discipleship. I loved that his is not a shallow treatment, as I've often seen  in books that talk about the entire book of the Psalms.

Dealing with only 10% of them gives him plenty of pages to bring out the meat of each one, especially in relation to our walk with Christ.

Highly recommended,

Spiritual Discipleship: Principles of Following Christ for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders

Spiritual Discipleship: Principles of Following Christ for Every Believer (Sanders Spiritual Growth Series) by [Sanders, J. Oswald]

Spiritual Discipleship: Principles of Following Christ for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders. 

  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers (January 1, 2009)

  • Originally published in 1990, Moody Publishers is reissuing this classic on discipleship. 

  • Sanders' contention is that many people have forgotten what it means to be a Christian. 

  • Being a Christian is not saying a magic prayer that gives us eternal salvation and then living life as usual. 

  • Christ did not commission his apostles to merely save people, but to make them disciples. There is a world of difference between the two. Unless there is a true change of heart, i.e. repentance and working toward the upward call in Christ, saying the magic prayer means absolutely nothing. Yes, we are saved by grace. But our works prove that our conversion was real.

  • The Christian needs to become more like Jesus day-by-day, and Sanders shows us how. Questions for reflection are included at the end of each chapter, which I found helpful for me, to think about and measure where I might be on the narrow path, and where I can do better. 

  • I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.