I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, and I can only imagine how true this is for people who have little ones to tend to from dawn to dusk, and then probably, still, from dusk to dawn. I got the slightest taste of this today when I took three of my favorite six children in all of Nashville over to my house for a fun snow day – even though there was no snow (from this winter on I shall start referring to them as “flake days” maybe). At any rate, I got no writing done. I got no reading done. How could I when there were shoes to tie and games of Hangman to play; when The Incredible Mr. Limpet was playing in my living room? I wouldn’t trade the day for anything, but if I had  – absolutely had – to trade it for a day of reading, this is what I’d have in my hands…

First off, Mark Batterson’s new book Primal: Recovering The Lost Soul Of Christianity. I’m almost done and it is a must-read. (My dad is an amazing guy and has pastored for over 35 years and read more books than I can imagine; he puts Primal in his top five.) Here is why I love it as well: This book shows the reality of the Gospel, it doesn’t just talk about it or define it.

You can tell from Mark’s stories and humility that Jesus is making an enormous impact on him personally, in his multiple congregation locations in D.C. and across the world. I don’t know what your soul is longing for right now, but mine is desperate to see Jesus alive and active in my life and the lives of those around me. And, yes, I do see Him in many ways, but I’m always so encouraged and impassioned when I encounter first-hand, or read about, people who are experiencing him undeniably. Mark does not give us a hard to digest, how-to book. He brings us back to the basic, yet unfathomable, command of Jesus to love Him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Have I sold you?

Second book I am finding equally powerful is Dallas Willard’s, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings On Discipleship. I am devouring this book for much the same reasons I am loving Primal, mainly because it is all about having a real, life-consuming relationship with Jesus. Not just having Him as a religious side-dish. It’s about the truth and transformation of being an apprentice of Jesus’s, and loving others enough to teach them about who He is and how He calls us to live: Life to the fullest.

Okay, so these are my two faves right now. The big question is “What Are You Reading And Loving?” (When the kids are asleep, of course.)