Stuff I’m Writing And Reading

by | Jan 12, 2012 | 12 comments

As some of you know I spent all of last year studying and writing about the book of Nehemiah. Well, I did other things like eat and sleep and complain about how “hard” this all was. I traveled some and cooked as many meals as time would allow. I spoke a lot and met a lot of people which was fun, but I discovered after all these years that I might be a bit of an introvert. I realized, while sitting in the midst of my bible, commentaries, laptop, and utter silence, that this space made me very happy. More than all these little joys however, steeping myself in Nehemiah has changed me, and I hope it will do the same for you. The study and videos release on Feb 1st, but more about all this in the next few days…

In addition to what I’ve been writing, I want to share with you what I’ve been reading. *First, a little disclaimer. Throughout 2012 I really want to share with you the books I come across and love, even if I don’t mesh with every word. So, in the spirit of “Hey, we may not all agree on every page or idea, but the overall message is absolutely riveting and I understand the author to be sincerely biblical,” here are two must-reads:

First up, 7 by my friend Jen Hatmaker. I say friend because we’ve talked maybe twice since we met 6 years ago while at an event where we may have conversed for all of 10 minutes. I say friend because I follow her on Twitter and now FB and we occasionally write warm and/or sarcastic notes to each other. Mostly, I say friend because Jen is the wife of a pastor, has adopted two children from Africa, written a book about mission and sacrifice, and has done so because of Jesus. See? She and I are tight.

I highly recommend this read. It will stretch, challenge, and prayerfully sculpt you more closely into the image of Christ. And, her writing is so full of humor you may find yourself laughing while all this gut wrenching conviction is taking place. She’s sneaky, that Jen. To find out more about 7 click here and/or to check out her hilarious and extremely challenging blog click here. If you read and love it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Next Up: Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker. This is a book on prayer that I haven’t even finished yet, but I can’t possibly recommend it more highly. His stories of what God has accomplished through the church he pastors, National Community Church in Washington, D.C., are utterly mind blowing. God has been teaching me more and more about prayer over the past couple years and this book reminds me that we haven’t yet scratched the surface of what God desires to do in our lives when we petition, throw ourselves before Him and seek His face. Mark is a down to earth, accessible writer, though his stories are anything but ordinary. This is a great book to start off your new year. You can check out The Circle Maker by clicking here. I think it’s already on The New York Times Best Seller List.




  1. O'Nealya Gronstal

    Ok this was a wild God moment. About 3 months ago God led me to my friend Jen Hatmaker and I have been devouring everything she and her husband are writing. (Interrupted and Barefoot Church have really messed me up) I say friend not because I have ever spoken to her but because I laugh out loud all the while weaping before the Lord and asking him to do a work that will ruin me for life. I say friend because she writes what I think and am too afraid to say outloud. And I say friend because she is so cool. I want to be like her when I grow up ~ grin ~ Oh and I read her blog and follower her obsessively on Facebook. I want to eat her kids up!

    And then just today, Zondervan sent me copy of Be a Cirlce Maker. It's on my desk with out a dog ear or underline. Taking it home to devour tonight.

    Can't wait for Nehemiah!

  2. Sara Schaffer

    Love to get a good recommendation on great books. Your thoughts at the Denver Deeper Still in 2010 about rubble are still with me at times when I need to clear things out before rebuilding in my life. Nehemiah is so rich–looking forward to your insights!

  3. llittlewood

    Hi Kelly! I don't know a whole lot about Nehemiah…your book looks like a great way to learn some more!!

    That "7" book is on my reading list this year too! Jen is such a funny writer…I've only read "Out of the Spin Cycle", but want to read more…

    Your name caught my eye because my maiden name was Minter…so funny!! We live in Buffalo, N.Y. though and have some spotty family ties…never the less…a funny connection!!!

  4. Jeannie Patz

    I've loved your Bible studies Kelly…Excited about Nehemiah…Blessings to you girl.

  5. Carol

    Thank you for sharing Nehemiah with us this COLD weekend in Ky. Can’t wait to get the study ~ You really got me excited and ready to dig into The Word!!

  6. Connie

    More than 20 years ago I dreamed that the Holy Spirit stood at a school blackboard and taught me all night the Book of Ezra. The funny thing is I never remembered any of it, it was all deep inside me , waiting for the Holy Spirit to bring it out and use it as He willed.

    Not to say I didn't read it and try to jog my memory, Ezra led right into Nehemiah. ..Which really touched a Chord in my spirit….Over the years I have read and studied it on my own, knowing full well I hadn't "gotten it " yet.

    Somehow last night as I poked around on the internet I ended up right here on this page.


    I cannot wait to get hold of this study. Who knows, maybe this is the time He brings it to the forefront of my mind and my life….

  7. Kelly

    Just picked up the Circle Maker last week and, just like you, I haven't finished it yet, and already have been so moved by everything in it.! Greatly impacted me last week, during an incredibly tough time. I think this will be one of those life changers for me:-)
    (I just have to say that I just now stumbled onto your blog from another, and I am so thrilled to find it, because at Bible study this morning another friend and I were sharing how we love your studies! Can't wait to direct her here, too!)

  8. edifier1

    I am so on board for Nehemiah. Also, thanks for introducing me to these 2 books. I will do a bit of research on them. I'm always excited to learn more.


  9. Tammy

    The Circle Maker is an awesome book. I borrowed our Pastor's book and so I couldn't write in it but I intend to buy my own and read it again. What a great book on Prayer and what God wants to accomplish through prayer if we will pray BIG. I just stumbled across the ad for the Nehemiah study on Facebook and came here to check it out. Sounds good….I love the word and the study of the Word.

  10. Stephanie Mann

    Kelly, Thank you for the book recommendations. Just wanted to let you know that I have two girlfriends that I do bible study with here in Northeast Tennessee. We completed the Ruth study this summer and just last week No Other Gods. The No Other Gods absolutely rocked my world. God used that study in a POWERFUL way in my life. I am looking forward to the Nehemiah study, too.

  11. Darryl Simonson

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  12. Judy

    Kelly, our women's Bible study is in the midst of Ruth……love it! I love your stories and spirit…….you have such an amazing knack at getting right to life application and I cry after doing most of my lessons because God so tenders my heart through the lessons and scriptures used. Thank you for the time you take to study and write studies that are so rich and life changing.

    I just finished Mark Batterson's book….Wild Goose Chase……it's rocking my world…highly recommend.

    Love your blog and the comments…..blessings to you all.