Three Books That Inspire You to Truly Live

Ok, this is my first post (after reading Start by Jon Acuff I decided to punch fear in the face and start this blog). For those of you who know me well you know that one of my top 5 strengths according to StrengthFinders  is LEARNER (the other 4 are Achiever, Discipline, Belief, & Responsibility). If you’ve never taken this assessment give it a try (I’ll share more about it on another day)…  I love to learn but I also love to share what I’m learning (or in this case at least share 3 resources that can help us all grow and learn). So, that is what I intend to do with this blog: share 3 resources on 1 topic 2-3 times a week. From time to time I might share a few things I’ve personally gleaned from them but for the most part I simply want to get the resources in front of you and let you discover some things along the way.

These 3 books are must reads for the person who desires to grow into the person God created you to be (the descriptions are from the author or publisher). Check them out and let me know what you think:

Growing up, we dreamed. And our dreams always painted the portrait of the adult us living an awesome life… as an astronaut, a pro wrestler, a movie star, a bee keeper, or insert your dream here. We don’t set out for average. But that’s exactly where we end up after listening to our fears day after day, year after year. Our dreams take a back seat and eventually are left stranded by the side of the road.

That’s why I’ve written Start. Your dream is calling, and it’s closer than you might think. It’s time to go after your purpose. Every awesome life goes through five stages. Learn what they are. Do them. Start.

Note from Erich: as I mentioned above, this book challenged me to punch fear in the face and start this blog.

The alarm sounds. Your feet hit the floor and carry you into another day. But what does that day hold for you? Will you be punching your card at work, catching up on TV at home, and crashing into bed before you rinse and repeat the next day? Or will you dare to dig deep and discover the incredible potential lying dormant within us all?

In Wide Awake, renowned speaker and church visionary Erwin Raphael McManus challenges us to put an end to all the sleepwalking and settling, for each of us was created by God for a reason. He has called you to live as Jesus did—a heroic life, void of monotony, teeming with danger, adventure, and the unknown. Living wide awake is about realizing that the world desperately needs you to live up to your potential.

There is a future that needs to be created, and it is waiting for us all to wake up and get out of bed. The alarm has sounded, and it is time to shake off the slumber.

It’s time to live, to create, to imagine, to dream . . . Wide Awake.

Note from Erich: when I read this book a few years ago it gave me the courage to self-publish a book I had been carrying around for sometime. So, one Thanksgiving weekend while sitting at my dad’s kitchen table I took a risk and published this book via Lulu (you can download it for free if you want to check it out, if so, let me know what you think): Where Is the Hope?

Remembering God’s love every single moment, left Jesus free to be human in a way nobody else had been before. Is it possible that in this one thing, Jesus could be showing us everything about being human in the way God intended?

In Prototype, Jonathan Martin creates a vivid understanding of what it means to be beloved by God. To completely trust, as Jesus did, that God loves you. To live life without fear, confident in your identity and purpose. To handle life’s wounds as Jesus did, and to wake every day with a deep awareness of God’s presence.

Note: edited on November 21, 2016.

Your turn… Share 3 books that have impacted you and encouraged you to truly live the life God called you to live.



Filed under Books, Creativity, Fully-Living, Identity, Purpose

21 responses to “Three Books That Inspire You to Truly Live

  1. Katie Rawls

    Well, I am officially siked about these books. I have been wanting to read the “Start” book, but the “Prototype” book looks pretty amazing! It had a great promo video and first chapter on his site! Thanks for the info!!

    Three great books of mine? Well, Twelve Clean Pages by Nika Maples was awesome and taught me about the meaning in God’s plan beyond trials.
    My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is challenging always to make my walk better and never disappoints to bring serious nitty-gritty, no matter how many times I pick it up through the years. And the updated version by James Reimann puts it in an easier format to understand, since good ol’ Oswald was from the late 1800s.
    Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey is great because it gave me a window into what it is to be a Christian business owner and how to lead effectively.

    • Katy, thanks for reading and sharing. You will love Start and Prototype. I’ve been wanting to read Ramsey’s book because I hear it has lots of transferable principles even for folks not owning their own business. Have a great day!

  2. Eddie R. Harville

    The Bible, Imitation of Christ, and I don’t know another one. I’m reading Start now after your suggestion a few days ago, Erich. It’s great. I think Start can help in absolutely anything you do. What I’m getting out of Start is similar to an old adage, “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

  3. IWY

    Erich: Here are two of the main books that I have really changed by reading. The first one is called “The Ties That Bind” by Brian A. Holmes. It is an awesome book that has been elemental in helping me to “identify and break unhealthy soul ties” in my life. I was trying to hold onto some very toxic and poisonous relationships in my life that were hindering my walk in the Kingdom of God. I am still learning and discerning, but I am not the same as I once was, always desiring the approval and friendship of every single person that I care about. There are just some things that we have to let go of in order to go on with God. I’m 43. It hasn’t been that long since I got ahold of this.

    The second book is a popular one by Joyce Meyer called “Battlefield of the Mind”. It has definitely helped reshape my ability to reshape and reorganize my thinking. Yes, I know God’s word has instructed me to cast down every thought that doesn’t align with His word, however, reading the practical ways to do that has been huge for me. To really grasp that EVERYTHING starts with a thought and ends with our actions (basic form) has really helped me to concentrate with aligning my thinking on the spiritual level instead of the carnal level. When my thinking is aligned spiritually, my actions will follow. If my actions stink … I know my thinking is stinking!

    The third book I haven’t yet embarked upon is called “Intimacy” by Douglass Weiss. I have always had great difficulty in allowing people to get close to me because of some of the hurts in my life, particularly the lack of a relationship between my faither and me – and this book appears to have some in depth information on how I can re-route my thinking on intimacy with God, with friends, with my husband, and with my children. I’m sure it will reveal strongholds that have hindered my relationship with the Father and I look forward to realizing what has held me back and how to continue moving forward. Even if I am moving forward slowly, I am still moving forward!

    I am 43 and at this point in my life I can NOT get enough material to read. The Bible is my number one roadmap along with prayer, but with these Godly authors sharing what God has given them, I continue to grow and become the woman he designed me to be. I’m so excited about getting ahold of the books you have mentioned! I always look forward to seeing what you have to say about the information that’s out there! Love this blog!

    Leslie Kirkpatrick

  4. Leslie, thanks for taking the time to share. Those all sound really good and helpful. I’ve struggled with intimacy much of my life (keeping people at an arm’s length away) — goes back to the wound of divorce in my family back when I was in junior high.

    Once you finish with those you might want to check out Daring Greatly by Brené Brown —

    At least take about 20 minutes to watch her TED Talks —

    She is a researcher who deals with Vulnerability and Shame (she says being vulnerable is the key to intimacy).

  5. Erich,

    I have several that fit this category, but I would say Radical, by David Platt, sits right at the top of that list for me.

    • Mark, Radical is one of my favorites too. When you get a moment go to and click on some of his Secret Church videos that are archived. We recently did the one called Heaven, Hell and the End of the World.
      PS: I’ve been at church camp all week…. so sorry for just now getting back to you. Peace!

  6. Robb Chock

    Thanks Erich for this blog. I like to read a lot and I am interested in new books to read. One book I would recommend for any parent is Letters from Dad by Greg Vaughn. It has blessed me and I hope has blessed my children even after I die. It is about communicating to your children through letters so they will always have something from you (advice, encouragement, love) when they are on their own around or after you die. My kids love getting the letters.

    Another book that I thought was amazing was The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur. It is the best book that I have read that explains the gospel message and what Jesus says about faith and discipleship.

    Lastly Heaven by Randy Alcorn is also one I would recommend. Not a life changing book but very encouraging and enjoyable. It goes through all the verses that talk about heaven and then he also theorizes on things not implicit in the bible. I enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks again for this blog, I will check back often.

    • Robb,

      Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. I’ve heard good things about the first 2 you mentioned. I’ve read and enjoy Heaven by Alcorn (very exhaustive look at the topic of heaven). I need to check out Letters from Dad. I believe it use to be used here as a ministry. I’ll check it out soon. Have a great day!

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  8. Lynn Waller

    The first book to really impact me was Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Though I first read it 47 years ago, I have quoted from and used its insights in teaching ever since. Incidentally, in a survey several years ago of leading evangelicals, Mere Christianity, was chosen as the most influential Christian book of the century.

    About ten years ago Phillip Yancey became my next favorite author. What’s So Amazing About Grace? noses out several other outstanding titles of his. Yancey’s books are full of real thought provoking lines all the way through.

    Two years ago my son recommended Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Though not a specifically Christian book, it is powerfully written and forces you to think seriously about life. It is the amazing story of track star and WWII hero Louis Zamperini aho survives both being lost at sea and years of Japanese prison camp. Once you start, it is hard to put down.After years of survival by heroic human effort, Louis turns to Christ for strength at a Billy Graham crusade. Now in his 90’s he still gives his testimony frequently. He was a charming guest on Jay Leno last year.

  9. I am a big Jon Acuff fan and I will be starting his books soon. I’m one of those weird people that have to start reading an author’s first books and read them in order. So I’m going to start with his book Stuff Christians Life and work my way towards Quitter. Thanks for sharing the other books!

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  14. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really
    appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  15. Thanks for stopping by. I would love for you to share my blog with your Facebook group. Thanks for asking.

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