Books We Love handpicked just for you!

BOOKS WE LOVE

Looking for a GREAT BOOK – something encouraging, inspiring or educational?

We’ve handpicked outstanding books JUST FOR YOU! When you shop through our Books We Love page, your purchase helps support the mission and ministry of Chronic Joy.

QUICK LINKS

The Amazon buttons are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chronic Joy will receive an affiliate commission.

CHRONIC JOY BOOKS

Discovering Hope • Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

DISCOVERING HOPE: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

Cindee Snider Re

This 10-chapter study invites participants to experience radical hope and compassionate change in a life with chronic illness.

No matter how dark the days, how wild the storm, how deep the valley, or how long the winter, there is hope.

There is always hope.

LEARN MORE

Buy from Amazon

FINDING PURPOSE: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness

Cindee Snider Re

What if purpose looks different than we believe?

This 10-chapter study invites participants to release cultural and traditional definitions of purpose, and instead, to embrace God's - a timeless definition rooted in His Word and as refreshing as a gentle spring rain.

LEARN MORE

Buy from Amazon

EMBRACING WORTH: Understanding Your Value in a Life with Chronic Illness

Cindee Snider Re

This 10-chapter study powerfully reminds us that our value isn’t found in what we can or cannot do, but in Christ alone. Regardless of what we’ve lost through chronic illness, this isn’t the end of our story, for despite our circumstances, in the midst of the hard, when we’re not sure we can take even one more breath, God is still good.

LEARN MORE

Buy from Amazon

I TAKE YOU IN SICKNESS & IN HEALTH: Marriage with Chronic Illness

Cindee Snider Re

Rejuvenate, revitalize, rekindle, and reconnect with this insightful and enriching 10-chapter study (designed just for couples) that offers you and your spouse a safe place to grieve, heal, grow, and begin to dream together again – to thrive as one – in sickness and in health.

LEARN MORE 

Buy from Amazon

GRACE, TRUTH & TIME: Facilitating Thriving Small Groups

Heather MacLaren Johnson

With this incredible resource you can learn to: lead through God's grace, create a space for spiritual growth and healing, empathize, listen and engage with those in pain, grow in prayer and compassion, foster hope and encouragement, and build small group communities that thrive.

LEARN MORE

Buy from Amazon

GRIEF

A Chronicle of Grief: Finding Life After Traumatic Loss

A Chronicle of Grief: Finding Life After Traumatic Loss

Mel Lawrenz

"Eva not breathing. Pray." That text message was entrance into the harsh reality of losing his thirty-year-old daughter. Things would never be the same. How could he and his family cope with this devastating loss? In this narrative of grief, Pastor Mel Lawrenz chronicles how his family struggled to survive the sudden death of their chronically ill and beloved daughter. In raw, vivid episodes, he describes the immediacy of the pain and the uncertainty of what comes next.

Buy from Amazon

Every Moment Holy - Volume 2 - Death Grief Hope

Every Moment Holy, Vol. 2: Death, Grief, and Hope

 Douglas Kaine McKelvey

Volume 2 of Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies for seasons of dying and grieving — liturgies such as "A Liturgy for the Scattering of Ashes" or "A Liturgy before a Medical Treatment" or "A Liturgy for Embracing both Joy and Sorrow." Here are ways to remind us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose and eternal hopes even when—especially when—suffering and pain threaten to overwhelm us.

Buy from Amazon

Experiencing Grief

Experiencing Grief

H. Norman Wright

At one time or another, we will all find ourselves facing a dark journey—the passage through grief. Experiencing Grief is written for a person who is in the wake of despair grief leaves. This brief but powerful book will help lead readers out of their grief experience through five stages of grief. At the end of the journey is peace and a seasoned, more mature faith.

Buy from Amazon

God in the Dark - Through Grief and Beyond

God in the Dark: Through Grief and Beyond

Luci Shaw

God in the Dark is one woman's record of her journey through grief and beyond. Poet Luci Shaw shares this journal of her husband's terminal cancer. It begins with the doctor's first diagnosis and follows her through the early months of her widowhood. In these pages, we see the complexities of a fragile three-way relationship -- between a man, a woman, and God.

Buy from Amazon

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

Jerry Sittser

Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love.

Buy from Amazon

 

A Greif Observed

A Grief Observed

C.S. Lewis

Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

Buy from Amazon

Grief's Compass - Walking the Wilderness with Emily Dickinson

Grief's Compass: Walking the Wilderness with Emily Dickinson

Patricia McKernon Runkle

"The Wilderness is new--to you. Master, let me lead you."  Emily Dickinson wrote these words to her mentor shortly after his wife died. In "Grief's Compass," Patricia McKernon Runkle takes Dickinson as her guide after the devastating loss of her brother. As she charts a path through the holy madness of grief and the grace of healing, she finds points on a compass and lines from Dickinson that illuminate them.

Buy from Amazon

Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love

Katherine Wolf et al.

When all seems lost, where can hope be found? Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke without warning. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was rushed into surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. Through 40 days on life support and nearly 2 years in full-time brain rehab, Katherine gradually recovered.  Years later, they are stewarding their story of suffering, restoration, and Christ-centered hope through their ministry Hope Heals.

Buy from Amazon

 

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy

Angie Smith

In 2008,  Angie and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth.

Buy from Amazon

A Letter of Consolation

A Letter of Consolation

Henri J.M. Nouwen

This book reflects on the spiritual significance of death and life in this moving meditation dedicated to "all those who suffer the pain that death can bring and who search for new life." A long letter to Nouwen’s father after the death of his mother. A book to pass on to anyone who is going through a period of grief after loss.

Buy from Amazon

Letters to Grief

Letters to Grief

Kate Motaung

Since everyone endures loss in their own way, this collection of nine reflective letters to grief personified is descriptive, not prescriptive. It offers readers encouragement and hope to deal with loss and grief in the midst of their own unique circumstances. Readers are invited to reflect on their personal grief experience by writing in the journaling pages throughout the book.

Buy from Amazon

Sacred Tears

Sacred Tears: Simple Reminders That God Sees You and Loves You

Lindsey Wheeler

This collection of heartfelt essays, eye-catching word art, inspiring Scripture verses, honest prayers, and uplifting photography will meet you in your place of pain, offering solace and refuge for your weary soul. Lovingly written by a pastor’s wife and adoptive mom who lives with chronic pain, Sacred Tears will bring you the blessed respite you’ve been longing for and remind you that you are never alone.

Buy from Amazon

Through a Season of Grief - Devotions for your journey from mourning to joy

Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey from Mourning to Joy

Bill Dunn 

If you've lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you've discovered that few people understand the deep hurt you feel. Where do you turn for daily comfort and help? How do you move forward? This book is a helpful 365-day devotional designed to support and uplift you in the first, most difficult year of bereavement.

Buy from Amazon

Turn My Mourning into Dancing

Turn My Mourning into Dancing

Henri J.M. Nouwen

In times of suffering, simplistic answers ring empty and hollow. But Henri Nouwen, beloved spiritual thinker and author, offers real comfort in the concrete truth of God's constancy. Nouwen suggests that by greeting life's pains with something other than despair, we can find surprising joy in our suffering.

Buy from Amazon

HOLY ATTENTION

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

Barbara Brown Taylor

Discover the sacred in the small things we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working, and prayer. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of meditation if we pay attention to what we're doing and take time to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing yourself to get lost leads to new discoveries. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do. Find guidance and delicate, thought-provoking pros to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world we live in.

Buy from Amazon

The Attentive Life: Discerning God’s Presence in All Things

The Attentive Life: Discerning God’s Presence in All Things

Leighton Ford

Your attention, please. That's what God wants. It's the path to becoming like Christ. Distractions, fear and busyness keep us from seeing God's work in and around us. If you're busy, distracted, rushing through each day, you might be feeling disconnected from God, unable to see how he's working. You might be missing him. But the way toward him starts with a pause and a prayer―with intention and attention―and becomes a way of life, awake and alive to the peaceful, powerful presence of God.

Buy from Amazon

He Speaks In The Silence

He Speaks in the Silence: Finding Intimacy with God by Learning to Listen

Diane Comer

This book is a search for the kind of intimacy with God every woman longs for. It is a story of trying to be a good girl, of following the rules, of longing for a satisfaction that eludes us. Using vivid parallels between her own deafness and every woman’s struggle to hear God, Diane learned to listen to God, finding intimacy with her Savior and the soul deep satisfaction.

Buy from Amazon

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Tish Harrison Warren

In the overlooked moments and routines of our day, we can become aware of God's presence in surprising ways. How do we embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred? Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each chapter looks at something ― making the bed, brushing teeth, losing  keys. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship.

Buy from Amazon

Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between

Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between

Charles Stone

Does your life ever feel like one series of rushed moments after another? Do you want to feel more present and connected to those you love? Is it possible to listen without thinking the whole time of what you’re going to say next? Do you want to feel less distracted, less busy, and more whole? Most of us spend our distracted lives longing to get to the next, better moment and fail to notice the present one. We lack space between one task and the next, one thought and the next, one email and the next.

Buy from Amazon

JOY

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Gratitude is a choice. When we choose a lifestyle of heartfelt, humble gratitude, we are mindful of the benefits received from our gracious Savior and those He has placed around us, and our joy becomes full.  

Buy from Amazon

Fields of Joy

Fields of Joy

Ruth Chou Simons

We were made for joy. And yet, true and lasting happiness is sometimes harder to hold on to than it seems. With one thought, one word, it can slip out of our grasp. In a world of countless counterfeits, if you struggle to cultivate and experience true joy, these short meditations will encourage you to preach truth to your own heart.

Buy from Amazon

Fight Back with Joy

Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears.

Margaret Feinberg

When Margaret learned she had cancer, she knew she would need great strength to overcome it. She believed the weapon she selected for the battle would change everything. And she decided that weapon would be joy. Joy is more than whimsy. It’s the weapon you can use to fight life’s greatest battles.

Buy from Amazon

Joy in the Sorrow

Joy in the Sorrow: How a Thriving Church (and Its Pastor) Learned to Suffer Well

Matt Chandler and Friends

We all wonder how we will cope in times of terrible suffering, and how we can best support others who are suffering. We all ask the question: "How does suffering square with God's character and purpose?" Joy in the Sorrow is Matt's story of his battle with a potentially fatal brain tumor and the stories of those who taught him -- and teach him -- how to walk with joy in sorrow.

Buy from Amazon

You Gotta Keep Dancin': In the Midst of Life's Hurts, You Can Choose Joy!

Tim Hansel

Life can be tough. Stress, disappointment, heartache, hurt -- all are part of the human condition. While pain is unavoidable, misery is optional! No matter what your circumstances, you can choose to be joyful. In Hansel's powerful account of God’s working in one man’s physical and emotional suffering, he and we discover the real meaning of joy.

Buy from Amazon

LAMENT

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament

Mark Vroegop

Lament is how we bring our sorrow to God—but it is a neglected dimension of the Christian life for many of us. We need to recover the practice of honest spiritual struggle that gives us permission to vocalize our pain and wrestle with our sorrow. Lament avoids trite answers and quick solutions, progressively moving us toward deeper worship and trust.

Buy from Amazon

A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope through the Psalms of Lament

Christina Fox

For many of us, busy-ness with projects or working long hours keeps our mind off our pain. We might look at our circumstances and seek to change our situation in the hope that we will finally feel at peace once our life has changed. The question is, how often do you look to God's Word for help and direction? How often do you turn to Him when you feel anxious, distraught, or abandoned? How often do you bring your burdens to your Savior? Take a journey of hope through the Psalms of lament.

Buy from Amazon

The Hidden Face of God: Finding the Missing Door to the Father Through Lament

The Hidden Face of God: Finding the Missing Door to the Father Through Lament

Michael Card

Most of us, at some point, experience the sense of God's absence. The author says that rather than letting the distance widen, this is exactly the time for a deeper pursuit of God. The method he proposes is recovery of the profound, biblical practice of lament.

Buy from Amazon

Hurting with God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms

Glenn Pemberton

Giving new hope to the weary, this book brings insight, guiding readers to learn about the necessity of lament through the exploration of the Psalms. Many ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Let's set this philosophical issue aside to consider the practical: How do believers live out faith in prolonged seasons of pain and loss? How can we live with God when it hurts--and continues to hurt?

Buy from Amazon

The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament

The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament

Aubery Sampson

When you’re in the midst of suffering, you want answers for the unanswerable, resolutions to the unresolvable. You want to tie up pain in a pretty little package and hide it under the bed, taking it out only when you feel strong enough to face it. But grief won’t be contained. Grief disobeys. Grief explodes. In one breath, you may be able to say that God’s got this and all will be well. In the next, you might descend into fatalism. No pretending. Here, you are raw before God, an open wound.

Buy from Amazon

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God In the Lost Language of Lament

Michael Card

Have you ever thought of lament -- that sacred sorrow -- as a form of worship? God desires for us to pour out our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. From the example of men and women in the Bible, learn how to recover this lost language and deepen your worship of God.

Buy from Amazon

LEADERSHIP

GRACE, TRUTH & TIME: Facilitating Thriving Small Groups

Heather MacLaren Johnson

With this incredible resource you can learn to: lead through God's grace, create a space for spiritual growth and healing, empathize, listen and engage with those in pain, grow in prayer and compassion, foster hope and encouragement, and build small group communities that thrive.

LEARN MORE

Buy from Amazon

Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering

Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD

Haugk has written an essential guide on how to care for and relate to people as they encounter difficult times in life. This book draws on extensive research of those who have experienced various kinds of suffering in their lives, offering key insights and suggestions of what to say and do—and what not to say or do—when people are hurting. With its biblical foundation, compassionate approach, and concrete ideas, this book will help you bring God’s loving presence to hurting people when they need it most.

BUY FROM STEPHEN MINISTRIES

In the Name of Jesus

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

Henri J.M. Nouwen

For a society that measures successful leadership in terms of the effectiveness of the individual, Father Nouwen offers a counter definition that is witnessed by a “communal and mutual experience.” For Nouwen, leadership cannot function apart from the community. His wisdom is grounded in the foundation that we are a people “called.” This beautiful guide to Christian Leadership is the rich fruit of Henri Nouwen’s own journey.

Buy from Amazon

Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God's Servants

Terry Powell

Serve the Lord long enough and discouragement or some form of opposition is inevitable. Joy-sapping workloads, feelings of inadequacy, lack of fruitfulness, or battle fatigue from spiritual warfare often spurs God's servants to quit or sabotages their passion. The purpose of this book is to infuse them with biblical perspectives that buoy flagging spirits, boost motivation, and cultivate endurance.

Buy from Amazon

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

Ruth Haley Barton

"I'm tired of helping others enjoy God. I just want to enjoy God for myself." With this painful admission, Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls. Weaving together contemporary illustrations with penetrating insight from the life of Moses.

Buy from Amazon

LECTIO DIVINA

Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush

Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush

Mary Margaret Funk 

Sister Mary Margaret's describes the process and combines her personal life and everyday practice with the history and the theory of lectio divina. She suggests "sustained lectio." Often Lectio is seen as taking a text, meditating on it, praying about it and moving on to the next text. Her suggestion is that the reader take a text and stay with the text for a longer period. She also includes art, music, and talking with others about the text to savor the text.

Buy from Amazon

Meeting God in Scripture: A Hands-On Guide to Lectio Divina

Meeting God in Scripture: A Hands-On Guide to Lectio Divina

Jan Johnson

Jesus is speaking to us here and now. Lectio divina is a practice of Scripture reading that treats the Bible not only as a text to be examined, but also as the living Word of God spoken anew to us. Discover forty Scripture meditations, organized topically, giving us the tools we need to practice lectio divina on our own.

Buy from Amazon

Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer

Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer

David G. Benner

Prayer is not merely something we do; prayer is what God does in us. Benner invites us to discover openness to God as the essence of prayer, spirituality, and the Christian life. Using the four movements of lectio divina, he explores prayer as attending, pondering, responding, and being. He opens us to a world of possibilities for communion with God: praying with our senses, with imagination, music and creativity, and much more.

Buy from Amazon

Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina

Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina

Micheal Casey

Discover a spiritual and prayerful approach to reading scripture. Readers will find his application of traditional imagery of a spiral journey into the depths of Scripture particularly illuminating as a guide to reading sacred texts. That a spiral journey is marked by repetition leads Casey to remark that "there is a kind of monotony that is not boredom but paves the way to a more profound experience."

Buy from Amazon

Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina

Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina

Thelma Hall

This book is a great for both those who are familiar with and new to the practice of lectio divina. Discover a step-by-step guide for being nourished deeply by scripture, allowing the rhythm of meditation of a word of phrase will guide you to experience a deeper level of spirituality .

Buy from Amazon

MENTAL ILLNESS

This Beautiful Truth- How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness - Sarah Clarkson

This Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness

Sarah Clarkson

Amid the daily realities of sickness and isolation, disappointment and pain, it can be profoundly difficult to grasp the real goodness of God. But this is where God breaks into our darkness with beauty. In the wonder of creation, in art or film, story or song, in the kindness of his people and the good they create, God breaks into our pain in a tangible way, teaching us to trust his kindness and hope for his healing.

Buy from Amazon

Broken Brain

Broken Brain, Fortified Faith: Lessons of Hope Through a Child’s Mental Illness

The terms mental illness and mental health are often used casually, but many don’t believe mental illness is relevant to their lives.

This is the story of one family’s journey through schizophrenia, navigating the uncharted waters of mental illness to find help for their daughter and support for their family. This memoir is an honest look at the stress, anger, education, and finally, hope experienced through eyes of a mother.

Buy from Amazon

The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd

John Piper

John Piper invites you into the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd to discover how God takes the privilege of faith and strengthens it with trials so that we experience a greater hunger for him. The perseverance of these godly servants exemplifies the essential fruit that affliction can produce in your own life.

Buy from Amazon

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God In the Lost Language of Lament

Michael Card

Have you ever thought of lament -- that sacred sorrow -- as a form of worship? God desires for us to pour out our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. From the example of men and women in the Bible, learn how to recover this lost language and deepen your worship of God.

Buy from Amazon

The Soul of Shame

The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves

Curt Thompson

We're all infected with a spiritual disease. Its name is shame. Whether we realize it or not, shame affects every aspect of our personal lives and vocational endeavors. It seeks to destroy our identity in Christ, replacing it with a damaged version of ourselves that results in unhealed pain and brokenness. But God is telling a different story for your life.

Buy from Amazon

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission

Amy Simpson

Mental illness is the sort of thing we don't like to talk about. It doesn't reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, simply pretending they don't exist. They do exist...

Buy from Amazon

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions – Lysa TerKeurst

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

Lysa TerKeurst

Do you ever feel like your emotions are working against you? We may sometimes find ourselves stuffing down our emotions, exploding with emotions, or reacting in unhealthy ways, but it’s possible to make our emotions work for us. The good news is, God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it. Learn to use our emotions for good.

Buy from Amazon

Pin It on Pinterest

Skip to content