Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{Favorite Books in 2015}

Ah, the smell of a new book. For me, there's a great appreciation for a real-life, hard-copy, hold-in-your-hand book. Confession: I ALWAYS flip the book open, hold it right under my nose, and fan through the pages while taking the deepest breath possible! I like the smell of new books (and sharpies, but that's another matter)!  I also appreciate all the eTools that mean I can easily take my books with me. Thank you iBooks, Kindle App, and Audible. Another confession: Sometimes I have an eCopy and a real-life copy. 

Reading is so good for our brains. It makes us smarter, stimulates our imaginations, helps aide memory function, and even eases tension. It's exercise for the brain and food for the soul. Good stuff. 

Here are a few of my favorites from 2015. 

  1. The Comeback: It's Not Too Late and You're Never Too Far by Louie Giglio | This book is special. I'm staring at the blinking cursor trying to form the right words. Let's just do it this way. The book is . . . real, raw, inspiring, encouraging, and challenging. I laughed. I cried. I read and re-read. Louie Giglio has to be one of the most gifted communicators on the planet. Even more than that, each time I hear him give a talk, his love for Jesus is evident. It's no different when he puts pen to paper and writes one of the most important books I've read in a long while. It's a message of hope, for sure. But it's not a message that encourages a shallow hope based on circumstances. Sometimes, life comes at you with gut-punch and it's easy to lose your footing. This book reminds us of the hope and grace that is found in the truth of The Gospel, in Jesus. That hope is never out of reach.  It's a game changer. For real. 
  2. The Carpenter: A Story about the Greatest Success Strategies of All  by Jon Gordon | My husband gave me this book. And, I loved it. The characters are relatable and the story teaches simple yet powerful truths. This one is about building things the right way. All of your endeavors and all your relationships are sure to benefit from the takeaways in this book. This one reminds us that perspective shapes outcome and we have the power to choose our perspective. Short. Simple. Impactful. Read it.
  3. Jesus Is ____________ : Find a New Way to be Human by Judah Smith | The way you fill in the blank matters. This book gets to the heart of the matter. "Jesus is the sum and substance of the Gospel." It's funny, to the point, and engaging. Judah Smith has a brilliant way with words and his storytelling is magic! This book speaks to the fundamental, foundational truth that there's nothing I can do to earn salvation or to earn God's love. Nothing. That takes the pressure off, doesn't? If you need the reminder, pick this book up. 
  4. The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, Bob DeMoss | I could not put this book down.  The story of this minister and his family and the terror they walked through cuts straight to the heart. It's a real-life, true story of pain and persecution at the hands of cold-hearted, broken people.  But the book offers so much more than just a riveting true story. Alonzo bravely gives us a peek into her heart as she walks us through the process of healing and forgiveness. It paints the beautiful picture of the sustaining love of God, of which we could all use the reminder. 
  5. The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst | This book came at a crucial time for me. The title really says all that needs to be said; but, TerKeurst masterfully walks us through the process of learning how to say no and when to say yes. Every people pleaser needs this book. This book was part of the process of my learning that not everything or everyone is allowed to claim space in my heart and mind. The book is engaging, insightful, and funny.  It will be well worth the time spent reading it. 

There you have it. My top five books from 2015. These books left a deep impression. Something changed in me because I read them. How about you? Do any of these jump off the page begging you to read them? What books did you read in 2015 that proved to be important for you? 

Oh! Because I loved these books so much, I want to give one away. Enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page for a chance to win a copy of your choice! That's fun, isn't it!! 

Here are links to my faves on Amazon in case you want to grab one: