John Eli’s bookcase (Jan 2019 edition)

Hey friends,

Something that sits high on my list of values is personal development, My favorite way to satisfy my desire to grow is by reading.

This month, I had the privilege of reading/listening to 13 different books. I thought I’d take a quick moment to give you a glance of my January reading list.

I first encountered Chip Ingram’s teaching in 2010, when my home church went through a R12 sermon series. His communication style is direct, practical, and to the point. In this book, Chip teaches that the best way to simplify your life is to love more. In a day and age where many of us struggle to create margin he presents an interesting approach to declutter.   

I must preface this review, by saying that I absolutely love the heart of Carlos. He presents a revolutionary way to engage in conversation and love those who are commonly judged, despised, and looked over by the church. The application is practical, drop your stones of judgement.

As a blatant non-conformist, I felt as if Chris was preaching to the choir as I read this book. Currently, I have been struggling whether I should pursue the trajectory that others expect of me, or whether I should do what I have been called to do. Choosing to pursue my calling is quite risky on many different levels. However, after reading this book I felt ready to take the plunge.

I must confess that I held on to this book for a while before taking the plunge to read it. Half way through it, I wanted to slap myself up the head for waiting so long. This book gave me a  step-by-step plan to building an audience and presenting the product that I have been creating. I can’t wait to implement what I learned through this book.

Listening to Sarah’s share her testimony is much like watching a movie on a big screen. Except that this story, and the God whose fingerprints are present throughout it, are 100% real. I recommend this book to anyone who has fallen flat on their face, for those who can’t shake off the guilt of bad choices, and who need to hear that there is a powerful God who loves and sets the captive free.

This book reminded me that following Jesus doesn’t guarantee a struggle free life. Disappointment, fear, and pain are part of the human experience. However, so is God. Thank you, Chad, for reminding me of this through the words you penned.

This is another book that I had shelved. I recommend this book to anyone who has had an absent or less-than-perfect father. The damage caused by your experience is real. Nevertheless, God will always surround you with what you need to work through that pain. Donald is a beast of a story-teller. You got to check this out

I started reading this book without a clue that it was written for women. However, once I started, I could not put it down. Thank you for writing this book Nicole.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. John G. Lake was a preacher and author, from the early 20th century, whose ministry was centered on healing. Hearing testimonies, of faith, always increases mine.

  • Letters to the Church,  Francis Chan  

This is the second time that I’ve read this book in a three-month period. My first time threw it destroyed me (in a good way). For years, I have struggled with the popular norm of the American church. This book let me know that I’m not crazy and that there is a way to live out the Kingdom of God today as it was done in New Testament times.

This was a refreshing reminder to not stress out. I had always eyed this book, but never picked it up. I’m glad that I did.

If you are all about de-cluttering, this book is not for you. This book was a reminder that sometimes greatness comes from messes. Keep in mind that the book is not use “mess” as a metaphor, but rather is talking about everyday messiness in homes, the workplace, school, etc., This book definitely made me view messes in a differing light.

…. anyhow… that was a glimpse into my month. If you have a free moment, drop me a book recommendation in the comments below

Bendiciones!

John Eli Garay



John Eli is a transformational life coach who has spent over 15 years mentoring individuals in life skills, career transitions, and through organizational change. His resume includes pastoral care, behavioral health, and higher-education advising. From an early age, John recognized that God created him to bring hope, healing and encouragement to others. He is currently walking out his purpose by helping others confront, and work through, any negative self-talk that keeps them from living life to the fullest. His ministry includes blogging, speaking, and personal development coaching. He currently lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife, mini-schnauzer and an antique piano whom he calls, “Betty.”


To work with John Eli click here.

4 Comments

  1. I think I will check out the “Drop the Stones” book as a result of this post, as I would love to get better at communicating God’s love to those who don’t feel welcome in church. If we are going to say we are all family, we have to make room for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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