From the library of Pastor Mark:

Suggestions for a good read. Grab some hot cocoa, put your feet up by the fire and dive in! Happy Reading! And if you find a great read you would like to share with Pastor Mark, or have questions, or just want to chat about a good book, contact Pastor Mark here.


Live Wide Awake by Laura Degroot

Would you say you know God or know about God?

How well do you know yourself? And, who are the guides that speak truth into your life?

Do you believe knowing God and knowing yourself influences the way you live your life and love others?

     In this curiosity-generating, interactive approach to engaging with the Word of God Laura will take you on a powerful exploration of knowing and loving who you really are, knowing God personally and being able to speak and act from a life that is leaning into healing and wholeness. 

Drawing from a life of being strong willed, acquainted with grief, full of ideas, falling a lot and getting back up, Laura’s relatable storytelling helps you embrace your story.  Having been mentored, taught, challenged, and led by influential people, experiences and environments, Laura offers creative ways to engage with God’s story.

The variety of pay-attention practices show the reader how to engage with scripture, loving who we are through the lens of the Good News and knowing God through a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. 

This spiritual formation guide will help the reader:

  •     Learn to pay attention to what’s going on around them and inside them.
  •     Learn to ask questions of themselves, of others, and of the Living Word.
  •     Learn to hear, dig, wonder, accept, let go, stand up, speak up, live wide awake.

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

Now a New York Times Bestseller!

As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.


Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff

New York Times Bestseller!

What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it?

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Alwaysreveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.


Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times by Os Guinness

We live in dark times. Christians wonder: Are the best days of the Christian faith behind us? Has modernity made Christian thought irrelevant and impotent? Is society beyond all hope of redemption and renewal? In Renaissance, Os Guinness declares no. Throughout history, the Christian faith has transformed entire cultures and civilizations, building cathedrals and universities, proclaiming God’s goodness, beauty and truth through art and literature, science and medicine. The Christian faith may similarly change the world again today. The church can be revived to become a renewing power in our society―if we answer the call to a new Christian renaissance that challenges darkness with the hope of Christian faith. In this hopeful appeal for cultural transformation, Guinness shares opportunities for Christians, on both local and global levels, to win back the West and to contribute constructively to the human future. Hearkening back to similar pivotal points in history, Guinness encourages Christians in the quest for societal change. Each chapter closes with thought-provoking discussion questions and a brief, heart-felt prayer that challenges and motivates us to take action in our lives today.


The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

Once upon a time, people knew their neighbors. They talked to them, had cook-outs with them, and went to church with them. In our time of unprecedented mobility and increasing isolationism, it’s hard to make lasting connections with those who live right outside our front door. We have hundreds of “friends” through online social networking, but we often don’t even know the full name of the person who lives right next door.


The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversation by Mary Schaller and John Crilly

Love God, love people. Could evangelism really be that simple?
Often, it doesn’t seem so. It can feel scary, awkward, and uncomfortable as we try to navigate loaded questions and different perspectives. Even the most faithful of believers sometimes get stumped. But can you imagine if we, as Christians, simply spent time with people who are far from God and provided a safe place to talk about spiritual matters? If we listened to them and discovered what was really important to them? After all . . . it’s what Jesus did. And it’s what you can do too.

Drawing straight from the life and ministry of Jesus, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations offers simple practices to help you build relationships with people who believe differently. Anyone who has read and appreciated Becoming a Contagious Christian or Just Walk across the Room won’t want to miss this book on creating a safe space to have natural, loving, and spiritual conversations with others.

This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building? Through compelling true stories of lives impacted, the authors show readers how to create genuine friendships with the people who live in closest proximity to them. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book perfect for small groups or individual study.


Un Christian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity And Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

Christianity has an image problem. Christians are supposed to represent Christ to the world. But according to the latest report card, something has gone terribly wrong. Using descriptions like “hypocritical,” “insensitive,” and “judgmental,” young Americans share an impression of Christians that’s nothing short of . . . unChristian.

Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of people aged 16-29 reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. The surprising details of the study, commissioned by the Fermi Project and conducted by The Barna Group, are presented with uncompromising honesty in unChristian. Find out why these negative perceptions exist, learn how to reverse them in a Christlike manner, and discover practical examples of how Christians can positively contribute to culture.

About the author: David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with nearly one million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies. He and his wife live in California with their three children.