Five Books That Changed My Life

Updated on July 6, 2020
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Other than the Holy Bible, five books written by humans have changed my life.

  1. The Power of Positive Thinking at This Time by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
  2. God Calling Edited by A. Russell
  3. Beyond Our Selves by Catherine Marshall
  4. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon
  5. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

"The Power of Positive Thinking At This Time"

Norman Vincent Peale was born on May 31, 1898, and died at the age of 95 on December 24, 1993. During his lifetime, he wrote 46 books, and most of them were about positive thinking. He was an American minister and author, known mostly for his The Power of Positive Thinking books.

I am blessed to have read most of Dr. Peale's positive thinking books. They changed my life because I read and used the information and followed his suggestions to make my life better. However, the one that helped me more than the others is The Power of Positive Thinking At This Time. That is one of the oldest books that he wrote in 1975. It is hard to find these days, so if you see it anyplace grab it because it will definitely change your life. You can order it from Amazon through a third-party seller.

In this particular book, Dr. Peale gets straight to the point and gives guidance on how a person can master the problems that he faces no matter what they are. He guides you through your dark days with an emphasis on positive thinking "at this time."

I was going through a painful divorce at the time I read the book. The book took my focus off what I was going through and helped me keep my mind on brighter days. That was over 40 years ago when I thought there was no life after my divorce. Through the words of Dr. Peale, I discovered that there is life after a divorce.

Dr. Peale taught me "No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities, always see them, for they are always there."

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"God Calling"

God Calling has gotten me through some dark days. It contains short inspirational paragraphs for every day. Reading it is like God is speaking directly to me. The format of the book is dated for each day of the year. If you read a page from God Calling each day, by the end of the year, you would have read 365 pages of encouragement and hope for your life.

God Calling was written by two women who remain anonymous to this day because they want no praise for having written it. They are merely called "Two Listeners." The original book was edited by A.J. Russell and published in England in 1935. It was later published in the United States in 1988.

The book helped me so much through my pain that I have given away dozens of the book to others who needed to be strengthened during difficult times. Do not confuse God Calling with Jesus Calling even though the latter is an inspirational book that is just as good as the former. I know because I also own and have read both books.

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"Beyond Our Selves"

I was introduced to Beyond Our Selves by the headmaster of a religious school when he hired me on the spot in 2002. Catherine Marshall's book has been an inspiration to me. I love it because Marshall offers guidance on issues I was dealing with at the time. She shares her viewpoints on things such as forgiveness, suffering, miracles, unanswered prayer, and healing.

The book helped me see things from a different perspective and gave me a deep sense of peace as I drew closer to God. The book is organized in such a way that you can read a chapter that inspires you rather than reading the book in order from page to page. I have favorite chapters that I have read over and over. Each time God gave me new revelations. I have read The Prayer of Relinquishment and The Power of Helplessness more than the other chapters

I have read the entire book over eight times. It is just that good. The author doesn't beat around the bush. She comes right out and tells the reader things that are helpful. She does not use words just to fill a page.

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"Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ"

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ is one of the most powerful spiritual books on planet Earth. Madame Guyon puts her heart and soul in its contents and I can't help but feel the love of God through the pages. The saint's book was burned in France, but the reprints have helped people like me throughout the ages.

This book introduced me to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Whenever I want to experience the depths of Jesus Christ, I continue to read Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon.

People have asked me why I read the same book so often. The answer is quite simple. I read it to feel as if Jesus is talking to me as he gives me answers to my personal problem. I read it to feel closer to God as I listen to His voice through the pages of the book.

I Read This Book Seven Times

April 8, 1994
Bought Book
April 9, 1994
Completed 1st Reading
May 23, 1994
Completed 2nd Reading
December 29, 1994
Completed 3rd Reading
August 31, 1996
Completed 4th Reading
July 4, 1997
Completed 5th Reading
March 8, 1998
Completed 6th Reading
August 11, 2000
Completed 7th Reading

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"The Pursuit of God"

If you want to go deeper into God, read The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. It is a paradox to pursue God after you have found Him and after He has found you. However, Tozer explains that in order to get into a deeper relationship with God, one has to dispense with being comfortable where he is. He must be serious about knowing God as God wants to be known.

Like Catherine Marshall's book, Beyond Our Selves, chapters in Tozer's book can be read independently. While the entire book will usher you into the presence and power of God, there are specific chapters that will be especially meaningful to you at certain times. I found the chapter entitled The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing to be a tremendous help to me as I struggled through some dark days.

I have read this book over and over again. I taught it to a class of ministers who have taught it to their congregations. I have recommended the book to family members and friends. Anyone who reads The Pursuit of God will never be the same.

Tozer wrote The Pursuit of God during a train ride from Chicago to Texas in the late 1940s. He wrote all night. By the time he arrived in Texas, the rough draft was finished.

The Pursuit of God is for anyone who is hungry for God like I was. Surely, you will be filled by the time you finish reading Tozer's classic. Tozer also wrote a companion book, The Pursuit of Man that is just as powerful.

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Comments Welcomed

Perhaps you have your own list of books that have impacted your life. If so, list them in the comments section below.

If you don't have a list of inspirational books of your own, then feel free to read any of those on my list.


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