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Five Books That Shaped Me
by Lieutenant Dawn Apuan


1.  Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard

I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve read this book. It’s a quick read, easily done in one sitting if you have a couple hours. I love the allegory and have found that every time I’ve read it, a different portion of the book speaks to my heart depending on what kind of season of life I am in. I can easily relate to Much Afraid, but also love the tenderness of the Shepherd, His patience, His persistence to not leave us where we’re at, and His ability to make beauty from ashes.


2.  Out of Solitude, by Henri Nouwen

This book changed my life. Super simple at first glance—three short meditations—but if you allow them to penetrate your heart and your life, they can be transformational. These meditations challenged how I thought of myself, how I related to others, and how I viewed God. If you allow God to search your heart through the words of Nouwen, I guarantee you won’t be the same. Henri Nouwen has written about 40 books; I’ve read at least 20 of them and many of them are very, very good, but none has had quite the same impact as Out of Solitude.


3.  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Throughout school I loved English and I loved reading the classics—The Scarlet Letter, Lord of the Flies, Billy Budd, To Kill a Mockingbird, and so many more, but I chose TKAM as a representation of classic literature and how it shapes who we are. To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorites in my early years, although as an adult Les Miserables has likely eclipsed it, but I still love them both. I love when authors can create stories and characters who struggle with the same themes we find in Scripture and in our own lives—grace and redemption and justice and love. I like to have a book that challenges my worldview and causes me to think deeply, but I also love a good story, so it’s a bonus when the two are wedded together.


4.  Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,  by Eric Metaxas

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life is inspirational. Eric Metaxas’ tome chronicling his life and faith and ministry is exceptional. Bonhoeffer was a brilliant theologian and I love that by reading about his life and reading some of his writings, you can be inspired to live a more holy life, one that is closely connected with Jesus. I’m attracted to how deep of a thinker Bonhoeffer was, and how he struggled with navigating through the grayer areas of life.


5.  For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, Vol. 1 & 2, by D.A. Carson

Carson has compiled two volumes of short daily devotions based on the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan, which includes approximately four chapters per day. By following the reading plan, you will read the entire Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice over the course of a year. There are profound connections to be made when reading the different portions of Scripture side by side like this. And Carson is a theologian providing deep commentary that challenges you to think critically about Scripture and to think critically about your own life and holy walk with the Lord. This is a wonderful devotion if you want more than just a few fluffy, feel-good thoughts to start your day.








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