Books

I am a nut for a good book, and my foray into a more meaningful spirituality as well as my desire to push myself physically have led me to read some really great books. Here are some of the best:

For Spiritual Fitness

He Loves Me! Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection This is a wonderful book about the love of God.  Much of what we read in Christian literature is how God shuns us because of our sin, and how He sent His only son to pay for that sin because He was otherwise unable to have fellowship with us.  Not sure I want to hang out with a God who puts His own son through such horrors so he can save someone else.  Makes me question His definition of love…

This book puts everything in the right context and helps you see just how overwhelming the love of God is for each and every one of us.  If you’ve had bad experiences with the church (as many have) or if your view of Christianity is all about rules, dogma, judgmentalism and rigid, lifeless rituals, you should read this book.

You are, indeed, loved.  Very, very much.

Epic by John Eldredge is one of the best books I’ve read for getting some solid foundation under your faith. It is simply the story of the Gospel, but told like you’ve never heard it
before. You can get more info on this book from the book’s site at www.epicreality.com.

This is certainly where I would start if you feel “wobbly” about your faith, or if you’ve never really explored Christian Spirituality. It’s a short, easy read, and very well done.

Walking With God by John Eldredge is an intimate look at one man’s journey to walk with God. He has excerpts from his journals, and different ways of looking at life and following God in the mundane little things of life, as well as in some of the bigger questions.
The site for the book at www.walkingwithgod.net also has a wealth of information and encouragement for keeping our focus on God. The book has lots of short little chapters and makes a great devotional.

Let me encourage you to also check out John’s main site at www.ransomedheart.com

When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper is a great read for those who are feeling dull and distanced from God. John Piper argues the case that joy is a key ingredient in a living faith, and that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. If you are feeling stuck and dry in your faith, I’d highly suggest this book. However, I would do so in conjunction with the next one – I’d read this one first, the next one second, and come back to this one. Yeah, complicated, but I think you’ll understand when you read
them.

The River Within is written by a fellow Calgarian who is a spiritual director. His book is full of honesty, insight, wisdom, grace, and some very practical ideas for opening yourself to the constant flow of the Holy Spirit in your life. A wonderfully encouraging book and highly to be recommended for folks wanting to walk honestly and deeply with God.

For Physical Fitness


The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness
is basically my fitness “Bible”. Dr. Maffetone is one of the top coaches and has coached many an athlete to unbelievable achievements. His method is gentle, easy to follow, but a little complicated to set up as there is no “one size fits all”. For him, the most important tool is the heart rate monitor, and he shows you how to use it to get maximum benefit from your training. Easy to read, and highly recommended.

If you like this book, you will also be interested in his other books: The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and In Fitness And In Health

Eat to Live is a challenging look at health and the kind of role that nutrition plays. This is not a fad diet but a way of life.  It’s fairly challenging because it’s almost entirely vegetarian, and quite strict. However, Dr. Fuhrman purports that this lifestyle can prevent and often cure much of what ails us today. I am working to implement a little bit at a time, to create some long-term habits.

The The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
is one of the coolest books ever. Tim Ferriss set out to put together the ultimate body hacks book – greatest restults with the least amount of work. It’s a fascinating read with tons of practical, applicable information to get the best out of the body you have. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone is really the book that started it all for me. The book comes with a DVD that you can play that will accompany you on a one mile walk in your living room, including upper body training. It’s fun, simple, and easy to
do. The book itself is full of great tips and help for nutrition, exercise, and general wellness, in addition to dozens and dozens of testimonies. I’ve really enjoyed this book, and have moved past it to Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home – 5 Mile Walk (With Fitness Band), which I also love.

The Complete Guide to Marathon Walking seems to be the Marathon Walker’s Bible. It’s recommended everywhere, and is a very readable, practical, down-to-earth book. I’ve gotten some great encouragement (and a few good laughs) from reading it.

I also like the training system he has set up, and wish that I could have incorporated more of it into my own training. Next time ’round, I think!

Chi Walking is a book on “mindful walking”. While I don’t subscribe to Eastern Spirituality, one can learn alot about one’s own faith by studying others. This book has some great tips and ideas for keeping the body’s posture light and the mind open and creative.

Fit Yummy Mummy is a cheesy name, but a great product. It’s a downloadable e-book (or rather, several) and the program includes some great nutritional advice that is healthy and not quite as extreme as the “Eat to Live” book. It also has some great exercises that work really well in conjunction with walking to build a strong body and increase your metabolism. I’ve used the information in here quite a bit, and find it challenging, but doable, and the results have been good. The only problem is I’m not as disciplined about doing these as I am about walking.

Still working on it . . .

Eat Stop Eat is a method of using flexible, intermittent fasting as a style of fasting for weight loss and fat burning! Full of documented research and lots of practical tips.

For Lifestyle Design

 The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated This is an AMAZING book. I believe God designed us with desires, gifts and talents to enable us to live a life of abundance. I’m not necessarily referring to material wealth. I’m referring to that deep soul satisfaction of spending your life doing something that makes you light up inside. We waste a lot of life doing mundane, unimportant things. This book shows you how to move out of the rat-race, and into vibrant living. My family is firmly on this path, and you can watch the transformation on this blog.

Tim Ferriss also has what I think is the most interesting blog on the net.  Take some time to check it out

The Zero Hour Workweek Kindle e-book follows Tim Ferriss’ book quite nicely.  Jonathan Meade thinks he disagrees slightly with Tim Ferriss, but in fact they’re both on the same page.  Jonathan has some other GREAT information on his blog as well.  Well worth checking out.