Roots of Knowledge

In developing a space for growth, there must be a proper balance of components.

For example, in gardening the condition of the soil may make it necessary to add what is lacking—nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium {NPK}, as well as secondary nutrients – sulfur, calcium and magnesium, and the microorganisms that keep soil open and available. Not only must the soil absorb what is present, it must also release all needed elements that nurture what has been planted.

To understand the needs of the plant, we must first understand what kind of soil is necessary to sustain life—and encourage abundant production. Gardeners do this by adding supplements in the right amounts, and at the proper time of year. Such supplements, added to factors such as pH balance, moisture, temperature ranges, and natural barriers to pests, provide a backdrop for successful gardening. It is in both the temperament of the plant itself, and the environment in which it is planted, working together to achieve success or to die a quiet death. It’s not that different in human relationships.

leaves on water

Since it is true that what we consume, we eventually reflect or become (i.e., you are what you eat), I put much stock into the belief that consuming information that presents both truth and challenge for growth, is never a wasted effort. I know I have read things in my life that may not have contained the “wow” factor at the time I read it, but later, the seeds sown by that source eventually bloomed and produced fruit that was ultimately “nutritious” to my life and the lives of those in community with me.

To share some of the “amendments” I have ingested deeply or just used for a short season, I am offering these resources to anyone interested.

This list is a collection of possible resources which may offer some insight, clarity, or even amusement.

Most of the resources listed on this page are ones I have either read myself, or have reason to believe would be beneficial to anyone interested in the topic addressed in the resource. The presence of a website link does NOT imply that I agree with all content contained in the resource, only that I have found material of interest on the site in the past. I am not recommending any of the resources listed to particular persons for therapeutic reasons; I am simply offering a place to start looking.

Some Helpful Possibilities

Here are a number of websites which I believe may offer material to spark thought, discussion, and possibly prayer or other meditation. The first set of sites is a general list for reference; the 2nd set are books, video series,or other sources which are categorized in groups.

As with other links on this website, I may or may not agree with everything found on each of these sites, but I have found something of value there at some point, enough to bookmark it for future visitation. The wonderful thing about living in the world is that we can benefit from the perspectives of others and respectfully offer another side (not THE ONLY side) of a topic, and perhaps change a mind or a life by the way we disagree. I am no “arbiter of TRUTH” but I am intimately acquainted with TRUTH embodied. It’s like having a Big Brother no one wants to mess with—don’t argue with me, argue with HIM.

I don’t have to prove anything to anyone; but I am expected to live as if

Isa 22:22 “Then I will set the key of the house of David on His shoulder. What He opens no one will shut. What He shuts no one will open.”

Matt 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

key solitary shadow
Truth … the ‘key-stone’
Crisis Magazine

Online publication for Catholic Laity

Family Life

Ministry of Dennis Rainey

5 Love Languages

Understanding how you & your important people define LOVE (Chapman)

Boundless Magazine

Online publication for older teens and young adults/singles (about dating, marriage, social development)

Ministry of Greg Laurie

Pastor Laurie’s accessible application of fundamental truths, draws the curious through straightforward, easily-grasped presentation of the gospel, and how to grow in faith and fellowship

Christian Post

News and commentary about Christian faith and evangelism around the world

Del Tackett

Site sharing the outreach of the ministry of Del Tackett: faith development and discipleship

Pure Intimacy

Ministry of Focus on the family, devoted to exploring sexuality and intimacy from a biblical perspective for all age groups

Citizen Magazine

Provides commentary about civics and social issues relevant to current times

Focus on the Family

Organization provides topical broadcasts, websites, conferences, interactive forums, print materials, and counseling for those seeking information about marriage, relationships, and family development

John MacArthur Ministry

Author, bible teacher, evangelist, and publisher of materials supporting faith pursuits, scripture study, and application of biblical principles


Christian publishers producing a multitude of materials, across a spectrum of faith-related pursuits

Proverbs 31 Ministries

Organization of women providing daily encouragement to other women through devotionals, conferences, books, articles, and celebrations of the unique way women come together to serve and grow

Gospel Coalition- Author Index

a comprehensive list of speakers, theologians, authors, and pastors-article indexed by name, most of whom are widely respected for their eloquent defense of the Gospel, in loving but firm and scripturally sound ways–browse and click or look up a specific teacher

Woman to Woman

Women talking TO women, ABOUT women, and FOR women of faith A mother and her three adult daughters share wisdom, guidance, insight, and encouragement to women about issues women struggle with every day: it’s uplifting and fun!

Desiring God Ministries

Resources of daily discipleship and pursuit of holiness and godly relationships with others; materials are based on the search for significance through salvation and service

Blog of Beth Moore

Empowering and educating women about living a God-honoring life, engaged in the communities in which they are planted, loving those around them in deeply authentic ways, by first learning to love themselves

Healthy Marriage Institute

Collection of resources from a non-denominational organization dedicated to developing resources to help strengthen marriages and families

Telling the Truth Ministry

Website of Jill, Stuart, and Pete Briscoe- bible teaching and discipleship support for believers at all stages of growth

Let My People Think

Online Broadcast (Podcast) ministry of Ravi Zacharias

Plugged In

This site offers media reviews from a faith perspective and targets parents with children and adolescents whose consumption of media is a primary concern. The site is an excellent place for parents or those without children who want to sort through some of the offerings in the entertainment world and be fully informed before they part ways with their resources and regret their choices.

truth, does it matter
Does the Truth matter?

APOLOGETICS [defending the Truth]

Apologetics is the theological study of the defense of the gospel, through logical discourse. Men like C.S. Lewis, R. C. Sproul, and Josh McDowell, are excellent resources for this branch of study. My favorites are represented here.

Mere Christianity

By C.S. Lewis HarperOne / 2001

The Screwtape Letters

by C. S. Lewis HarperOne / 2001

The Great Divorce

by C. S. Lewis HarperOne / 2001

The Grand Miracle

by C. S. Lewis
Random House / 1983

The Problem of Pain

by C. S. Lewis HarperOne / 2001

Surprised By Joy

by C.S. Lewis, Houghton-Mifflin / 1975

God in the Dock

By C. S. Lewis, William B. Eerdman’s Publishing / 1994

A Grief Observed

By C. S. Lewis, Zondervan / 1989

The Real Face of Atheism

By Ravi Zacharias, Baker Books / 2004

Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend

By Ravi Zacharias, Thomas Nelson / 2007

The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists

By Ravi Zacharias, Zondervan / 2008

Who is Jesus Really?: A Dialogue on God, Man and Grace

By Josh McDowell, Moody Publishers / 2011

arrows and hearts border
coming & going

Why We Act the Way We Do [Gender Quirks]

As many women (and men) will tell you, the difference between the genders is striking sometimes from before birth! Effective parenting is not about treating every child the “same” but giving each child what they need–sometimes gender plays a part in exploring and understanding those needs. Our gender quirks don’t disappear after puberty…in fact, the adventure gets even more challenging as we age and (hopefully) mature.

The Birth Order Book, Repackaged Edition

by Dr. Kevin Leman, Revell / 2015

Have a New You By Friday: How to Accept Yourself, Boost Your Confidence & Change Your Life in 5 Days

By Dr. Kevin Leman, Revell / 2011

7 Things He'll Never Tell You...But You Need to Know

By Dr. Kevin Leman, Tyndale House / 2007

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs

By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Thomas Nelson / 2004

For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men

By Shaunti Feldhahn, Multnomah Publishers, Inc. / 2004

For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women

By Shaunti Feldhahn, Jeff Feldhahn, Multnomah Books / 2013

For Women Only in the Workplace

By: Shaunti Feldhahn, Multnomah Books / 2011

Your Scars Are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past

By: Sharon Jaynes, Harvest House Publishers / 2006

My Big Bottom Blessing: How Hating My Body Led to Loving My Life

By: Teasi Cannon, Worthy Publishing / 2012

I'm Not Wonder Woman: But God Made Me Wonderful!

By: Sheila Walsh, More in Women of Faith Series, Thomas Nelson / 2008

What Paul Really Said About Women

By John Temple Bristow, HarperOne / 1988

When A Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman's Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation

By: Cecil Murphey, Kregel Publications / 2010

top of his masters voice
no substitute for the “real” thing

Getting To Know the Person of GOD

Many people wander through life thinking if they live a “good life” and go to church, give a dollar to the poor soul on the corner once a week, that’s all the “religion” they need in their lives. They are missing the single most vital part of Christian living–getting to really KNOW the PERSON of Christ–the three Persons who together, make up the unified deity we call “God.”

The truth is that to form a real relationship with the entity to whom we pray–the “REAL thing”, we have to go where He is, spend time with Him on HIS terms, as He meets us right where we are. Studying His love letter to us and exploring His nature and expectations, as well as His grace and mercies, offers us a daily renewal of relationship with the One from whom all things flow. Knowing the PERSON requires spending time with “the REAL thing.” Then a counterfeit will stand out like a sore thumb.

Knowing God

By J. I. Packer, InterVarsity Press / 1973

The Holiness of God

By R. C. Sproul, Tyndale /1985

Knowing Scripture

By R. C. Sproul, InterVarsity Press / 2016

The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped our World

By R. C. Sproul, Crossway Books / 2000

Saved From What?

By R. C. Sproul, Crossway Books / 2002 (AudioBook on CD)

God's Pursuit of Man: Tozer's Profound Prequel to The Pursuit of God

By A. W. Tozer, Moody Publishers / 2015 / ePub

The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine

By: A.W. Tozer, Moody Publishers / 2015 / ePub

The Knowledge of the Holy

By: A.W. Tozer, HarperOne / 1978

30 Life Principles: A Study for Growing in Knowledge and Understanding of God

By: Charles F. Stanley, Thomas Nelson / 2008

contemplating woman
Building Bridges- meeting us right where we are

Women and GOD

Be Still My Soul

By Elisabeth Elliot, Baker Books / 2004

Tell Me Everything: How You Can Heal from the Secrets You Thought You Could Never Share

By Marilyn Meberg, Thomas Nelson / 2010

She Who Laughs, Lasts!

By Ann Spangler, Zondervan / 2000

If a Woman's Hair Is Her Glory, Why am I Tweezing My Chin?

By Martha Bolton, Guidepost Books / 2010

Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life under Christ's Control

By Elisabeth Elliot, Baker Books / 2002

Let Me Be a Woman

By Elisabeth Elliot, Living Books / 1999

Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot

By Elisabeth Elliot, HarperCollins, Reissue edition / 2009

Through Gates of Splendor (Revised, Updated Ed)

By Elizabeth Elliot, Tyndale Momentum / 1981

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways

By: Lysa TerKeurst, Harvest House Publishers / 2007

bride and groom on road to joy
Marriage is far more than a wedding day

Marriage & Relationship Development

So a couple falls “in love” (whatever that means) and decide to marry. The easy part is planning a big celebration of their decision to spend “forever” together (again, whatever that means). Frequently, the cracks begin to appear at the edges like a tight smile that means nothing really, but it’s plastered on because, by golly, this is going to WORK! and it is… work. Every single day, it’s reminding yourself just exactly what drew the two of you together and how to keep that first in your mind as you find lots of reasons to wonder, “did I marry the wrong person?” Did you? or are you failing to BE the kind of person you, yourself, would like to marry? Falling in love doesn’t bring guarantees that you’ll stay “in love” but you can guarantee that every day you will remember just what made you decide to take the hand of this other person and leap into the future.

The Marriage Builder: Creating True Oneness to Transform Your Marriage

By Larry Crabb, Zondervan / 2013


By Larry Crabb, Thomas Nelson / 2005

Understanding Who You Are: What Your Relationships Tell You About Yourself

By Larry Crabb, NAV Press / 1997

Men and Women: Enjoying the Difference

By Larry Crabb, Zondervan / 1993

Understanding People: Why We Long for Relationship

By Larry Crabb, Zondervan / 2013 / ePub

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage

By Paul David Tripp, Crossway Books / 2010

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

By Mark Gungor, Atria / 2009

Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, Revised: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry

By Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Leslie Parrott, Zondervan / 2015

Trading Places: The Best Move You'll Ever Make In Your Marriage

By Dr. Les Parrott, Zondervan / 2009

I Do Again: How We Found a Second Chance at Our Marriage-and You Can Too

By Cheryl Scruggs, Multnomah Books / 2008

The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption

By: Matt Chandler, David C. Cook / 2015

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

By: John Gottman, Harmony; Reprint edition / 2002

His Needs, Her Needs--Revised and Expanded

By: Willard F. Harley Jr., Revell / 2011

Preparing for Marriage: Discover God's Plan for a Lifetime of Love

By: Dennis Rainey, Bethany House / 2010

Growing a Spiritually Strong Family

By: Dennis Rainey, Barbara Rainey, Multnomah Books / 2002

bw couple hugging
Good marital sex requires moving in each other’s direction…in enormously tiny ways (daily)

Sex & Relational Intimacy: A Litmus test for marital health?

Many couples find that when things “go south” between them in the friendship department, their sex life also begins to deteriorate. Some find that the bedroom is the only place they manage to get along. This may seem contradictory, yet the research reveals that both can be true. Since a good sexual relationship within marriage depends upon both partners being willing and able to put their differences aside and to devote themselves to the pleasure and well-being of their partner, it is a small leap to assume that if a couple is actually able to maintain an attitude to humility, sacrifice, and flexibility (ahem), there is a good possibility that they can find middle ground where they struggle outside the bedroom. Sexual compatibility is not simple a “test” for the quality of the “dance”, but it is a foray into the ridiculous generosity that marital sex requires. There is simply no room in a marriage for selfish ambition and self-absorption. Nowhere is this clearer than the gift of sexual intimacy between partners.

Getting Your Sex Life Off to a Great Start

By: Clifford L. Penner, Joyce J. Penner, Thomas Nelson / 1994

Intended for Pleasure, Fourth Edition

By: Ed Wheat, Gaye Wheat, Revell / 2010

Sheet Music

By: Dr. Kevin Leman, Tyndale House / 2003

How to Save Your Marriage Alone

By: Ed Wheat M.D. Zondervan / 1983

Love Life for Every Married Couple

By: Ed Wheat M.D., Zondervan / 1996

Real Questions, Real Answers about Sex: The Complete Guide to Intimacy as God Intended

By: Louis and Melissa McBurney, Zondervan / 2004

The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment

By: Clifford L. Penner, Joyce J. Penner Thomas Nelson / 2003

Getting Your Sex Life Off to a Great Start

By: Clifford L. Penner, Joyce J. Penner Thomas Nelson / 1994

52 Ways to Have Fun Fantastic Sex

By: Clifford L. Penner, Joyce J. Penner, Thomas Nelson / 1994

Red-Hot Monogamy: Making Your Marriage Sizzle

By: Bill Farrel, Pam Farrel, Harvest House Publishers / 2006

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together

By: Mark Driscoll, Grace Driscoll, Thomas Nelson / 2012

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain

By: William M. Struthers, InterVarsity Press / 2010

family walks in park
Parenting: No ‘walk in the park’

Parenting {*sissies need not apply}

Ah, Parenthood…is there any more humbling circumstance than to have a part of your heart parading around outside your body, quite beyond your control? I believe God makes them little and cute so they live past age three…yes, being a parent stretches every intention, breeches every wall, destroys any assumption of prowess that unsuspecting newly-marrieds consider under their belts. No matter what you believe about your capabilities regarding parenthood, it’s never as easy, or as hard, as you think it will be.

The first step to success is to remember your role and that of your spouse, to be worthy of the privilege, and to never lose sight of the ultimate goal–to raise individuals unafraid to ask questions of themselves and of the world they inhabit, to learn to think for themselves and to follow NO ONE down a road to disaster. Having children does not equip you to raise them “right”, with morals, values, priorities, and certainly a level of civic responsibility that offers hope to each new generation to come. It is work that matters eternally. There is no more important job on the planet than parenthood–the stakes are too high to fail.

Have a New Teenager by Friday: From Mouthy and Moody to Respectful and Responsible in 5 Days

By: Dr. Kevin Leman, Revell / 2013

Pure Excitement: A Godly Look at Sex, Love & Dating

By: Joe White Tyndale House / 1996

Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No

by: Dr. John Townsend Zondervan / 2007

For Parents Only: Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid (Audio Book)

By: Shaunti Feldhahn, Lisa A. Rice, Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 2007

Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

By: Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, Mike Yorkey, Random House, Inc. / 2009

Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti

By: Chad Eastham, Bill Farrel, Pam Farrel, Thomas Nelson 2009

The Velveteen Mommy: Laughter and Tears from the Toy Box Years

By Jenn Doucette, NAV Press / 2005

Help! My Toddler Rules the House (Life-Line Mini-Book)

By: Paul Tautges, Karen Tautges, Shepherd Press / 2014

The Lee Strobel Collection DVD Box Set

By: Lee Strobel, Thomas Nelson / 2009 DVD

Lies Young Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free

By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Dannah Gresh, Moody Publishers / 2008

HELP! My Toddler Rules the House

By Paul Tautges, Karen Tautges, Day One Christian Ministries Inc. / 2010

Parenting God's Way

By: Alistair Begg, 10 Publishing / 2017

blended boundaries
pureed versus blended-is it semantics?

Step-Families: Blended & Spendid

Entering into a 2nd or 3rd marriage is a daunting exercise and is not for the faint of heart. Re-entering a marital covenant when prior relationships ended unsuccessfully for whatever reasons, is made more complex when it includes the addition of minor (sometimes even adult) children. There is a LOT to consider before taking that step. Dating when you’ve been “out of the loop” and having no idea what to do to meet someone again, learn to trust again, and to pull your children into a new arrangement, creates an imperative that you discover where you went wrong in the prior relationships so that you don’t have to repeat those errors again.

We're Not Blended...We're Pureed

By Lesire Diana Brandmeyer, Marty C. Lintvedt, Concordia Publishing House / 2011

Blended Families: Creating Harmony As You Build a New Home Life

By: Maxine Marsolini, Moody Publishers / 2000

Living in a Step Family without Getting Stepped On

By Dr. Kevin Leman, Thomas Nelson /

dog team pulling
Discipleship: harnessing the power of the group to finish the race laid before each one


The foundations of discipleship are devoted modeling, guidance, encouragement, and correction, with one end in mind: to command the self, the appetites, the distractions, and the failures such that all is considered joy. Christ invested the eternities of all who came after Him in the hearts and motivations of the Twelve, even knowing one would betray, and the others would scatter like rats from a sinking vessel. This is the same vessel He calmed in the storm, beckoning us to get out of the boat and keep our eyes on Him. Our eternal place with Him depended upon it the first moment of our belief and every day to follow. Discipleship is discipline of the flesh to the obedience to the Spirit. It is walking toward Him on rough waters and leaping into His arms with abandon. It is trust, it is hard, and it is necessary.

The Cost of Discipleship

By: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Touchstone / 1995

Letters and Papers from Prison

By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Touchstone / 1997

Come Be My Light

By Mother Teresa, Doubleday / 2007

Inside Out

By Larry Crabb , NAV Press / 2013

Soul Talk: The Language God Longs for Us to Speak

By Larry Crabb, Thomas Nelson / 2005


By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Touchstone / 1995

1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting

By: Thomas Phelan, Sourcebooks 6th edition / 2016

A Simple Path

By: Mother Teresa, Random House / 1995

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

By: Dallas Willard, HarperOne, Reprint edition / 1999

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God

By: Dallas Willard, IPV / 2012

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

By: Dallas Willard, NavPress; Anniversary edition / 2012

The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

By: John Ortberg, Zondervan; Reprint edition / 2015

disappointment failure
When Faith Falters: Hold on…He’s coming

When Faith Falters: Day to Day struggles when God Feels Distant

There are times in the lives of all believers when God simply appears to have disappeared from sight. Christ, Himself, experienced this on the cross, when the sins of the world clung to Him like a filth that could not be cleansed…yet it was. By His obedience and certainty that in the darkness, an edge of Presence stood waiting for the debt to be paid, for the gloom to recede, and for a moment of reconciliation between the Father and His children.

If you are in a season of shadows, don’t let go of His hand. He cannot fail you–it is not His nature to abandon His own, despite the depravity that clings to our hearts and drips from our spiritual rags, waiting for clean garments to be given, and a hand to clothe us in His Righteousness. Seek Him, cry out to Him, wait on Him. He’s coming.

Has Christianity Failed You?

By: Ravi Zacharias, Zondervan / 2010

The Grand Weaver

By: Ravi Zacharias, Zondervan / 2010

Cries of the Heart

By: Ravi Zacharias, Thomas Nelson / 2002

Divided Heart: Divided Home

By Ravi Zacharias, (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries / 2003 / (Compact Disc)

Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference

By: Philip Yancey, Zondervan /2006

What’s So Amazing about Grace?

By: Philip Yancey, Zondervan 2002

Where is God When It Hurts?

By: Philip Yancey, Zondervan /1997

The Bible Jesus Read

B:y Philip Yancey, Zondervan 2002

Disappointment with God : Three Questions No One Asks Aloud

By: Philip Yancey, Zondervan / 1997

True Spirituality

By: Francis A. Schaeffer, Tyndale House / 1972

He is There and He is Not Silent

By: Francis A. Schaeffer , Tyndale House / 1972

No Little People

By: Francis A. Schaeffer, Crossway Books / 2003

Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find?

By: Philip Yancey , Zondervan / 2002

The Last Crusade

By: Billy Graham, Penguin/Putnam / 2006

Hope for Hurting Hearts, Second Edition

By: Greg Laurie, Kerygma/AllenDavid Publishing / 2010

EKG peace
peace comes with a heart of freedom

Read and utilize this site at your own risk.

If you or someone you know needs mental health crisis management, please contact a professional medical or mental health provider as soon as possible. The owner/author of this site intends only to offer general information and all material is subject to change without notice.

Nothing posted on this site is intended as professional guidance or therapeutic advice of any kind. If you find the material helpful, that’s its intent, but please understand your use of the site should under NO CIRCUMSTANCE be considered a professional therapeutic (or personal) relationship between the user and the author of this site. Leslie LaRo Hayes, Ph.D., LMFT, assumes no responsibility for discomfort or other loss that may result from decisions made after utilizing any part of this website.