Seven years ago today one the kids in our kids church suddenly went home to be with the Lord. I’ll never forget that day and what I’ve learned since. A couple of months ago I read a book by Malcolm Gladwell in that book he talks about a man who lost his son in tragedy what the father said moved me the first time I read it and still does every time I read it.
“Even today I carry a death within myself the death of my son and I am like a decapitated pine. Pine trees do not regenerate their tops they stay twisted and crippled. They grow in thickness perhaps and that is what I am doing.” – Andre Trocme
Such a powerful image of the pain and the strength loss brings. It’s why I love the gospel because the gospel tells me that the God I serve is not safe but that He is good.
We miss you Robert.
I recently released my list of books I read in 2013. One of the questions I received most often is how did you read 44 books last year. So I thought I would blog my answer since it’s a bit lengthy. Hopefully something I do will resonate with you and help you read more this year than you did last.
Here are a few of my tricks.
Start with a goal – Doing anything more is always something everyone wants to do. You will never stretch beyond what you currently do if you don’t set a goal that is both realistic and challenging. If you read 3 books last year set a goal to read six or one book a month.
One of the things I love most about Martin Luther King Jr. day is taking the time to listen to all or parts of his I have a dream speech. Every time I listen to it I am challenged afresh. Such a powerful message of hope.
I hope you take 15 minutes to remember
Of all the books I read in 2013 here are my 10 favorite. Everyone of them worth the read.
- Dangerous Calling – Paul David Tripp – Powerful book every person in ministry should read.
- Amazing Grace the story of William Wilberforce - Eric Metaxas – Love Eric’s writing style my biggest take away from this book was how “dark” and evil things were in the England during Wilberforce’s lifetime. He stood when no one else would and forever changed the course of human history because he stood with in grace that God provided.
- Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand – Unbelievable story of survival, faith and forgiveness. Such a moving story.
- Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute – Loved this book. I think of it often how I in my sinfulness tend to decive myself into thinking that I am better than I am. I need to constantly be aware of the pervasiveness of my self-deception because only when you are aware of your self-deception will you truly not be deceived.
- David And Goliath - Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell is not a theologian so I disagreed with how far he reached in the David and Goliath story but that didn’t take away the power of the book for me. Such a great book. I love how Gladwell thinks so I am bias. This was definitely my favorite that Gladwell has written to date.
- Judges For You – Tim Keller – Tim Kellers commentary on the book of Judges. Wow. Amazing. Very informative and massively convicting.
- Creating Innovators - Tony Wagner – Have you ever read a book that tells you what you have thought and have told others but didn’t have proof for your hunch. This is that book for me. If you have kids or teach kids you need to read this book.
- Center Church – Tim Keller – This is Keller’s opus. Not an easy read at all but a must read for church leaders. Keller lays out principles that must be grasped by the church for us to do effective ministry in the next 20 to 30 years.
- Decisive - Chip and Dan Heath – This book was all about the power of good decisions full of practical advice on how to make better decisions. If you are a leader than you make many decisions. If you want to be a good leader you need to know how to make excellent decisions. Love the Heath brothers style another great book for them.
- Desiring God – John Piper – Such a good book. There are books that tell you about God and those that inspire you to love God this book is the latter. This book is Pipers life message and you can feel it. As I even reflect on this book It makes me desire God more. Thanks Pastor John.
They say leaders are readers so I set a goal this year to read 52 books and I fell short of that goal, but here are the books I did read this year. Some I will add to my read yearly list, all of them impacted me in various ways.
#1 Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell
#2 Lead Small – Reggie Joiner
#3 Non Profit Narrative – Dan Portnoy
#4 Love Does – Bob Goff
#5 Jesus In The Manger – Bonhoeffer
#6 Jesus + Nothing = Everything. – Tullian Tchividjian
#7 Jesus Storybook Bible – Sally Lloyd-Jones
#8 A Tale Of Three Kings – Gene Edwards
#9 Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart – JD Greear
#10 Knowing God – J. I. Packer
#11 The Jesus Manifesto – Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
#12 Center Church – Tim Keller
#13 3 Signs of a Miserable Job – Patrick Lencioni
#14 Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute
#15 A Horse and His Boy – CS Lewis
#16 The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
#17 Dangerous Calling – Paul David Tripp
#18 Integrity – Henry Cloud
#19 Decisive - Chip and Dan Heath
#20 Desiring God – John Piper
#21 – 7 men – Eric Metaxas
#22 – Amazing Grace the story of William Wilberforce – Eric Metaxas
#23 – Christless Christianity – Michael Horton
#24 – The Weight of Glory by CS Lewis.
#25 – The Fourth Fisherman – Joe Kissack
#26 – Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
#27 The Silver Chair – C S Lewis
#28 – Counterfeit God’s – Timothy Keller
#29 Behold Our Sovereign God – Mitchell Chase
#30 Steal Like An Artist. – Austin Kleon
#31 More Or Less – Jeff Shinabarger
#32 Insanely Simple – Ken Segall
#33 C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet by McGrath, Alister
#34 David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
#35 – Good To Great – Jim Collins
#36 Speak Like Churchill Stand Like Lincoln - James C. Humes
#37 – Judges For You – Tim Keller
#38 – Creating Innovators – Tony Wagner
#39 – Divergent – Veronica Roth
#40 The Five Elements Of Effective Thinking. – Edward Burger
#41 Five Points – John Piper
#42 Letters To Malcolm – CS Lewis
#43 The Final Battle – CS Lewis
#44 The Explicit Gospel – Matt Chandler