At times I get asked for book recommendations. This morning I did some copying and pasting to put together a list of ten books for a friend in our church and I thought it could be helpful to share.
- The One Year Bible in Hardcopy or through You Version – I had been having personal quiet times since the age of 9 and had been in seminary for several years when I got married. However, I had never read through the Bible. Rebecca was using this when we got married and I joined her. It gave me a plan that changed my quiet time. Now, through using it and other very similar reading plans, I have read through the Bible 8 times. I’m working on number 9.
- A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie – This book has been my parents and my own favorite prayer book. The older version has rich language. It guides my heart to pray on a deeper level.
- Living by the Book by Howard Hendrix – I had applied for and was planning to get my MBA when a friend invited me to audit a class. This was the text for the class. It was so exciting for me that it switch the direction of my life. For the first time I felt like I didn’t need someone to teach me the Bible. I could open it myself and the Spirit of God would speak into my life. I decided to drop the MBA idea and pursue seminary instead.
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp – By nature I default towards trying to control actions instead of talking to my children about the motivations behind the actions that prompt real change in their lives. This book was huge for me. It also pushes me to see the way that God disciplines me.
- You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan – This is different than most books out there on marriage. It focuses on how to live for eternity in and through your relationship. “People accuse me of going overboard in preparing for my first ten million years of eternity. In my opinion, people go overboard in worrying about their last ten years on earth… Because I’m crazy about Liza, I want her to have a great life. But more than that, I want her to have a great eternity… I want her to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem – I know, the title will through you off if you aren’t into reading academic stuff, but this book is phenomenal. When people ask theological questions, I will often, unapologetically, copy several pages and send it their way…. and tell them that they need this incredible resource.
- Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas – Most powerful biography I have read. Metaxas does a great job telling this true story in a more intense way than most fiction authors tell a fantastical story. I couldn’t put it down.
- Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson – Living by the Book (on this list) is why I went to seminary. Biblical Preaching is why I am a preacher. I didn’t think I would ever work in a church because I feared the act of communicating and felt I didn’t have that many good ideas. This book helped me to see that preaching is not coming up with your own ideas but learning how to expose the ideas that The Author of the Bible has given us already.
- Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper – This shorter version of Piper’s longer “Desiring God” floored me in college. I grew up feeling that Christians had to hold back the desires that are naturally part of our life. Piper showed me that those desires are God given and can only be met in God. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Christian hedonism is beautiful and at the root of the Gospel.
- Church Unique by Will Mancini – I have used this book to help guide the process of identifying and defining existing church’s DNA. In addition, it has helped our leadership teams to set mission, vision, values and strategy at both Park Cities and First McKinney.
- Expository Exultation by John Piper – This is my bonus add… Piper is rocking my world again. The second half of this book has pushed me so hard that I often find myself going back to reread pages and paragraphs over and over. The beauty and power of God’s word and the purpose of Glorifying Himself through His Word has brought me to tears on many occasions over the last month.
What about you? Have you read any of the above? Is there a book that you have purchased copies of that you hand out like candy? When someone asks you what book they should read, what is the first one you point them to?