Recommended Reading

I love books.  Actually, I love books that impact me.  The impact could be through a life-changing teaching, inspiring thoughts, a new way to look at the familiar, or because the book is just a plain ol' ‘fun read.’  I think recommending a book is a little like suggesting that someone use a particular perfume or cologne.  It is so highly individualistic that I'm never guaranteed success.  With that in mind, however, I humbly submit books that I love. 

All-time Favorites:

Principles of Spiritual Growth (or The Green Letters)

by Miles Stanford

Three people, all independent of each other, recommended this book to me.  When I finally sat down to read this in 1995, I was spiritually parched.  I felt like I was consistently taking 1 step forward, then 2 steps back in my walk with Christ.  What amazed me was how I had missed the obvious biblical truths for so many years.  This 100 page book was not an easy read, but going slowly through the principles yielded a wonderful fruit of freedom and joy as I died to self and focused on Christ.

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

by Emerson Eggerich

This is my favorite marriage book (just ask any of my premarital counseling couples!).  The title is taken from Ephesians 5:33 - "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."  The basic premise is that God created men and women in a wonderfully different way.  Men’s greatest need is ‘respect,’ whereas women’s greatest need is ‘love.’  The book not only reveals the thoughts and feelings of the opposite sex, but also opens up about what your sex really wants.  A couple that reads and discusses with the main goal of understanding their mate can expect to truly bless their marriage.  

Recently Read Recommendations:

Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ

by Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson, author of the Message Bible, has helped me understand the 'heart' of the book of Ephesians.  Paul is explaining to the Church how they must practice the resurrection of Christ in their daily lives.  While it may look like a commentary, it is more a wonderful, creative travelogue of what God has created in His institution, the Church.  While the church we see around us fails the ideal, it is spectacular to stare at the beautiful holy edifice of the local church, and know that we can move closer to the intended ideal as we live our lives together in Christ.

Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and Creativity

by Michael Card

If you consider yourself an artist, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this book.  I am not an ‘artist,’ but I was extremely blessed by the exploration of a biblical view of Creativity and how one can glorify God through it.  The book reads almost like a devotional where I found myself worshipping throughout.  One of my favorite sections was chapter 10, “Letters to Artists," in which Card had respected Christian artists share their thoughts.  It is well worth reading, even if you don't consider yourself an artist, since we all can be creative.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

by Chip & Dan Heath

Made to Stick has been a popular business book for the last several years, although to limit it to the business world would be a shame.  If you have to communicate ideas to others, then this book is for you.  The key elements to a successful, sticky idea are:  1. Simplicity, 2. Unexpectedness, 3. Concreteness, 4. Credibility, 5. Emotions, 6. Stories. 

The Heath brothers blend engaging case studies, simple exercises, and ‘sticky’ illustrations to make their point.  This book reminds me a lot of Malcolm Gladwell’s works, which I love as well.  Anyone who can be informative and entertaining has my attention.