Monthly Archives: May 2009

Some Meaningful Books I Have Read

I’m known around the church as one who reads quite a few books each year. One of our church members suggested that since I’m leaving Crossroads soon I should post a list of books that I’d recommend for others who, like me, read somewhat eclectically. So I reviewed my “books I’ve read” file and selected a mix of books that I’ve read, or re-read, in the past few years that have impacted me in some way. The links take you to my store which has more info on each one. (If you buy through my link it helps me buy more books!)

Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis. The classic book that just about everyone knows about, quotes from, but rarely reads.

Minister as Shepherd, Charles Jefferson. I read this book every couple of years just to remind myself of the high calling and significant responsibility of a pastor.

Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald. Another book I re-read quite often. One of the most practical books I’ve read on using my limited time well.

Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch. Any elder, or aspiring elder, should read this book.

Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman. Another classic on the training plan of Jesus. The foundation of my personal ministry strategy can be found here.

Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer. A most challenging book on the nature of God. In my opinion it is a “must read” for every believer.

Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders. Bite sized thoughts that go deep as one reflects on the topics. Another book I’ve re-read often.

Making of a Leader, Robert Clinton. Very practical for one who is seeking to understand the common stages that seem to mark the lives of leaders.

Why We’re Not Emergent, Kevin DeYoung &Ted Kluck. An unusual look at the whole post-modern, emerging church situation offering a significant critique by two young men who should be smack dab in the middle of it all but aren’t.

Leadership and Self-Deception, Arbinger Institute. Not a Christian book, but it just might change your ability to work well wherever you are.  

Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas. Excellent biblical reflection on this foundational relationship.

The Deliberate Church, Mark Dever. Not a book about methods or techniques, but rather the biblical principles which church leaders should seek deliberately to implement.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni. One of the most insightful books into the reasons teams fail to be effective. While primarily about business, Lencioni has gained a profound hearing among church leaders.

Death by Meeting, Patrick Lencioni. If you find meetings to be somewhat frustrating you might enjoy this one.

How Now Shall We Live, Charles Colson. One of the best on worldviews.

Margin, Richard Swenson. Out of time? Close to burnout? Swenson pulls no punches in clarifying the issues and prescribing solutions.

Leadership is an Art, Max DePree. A surprising book on leadership.

Leadership Jazz, Max DePree.

Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges. One of the first books that impacted my spiritual life. I read it often.

The Ultimate Priority, John MacArthur. One of John MacArthur’s earliest books. One of my favorites. What is the highest priority of the church and the Christian.

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers. A classic devotional consisting of brief thoughts for each day. I have copied many of his insights to my journals over the years.

A Tale of Two Sons, John MacArthur. One of MacArthur’s most recent works. An excellent, hugely challenging look at one of the best known narratives of Jesus.


Stuff Takes Time

Mrs. Random and I have begun the tedious process of packing up the stuff we have been collecting around the house for over 20 years. Even with periodic times of “destuffing” closets, rooms, and drawers we have a lot of stuff. I’m being reminded that stuff takes time to sort through. It takes time to decide if a particular item of “stuff”  is worthy of traveling to our next home (wherever that may be). We are nothing like the hoarders you might have heard of that just can’t let go of something because someday they might need it someday. Or those with a serious disorder where they actually gain comfort from having so much stuff – even junk – around them.

But we do have our “stuffy” places. Like the great unfinished shop and storage room that contains boxes we haven’t opened since our last move. Or the ubiquitous junk drawer. Or the cupboards in a closet that I forgot we even had. Since I’m told that we probably can’t use “all stuff included” as a marketing ploy, it appears that we’ll have to deal with our stuff. I wish I had a really cool lesson to draw from this (I can think of some, but I’m feeling a bit lazy tonight). I know my writer friend would have something really cool, but I thought if I just mused randomly about stuff I might be able to put off dealing with it for a little longer.