Francis Bacon once said, “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” 2016 was a year in which this maxim was true for me.
For a few years now, I have taken up the yearly book challenge offered by Goodreads, a free book-lovers site now owned by Amazon (if you sign up, please friend me). At the start of the year, one sets a goal of how many books he/she wants to read and during the year the site tracks their progress. For a book/word geek like me, Goodreads is legit (that’s the current term my teenagers are using for anything off the charts)! It tracks interesting statistics like how many books one has read, how many total pages read during that year, what the average rating one gave to books throughout the year, etc. There is even a statistic that charts the publication date (year) the books that one has read.
Continue reading “Books I Read in 2016”
Absolutely loved the start to this book…what a powerful word picture the author uses to describe what the reader comes to know as a dying church!
You say, “Why in the world would I want to read about dying churches?” This book is not so much about dying churches, but observations from the “autopsies” of fourteen churches who had died. Rainer describes the thought of an autopsy as disconcerting and one that no one enjoys. However, in his introduction, he makes a very poignant statement. “The trauma of observing an autopsy is only beneficial if it is received as a warning to the living.” He then goes on to state that this book is not about dwelling on the past, but bearing fruit in the future.
Continue reading “Book Review: Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer”
It has been quite a few years since I have read anything by John Maxwell. This book, given to me by a friend in the ministry, tops my book list thus far for 2014. Absolutely loved the humility by Maxwell throughout the book along with all of the quotes, illustrations, and proven principles of connecting with people around you. In matter of fact, I underlined or highlighted 101 different quotes, lines, or illustrations in the book.
This book was extremely helpful to me as a public speaker. However, Maxwell deliberately states that this will not only help the public communicator but anyone who deals with people on a regular basis. He also reiterates throughout the book that anyone can learn to connect with people…that it is NOT a natural born trait. He uses himself as an example who did very poorly in connecting with others as a young pastor for the first few years.
Continue reading “Book Review: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell”
Okay, I did it. At the start of this calendar year of 2013, I set a goal to read twenty-four books by the end of the year. Having just finished the thirty-seventh book as we near the end of this year, I am thankful for many things:
1. For the teachers who taught me to read – it is one of the greatest gifts a person can be given.
2. For my mother who instilled in me a love to read as a young boy. My wife and I are trying to do the same for our children.
3. For friends (specifically ministerial friends) who encouraged me in my reading by recommending a book or sending me books.
Before I share the list of books that I read, allow me to give you general thoughts I had as I set goals for my reading. First, due to much of my commute being on a train, I decided to set a goal higher than I had reached previously. I have never had the luxury of having so much reading time, so in hindsight, my long commute did end up being a blessing. My thoughts were that reading a book every two weeks was quite aggressive, but doable. Second, in Evernote, I compiled a list of books in order that I wished to read them. This did several things for me. It kept me on track. It also helped me order them in categories and not read too much of one genre of a book. Although I did add a few books throughout the year that were not on my list, the list helped me focus on my goals. Third, I always tried to keep a highlighter on hand to highlight those items and truths that stood out to me.
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I like to read. In matter of fact, I really enjoy reading. That did not happen by accident. There are several factors that led to my enjoyment of reading. First, my parents put me in a good school where I learned to read at an early age. Second, they supplied me with books that were fun to read for a young boy. Books like the Hardy Boys, The Call of the Wild, Irish Red, and Big Red were just a few of the types of books that were given to me. In addition, my Pops (some of you call him dad…I call him Pa or Pops) provided me with exciting missionary stories that piqued my interest about spiritual adventure in far away lands.
The subject of reading reminds me of the first quality Bible that my parents gave to me on my 14th birthday. The Bible was a leather, Scofield Reference edition. Inscribed on the front cover was I Timothy 4:13, “Til I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
Continue reading “The Importance of Reading”