So, I enjoy reading. It wasn't always that way. When we were kids, my brother loved to read and I loved to play. As I saw it, his reading kept him from playing with me: a problem to which I didn't always respond well. If you know my parents, you can check with them. Somewhere in elementary school a reading contest got me going on reading (pretty sure it was 2nd grade with Mrs. Sowles - thanks!).
There are so many blessings that come with reading. Some are a bit cliche, but true - you can go places and times you've never been and could never go. You can learn tons about life, history, food, culture, hobbies, hobbits, architecture, theology, sports, relationships, wardrobes, finances, scripture, and on and on we could go. And one other thing...a picture is worth 1000 words? Not always. The words of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as my dad read them to me years ago and as I have re-read them created images in my mind that were better than anything the (very fine and enjoyable) big screen adaptation has managed. Two plus hours of images fail to fully capture what the words of the book portray.
These days I'm on a bit of a reading kick, so I thought I'd write about it. I'll tell you something about my reading, but I want to hear from you. What are you reading and give me one or two of your favorite or most influential books you've ever read. I've been reading a small stack of commentaries on Matthew's gospel, since that's what I'm preaching through. Besides that Planting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st Century is proving helpful for this church planter. I've just finished up Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones which helpfully applies biblical truth whether you're facing depression or not. I'm about to begin The Trellis and the Vine regarding how we do ministry in the church. I'm in the early stages of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, where I've learned that one of the passions (and gifts!) of a deeply thinking man was teaching children! On the secular side, two books about baseball. This summer I read 3 Nights in August and am now enjoying Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The two books offer two different approaches to the game of baseball. I'm thinking the reality lies somewhere in between. [DISCLAIMER: Reading these books and mentioning them here does not mean I recommend everything in them or about them. If you want to know more about why, ask me before you pick one of them up to read.]
Okay. A few on the all-time list. How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp. If you've ever been discouraged with your growth in grace (sanctification) this book should be on your must read list. Rightly applying the principles laid out here can be life changing. More than Conquerors is a commentary on Revelation that opened my eyes to understand a book of the Bible that had been very confusing. And one from my childhood: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. There are so many I am leaving off this list. But now, really. I want to know what you're reading and some all time favorites. Share away.
9/29/2011 04:25:43 pm
I very much agree with your post. Reading is a tremendous thing to do.
11/7/2011 08:53:40 am
I read excerpts of several books... trying to decide on which to present to our children for homeschooling supplements. (Missions, current events, cross cultural, etc.) Rarely do I actually finish a whole book, but one that I did not put down til the last page was the recent publication, "A Time to Betray". I think it is because it is a genuine spy story, and I could tell myself as I was reading, "This really happened!"... and it offered some insight into a culture I was hoping to better understand- Iran. However, I couldn't help but think, "This guy has GOT to be a Christian." When the end of the book came and there was no mention of the Living God... I was so disappointed. I actually felt grief, and prayed that God would bring the author to find Christ. I was thrilled to find God was already in the business of drawing, and the author has found Jesus, and proclaimed publicly his faith in Him just this summer!!! Insightful, at times- nail-biter... we assigned it to our older children, and I heartily recommend for a good two-day marathon read.
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