I am well on my way to achieving my reading goal for the year! And I’ve decided that accountability is going to play a big part in continuing the year strong. Here is a rundown of the books that I’ve already gotten through in 2016:
(1) The 10 Most Influential Churches of the 20th Century (Dr. Elmer Towns)
Back and forth from super inspirational to why did I take this class…except I didn’t sign up for any class. I am a firm believer in the importance of learning about the past in order to avoid committing the same mistakes. But I usually prefer to learn my history more organically than by just reading a book about it. I (obviously) see the value in reading, but I need at least a little fun in my books. If you are planting a church or work in a church that’s revamping, it’s definitely a good read. Just don’t plan on reading it in bed. Zzzzz…
(2) The Difference Maker (Nelson Searcy)
Truth be told, one of my bosses wrote this one. But that doesn’t make my review any less honest/valid. I’ve been a Christian for a long time (over twenty years) and I’ve been working in a church for close to eight years. As such, most of my friends are also Christians – which is great for me, but not so great for the non-Christians around me. This book is a great little reminder that you might be the only chance some people have to hear about Jesus. It’s a practical look and different ways you can share your story with people.
(3) A Storm of Swords (George R.R. Martin)
Yep, I’m still making my way through the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) series. From what I’ve heard, this is one of the best books in the series. And, even though I took a break from starting to finishing, I’m going to say that I agree…at least for now. This book was action-packed, with several scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. Full disclosure, I had to skip ahead a few times to be sure the characters I care about were still okay. Full-ER disclosure, they were not. This definitely got me excited to get back into the series, and then… (see below)
(4) Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord (Dave Stone)
The main premise is simple: As much as you tell your kids things, it’s what they actually SEE YOU DO that most influences them and their behavior. Touching on prayer, Bible study, and quality time, this book reminds you that it’s never too late to start doing the things that will actually impact both your parenting and the direction your children choose to go as a result. It’s also a good reminder that no parents are perfect, and while we all wish we did more, better to start now than lament on any missed opportunities.
(5) Raving Fans (Ken Blanchard)
Something that I’ve learned the longer I’m a part of the workforce is that every job is a customer service job…you just need to figure out who your customers are. This book is virtually the opposite of book #1 on this list – using a completely narrative approach to convey the lessons that could very well be found in a textbook. At times a little corny, it still managed to hold my attention, and I feel like for such a quick read, you really can learn a lot about the importance of vision and taking care of your customers, whoever they met be.
(6) A Feast for Crows (George R.R. Martin) *
Oh man, this one is a doozy. After the thrill that was A Storm of Swords, this installment in the series is proving the most challenging one to get through yet. If you don’t already know, this series has about a million characters. So, imagine my surprise (read: disappointment) to open this book to find none of the people I’ve grown to care about, and rather introduce a whole other round of folks. Cue: face palm. I’m determined to get through this (and the others in the series), but I see Mr. Martin is not going to make this easy for me.
(7) The Pursuit of Holiness (Jerry Bridges) *
Have you ever read Crazy Love by Francis Chan? If not, you should. Similar to that, this book is proving to be quite the kick-in-the-pants. And I mean that in the best way. So often, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are and be fooled into thinking that we are better than we are. And books like this are great to put us in our place. And don’t we all need that sometimes? I’m only three chapters in, but I have a really good feeling about this one.
I want my books to recommend me! I have a pretty long list, but I’m always open to adding more.
*I’m in the middle of these books.