The holiday season provided me with a chance to catch up on a few reads that I have been meaning to do for a while. Here are the latest to make the Dean’s List.
- Do You See What I See? Exploring the Christmas of Every Day (Ross Parsley) – A great reflection on the Christmas story through theeyes of the various characters in the Bethlehem narrative. Each one who saw God’s miracle at work were instrumental in unfolding the plan and purposes of God. The narrative continues today. God still reveals himself to us. As Parsley states: “in the final analysis, this is all we’re really responsible for: to respond to what God lets us see and hear.” If that is indeed the case the miracle of the incarnation continues to be our responsibility in incarnating the Gospel wherever we are. (3.5 out of 5)
- Wisdom Meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate (Dan Miller/Jared Angaza) – The authors do a masterful jobofblending the often diverse pendulums of wisdom and passion. The book helps the reader see that unrestrained passion for the will of God is essential while at the same time practical wisdom and experience will avoid dream derailment. A great read for anyone wondering about God’s purpose for their life while wanting practical steps for moving their goals downfield.
- Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples (Francis Chan/Mark Beuving) – At first glance this book seemed like an elementary level book on the basics of the faith with some added features for small group application. If you take a step back and look at the content with fresh eyes of wonder and if you know anything about the passion Chan exudes for us to again be disciplemakers you will see that this is no ordinary read. In a simplistic and powerful way Multiply captures the content and the heartbeat of the Gospel. We must move from simply being “believers” to being true disciples who are indeed intentional about making disciples. It is our mandate and our mission. Nothing else is of greater importance. (4.5 out of 5)
- Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas (John Blase) – This book is beautiful retelling of Luke 1-2 in The Message. Blasein his unique style captures the perspective of the unlikely characters of the Christmas story – a teenager, a carpenter, senior citizens and a young shepherd. For those of us that have read the story many times we may need fresh eyes to see the wonder of the story. The author has done just that for us. (4 out of 5)
- The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer (Jack Hayford) – There are more books available on prayer today than ever before but yet prayer seems to be on a serious decline in the modern church. I dove into this book to hear from respected Pastor, Theologian and Author, Jack Hayford on this essential topic. Hayford reminds his readers that God has invited us into this relational dialogue on a 24/7 basis. From recognizing and removing the sin barrier to effective prayer to giving us practical advice for praying for our family, friends and even those people we don’t even want to pray for (not that any of us have those). This book is a great reminder to “pray without ceasing”, a great encouragement that prayer is still “powerful and effective”, and a great kick in the behind that we all need to pray more! (4 out of 5)
- Reckless Faith (Kevin G Harney) – This book is a fresh reminder to us that we often live in a Christianity that is way to safe. Although the title might lead us to think the author is encouraging unwise recklessness the opposite is actually the case. Harney’s premise on Reckless Faith is actually anchored in focusing on Prayer, Perspective and Patience. On this basis we need to move out of our comfort zones and live reckless lives of faith, love, generosity, service, relationships, prayers, and words. A great read for those wanting to live “abundant lives” and a faith-filled Christianity. (4.5 out of 5)
Now off to the next book waiting in the wings…The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (George Friedman).
Happy New Year!