here is a list of books that i read or re-read in 2010:
celebration of discipline
by richard foster
this is a practical book explaining the different spiritual disciplines that god has given us to use in order that we might know him more. each chapter is about a separate discipline (meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, celebration). foster explains the discipline, where if comes from, why we do it, and some tips on how to do it. this was one of the first books that taught about fasting. this was my third time to read this book (the first being my freshman year of college) and i am planning on reading through it again this year with a group of girls - since discipline, especially these disciplines, are not my strong suit.
by j. oswald sanders
if you have not read this book, you are missing the boat. this book is not just for those in leadership positions, but for every believer! i have read and re-read this book more times than i can count. i even bought copies for my leadership team in kidstuff and made them read it and set goals based on what the lord showed them. sanders give practical tip that are simple yet convicting and based completely on scripture. they are not just his thoughts on what make people successful leaders. every time i read this, i learn something new or i see something i need to change in the way i love, lead and teach others. this book has greatly influenced my leadership ability.
a praying life
by paul miller
i read this book this summer with a group of women. and let me tell you, it has changed me. i wrote a blog about it here. two of the greatest lessons i learned from this book were: 1) the reason i don't pray is because i am too independent from god. if i really saw him as my provider and the sustainer in everything, i would pray all the time. instead, i pray when things get our of control or when i have some spare time. 2) i can ask god for whatever i want. it doesn't make him a genie for me, it actually deepens our relationship and my trust in him. coming to him and asking like a child is when i find prayer time to be a sweet time. towards the end of the book, miller also gives some great practical tips on prayer (like creating prayer cards) that i found extremely helpful.
by david platt
this is a great book that contrasts biblical christianity with the american dream. platt points out how the american dream has changed christianity. he calls us look at what following christ really looks like, and yes it looks radical compared to typical christian culture. a great read! kind of want to give this a re-read now too.
the forgotten god
by francis chan
i read this book after hearing francis chan speak at the verge conference last year. he mentioned this book and all that he had been learning about the holy spirit, so i went home and bought it on audiobook. here is the blog i wrote on this book. it is a wonderful book that talks about the holy spirit and how must of us have no idea what he does or how he works, so we live as if he doesn't. chan reminds us that we have this powerful spirit inside of us. all the help we could need right there with us. a very encouraging book!
by harry schaumburg
i can't remember why i picked up this book exactly, but i sure am glad i did! this book needs to be read by any, regardless of your sexual past. schaumburg addresses how our sexual sin and struggles relates to our sinful hearts. he explains and addresses our fears and needs. i also wrote a quick review of this book when i read it.
recovering biblical manhood and womanhood edited by john piper and wayne grudem
i read through this beast with a group of women starting in 2009 but we finished in 2010. and yes we read through every single chapter! it was so good, but a beast (this is why i had to read it with friends, i would have quit otherwise). the authors of this book address the effects of feminism on society as a whole and point to what the bible defines as our roles. such good information about how men and women were created to function together and the roles god purposefully gave us. read this with some other people and you will learn much. and press on through the middle of the book, it is a very technical section and can be dry at times, but other parts of the book are worth it.
by r.b. mitchell
this is an account of a man who grew up in an orphanage. his mother dropped him off at three and with the exception of a few months here and there, he would remain in that orphanage until he was 18. the story is heart-wrenching and will make you made at times, but it gives great insight to what these kids feel and experience as they are placed in foster care/orphanages and are given up by their families.
by john piper
in this book piper explains the ins and outs of what it means to be born again - a term thrown around in christian circles a lot, but not always explained. here is a blog that shares more of my thoughts after reading it. and as i said before, i am not sure if i am getting smarter or if piper is learning how to write for us minions, but this book is definitely more easy to read than his others.
cost of discipleship
by dietrich bonhoeffer
i love dietrich bonhoeffer! this book is awesome! it is dense and it is heavy, but it is worth every hour you will spend reading it. bonhoeffer discusses the costs that are required to follow christ and be his disciple - costs that we are often uncomfortable with, but costs that will reap incredible results! read this book! i will read this again. and i am planning on reading bonheoffer's biography this year.
pursuit of god
by aw tozer
this is a short but powerful book that i listened to this summer on audiobook. tozer describes what the life of someone who pursues god should look like - the discipline and cost it requires but also the blessings it pormises. this book made me want to read more tozer.
big truths for young hearts
by bruce ware
this was my second time to read all the way through this book, though i refer to all the time when i am writing children's curriculum. this is a theology book written for parents to use with their kids. ware does not go into the depths of grudem's theolgy books, but he covers each topic well and in terms that kids can understand. it is not just good for kids, it is good for adults too! and it is less intimidating that systematic theology (though that book is very readable too, it is just huge)
the practice of the presence of god
by brother lawrence
this was another re-read, but i needed it! this very short book (you could read it in an afternoon) helps us remember that we live in god's presence all the time. that we can always talk with him, think on him and worship him. we have so compartmentalized god that we often only think of him at church or in our quiet times, but once we leave those places, he rarely crosses our minds. this book challenges us to practice living in the presence of god each moment of the day, to think on him always.
by andrew murray
another super short read. this is one of the first books that i have read that explains what humility is and what it looks likes. before reading this book all i knew of humility was what it was not. humility was not being prideful. murray doea a great job explaining what a humble heart looks like. a must read. i have heard that c.j. mahaney's book humility is also very good, but i have not read it.