Books I benefitted from this year.

Every time I read I always enjoy it. Yet it does takes a choice to pick up a book. So I am to reminding myself how I’ve benefitted and I’m remembering the good ones this year.

  1. Martin Luther, by Eric Metaxas. This was a great book on a number of levels. As I read it I began to feel like I was in the Middle Ages. The author helped pull me into the culture, the theological premises of the age and the people themselves. The book does a great job amplifying the theological battles that were present during  the Reformation. On a side note, it was interesting to see the team that surrounded Luther, that also very much made the Reformation possible. Cranach was an artist, who sold pictures of Luther throughout Europe, Gutenberg produced the printing press that allowed Luther’s ideas to spread quick. Frederick the Wise protected Luther, even though they may have spoken once. Spalatin was a friend and go between Frederick and Luther. Wycliffee died way before Luther, yet his writings said many the same things. A number of others helped Luther personally, theologically and spiritually.
  2. Failure Is Not an Option, by Gene Kranz. This is the story of our space program from Mercury to Skylab. Gene Kranz was one of the mission control directors in NASA. He tells great stories behind each launch. These folks were gutsy, creative and had to battle mistakes and failures. There really wasn’t a perfect mission. They constantly had to reengineer, solve problems. And they lived out a huge dream.
  3. Leadership Coaching, by Tony Stoltzfus. Ok I’ve read this before, but I learn and am reminded of the importance of a coach-approach to life and ministry. As read I recall that coaching: helps build leaders, helps others solve their problems, helps others clarify the real problem and helps others live out their dreams. This book has a lot of wisdom and tips. I’m enjoying taking Pastor Bob through it as he works to get certified at coaching with us this summer.
  4. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Peter Scazerro. This is a great devotional. It’s so different than other ones I’ve used. The author encourages silence as a part of the devotional. I find it maddeningly difficult to quiet myself for even two minutes. He also incorporates a twice a day habit of connecting with the Lord. These aren’t necessarily long time with the Lord. It is a great help for me to check back in with the Lord in the afternoon. That helps me put my thoughts a bit more on his thoughts. The author also continues as he has in his other books by raising the issues of Sabbath, Silence, Limits. That’s another reason I enjoy them because it stretches me spiritually.


My December NCM Update