“Reading is more important to me than eating.” – John Piper.
As a dyslexic book worm I love it when people post book recommendations, granted it takes time to read and process the words, pages, chapters and books but I love it. Not for the sake of academia, but for the sake of knowing God and myself in relation to God. Nothing beats (or should trump) the faithful reading of the bible, but the following books have jumped out of the books devoured in 2015.
- Pilgrims Progress, by John Bunyan
Probably my favourite book that I have read every year since I first got hold of it. Pilgrims Progress was written by Bunyan when he was in jail, a lesson for all of us that God can use the most awful of situations to bring glory to Himself, I for one am thankful that Bunyan remained in Jail to write this gem that has encouraged the Church with the gospel for years.
2. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, by Timothy Keller
I really enjoy a lot of Keller’s books, he goes deep without losing me and applies the truth of the gospel to my selfish heart. A book everyone should read! As the book rightly states, “A truly gospel–humble person is not a self–hating person or a self–loving person, but a self–forgetful person.”
3. Dangerous Calling, by Paul Tripp
This book will ruin you with the gracious truth of the gospel, find a dark corner and embrace the fetal position. It will expose your calcified heart (as it did mine), scrap over it with a knife of loving truth and rest your head on a pillow of grace. A must read!
4. The Emotionally healthy Leader, by Peter Scazzero
I was at first a little suspicious of getting yet another ‘Emotionally Healthy’ book (Church, Spirituality) thinking they would be copies of the others just repackaged. However this book by Scazzero is extremely practical for leaders, is biblical and comes from a place of humble authenticity, you get the very real sense that all is laid bear with Pete for the sake of our growth.
5. Church Planting Is For Wimps, by Mike McKinley
This book is a very easy to read, short book on Church revitalization and the personal story of McKinley’s process of trying to revitalize a church in Virginia by God’s grace and the problems and successes he encountered along the way. If you are planting or revitalizing a church in a difficult area then this is a brilliant book to read, I would also add that you should get Mez McConnell’s book ‘Church in Hard Places’ out in January 2016.
6. The Trellis & The Vine, by Marshall & Payne
This book is all about growing people. Often we focus on the ‘trellis’ the support structures, but fail to invest in the discipleship of people, the ‘vine’. There is a real theme and focus throughout of gospel growth in a person. Thank you Marshall and Payne for this excellent book. May that be our focus in 2016.
7. The Valley Of Vision: A Collection Of Puritain Prayers, by Bennet Arthur
I love the Puritain’s and have read this book daily as a morning devotional (along with Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening, another cracking book). I cannot recommend this book more highly. A real treasure that leads the Christ follower to an awe of God, a prayerful dependant position and a worshipful praise to the Christ of Scripture.
8. Morning & Evening, by Charles Spurgeon
As a huge Spurgeon fan I am surprised that I came to this one later in life (this year in fact). I had just been burnt out from ministry and my father who I greatly admire as a man of the word and love for His Saviour recommend this highly. I was only to glad to read it, as I loved Spurgeon’s simple, yet impactful wording and expository of scripture, who anyone from the Lecturer to the average joe can understand. This book along with scripture has helped me greatly in the valley this past year and has been a much needed mirror that reflects me back time and time again to the gospel.
9. Desiring God, by John Piper
Piper reminded me this past year of the soul satisfying treasure and joy that is Christ. This book is biblically rich, poured out in love by Piper and for our joy and satisfaction. Piper is a man that oozes a love for the Saviour, which is infectious and it would only aid our growth as disciples to read his books. “For the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.”- Piper
10. Lastly is my sons favourite book thus far, The Jesus Story Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
What’s to say really other than this Children’s Bible makes much of Jesus Christ. Noah and myself will read it at bedtime and I come away fed. Sally has done a corking job on this. Thank you.