Reading is not just a hobby; it is a passion for me. Last year, my average was about a book a week. I actually wish it was more, but life does not permit that to happen… yet. But, I do make it a priority, and doing so continues to allow books to shape my life.
After reading some books, I say a fond farewell and send them out the door. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy them, because I get something out of every book I read; I just know I won’t open them again. Then there are the books that I want to keep and put on a bookshelf in my office for future reference. Many of these are ones my oldest son eventually picks up to read. Some are reference books that I occasionally look to while researching/studying for teaching a lesson or writing a blog post or devotion.
Then there are those few books that make a tremendous impact on me. They are ones that I not only refer to again but quite often. They are ones I recommend to others but don’t loan out because I don’t want to be without them. They are the books within arm’s reach of my desk and constantly at the ready. These are the books that I would like to share with you today because they have helped me achieve my goals by teaching me how to be deliberate and intentional, how to simplify life and how to age gracefully. These books could possible do the same for you. They all inspired me in some way to make the most out of every opportunity.
Instead of giving a synopsis or review, I’m pulling a quote from each book as a way of giving a “feel” the book and perhaps creating a desire to read it.
- Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years…and yours by Alicia Britt Chole
“In the hidden years, delayed dreams press the question of whom we will let hold the clock for the rest of our lives. When God’s timing is not our timing and it is in our power to do something about it (as with Jesus’ example on the temple), whose timing will we choose? Ultimately, our answer to that question depends on whom we really trust.”
- Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey
“I want to identify myself for myself how a relationship with God truly works, not how it is supposed to work.”
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Christ Garrett
“Blogging for an income takes time… Take it one step at a time…It takes hard work and discipline… Follow your dreams… It is possible to make money blogging – and for some (but not all), it is possible to make very good money doing it.”
- WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson
“To a brand-new user, some aspects of WordPress can seem a little bit intimidating. After you take a look under the hood, however, you begin to realize how intuitive, friendly, and extensible the software is.”
- Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam McHugh
“In an upfront, talkative, active evangelical culture, we can be viewed as self-absorbed or standoffish, and we can feel like outsiders even when we have faithfully attended a church for years.”
- Health Care You Can Live With: Discover Wholeness in Body and Spirit by Dr. Scott Morris
“Choosing to take your health care into your own hands begins with understanding you are created for a relationship with God. If this is your starting point for recognizing wellness in your own life, you’ll begin to distinguish the messages in the culture that work against wellness even though buzz words try to convince you they are good for your health.”
- Brain Storm: Unleashing Your Creative Self by Don Hahn
“Getting the dreamer and the doer to work together is one of the first steps toward reawakening the creative spirit.”
- The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren
“This book is dedicated to you. Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live – here on earth, and forever in eternity.”
- Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg
“We often try to get people to trust Jesus for eternity – to get them into heaven – without their first learning to trust him for their daily lives.”
- Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
“When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.”
With the exception of the Bible, these are the books that I first reach for when I need instruction and inspiration. In case you hadn’t noticed, clicking on the titles of each of the books will take you to Amazon’s purchasing information as well as to reviews and other information about each of the books. Just trying to make life simpler for you. (See my Affiliate Disclosure Statement)
If you have read or plan to read any of these books, please leave a comment to this post. Also, if you are interested in how reading has significantly impacted my spiritual fitness, please read “Reading” in “Everyday God,” a collection of devotions featured in the Victory! section of Struggle to Victory.