Recently Tiana and I have moved out of our 1,500 square foot house into a 1970’s 176 square foot motor home for the summer. We have no TV, Netflix, Wii, Xbox or Wifi. So far we enjoy it and as a result, we are finding that we are reading a lot more in our spare time. Anyway, I thought that I would simply share a few of the books that I have been reading over the past few months because I know that the only way I find out about new books is from hearing what other people are reading.
So here it goes.
Things to Note Prior to Reading:
1. I do not condone all that these books say and neither should you.
2. It is beneficial to read books that you disagree with sometimes because it will stretch you more and perhaps birth new concepts and passion.
3. Last but not least, a cheesy poem: “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
The Blessed Life
Written by Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Dalles, this book is one of the best I have ever read on giving (tithes). Coming from a standpoint of giving to give rather than giving to get, Morris not only inspirers me to totally trust all my finances with God but also brings a grounded Biblical perspective. It is balanced with stories that inspire you to give everything God asks of you back to him and theological grounding on why we need to. Morris hammers home the point that people who do not tithe (tithe literally means your first tenth) cannot afford to tithe while people who do, alway have enough.
So, would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It is written to the faithful-lifer-church-goer, the never-heard-of-tithing-person and the campaign-against-titheing-guy.
Good book, take a read.
Real Marriage, obviously about marriage and written by former celebrity pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace. This is a raw, real life, answers-to-awkward-questions type of book. You have… well awkward sex questions? The Driscoll's try to answer all of the questions, which is vulnerable of them, and has caused a lot of controversy.
The book is really addressed to the married (not necessarily the single) couple who’s honeymoon is wearing off or has worn off. Some of the chapters include: friendship (which seems to be a foundation of the book), love, communication, and sex. All of which are to the point and practical.
If you are looking for a book that gives wisdom, inspiration, and will challenge you to have a better marriage then this is the book to read.
If Only He Knew
This book, written for the husband, is the twin to For Better or Best which is written for the wife. Written by Dr. Gary Smalley, family counsellor, president and founder of the Smalley Relationship Centre, this book gives many ideas as to why you might be driving your partner away. He gives different reason as to how and why you might be struggling in your relationship. One of them being this: “If your wife does not come first, you lose.” Meaning that if you are always quick to stay late for work, excited about going hunting or fishing or always talking about the new boat you want then your wife will naturally pick up that she does not matter to you as much as your project(s). She must come first or you lose.
Even though Smalley gives reasons as to why you might be driving your wife away he does not, however, simply state everything that you are doing wrong and then leave you there. He gives, literally, a list of one hundred things that you can do to thrive in your marriage.
Would I read this book again? The answer is… yes. In fact, I have found myself going back to this book’s list and sifting through it looking for things that I can change as a husband.
The Four Hour Work Week
Remember what I said at the beginning about not condoning everything these books say? This could be one of them. But it also has some very intriguing concepts.
Tim Ferris, somewhat crude and a little too honest, shows how we can make the impossible possible by bending the rules (thinking bigger). He pushes himself to the edge to deconstruct, some of the worlds toughest challenges in record timing. Ferris is what some of us would call an adventure seeker and self motivator, to put it conservatively. It seems he gets tired and bored with life easy and thus, simply moves onto the next thing just because.
In this book Ferris shows us, from experience and brilliance, that a lot of our “work effort” is actually a waist of time and that we need to think bigger. Our culture, according to Ferris, tends to reward personal sacrifice rather than personal productivity. Thus, as long as we are putting in way too many hours, culture accepts us. He moves on to say that If we believe that we will work a 9-5 job for the rest of our life then that is exactly what we will get. Ferris is arguing for us to dream bigger because after all there is less competition for bigger goals because fewer do it. Ferris’ whole goal seems to be to get us to think broader, dream bigger and overcome “imagined” fears.
Throughout Ferris’ book he has witty one liners such as:
“Formula for failure? try and please everybody all the time.” And, “Conquering fear = defining fear.”
Did I mention that this is not a “Christian” book? Good read, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Strengthen Yourself In The Lord
Written by pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding California, this books main thesis is found in 1 Sam 30:6, “But David found strength in the Lord his God.”
Strengthen Yourself in the Lord looks at how David’s life was at stake from more than one enemy. First, his father in-law, Saul, trying to kill him (I could not imagine my father in-law chasing me around trying to kill me. I mean, that was only when I was dating his daughter right?) and secondly, the ememy, the Philistine army. In these extreme situations, what we see David do is go to the secret place with God to re-focus, re-new and re-calibrate towards God. Johnson shows, through Davids life, how we can overcome giants and enemies by going and strengthening ourselves in the Lord. This includes, focusing on the promises of God, deep thankfulness, guarding our heart, the importance of testimony and so on.
This is a book that, whether or not you sign up for everything he says, you will learn something valuable. Good read.