Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Books of July

Here are the books of July, a great month of reading.

Let the Nations Be Glad - John Piper
Loved this book. I keep referring back to different parts of it. Addresses many important issues and one of Piper's earlier works. His writing on worship here is great. Also his warnings to prosperity preachers is gracious and well put (even if you don't entirely agree with his stance on this.) As usual, his intellect mixed with passion is great.

How Toyota Became # 1 - David Magee
This book was actually really good. He shared several cool aspects of Toyota and their passion for excellence. The only part of the book I didn't like was that although he keeps claiming that he wrote the book without bias, it seems pretty one sided in favour of the amazing and awesome Toyota brand. Although I drive and like my Toyota's I am not sure they are as perfect as described in the book. Nonetheless, for a bargain book at chapters...it was pretty darn good.

Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough - Elmer Towns
I found this book surprisingly inspiring and hoping to read it again as soon as I was done.

Erasing Hell - Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
Loved this book. Very simple, very well done. A greater primer in good theology and honest application. Very, very well done. Thank you Francis Chan.

It’s not about the coffee - Howard Behar
This book also surprised me in how good it was. Lots of great ideas about leadership from a Starbucks guru. Now although I like my Toyota...I LOVE MY STARBUCKS. There is nothing much better than a Starbucks at the right time. On a long drive recently in the USA, I watched for a Starbucks through several cities, towns, and over 100 km's. When we finally saw the Starbucks, my heart leaped within me, my soul magnified the Lord...or the Starbucks. Hmmm, can you say, "idolatry"?

The Endurance - Shakelton’s Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing
I read this classic several years ago and now with my son. What an awesome adventure story of courage and determination. Fun!

Why work sucks and what to do about it - Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
I found this book a tough read and poorly written. Very repetitive and not very practical. BUT...it's main point is a very provocative and cool idea that I hope to use in my own work and in my leadership. The "Results Only Work Environment" (ROWE) is a very cool concept.

The Leader Who Had No Title - Robin Sharma
Okay, I tried. I really did. I am pretty open to self-help, positive thinking (I even read a Joel Osteen book in August...you'll have to wait a month to hear about it) and even a little bit of positive self-talk. But this was over the top for me. Not on my recommended list. I will not be reading it's affirmations over and over to myself...sorry Robin. May you enjoy your self-affirmations and find Jesus.

Psalms x5
The month of July was focused primarily for me on the Psalms. I preached on it, read it, thought about it, read about it and so on. I have been very surprised by the new lessons I am learning from the Psalms. Primarily hearing them invite me to get away with God and be in solitude with Him, pouring out my heart and fighting my way to Victory within before I head off into the outer battles of my life. Thank you Jesus for Psalms!

Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster
I read this book years ago and found it boring. I read it this time and loved it! Wow, what wisdom and what an awesome invitation to a life lived radically different than the way of the world. I long to incorporate more of this in my life!!!

Generous Justice - Tim Keller
This was a very well thought through and balanced approach to helping the needy. I read it as part of serving on a board of a compassionate ministry that serves the poor. I am looking forward to hearing the teams insights. I felt I learned a lot about how the Bible invites us into the adventure of serving and sacrificing for those who are more in need that we are.