February was definitely a month of lots of learning and growth for me. This was encouraging as sometimes I feel as if February is a write off. The great weather this winter might have helped. Some great books that God brought my way certainly helped.
The Next Level – David Gregory
I really really liked this book. A fun, easy read written as allegory (a simple story to express truth). Anyone who reads allegory has to be ready for a bit of corniness but I enjoyed this story. I found it intriguing since I didn't totally grasp what was going on and gradually caught on to more and more throughout. This difference between level 4 and level 5 was the most important part for me. How I long for Christians to live as the church in our workplaces and other spheres of influence. Great stuff. Every Christian who has been in the church for more than 5 years should read this book.
Strength and Beauty – Dr. Jack HylesI read this book because it is an old classic. Dr. Hyles is a famous preacher of a previous generation. I have never seen anything of his and can easily see why he was successful and loved. It also really revealed the changes that have taken place culturally over the last 50 years. His chapter on "Turning a boy into a man." is pretty radical and wouldn't be politically correct in our day at all. Maybe that's partly why so many men struggle with their manhood these days.
Great By Choice – Jim Collins
Jim Collins continues to offer awesome material. The principles of leadership offered here (and reflected in the Bible) work. Discipline, perseverance, preparation, thoughtfulness and so on. Collins references explorers such as Shakelton as illustration to make his point makes the book more interesting. Loved this book!
An Emergent Manifesto – Doug Paggit
Okay, so I read this to understand the emergent church and perspectives more. I found it incredibly elusive which is part of the emergent paradigm (not liking to be defined to narrowly). This book was long, drawn out and pretty boring. A few good thoughts and one or two good chapters but mostly just bla bla bla. :) I know there is a lot of criticism of the emergent church and some of it for good reason but I am glad for my brothers and sisters who proclaim Christ in fresh ways and bring reformation to the church by their radical and questioning nature. I find myself emergent in some ways and not in others.
Reading through the New Testament again this month was awesome. The thought was that I read it in Jan and so maybe I could read it every month this year. However...with the way March has started, I don't think that is going to happen. I have been trying to spend more time in less length of text so... Started memorizing some with my oldest son and that's been fun. How I long to be a lover of the Word.
How to be a best friend forever – John Townsend
I really had no idea what to expect but loved this book. Great relational advice and really great thoughts. This is an area that most of us have not given enough intentional thought and learning. I bought it to help me prepare a sermon series and found out it helped me in my life. Cool.
Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask - Michael J. Marquardt
I got this leadership book for $1 or so at a used book place and wasn't really expecting much. It was actually great material. Very simply presented, it makes a case for leadership to ask more questions and ask better questions. I hope to be a better leader in every sphere of my life through the methods laid out here.