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    updated 8.29.11

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Worth (re)Reading

My home office is one of the funkier work spaces I’ve used.  Not urban loft funky, but more like ‘we’re not sure what this space is so it’s an office….’ funky.   It’s actually two small rooms.  Roomlettes, really.  Each about 9×5 feet and you step up about six inches from one to the other.  They feature one large window, hardwood floors, a salmon color paint I’ve never really liked, and a 3 foot wide church pew that I intended on painting when I put it in the office 18 months ago.

This is all redeemed by the book shelves.   Built in, custom shelves…cabinets at the bottom and shelves to the ceiling in a stain to match the floor.  I’ve got them crammed with books.  A few days ago I realized that while I have books everywhere, I tend to read the same ones over and over…I use them like tools for specific purposes.

Here are a few of my must re-reads.

Is That Really You God by Lauren Cunningham. This little book disappears from my shelves for years at a time and then mysteriously reappears, often at a crucial time when I need to hear from God.  It’s the story of the very early years of YWAM.  I’ve been rereading it for 20 years.  I’m always struck by the simplicity of Cunningham’s original vision, what it cost him to stay true to it, and that when you look at Youth With a Mission today, it’s true to his original intent.

The Autobiography of Charles Finney. I love Finney because he asks the hard questions of God, himself and others with the firm belief that all areas of life must come under subjection of the King or the Christian life isn’t worth living.  I cycle through this about every two years.

The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. This was required reading of the senior staff at The Vineyard in Cincinnati.  It led me to begin thinking about leadership in a far more proactive way than I had before.  It also made me like going back and apologizing to most of the people who’d been under my leadership up to that point.

The Evidential Power of Beauty by Thomas Dubay. Must be read during an extended fast, while simultaneously reading Carl Sagan’s Contact for maximum mind blowing effect.  Personal mileage may vary but it rocked me in the fall of 2001 and found a way into almost every sermon I preached for months.  Even if you don’t like science, stick with it.  Dubay documents intricate beauty from the sub-atomic to the cosmic.

The Gift by Lewis Hyde. A great – if sometimes ethereal – discussion of the nature of the value of art and gift giving.  Not being an artist, I relate it more to generosity as a whole.  The newer print edition is subtitled ‘Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World’.  I can’t find my original copy, but it’s subtitle was something about the erotic nature of giving, which always creeped me out (there was nothing risque in the book…).  Not recommended if you’re unable to read some things you disagree with.

So…what are you re-reading?


6 Responses

  1. Two books by the same author…probably my two favorite books of all time. Humilty and With Christ in the School of Prayer. Andrew Murray.

  2. Bob Sorge’s “Pain, Perplexity, and Promotion”. I first read this when I was going through an extremely painful, confusing season. It was a breath of fresh air, giving a realistic, scriptural perspective on suffering from the book of Job. I have worn out a couple copies of it already, and given away even more.

  3. I’m rereading AW Tozer’s, “The Attributes of God” It’s blessing me and expanding my heart in love…again! Of your list, I’ve only read Is That Really You God by Lauren Cunningham. I loved that one, too.

  4. “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken, – I read this and was once again blown away how God moves in people’s lives.
    “The Secret Garden” by Francis Hodson Burnett – One I missed in childhood that I read this summer- just sweet and well written. Made me feel like a child again.
    “Prodigal God” by Tim Keller – currently reading. Great insight into the prodigal son story. Pretty easy read.

  5. Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. I am currently reading it for my Christian Studies in school (I’m
    homeschooled:-) and I love it! It has really upended my eyes to the whole spiritual rhelm around me. I just simply wasn’t aware of the intense spiritual warfare going on, and now I give it everything i’ve got to be God’s warrior.
    Mattie Patterson

  6. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy and Sorge’s Secrets of the Secret Place. One more… Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet on High Places. Love that one!

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