This is a new feature debuting this month. By way of confession, I must admit that I mark up my books like a boss. These are some selections from last month’s reading.
The idea that books should not be written in is an unfortunate holdover from grade school, a canard rooted in a misunderstanding of what makes a book valuable. The true worth of a books is in their words and ideas, not their pristine pages. Karen Swallow Prior, On Reading Well, 17.
“Wondering if there is enough forgiveness for your sin is like a child wondering if there is enough water in the ocean to fill his sippy cup.” Eric Geiger How to Ruin Your Life,
“There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” Richard Sibbes
“God has thrown out sin into the sea of forgetfulness and has posted a sign that says, ‘No Fishing Allowed.” Corrie Ten Boom
“When our sin is covered (by God) it is hidden without any possibility of finding it. It is buried in oblivion and is out of sight forever. God buries it and chooses to forget where he buried it.” Eric Geiger HTRYL, 168
“Of our awe for God decreases our apathy toward him increases. If we don’t hold wonder for Jesus and what He has done for us, He is small in our lives and we are big. If our minds are not captivated by his greatness, drawn to thinking of Him, and filled with increasing gratitude for his mercy toward us, we are apathetic towards him. Eric Geiger, HTRYL 105-6
“Evangelism never occurs on accident. It may take place at times and places you don’t expect, but it will never occur unless you decide to do it.” Matt Queen
“Reading well begins with understanding the words on the page.” Karen Swallow Prior, On Reading Well, 16.
To read well is not to score books for lessons on what to think. Rather to read well is to be formed in how to think. Karen Swallow Prior., ORW, 18.
Reading well adds to our life–not in the way a tool from the hardware store adds to our life, for a tool does us no good once lost or broken, but in the way a friendship adds to our life, altering us forever. Karen Swallow Prior, ORW, 18.
Good books are a very great mercy to the world. Richard Baxter.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.y 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Php 4:4–7. CSB
This has been a wild few weeks. We are still currently trying to help hurricane recovery efforts as well as preparing for our annual harvest festival. Several articles that have been in the queue have been delayed somewhat. While those are still in the development, I thought I would offer to everyone a list of my three favorite podcasts. These are not the only ones that I listen to, but they are excellent additions to anyone’s listening lineup.
EST Church: This is a podcast hosted by Sam Rainer, Josh King, and Micah Fries that deals with some of the challenges and benefits that come with pastoring an established church. I have learned so much from them about life as a pastor and the role of a pastor in an established church. It is definitely worth your time.
Ask Me Anything with J.D. Greear: This Podcast just started, but it is a snapshot into the life, ministry, and theology of the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The first three episodes deal with his perspective on Calvinism, whether Christians should celebrate Halloween, and How a Christian should think about politics. The episodes are brief, but filled with excellent information.
Rainer on Leadership: This is the podcast of the soon to be retired President of Lifeway Christian Resources, Dr. Thom Rainer. Dr. Rainer’s episodes are filled with insights, humor, and advice that help those who are serving in ministry find encouragement, development, and growth in their skills.
What are some of your favorite podcasts? Comment below.
Sometimes I just need a reminder. Maybe it will bless you as well.
5. This the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. 6. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” yet walk in darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7. If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from sin. 8. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10, CSB
Sitting down in a local coffee shop, waiting for a repair, I couldn’t help but overhear the exuberance and enthusiasm that travels hand in hand with a return to normalcy. Yet even as those thoughts occurred to me, I was flooded by the realization that for many, life will never be “normal” again. They have lost homes and loved ones. As life around us resumes, let us not fail to pray for those still dealing with the devastation and the destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Let the words of the prophet Samuel to the people of Israel serve as a reminder and example for how we should pray for other people:
“As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you…” 1 Saumuel 12:23 CSB
These last few weeks have been a lot of fun. I have been purposely setting aside time to write. It has been quite refreshing to my soul. My modest goal was to publish three times each week at this blog during the month of October. As of the publishing of this post, we are currently awaiting the arrival of hurricane Michael. I don’t know when, power or internet will be restored, but my thoughts and prayers are with others in the path of the storm. I find myself at peace however. How can this be so? I serve the one who the winds and seas obey.
Matthew 8:23–27 (CSB): As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves—but Jesus kept sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”
See you soon.
How to Ruin Your life by Eric Geiger is one of the best books I have read all year. Geiger works his way through one of the darkest parts of the life of the biblical King David. He demonstrates how even the “man after God’s own heart” could allow isolation, boredom, and pride lead to the implosion of his life. Geiger strikes close to home for many ministers and leaders, who often find themselves isolated in the world.
After warning of the dangers that led to David’s precipitous fall, Geiger examines how Nathan’s willingness to confront the king led to David’s repentance and confession and the celebration of God’s forgiveness. Even though David was restored after his fall, he still had to deal with the consequences of his sin. Still, the scriptures that Geiger uses in this journey through the life of the monarch inspires the readers to great hope in the Lord.
If you are a leader I would encourage you to read this book. If you feel isolated or alone, I would encourage you to read this book. If you are someone who has fallen, you should read this book. Pick up a copy and share it with a friend.