What an insanely hot week it has been. Thank the Lord for air conditioning!! I about froze part of the week at the Professional Development Center while working on curriculum stuff, but any amount of time I spent outside almost took my breath away. With my respiratory problems and the stifling air…the heat and I just weren’t getting along very well. Last night at Freedom Park…ah…a tad better, but still ridiculously HOT even at 11pm.
Hence, we also sing the praises of sweet iced tea and good books to keep us company in the air conditioning. I just started reading a book called Chasing Daylight by Erwin Raphael McManus who is the pastor of Mosaic in LA. Interestingly enough, some of the basis of the book is from 1 Samuel 13 which Pastor Steven has used lately in some of his sermons. There are TONS of awesome quotes in this book. I highly recommend it as of right now…and I’m not even through the first chapter.
Yet again the Friday 5 has been redone as the Saturday Cinco and on the topic of books, I thought I’d share several of the most influential books I’ve read…besides the Bible! They may not be what I’d list as my favorite books of all time, but the book as a whole or a part of it had some sort of influence on me.
Saturday Cinco: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
1. Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I can’t quite recall what spurred me on to buy it, but as with many of my books…I got it at Cornerstone in Boone while on vacation. Pete Greig is founder of the 24/7 prayer movement which started in London and has had tons of prayer rooms and events pop up all over Europe and in the US. And again, as with many of my books and my music, etc. I heard about this book and Pete by reading RELEVANT magazine. It is a very, very inspiring book that gives you a hint at the true power of prayer. Probably the most powerful part of this book is a prayer that he shares that was written on the wall in one of the prayer rooms called “The Vision and the Vow”. It’s incredible. He also wrote another book with that exact title. I loaned my dad this book and he read it and I bought my sister The Vision and the Vow for her birthday. If anyone ever wants to borrow…
2. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson – We read this book for leadership training at church and it is very challenging and calls you out on settling and not going for your God-sized, God-inspired dreams. Told my family about it and my whole family ends up reading it.
3. Four Souls: A Search for the Epic Life by Trey Sklar, Jedd Medefind, Mike Peterson, and Matt Kronberg – It this book for Christmas one of my last years of high school. I’ve read it numerous times. It’s about four guys who have recently graduated from college but don’t know if they’re ready to settle into what is expected of them…a job, a house, making the money, etc. So they set up a trip literally around the world working with missionaries in Mexico, Vietnam, Russia, India, Africa, and several other locations. They had about enough money to cover the flights and whatnot, but that was it. The book was written as if it were journal entries by each of them in the various locations with pictures interspersed. I really love it. They called it a search for the “epic life”. When I think “epic” I think of a book or a battle or something. Do we ever think of our lives as being epic? They should be nothing short of epic because of our mission in life given by God and all that we accomplish has an eternal outcome. I’m searching for something epic…
4. Through Painted Deserts: Light, God and Beauty on the Open Road by Donald Miller – I wrote about this book in an entry a month or so ago, so I won’t go into great detail. You can read that here. I just get inspired by people living in the moment, finding peace and happiness in the little details in life, which is how I find Donald Miller writes. And you know…he makes me want to roadtrip badly to Oregon.
5. Devotional Classics Edited by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith / The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg- Back in my sophmore year of college I had probably the best class ever with probably the best professor ever. It was called Theology 210: Foundations of Spirituality. That class filled up QUICK because it was so popular. I had to get Dr. Hall to sign me into the class. That was the most challenging, eye opening, most fun and inspiring class I have ever had. I would have taken it TWICE just to have that experience again. Dr. Hall was so open and candid about things and I loved reading the books we had. The devotional book we used was great. It had both modern witings and others from great writers of the past like St. Francis of Assisi, Bonhoeffer, Julian of Norwich, etc. We studied a lot of the spiritual disciplines and how to apply them by reading a book by Richard Foster and the other book that is above by John Ortberg. Gosh…makes me miss this class a lot. I still have my notebook from then.
Finito. If anyone ever wants any of the above books…let me know.