What am I Reading in 2018?

I’m always intrigued by reading more and more books. I am not the avid reader that you might expect and I don’t do it as much as I’d like to. There is another content creator talking about the books that he is reading this year and it caused me to want to do the same. I figured that if I made this public, I would be held accountable to start reading more frequently and actually go through them. Maybe you will find these books interesting and will want to pick them up, but let’s make this to be a conversation. Make sure you let me know in the comments what you are going through.

Before I start the list, I want to add a small side note that I may not finish every book on this list. There are times that I begin reading a book and I lose interest and motivation after a few chapters. I am not giving up or putting up excuses to stop reading, but I genuinely believe that God will sometimes invoke me to start reading a book so that I learn or remember a particular chapter or topic in it. If this happens, I will pick up the next one. Aside from reading the Bible, I believe that we can learn so much about God from other people’s perspective. Think of it as another much longer sermon that you may hear at church this weekend.

I will also include links to purchase the books if you’re interested.

What I am currently reading.

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

When I picked up this book this past week, I began pondering the first time I ever read it. This was possibly the first if not one of the first books I picked up in high school. I was beginning to become a little more serious with my faith (which, looking back, was not very serious) and C.S. Lewis was an author I heard of left and right as a baby Christian. I didn’t know where to start, so I picked the first one I could find at the public library by him. I remember the moment I finished the book very vividly. I re-read the last 2 pages about three times because I was awestruck. At that point, I couldn’t believe what emotion was capable of coming out of literature.

This book is, as the title says, an observation of Lewis’ grief after his wife, of four years, dies. During this low point of his life, Lewis questions God and goes through a rollercoaster of doubt. He writes about his journey through this hard time in his life and how he found hope in God anew.

Divine Direction by Craig Groeschel

As some of you may know, I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English. By the way, please pray for me as I am still looking for a job, but that’s beside the point. As I transitioned away from the crazy party life of a Christ follower in college, my pastor from my hometown gave me a graduation present. Part of the gift included Craig Groeschel’s book, Divine Direction. This is a book he gives to people going through a big transition in life such as the one I’m in.

I’ve never bothered to read anything by this pastor, but I have to admit, he is a great storyteller and writer. It has taken me a while to go through this book and I am not very far. So far, Groeschel gives good advice to anyone in a major change in their life. He has us consider the choices we make in life and how they can affect our future while taking us to the Bible with every major point. I would also recommend this to anyone who finds themselves in a leadership position (probably everyone).

Stop Behaving by Jerrad Lopes

Front cover of Stop Behaving by Jerrad Lopes

This is a devotional intended for men, and more specifically, dads. I’m not one, but I am still enjoying it. I follow a podcaster by the name of Jarred Lopes (I didn’t misspell “Lopez”), who hosts the Dad Tired and Loving It podcast. Lopes is a God loving individual who challenges men to step away from behavioral management, which he says is “exhausting”. The short devotional goes deeper into this. “You don’t just need changed behavior,” he states. “You need a changed heart. And only Jesus can do that.”

I am going through this devotional as I am considering leading a small group revolved around its content. I recommend any guy to go through this as it’s short and sweet. Women, you can go through it, too, but know that many of the examples and challenges are intended towards men.

If anything, I recommend people to listen to the podcast and/or follow Lopes on social media. You won’t regret it!

What I plan to read.

After rummaging through my small library, I have found a few books that I have been intrigued to go through in the near future.

The Elements of Preaching by Warren and David Wiersbe

I bought this book a few months ago after the title grabbed my attention. I have heard of Warren Wiersbe from a few friends and know that, according to them, I can’t go wrong with any of his works. I am intrigued to see if there is anything I can learn from this to use in building and giving small group lessons. I’m not sure how much I will get out of it for that purpose, but I guess I will find out when I get there.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture cover photo

For the past two summers, I worked and interned at a campground with many great people that I’ve held dear to my heart. While there, I met a pastor who had so much knowledge and wisdom that he loved to share with me. We would have long conversations about faith, theology, sociology, etc. One day, we found this book and he said that it was a wonderful book to learn from. This is the only book on this list that isn’t specifically written by or for Christians. The Last Lecture expands a teaching by the Carnegie Mellon University professor, Randy Pausch, after he finds out he has a type of terminal cancer. The original lecture, titled, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” was directed at young adults and children dreaming of their future lives and hoping to fulfill their dreams. Pausch died shortly after the book was published.

E.M. Bounds on Prayer by E.M. Bounds (not the exact version that I have, but close)

This is a collection of seven books on prayer. I have used this book as a reference about two years ago to create a lesson. I have yet to pick it up, again. I’ll be honest and say that my prayer life sucks hard. I am not consistent and I don’t prioritize it as I should. I also know that part of that is because of how much I hardly understand the subject. One of my goals this year is to change that and in doing so, I plan on reading this book. I have been told by countless friends that this book is the best on the subject.

There are a few more books on the list, but I didn’t want to make this post more long-winded than it already is. A few books that I am considering to read alongside these, are; Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt, The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and No Little People by Francis A. Schaeffer.

Also, I know I didn’t include the Bible. I didn’t feel like it was necessary because I’m always reading from that. As I stated in my new year’s resolutions post, I am working on the “Bible in a Year” reading plan. That is going well. I have never made it this far when I tried it in the past (two months is not that a huge milestone for me). As I said, I don’t want this to be a one-way conversation. I’m curious to know, what are you currently reading? What are some titles you recommend that you believe we can all learn from?

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