Last week I shared with you some of the books that I am reading during the “Stay at Home” order. I hope some of you picked those books up and have already found them to be life-enriching!
That post made me think deeply about the value of reading in the Christian life. I was reminded of Paul’s request of Timothy in the final letter that he wrote on his earthly pilgrimage. He said, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.” (Timothy 4:13). Think about that for a second. Paul believed his death was imminent. And, yet, he requested books. There was no sermon to prepare. He would plant no additional churches. He was not developing some new leadership seminar. He just wanted to read. Reading is for your personal growth and development. Reading expands the mind and fills the heart. Reading is a necessary part of our lives. Reading is certainly necessary to the preacher. When I hear a pastor say, “I don’t like to read,” I immediately think, “I probably won’t be listening to you preach.” Each week I plan to share good books from my library. Some will be current and some will be classic. All will have made an impression upon me. This week's list comes from my current reads. 1. Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson I have a desire to develop my ability to write. Most of my writing to this point has been academic as I have worked to the completion of my doctoral degree. Now that this is largely in the rearview mirror, I plan to write on subjects that interest me while providing help to churches and pastors. Wordsmithy is simply a book about becoming a better writer. If you blog, this will help you. If you plan to write a book, this will help you. If you just want to be a better communicator, this will help you. 2. New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp As the coronavirus settled into our country and brought our normal lives to a screeching halt, I needed to discover ways to continue teaching and ministering to my church. One of the ways that I minister to our church is through a daily, live devotional. I air this at 7:00am through our church’s Facebook page. I spend most of the time offering devotional thoughts on the Psalms, but I also have guided our church through the daily reading of New Morning Mercies. Paul David Tripp has provided the world with a 365 day devotional. It is Gospel-centered, easy to follow, and rich in content. Trust me. You will want to read this book. 3. The Pastor’s Soul by Brian Croft and Jim Savastio I began reading Brian Croft several years ago when I began to lead a church revitalization effort in Jacksonville, FL. Since then, I have closely followed his “Practical Shepherding” ministry. This ministry includes pastoral training, a helpful podcast, and a series of books (including this one). This book deals with how the pastor is to care for his own soul. The need to minister to everyone else often leads to the pastor neglecting his own heart, health, and family. I know that I have fallen prey to this. Now is the time to reverse the negative pastoral trends and care for others while maintaining a healthy heart. Have a great day! Would love to hear your feedback.
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