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Great Reads from 2015

January 4, 2016 6 Comments

Well another year has come and gone. Another year of great reads is complete. I did not read as much as I wanted but this was a very busy year for a variety of reasons.


As you will see I have a rather eclectic reading list. Also read quite a bit on the historical wring of the Desert Fathers. I am intrigued by their passion and discipline for living out their faith.

Here are the books I read in 2015 in the order read:

Breakthrough Speaking by Mark Sanborn – More of a booklet but a must read on public speaking by a great public speaker

The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World by David Murray you can read my review here

First Impression: Creating Wow Experiences in Your Church by Mark L. Walz – I read this one as part of a leadership training cohort with my denomination.

On Track: Life Lessons from the Track & Field by Jon Stolpe – Jon uses the metephor of running to encourage the reader to live a life of stretching beyond today. – Not just for runners. – You can read my review here

Finding the Monk Within: Great Monastic Values for Today by Edward C. Sellner – This is a compilation of mini bios on the lives of the early desert father and mothers. A must read for anyone interested in very early church history.

The Glory of Preaching: Participating in God’s Transformation of the World by Darrel W. Johnson – Johnson speaks about the power of transformation through faithful preaching of God’s word.

What Makes a Cistercian Monk? Chapter Talks on the charisms of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance by Father Anthony Delisi, OCS – Father Anthony is a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit which is only about 30 minutes from my home. In this short read he shares his thoughts on the rule of Saint Benedict. The Rule of Saint Benedict has much to teach those of us who are Protestant.

Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi by Brother Ugolino – This is a classic work on the life of Saint Francis by one of his followers. Much of the book it thought to be legend but still shows a depth of faith of an important and famous saint.

The Benedictine Handbook by Anthony Marett-Crosby and others – A handbook that teaches ways to incorporate the Rule of Saint Benedict in our modern walk of faith. (I told you I was on a monastic kick last year)

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg  – This is another book I read as part of our denomination’s leadership training cohort. – Ortberg goes beyond the basic disciplines of reading the Bible, prayer and fasting.

A Vintage Christian Manifesto of Hope: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters Today by Jeremy Bouma – After a long period in the Emergent movement, Bouma came to the realization that the ancient church speaks more to our life of faith today than trying to create something new and innovative.

One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering by Marty Sklar – In this intresting read, Sklar show how the principles used by Disney’s Imagineers (The people who design all the parks) applies to creativity, leadership and project management.

Knowing God by J.I. Packer (1973) – this was a book owned by uncle who was a Pastor. After he passed my Aunt sent me several of his books. It was nice to have his highlights and notes. – This is a must read modern classic for all Christians. It is a bit like a textbook at times, but well worth the effort.

Imagineering Workout: Exercises to Shape Your Creative Muscles by the Disney Imagineers – this is a great book on the creative exercises used by the Imagineers to overcome creative block and resolve any problem that requires some form of creativity. – It not just for the artist but would be good for any leader or project manager.

1984 by George Orwell   – The Orwell classic and that has come show he was a bit prophetic.

Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants by Dennis L. Okholm – another work showing how the Rule of Saint Benedict speaks to protestants and how to implement the rule in our daily life.

The Jesus Prayer: A Cry for Mercy: A Path to Renewal by John Michael Talbot – Talbot is an old rocker turned monk who does a short word by word study on the ancient (Circa 5th century ) Jesus Prayer – “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

Here are the first few books queued up for 2016 (subject to change)

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni (reading now), Praying with Paul A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson , The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in your Company by Capodagli and Jackson, God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life by VanDrunnen and Barrett.

Tell about your favorite read from 2015 and what you are reading now.

photo credit: Books via photopin (license)

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About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.