Books are mirrors – at first you only glance not knowing what to expect, make casual observations, finally get comfortable with what you see, and eventually move on – hopefully more aware. I thought I’d force myself to write down a one-sentence take-away from how each one left me. I’ve linked each title in case you’re curious.
Linchpin (Seth Godin): I can talk myself out of anything. Essentially, that’s poor stewardship. And probably telling God that He made a mistake.
The Poor Will be Glad (Peter Greer): There is no excuse for me not to be involved help the poor. Because of where and when I live, God has entrusted me with the ability to connect.
The Dip (Seth Godin): There are some dreams that I need to quit chasing because they’re not up to me. There are others dreams that I need to push because I’m the only one having them.
The Man Within (Graham Greene): I have unending capacity for self-deception and vanity.
The Next Christians (Gabe Lyons): I need to really listen to people younger than me. This needs to be a lifelong discipline.
Barabbas (Par Lagerkvist): I have been forgiven of more than I yet realize. I sin – I repent – I find forgiveness – I am deeper in debt to grace than ever.
Worship Matters (Bob Kauflin): Worship is precious. I am privileged. I cannot lazily stumble in.
How the Mighty Fall (Jim Collins): Corporate hubris is born of personal insecurity. I need to watch my myself and invite accountability.
The 1997 Ford Taurus Owners Manual: It can’t all be roses and sunshine, folks.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Don Miller): I have a story. I need to discover it. It’s worth digging for.
Less Clutter Less Noise (Kem Meyer): I need to surround myself with good communicators.
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson (Barnes and Noble Classics): If death, houseflies, and romance can be found within the same 8-lines, I need slow down my life and look harder.
Making Ideas Happen (Scott Belsky): Any ideas that I might have don’t count if they’re only ideas. I need to have the courage and discipline to make a lasting difference.
The Dubliners (James Joyce): People always have profound reasons for their darkness and insecurities. It’s not my place to speculate or merely observe.
The Hidden Smile of God (John Piper): Men who have lived lives worth being written about are worth taking the time to read about.
The Cross-Centered Life (CJ Mahaney): I am able to come up with endless things to devote my life to. Most of them deceptively noble. Most of them fairly vain.
George Muller: Delighted in God (Roger Steer): It’s very possible that I haven’t the slightest idea how to live in faith. It’s very possible that God is eager to teach me.
Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing (James A Casada): Everyone has hobbies they can’t afford…
Wild Years: Myth and Music of Tom Waits (Jay S. Jacobs): It’s probably best that I’m not a professional musician. It’s probably best that the closest I’ll ever get is banging on the steering wheel.
The Leader Who Had No Title (Robin Sharma): I can’t hide behind a small business card.
All is Grace (Brennan Manning): God loves me as I am – not as I ought to be. That’s a freeing realization because I’m pretty hard on myself.
Lost in Transition (Christian Smith): My kids are entering a world that I will know nothing about unless I’m a prayerful learner.
Gilead (Marilynne Robinson): I need to tell my story. I need to trust the power of reconciliation. The reason I don’t is tied to my tendency to want to orchestrate it. Let it come.
The Next Story (Tim Challies): Discernment is a discipline to cultivate.
Home (Marilynne Robinson): My family will see my weaknesses in ways that no one else will. That’s no reason to hide them – it’s a reason to be simple and honest.