It’s back to reality for me. I was blessed to spend the last two weeks of 2014 in Indiana with my family. It was a much-needed break from my normal routine. I now feel refreshed and ready to tackle another year. It seemed fitting that I devote a couple posts (maybe more if the urge strikes me) to reflect on last year.
It only makes sense that I start by sharing the books that shaped last year. I believe that God speaks to people (not necessarily in an audible voice) but to our hearts through different channels – for me it’s books. Oftentimes I’ll sit down to read a book and it feels as though God is speaking the very words I’m reading straight to my spirit.
The list of books I read last year is long but I wanted to share some of the game changers. Probably the most important piece to these game-changing books is that they challenged me to dig deeper and see for myself the power of the God’s Word. I should warn you that some of these books might be controversial. You might even wonder why they would make the “game-changing” list but I’ve learned through reading, even controversial books, (read: ones that may go against everything I’ve been taught) sometimes have the most power to change my perspective. It was through the author’s perspective and my own discernment that I saw Jesus differently.
Game Changers 2014
Interrupted – Jen Hatmaker
Love Does – Bob Goff
The Cross and the Switchblade – David Wilkerson
The Irresistible Revolution – Shaine Claiborne
The Secret Message of Jesus – Brian D. McLaren
Sub-Merge – John B. Hayes
I learned a lot from each of these books (don’t worry I won’t share everything) but the biggest take-away was how to love my neighbor like Jesus. It isn’t about going to serve at a homeless shelter once a month or volunteering for a church event (these are good things though). I was exposed to a different way (a new method of thinking) that was to see my life as my ministry instead of fitting ministry into my life.
If we can get this right I truly believe that it is a game-changer. It doesn’t come easy. We have to learn to be intentional with everything. Seriously, everything! I suggest starting small. Instead of spending 20 minutes scrolling through your Facebook feed call a friend (who probably appears on your Facebook feed) to see how they are doing instead of reading their status updates. I’m not suggesting that I get it right every time but I am absolutely more aware of how I spend my time which helps me shape my life as my ministry.
More reflections to come but I wanted to leave you with another list of books that didn’t make the “game-changing” list but nonetheless deserve an “honorable mention”:
Crash the Chatterbox – Steven Furtick
7 – an experimental mutiny against excess – Jen Hatmaker
Run Baby Run – Nicky Cruz
The Christian Atheist – Craig Groeschel
The Cause Within You – Matthew Barnett
Willing to Walk on Water – Caroline Barnett
And last but certainly not least a few devotionals from last year:
Sun Stand Still – 40 day experience to activate your faith – Steven Furtick
Greater – 40 day experience to ignite God’s vision for your life – Steven Furtick
Whispers of Hope – Beth Moore
Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
If you’ve made it this far in my post then I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve read two awesome books already: Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker and Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke. Go check them out.