Driving back home to Las Vegas in less than a day. I'm absolutely excited to see my family, friends, and home city again. There's nothing quite like winter in Las Vegas. Perfect. It's a stretch this year, but hoping for a little bit of snow in the city.
Well, I know I said in an earlier entry 2 months ago that my passion for writing was dwelling up again... but that lived out in writing papers for discipleship, messages, and personal journal studies. Thus, this blog has suffered. However... while I was not blogging, I was reading! So here are some more honest short book reviews. Let me know if you want to borrow any (except Narnia - it's not mine).
1) The Unquenchable Flame - Michael Reeves
Wow. I've always wanted to know more about church history and the protestant reformation and this was the best book to start that study. It was fast, exciting, encouraging, and informative. I really didn't want to stop reading - it was like reading a mini-biography of reformers and their work in every chapter. You can't help but feel their passion - their unquenchable flame - as they fought for biblical truth and the glory of God. For someone like me who didn't know too much beforehand, this book was simple, clear, and edifying.
2) Adopted for Life - Russell Moore
This was a blessing to read. What I loved about it was that it not only talked about adopting real children on earth, but our own adoption in God's family as well. Russell Moore writes as a father of two adopted children and you can easily see that he's thought about this subject very much. He's so clear, passionate, engaging, and funny... yet serious. The book is very gospel-driven, very well thought out, and very encouraging. It's full of stories and great truths that you do not want to miss. Don't pass this book up just because you're not considering adoption. This book is literally for everyone who has been adopted by God himself. There is great truth and application for both adopters and non-adopters that will really cause you to think and glory in God.
3) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, & Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
Yes - I've only read 3 of the 7 books. I thought I would never read these, but one night I didn't feel like heavy books... I wanted a simple fun read... and thus my journey into Narnia began. And let me tell you - woohoo I went full on into the world of Narnia and it has been a joy! Originally I planned to only read the 1st book (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), but after book 1 I needed more. I desperately sought out the rest and found them through DJS and SL (thanks guys). Then after I read book 2 (Prince Caspian), I saw the movie trailer for Dawn Treader (book 3), so I quickly read it so I could watch the movie later. The allegories, the illustrations, the imagination - C.S. Lewis is brilliant. What a great allegory of Christ and the Christian life. I can't wait to read the rest!
4) The Supremacy of Christ in Preaching - John Piper
I'm very grateful for the work of John Piper and his biblical preaching. It has impacted me so greatly in my early college years. And so reading this book was of utmost excitement for me. And let me say - this book owned me. It absolutely owned me. I remember after reading the first half of the book (Part I - Why God should be Supreme in Preaching), I just sat there wondering at the awe of it all and praying in praise. I felt rebuked yet encouraged, weak yet strong, sorrowful yet joyful.... It helped me understand the role of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit and the role of the preacher. And the 2nd half (Part II - How to make God Supreme in Preaching) was edifying, uplifting and practical. I know it may seem strange to read this if you're not going to be a preacher... but I think it's still a good read for all.
5) Lectures to my Students - Charles H. Spurgeon
A lot of people know that Spurgeon is one of my utmost favorite authors to read. He is arguably one of the best preachers ever to live - I mean, come on! - His nickname was "The Prince of Preachers." Now that's a title. And this very same preacher has a book on preaching! I think what astonishes me is Spurgeon's utter dependence on God to work through the message being preached. He has full confidence in the word (not in himself) and preaches expecting people to come to faith. I also love how it is not only about preaching, but about pastoring - how a pastor is called to holiness, to prayer, to love, etc. Sometimes he seems too harsh saying that if you don't have a loud voice and don't have good annunciation you're probably not called - but I think that's because Spurgeon was a pastor of a very large church in a time microphones did not exist. However, this book is full of practical and biblical wisdom and well worth your time if you're going into ministry. If not... please read Soul Winner by Spurgeon!
6) Look Out, World: Meaningful Quotes for Graduates - Tom Burns
This book... is a picture book with quotes. My mother bought this for fun and gave it to me at my graduation ceremony. I read it later that night - it was quite funny and had some good quotes. But save yourself the time - here are the 3 best quotes:
"The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle."
"The difference between "try" and "triumph" is a little 'umph.'"
"If you don't have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over."