Saturday, February 19, 2005

Good Books, List #1

The following list is a compilation of books I've used and recommended for Christian leaders in past issues of Teachers' Tips, Tools, and Topics. Future lists will include new material I'm reading and recommending, but I wanted to provide this list for your perusal in case you missed or didn't have access to previous reviews. Here's the short list:

Title: I Exalt You, O God: Encountering His Greatness in Your Private Worship
By Jerry Bridges

Review: “As the world becomes ever more impersonal, hectic, and stressful, our hunger grows for the reality of God’s Greatness in our lives.”—from the book jacket.

If you’re looking to stimulate greater worship in your personal devotional life, then this offering by Jerry Bridges is the book for you. I Exalt You, O God moves readers to consider the wonder and awesomeness of God. Arranged into 31 daily readings, this brief devotional helps you to focus on four aspects of God’s nature (His Greatness, Holiness, Wisdom, and Love) through biblical teaching, interaction with Scripture, and guided prayers (penned by the author). It motivates and equips you to offer richer, truer praise and thanksgiving as you consider the very person and nature of God.

Title: How to Live Right When YourLife Goes Wrong
by Leslie Vernick

Review: “Despite the abundant availability of both self-help books and Bible-study materials, many of us find it difficult to apply what we learn and make that long head-to-heart journey of change. Is it possible to achieve a deeper, more permanent change of heart? Yes….” —Leslie Vernick

If you are looking for a practical, simple-to-use, and easy-to-understand model for spiritual growth to pass on to your students, Leslie Vernick’s How To Live Right is the book for you. Using the acronym TRUTH, Leslie provides specific steps for walking in truth and for practicing Christ’s presence. It is an easy-to-remember method for applying God’s truth to everyday life and circumstances.

Title: Speaking with Bold Assurance
By Bert Decker and Hershael W. York

Review: “This book is for everyone who hungers to be a more effective communicator of God’s truth, whether you are sharing yourself, your life, your story, or you insight into the Scriptures. Whether speaking to a large group or to just one person, the powerful principles of communication [described in this book] will make your more competent and comfortable speaking” (from the Introduction, page 3).

This book addresses the essentials of public speaking (and teaching), and provides an easy-to-implement means for simplifying lesson preparation (called the Decker Grid System). It's a great resource for improving your up-front skills and your lesson preparation.

Title: Tozer on Christian Leadership: A 366-Day Devotional
Compiled by Ron Eggert

Review: “‘Your calling,’ said Meister Eckhart to the clergy of his day, ‘cannot make you holy; but you can make it holy.’ No matter how humble that calling may be, a holy man can make it a holy calling…,” and so begins Tozer’s devotional meditation on the call of God.

We all need encouragement in our callings, not just as teachers, but as leaders in general. This collection of A.W. Tozer’s writings provides encouragement for the leader’s soul. Tozer once stated, “The rewards of godly leadership are so great and the responsibilities of the leader so heavy that no one can afford to take the matter lightly.” This book helps us to take our callings seriously and to develop Christ-centered, Spirit-led ministries flowing from our personal union with Christ. Using daily Scripture readings, brief reflections, and guided prayer, this devotional is designed to help leaders shoulder the responsibility of the call to lead in a God-honoring way.

Title: Prayer
by Ole Hallesby

Review: This is probably the best book on prayer I've read (and I've read dozens of books on prayer). A brief, easy-to-read, immensely deep and practical gem, I return to this classic every other year or so, just because I find it so refreshing and motivating.

That's enough for this first list. I hope you find something helpful among these titles. I certainly have.

That's it for now,

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