Pastor’s Book Picks

Pastor’s Book Picks

Occasionally when Pastor Chris reads something that he thinks would be useful to Christians he will do a short write-up about it so you can decide if it’s a book for you.

What are people for? Essays by Wendell Berry

I just realized that while I may not be old, I am old enough to no longer remember when certain personally influential writers came into my life. Few are more important to me than Wendell Berry. His lucid prose, his tight poetry, and the insight and clarity of his essays mean that whenever I pick up one of his books I will not be disappointed. In fact, I regularly re-read…

2 Books on Prayer & Writing

In his two highly readable books “The Contemplative Writer: loving God through Christian spirituality, meditation, daily prayer and writing” and “Eat, Write, Grow: Cultivating prayer and writing together” writer Ed Cyzewski offers loads of advice, is very pastoral and encouraging, and delves into intersections of life that many Christians will find familiar. I recently…

You Should Read this Book Monthly?!?

While being on paternity leave I managed to sneak in the reading of a few books. I will share about several of them in the next few weeks and months, but the first one I want to write about is Timothy Keller’s little 46 pager The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (kindle version is only $1.99). I want to start with it because I am literally going to read it once a month until…

I Used to like Writing Sermons

I used to love writing sermons. It was one of my favorite aspects of ministry and one that I very much looked forward to as I traveled my way through seminary. I suppose that’s because I have always loved books—loved ‘em so much I bought a whole bookstore and ran it for a few years—loved ‘em so much I even had a few poems published in some places—this lead me to think I…

Fire Up Your Faith Life

“You may not know how badly you needed silence and solitude until you get to know them.” Quiet time has been among the most important keys to my health in ministry thus far. I begin my day either first thing in the morning, or first thing in the office, with bible reading, reflection, journaling and prayer. I use the SOAP method I wrote about it here. I am always looking…

Michael Wittmer

Michael Wittmer’s 2015 book asks a question that is dear to my heart as a millennial pastor who grew up middle class with plenty of accouterments: Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life?  I may be a Calvinist but even I still think the answer not only needs to be but is YES. Here’s the thing, I spent a time outside the faith, a time when I snidely looked down on…

A Funny Book on Prayer

I struggle with prayer. I pray a lot, but never as much I would like to. I’m over the concept of guilt at not praying but I haven’t managed the art of prayerfully doing everything I do in a day. It’s something I would really like to learn over the years. And I think it takes years to learn much about prayer and I like to read books, old and new, about prayer. Jared…

From Tablet to Table

“From Tablet to Table”  by Leonard Sweet didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. I am so on board with the topic I read it as a sort of fluffy read where I was going to just sit in the choir loft mumbling “preach on.” For the most part that is what I did, but the language was not as clear or poignant as I would have hoped, this isn;t Wendell Berry writing.…

H3 Leadership. Reviewed.

“Be Humble, Stay Hungry, and Always Hustle”, says Brad Lomenick in his new book. I received the book thanks to the Carey Neiuwhof leadership podcast that I listen to when I walk my dog and, man, I am happy I did.  This book contains loads of good advice, helpful questions, ideas and plans for changing not just the organization involved, but the leaders themselves. As…

Mark Buchanan, Things Unseen

Continuing to read my way through books left to me by my predecessor I recently read, former Duncan New Life Baptist Minister, Mark Buchanan’s Things Unseen (2002). It might be a little long in the tooth at this point but it’s no less relevant for that! Mark puts into words feelings that I have long felt but lacked the right vocabulary for. There you are, standing at a…
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