My Holiday Reading List

book

I tweeted today about starting my holiday reading list and then started getting texts from friends about what was on it. While I won’t get through all of these books over the next couple of days, here are the ones I’m most excited about:

Life Is Mostly Edges: A Memoir by Calvin Miller

One man’s backward glance at unexpected lessons, the beauty of relationship, and God’s mysterious guiding hand. Bestselling author and poet Calvin Miller turns his hand to the most moving story of all – his own. The reader is taken through a myriad of experiences of a young man coming of age in mid-20th century America. Following his life into college, seminary, a small local church and eventually to a new life as an author and professor, the memoir touches on those points that make all of us uniquely human and intensely vulnerable.

Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense by Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic is a wonderfully pugnacious defense of Christianity. Refuting critics such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the “new atheist” crowd, Spufford, a former atheist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, argues that Christianity is recognizable, drawing on the deep and deeply ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the grown-up dignity of Christian experience.

Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly by Mike Myatt

Hacking Leadership is Mike Myatt’s latest leadership book written for leaders at every level. Leadership isn’t broken, but how it’s currently being practiced certainly is. Everyone has blind spots. The purpose of Hacking Leadership is to equip leaders at every level with an actionable framework to identify blind spots and close leadership gaps. The bulk of the book is based on actionable, topical leadership and management hacks to bridge eleven gaps every business needs to cross in order to create a culture of leadership: leadership, purpose, future, mediocrity, culture, talent, knowledge, innovation, expectation, complexity, and failure.

Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent by N.D. Wilson

A poetic portrait of faith, futility, and the joy of this mortal life. In this astoundingly unique book, bestselling author N.D. Wilson reminds each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. Every second we create more of our past—more decisions, more breathing, more love and more loathing, all of it slides by into the gone as we race to grab at more moments, at more memories made and already fading.

How Will You Measure Your Life?

 From the world’s leading thinker on innovation and New York Times bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen, comes an unconventional book of inspiration and wisdom for achieving a fulfilling life. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, notably the only business book that Apple’s Steve Jobs said “deeply influenced” him, is widely recognized as one of the most significant business books ever published. Now, in the tradition of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life is with a book of lucid observations and penetrating insights designed to help any reader—student or teacher, mid-career professional or retiree, parent or child—forge their own paths to fulfillment.

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Links of the Week

  1. Chuck Swindoll on The most important thing.
  2. Charles Stone on 5 non-negotiable decisions every leader must make.
  3. 25 ways to be missional in your neighborhood.
  4. Mike Breen on How culture has corrupted the American church.
  5. Jonathan Dodson on Is Pluralism more tolerant than Christianity?
  6. Motherhood is application.
  7. Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO.
  8. Jared Wilson & Tony Merida on Preaching Today.
  9. One of the main reasons students leave church after high school is their faith reflects the faith they’ve seen growing up.
  10. Bill Hybels on Preparation matters.
  11. 6 trends in church staffing.
  12. Carl Trueman on Teaching your kids the trinity.
  13. Scott Williams on Most leadership stress is self induced.

Alignment & the Art of Saying “No”

Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” -Steve Jobs

Links of the Week

  1. Tim Keller on The importance of hell. I realize the doctrine of hell is always a debated topic (especially in light of Rob Bell’s new book), but Keller offers some great insight, as usual, on how to handle this discussion and why it is important.
  2. Sex is cheap. Definitely highlights a major problem in culture, marriages and gives great insight into how the church can speak into the lives of men and women.
  3. 6 unfair market advantages you should steal from Apple. Definitely some things pastors and churches could learn from Apple.
  4. Russell Moore on God, Freedom, and “The Adjustment Bureau.”
  5. Chan Kilgore on Creating a culture of multiplication in your church.
  6. A very helpful review of Rob Bell’s new book (from someone who actually read the book).
  7. Jesus Christ:  The Only Way and Our Only Hope. If you have ever wrestled with this question or had to answer it, this is definitely worth reading. It is a free chapter from Tim Challies from the book Don’t Call it a Comeback.

Links of the Week

  1. Steve Jobs on the branding of Apple. Branding is so important and churches miss the boat so many times. Branding can have to do with mission, your church name, logo, etc. Pastors need to think through branding more because it is how you can be easily remembered and identified in your city. This is why we named ourselves Revolution and use 3 dots for our logo.
  2. How Christians can be faithful and politically present in our culture. Interesting interview.
  3. John Piper spent 224 sermons preaching through the book of Romans, but you can listen to these 11 messages and get the big picture overview. You can download the 11 key messages here.
  4. Forbes on Nextflix killed Blockbuster, but Apple, Amazon and Microsoft won’t be so easy.
  5. Mark Galli on Insignificant is Beautiful.
  6. The next Acts 29 boot camp is in Phoenix next week. So excited about spending the week at it.
  7. Kevin DeYoung on What’s wrong with theistic evolution. This is an interesting interview with the editor of the new book God & Evolution.
  8. One year later: an interview with Matt Chandler and what having cancer has taught him.
  9. What pastors and business leaders can learn from each other.
  10. Al Mohler on What we know from the elections on Tuesday.
  11. Download the audio from Acts 29 Seattle Boot Camp. Great stuff.
  12. Have you bought coffee yet to support our adoption? You can do so here (it’s really good).
  13. Watch this video of Andy Stanley talking about momentum. Anything with Andy Stanley on leadership is worth listening to or reading.
  14. Will Mancini on The tyranny of more. He lists out the 6 myths that cause churches to try to do everything. Revolution is a simple church, which means we only do 5 things (worship, groups, mission, students and children’s ministry). It is this clarity that I believe is one of our strengths as a church. I just preached on it if you are interested.
  15. Changing a church culture. Cultures are hard to change because they are so natural in how they come about. You have to change thinking, not just what you do to change a church.
  16. Ed Stetzer’s thoughts on Jim Swilley (a Prominent megachurch pastor) who came out of the closet this week. Stetzer raises some great questions that churches and leaders have to wrestle through in terms of how we respond to homosexuality and what Scripture has to say. While Scripture is clear where God stands on it, we have often missed the boat in communicating that and all the layers to the discussion. We need to do better at communicating truth.

Links of the Week

  1. The Role of Vision Casting in Preaching. I was talking with D.J. about this the other day. Very few pastors understand the power they have when they preach in terms of leadership and vision casting. Their preaching sets the tone for the church.
  2. “Sexual Detox” is now available. This is a great little book on porn, sexuality from a man’s perspective. If you are struggling with porn, this is definitely worth picking up.
  3. Collide Magazine on Who do you create for. This is a great question that many worship leaders and pastors never ask, let alone answer. If you don’t know who will be in your audience this weekend, how do you know who you are speaking to, what their needs are and what and how you will need to communicate.
  4. Justin Holcomb on 12 ways to make your teaching and writing anti-Christian. Sadly many pastors and churches these.
  5. C.J. Mahaney on The humbling power of cross-centered thinking.
  6. Al Mohler on Christianity and Yoga. This was a really helpful and thorough article. I practice yoga, but don’t meditate or pray or look for energy when I do it, for me it is about stretching and staying limber as I grow older. According to Mohler, “I don’t do yoga, I do stretching.” It is a helpful distinction and I think Christians need to be aware of where yoga came from and what it is really all about and be careful, but I also don’t think that it is wrong for a Christian to practice yoga.
  7. Steven Furticks book Sun Stand Still is only $6.99 on amazon. This was one of the best books I read all year and easily one of the best on the topics of faith and prayer. If you want a book to challenge to have big faith, pray big prayers and believe in a big God, this is the book.
  8. I’m hoping that Apple will block the new iPhone “pimp” app. Read more about it here and how to tell Apple to block it. This would be disastrous for the fight against sex trafficking if they allowed this app to be put on the iPhone.
  9. Ben Roethlisberger is back at practice. This makes me so happy.
  10. Men’s Health 20 Best Weight loss tips. Many of these have helped me over the last 2 years lose over 100 pounds.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • I am so wiped right now
  • It is unreal what God is doing right now at Revolution
  • We are in the middle of summer and we had 16 first time guests tonight
  • Unreal
  • Tonight was a cool night because we showed a video story of my dad and then he joined me on stage for Q & A, which was a good time
  • Excited about having him in town for the week
  • Paul did a great job on the drama tonight
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
  • Should be fun, I’m preaching at 22nd St. Church (the church we rent from)
  • I’m throwing down the message I did tonight
  • Should be fun to call a bunch of men to step up and be men
  • Got to circle up with our partners tonight
  • I am humbled by the caliber of people in our church and how many people are bought into the vision and what God is doing
  • We are having another adoption rummage sale on August 14th
  • If you would like to help or have something to donate, let us know
  • We announced our next series tonight
  • Starting August 21st we are doing a series called Ultimate Fighter on 2 Timothy
  • I’m excited to get back into a book of the Bible series
  • We’ll also have a study guide with questions that you can use for yourself, as a couple or as a family to be able to have devotions everyday
  • I am loving the new albums from The National, Stars and Arcade Fire, amazing
  • Right now, I am reading one of the best books on leadership I’ve ever read
  • Made the plunge this week and ordered a macbook, excited to join the mac cult
  • Gavin turns 3 on Tuesday, so we are doing some fun things this week for that
  • We’re hoping to go hiking on Monday on Mt Lemmon and he wants to go to Chick Fil a for family night on Tuesday
  • Our family loves the cookies n cream shake, what can I say
  • We had several people sign up for the basics class and the partnership class coming up
  • If you are interested, don’t miss these nights
  • Next week, we are finishing our series The Perfect Kid and I’m talking about “The most important thing when it comes to parenting”
  • You don’t want to miss it
  • It will be a great week to bring a friend, so let’s pack out the service