Pursuing God

So, What Have You Been Reading Lately?

A leader is a reader. Growth is key in fulfilling our purpose in life. Without growth we will fall short of God’s best.

Below is a number of books I have read over the past few months. A few books did not get on the list because I didn’t finish reading them (I admit, I do this a lot).

There is no rhyme or reason to the order of the books I have read. Usually, I pick a book based on what I sense the Lord stirring within me.  Other times, just because it looks interesting.

One thing. I would simply urge you to make the Bible your number one book. Read it daily.

Here’s the lineup. Click each book image to get more info.

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears

CircleMaker

Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.

Great book. Great testimonies. Easy Application. Inspirational. I have this on my re-read list. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is pursuing a life of prayer and practical application around it.

The Calling Journey: Mapping the Stages of a Leader’s Life Call – A Coaching Guide

The Calling Journey

“The Calling Journey is just such a map, revealing the common stages and transitions leaders go through on the pathway to their call. As you read what successful leaders from all walks of life experienced on the destiny road, you’ll gain an amazing perspective on how God is leveraging everything in your own story to make his dream for you come true. Along the way, you’ll learn how to identify key stages in your own journey and build a personal calling timeline. When you discover what God’s agenda is for each stage, you can lean into what he is doing in you instead of fighting the process.”

I have been interested in coaching for over two years. I picked this manual up at Bethel Church, Redding in their local bookstore. The book is pretty fascinating. Never seen a study on this before. I highly recommend.

Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up

http://www.amazon.com/Erasing-Hell-about-eternity-things/dp/0781407257/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343943887&sr=8-2&keywords=chan

“With a humble respect for God’s Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They’ve asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don’t want to believe in hell. But as they write, “We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue.”

This is not a book about who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says. It’s not a book about impersonal theological issues. It’s a book about people who God loves. It’s not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It’s a book about the character of God 

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.”

This is in some way a response to Rob Bells book, “Love Wins”.  The book is written well. Simple. Scriptural. Honest. Nothing shocking but the straight-up reality of eternity apart from Christ.

God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?

God Behaving Badly

“God has a bad reputation. Many think of God as wrathful and angry, smiting people right and left for no apparent reason. The Old Testament in particular seems at times to portray God as capricious and malevolent, wiping out armies and nations, punishing enemies with extreme prejudice.

But wait. The story is more complicated than that. Alongside troubling passages of God’s punishment and judgment are pictures of God’s love, forgiveness, goodness and slowness to anger. How do we make sense of the seeming contradiction? Can God be trusted or not?

David Lamb unpacks the complexity of the Old Testament to explore the character of God. He provides historical and cultural background to shed light on problematic passages and to bring underlying themes to the fore. Without minimizing the sometimes harsh realities of the biblical record, Lamb assembles an overall portrait that gives coherence to our understanding of God in both the Old and New Testaments.”

This is a great book that gives sound explanations to tough Old Testament events. A good read.

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

“Author Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional. He gives you practical tips for freelancing, how to get published in magazines, and what it takes to build a platform that brings the gatekeepers to you.

This journey of becoming a writer begins with a simple but important belief: You are a writer; you just need to write. Readers will learn the importance of passion and discipline and how to show up every day to do the work.”

This is a very short book by blogger and now writer, Jeff Goins. This eBook is really about his journey in becoming a writer. I love the transparency and the “realness” of achieving the dream God puts in your heart.

Currently Reading

A History of the Moravian Church

History of Moravian Church

“No library of revival histories could ignore the amazing effects of the Moravian Church over the past 500 years. 

Once known as the Unity of Brethren, the Moravian Church originated in Bohemia among some of John Huss’s followers. He broke with Rome in 1467. During the late fifteenth century, his followers in Moravia and Bohemia totalled close to a quarter of a million but suffered greatly from persecution.

By the end of 1648, only a small number of Moravians survived. In the early 1700’s, another group of Moravians sought refuge and religious freedom on the estates of the Lutheran Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf and began a village known as Herrnhut, or “The Lord’s Watch.” Led by Zinzendorf, this dedicated band began a prayer and mission work which touched almost the entire world.”

Just breaking into this one. I really don’t know a whole lot about the Moravian Movement but recognize that what we are experiencing in the prayer movement today is a direct result of what happened then.

 Your Thoughts? So what have you been reading lately?  Have some books, blogs or articles that you can recommend? Any thoughts or questions about what I’ve been reading? Add your comment below. 

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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13 thoughts on “So, What Have You Been Reading Lately?”

  1. some great suggestions. i just recently finished tim miller’s book – poised for harvest, braced for backlash. i really thought it laid out the gospel well in the context of his missions work oversees with primarily muslim cultures and yet could be easily applied to our lives right where we are. it held my interest which is good. in the Word i am currently reading romans. 🙂

    1. I took a look at Tim’s book over at Amazon…it looked pretty interesting. I made a note of it in my “to read” books. If you come across any more good reads let me know. 😉

    2. I am reading Missionary Methods: Saint Paul’s or Ours by Rolland Alland. A classic in missions circles. The guy was a pretty revolutionary thinker in his day regarding missions. The book is basically him contrasting Paul’s mission accounts in Acts and the Epistles with our modern methods…pretty solid.
      Also reading Joel Richardson – MidEast Beast. Basically an exegesis of Biblical passages regarding the Antichrist. Goes into quite a bit of the history of why we reinterpreted all of the nations mentioned regarding the Antichrist to be Eastern European rather than the straight forward reading which clearly places them all in the Middle East. Joel did his homework! I didn’t expect it to be so compelling. Good read… definitely thought of you while reading this one! 🙂

      1. Seems like you and Charis are jumping on the missions books and of course, you threw a little end-times twist in there. Who knows, I might check out Joels book. 😉

        1. I am thankful and it’s great of you to send the list of books,
          thank you do much it will help a lot.
          I am trying to catch up with my daily prayers and readings,too.
          I am most grateful for your readings and thoughts and inspirations of many in
          This page of prayer. You all bring hope to
          Me. Love you all and God bless.
          Thanks Greg.

          Also, I started writing but I don’t know
          If it went through and I was not done.
          Anyway ignore it !!!
          Diana

  2. Forgiveness – God’s Master Key – Pray the most powerful prayer on earth by Peter Horrobin (and a whole series of books from his ministry)

  3. In full agreement with “a leader is a reader” and we’re all called to provide a lead for something. Greg, I’ve read Primal by Mark Batterson some time ago and enjoyed the depth and dimension of his writing. This account of Honi the Circle Maker really has me intrigued. What is your perspective about this type of prayer resolve and how God responds to it?

    1. Brian, I like the principles around what Honi did. It created a focus/target to apply faith in the place of relentless prayer. If the circle was a visual and practical way to create a focus in relentless prayer, I’m all for it. In truth, God hears and honors prayer regardless. Circles do not have the power to draw His attention and can never be used as a form of manipulation, but it did benefit Honi for the reasons I stated above. God honors the humble heart that reaches to Him in prayer, regardless of whether we use circles, squares, triangles or nothing at all. 😉

  4. Hi Greg, thank you so much for sharing your book recommendations. Currently I am reading the autobiography of cricket star Ricky Ponting called “Ponting: At The Close of Play”. I am enjoying this book because aside from I am a huge fan, reading Ponting’s story made me realize that even popular people also suffer from problems. I have learned a lot of things from Ponting’s mistakes and I am glad that he realized all of this and strive to be a better person. Here is the synopsis for those who are interested: http://www.bookworld.com.au/book/ponting-at-the-close-of-play/42918020/ Thank you so much Greg, keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Jeremy. Just looked over the book on Amazon’s website. Great reviews from readers. I have to admit a barely know anything about the sport of Cricket but I do love sports! There are many life-lessons to be learned in any professional sport. Thanks for this recommendation and thanks too dropping by the blog to share it. 😉

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