Posted by: Ed | February 4, 2010


I was having lunch with a friend a while back. It was in my Fresno days. He was a fellow youth ministry veteran and we were having a great lunch. We got on the topic of various books and he said something I won’t soon forget (as proved by the fact I remember it even right now, 10 years later): “One of the things I’ll regret at the end of my life is that I haven’t read more.”

I think I agree! So every turn of the year, I always plan to read more & watch a little less TV. I hope you are with me. I know that we are all a little different. I even said in last weekend’s message at Journey that some of us love to read & some of us just don’t. For some of us it’s a chore. For some it’s a delight. For a lot of us it’s somewhere in between.

I have no illusions. I know that most people that I speak to will not read Divine Conspiracy much less The Confessions of St Augustine. I wish it were different. But I do think it is reasonable to hope, encourage, cajole & pray that we might read MORE. Just a little more!

So in that spirit, here’s what I’m reading lately, kind of like a family picture.

The ME I Want to Be by John Ortberg. I’m reading this in conjunction with our beta launch of Monvee. It’s a good accessible book. I would recommend it to anyone that things Dallas Willard or Richard Foster might be a little too much.

A Year With Dietrich Bonhoeffer
– this is a reading a day from the great 20th century martyr. I’ll be enjoying this all year.

The Works of Josephus
– I always have a long-term reading project going. I read a few pages a day working my way through a long, often ancient or dense work. This is how I got through the Qur’an, The City of God by Augustine etc. I’m finally on volume 4… the last one! My goal is to finish it before my next trip to Israel.

The Practice of The Presence of God by Brother Lawrence & Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubauch – this is a re-read for the message that I did 3 weeks ago called Mystic Me. It was sheet joy going through these little gems. Everyone could & should read these 2 little works.

by Levitt and Dubner – I’m reading it kind of in conjunction with the upcoming Journey series “Godonomics”. Just started it.

When The Game Was Ours by Magic & Larry – if you need last names you won’t read this book anyway. Rod Kaya gave this to me as a Christmas gift. It’s like getting a box of Sees Candy. I’m deliberately reading this as slowly as I can. I could easily just take a day & whiz through it; it’s that fun.

So what are YOU reading so far? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear.

Watch for in an upcoming post – books I wish EVERYONE would read.



  1. I’m reading Apprenticeship with Jesus by Gary Moon, Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory (starting that on the 8th) :), and When Giants Fall by Michael J. Panzner. On deck is Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels… :)

  2. Worship, Evangelism, & Justice by Mike Pilavachi.
    Sustainable Youth Ministry, Mark DeVries.
    Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki (timely re-read).
    The One-Life Solution, Henry Cloud.
    Streams in the Desert (daily devotional reading)

  3. I’m reading Servolution by Dino Rizzo. I just got done reading The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch. Good stuff!

  4. Nice post, Ed. I wonder what language Josephus wrote in and if you’re reading the original text or translations.

    Very little t.v. for me these days other than the football I’ve seen and the Olympics I hope to watch. Like Bethany, my list is off a syllabus:

    -What are they saying about Acts? by Mark Allen Powell, – Apostle of the Crucified Lord – Michael J. Gorman, – True to Our Native Land: An African American N.T. Commentary – editor – Blout,
    – Introducing the N.T.: Its Literature and Theology by Achtemeier, Green & Thompson – The Challenge of Jesus – N.T. Wright, – Biblical Greek text – Mounce, & N.T. and Greek N.T.

  5. too small to ignore. written by Dr. Wess Stafford.he has compassion also a speaker that was at jcc last year.

  6. “Challenge of Redemptive Love” by Toyohiko Kagawa. “Preacher and Prayer” by E.M. Bounds. “Institutes of Christian Religion” by John Calvin. “Teach Us to Pray,” ed. D.A. Carson.

    Thanks Ed. I appreciate this. One thing about Journey is it goes deeper than many churches. One of my friends who visited last Sunday made that comment. Nice work.

  7. “Desire” by John Eldridge, “The Gift of Being Yourself” by David Benner, “Stones from the River” by Ursula Heigl, “The African Queen” by C.S. Forester

  8. A year w/Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    Healing Prayer….Chavda
    A more Excellent Way….Henry Wright (spiritual roots of sickness)
    The most rewarding read is Cracks in the Foundation by Steve Backlund, who uncovers common misconceptions about some traditional beliefs ie “the appointed time to die”…the”thorn in the flesh” “what about Job” “If it be Thy will” “decently and in order”.
    Although I don’t agree with all the topics, most of It has helped me to better pray for people, get them free and encourage them. Since Keith Boyces’ vision I am trying to pray for more and more people and this helps.

  9. Great quote: “We are the people we meet and the books we read.” Thanks for pushing us!

    P.S. Calvin’s Institutes??!! Come on! Nobody has read that straight through…have they?! guess I should try again…

    • chris,

      There is actually a website that has incorporated a day to day reading list/chart of Calvin’s Institutes Vol I and II that can be read in an entire year. You can read it along side with your daily Bible reading. Here is the linkage:

      • Clearly a word from GOD! I’m on it! … thanks tons!

        P.S. Always thought it was cool that even though John Calvin had people burned at the stake for differing opinions…as did the opposing side…His giftings were used for His glory! We are a broken but forgiven and grace-laden people!

  10. Just finished “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (Courtesy of Journey Book Club, TY!)

    Also just finished “Pride and Prejusdice and Zombies”. Good- but not as hilarious as “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” ;o)

  11. I am currently reading the last book in the “Dexter” series (the Showtime show) but I wanted to recommend a book to you – its called “Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom. It’s about the experience he had writing a eulogy for his Rabbi and all of the things he learned from him. It’s what inspired me to start attending church and reading the Bible.

  12. I have been reading Walter Brueggermann’s Great Prayers of the Old Testament. And Slavoj Zizek’s The Puppet and the Dwarf. The book I told you about last friday, was Alain Badiou’s Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism. A very interesting read.

  13. I was recently out of work for several months recovering from surgery and read a stack of books. It was great! Now I’m back to work and making the time to read is not as easy. Finished “The Help” for Journey Book Club, which means that several other books took a back seat. They are:
    Season of Life by Jeffery Marx
    A Search for What Is Real – Finding Faith by Brian D. McLaren
    and a reread from a book of letters you recommended about a year ago called “Let Go” by Fenelon. Incidentally, the publishers of “Let Go” suggest also reading “The Practice of the Presence of God”. Appreciate the inspiration to read!

  14. Just finished Face to Face with God by Bill Johnson; Currently Reading Jesus Culture by Banning Liebscher; Next The Seven Mountain Prophecy by Johnny Enlow or The Reformation Maniesto by Cindy Jacobs or Love Revolution by Gaylord Enns; Always reading the Bible, something on past Revivals and a prayer devotional by James Goll

    Love reading and learning!

  15. Almost done with Fathered by God by John Eldridge and it’s pretty good. It’s basically everything you taught me when we went that wild mentoring ride about a decade ago! I’m going to read a book on politics next(or rather that is my desire) Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. I can’t help it I’m a junkie!!!

  16. Reading French Women Don’t Get Fat … that’s the fun one.. and also reading Fox’s Book of Martyrs as part of my devo time, just reflective of the sacrifices made for our faith…. what I have to go through for mine, is pretty easy considering. It’s inspiring!

  17. I am starting “The Me I Want to Be” by John Ortberg.
    I’ve been reading “Desire” by John Eldredge and “Longing for God:Seven Paths of Christian Devotion” by Richard Foster. As Foster describes each path,
    he expounds on the writings of four saints who describe that path-everyone from Augustine to Ignatius to George Fox to Thomas Merton. I love this kind of book!

  18. Just finishing up “The Practice of the Presence of God” and Boyd’s “The Myth of a Christian Nation.” Just got “A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer” and am starting to get going on including that in my daily study. Have Tozer’s “Pursuit of God” or Willard’s “Spirit of the Disciplines” up next (although my wife would love it if I would read “Babywise” or “Happiest Baby on the Block”). : )

  19. I have three little books that I read over and over again. They are The Practice of the Presence of God already mentioned by several, The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (1978) and The Gentle Weapon (prayer) by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, a Chasidic rabbi. I just started Go Put Your Strengths To Work by Marcus Buckingham which I’ve had since the 2007 leadership conference. I also chip away at the NIV Life Application Study Bible which I’m sure will be a life-long project at the current pace of two or three pages a week.


  20. Thank you for saying you read more than watch TV.
    Hmm…TV? Book. —-Book! I am currently reading
    “A Purpose Driven Life,” by Rick Warren, and “Selling-Sickness” by Ray Moynihan & Alan Cassels.

  21. I’m reading the Practice of the Presence of God slowly to savor it. It is funny how the size of a book matters a alot. The Bible is big and can take forever to read and really understand it and Brother Lawrence’s book is so small, you want to take forever to read and it is really easy to understand.
    Thank you for your recommendations. I have bought many, read several and shared them with friends and family.

  22. -I’ve read other material from Bonhoeffer [e.g. Cost of Discipleship]-awesome read, not for the timid.
    -I did not find Brother Lawrence’s book to be very weighty as I anticipated it to be. It did have some basic insights and reminders that were helpful. But, I would consider it in the category of a primer regarding spiritual life/disciplines.
    – I too read Josephus from time to time, have been for a few years now along with that other great work, “Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” by Edersheim and “History of the Church” by P. Schaff. At the rate I am going, I’ll finish them when I’m 60.
    -But, for the most part, in addition to reading various studies in anchient and early church history, western philosophy, apologetics, theology and fictional literature, I am currently plowing through the writings of the Early Church Fathers; Ante-Nicene Fathers actually. Just finished with Justin Martyr and now starting the works of Irenaeus. These dead guys are rich in their devotion and understanding of the Word. It is just fascinating to see how they did theology and how they wrote about the Word of God and how they practiced their faith.

  23. Justed finished reading A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur and The Kingdom, Power, & Glory by Chuck & Nancy Missler. Just started reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Death By Black Hole by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
    Okay, I’m all over the place… :) dP

  24. I heard a quote once I have written down and use as a book mark:
    “The only difference between me today and me 10 years from now will be the books I read and the people I meet”.

    Great reading suggestions! I wrote a number of the suggestions down for future reference!

  25. Just finished reading “Red Moon Rising” by Pete Greig on the 24-7 prayer awakening. Very compelling story of how the 24-7 prayer movement kickstarted in the UK and moved across Europe. Would recommend to anyone who has a heart for prayer.

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