This blog hasn’t been very active these days, but I haven’t quit altogether. I’ve just been otherwise engaged. I hope to get back to it more consistently. Here are a few quick reads I’ve enjoyed recently and thought you might enjoy as well:
Gifted Hands — This autobiography of neurosurgeon Ben Carson is an easy an inspiring read. Carson was a kid from Detroit who faced obstacles (including poverty, learning challenges, and a single mom) to eventually become one of the premier neurologists in the world. The book is filled with allusions to Carson’s faith (he’s a Seventh Day Adventist and apparently born again). I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it, you should.
J. C. Ryle — I read this accessible biography in preparation for a lecture I gave on Ryle’s life, the beginning of TCBC’s summer study of his classic book Holiness. (I hope to convert the notes to a blog post soon.) I’ve long been an admirer of Ryle as a writer, but I didn’t know him as a person. This book changed that, and he’s become one of my favorite Christian leaders of the past. He was so normal. Spurgeon overwhelms me (as I mention here); but Ryle inspires me. He was a small church pastor, a writer of small pamphlets and books (who certainly would blog today), and eventually a church-planting Bishop. I love the man. If you enjoy Ryle’s writings (and you should), you really need to read this.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People — I mark the day’s date at the beginning of every chapter I read, at least of non-fiction books. So this book has mocked me for years. I’ve read the first chapter multiple times, but then petered out over the next few chapters. “Quick” it is not. However, I’m finally getting through it, in part because I’m hedging against the possibility that finishing books on effectiveness might be the hidden 8th habit of highly effective people. I’ve profited from Covey’s insights on leadership and management. Plus, it’s just a book a reasonably informed person in the 21st century should probably know. And now I do. Time will tell if it makes me more effective…
Something Happens When Christians Pray — This is a book that’s been on my shelf for years, but I’ve never read. It’s an extremely easy read (140 small pages, which I read in a couple hours Saturday), but it’s really insightful and inspiring. It’s not sensational, like many books on prayer. It’s just practical, pastoral exposition and application of passages that relate to prayer. I commend it to you. You’ll have to buy it used, and the cover is an 80’s atrocity, but you can find it here.
The Life and Diary of David Brainerd — This classic by Jonathan Edwards is another that doesn’t fit the “quick read” category. But it’s in my reading queue, for the most part because my friend and co-worker Joe Tyrpak is studying Brainerd as part of his doctoral work (he’s working on a D. Min. from SBTS) and I’d like to be able to fellowship with him on the topic. Looking forward to it!