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What’s on your nightstand?—April ‘11

my_Shelfari_bookshelfIt’s helpful to periodically assess what you’ve read and what you want to read next. We do it once a month at Jennifer’s.

Here’s what I’ve been into:

Just started

1. Think: The life of the mind and the love of God
     by John Piper
The more we see of God’s surpassing greatness and knowledge and wisdom and power and justice and wrath and mercy and patience and goodness and grace and love, the more we will treasure him. And the more we treasure him, the more he is consciously and joyfully glorified. The point of this book is that thinking is a God-given means to that end.

2. Pujols: More than the game
     by Scott lamb, Tim Ellsworth
This incredible baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals has an even higher goal than great stats: honoring God. I’ve been admiring Albert Pujols for years since first hearing him as a guest on Focus on the Family. I’m looking forward to reading more about his faith journey.

3. The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding contentment on your side of the fence
     by Stephen Altrogge 
Complaining is one of those sins that doesn’t get much airtime in our churches….We moan about gas prices, computer meltdowns, broken radiators, and flu symptoms. Complaining is part of our life. We know it’s wrong, but it doesn’t seem like a big deal.
     But God takes complaining very seriously.

Still reading

4. God in the Yard: Spiritual practice for the rest of us
     by L. L. Barkat
This is it for me, week 12! The book isn’t super-meaty, but it’s what it prompts you to do that makes it so valuable.

Finished from March’s nightstand

5. Love Wins: A book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived
     by Rob Bell
I agree with some things; disagree with some things. My two cents: Some criticisms of Bell’s theology are valid to me. But the really harsh criticisms I’ve read about his character and intentions? I wouldn’t be comfortable making them based strictly on Bell’s words in this book (and on my one simple reading through). I’ll give it a second read later. If it interests you, I suggest you read it yourself to make your own judgments.

6. Max on Life: Answers and insights to your most important questions
by Max Lucado
A question-and-answer format for big and small questions about life, God, people. It’s good.

7. Heaven Is for Real
     by Todd Burpo
While it’s a great story about a little boy’s near-death experience, I was uncomfortable with some of the scriptural interpretations made by the Burpo family. Like Love Wins, you’re better off reading it for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.

8. Poke the Box
     by Seth Godin
I like reading Seth Godin books. They’re short chapters, a little quirky, and give you a little kick to get going. While they’re mainly business-oriented, you can apply them to your life in all kinds of ways.

9. The Final Summit
      by Andy Andrews
A novel with a moral. It takes up where The Traveler’s Gift left off, including the smatterings of historical characters. Not great literature, but a worthy read.

10. Always True: God’s 5 promises when life is hard 
     by James MacDonald
Encouragement that God is always with you; God is always in control; God is always good; God is always watching; and God is always victorious. It’s a good use of your time to read.

11. One Thing: Developing a passion for the beauty of God 
     by Sam Storms
Loved this one! Reminiscent of a mini-Desiring God. It reminds you that your goal is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I’ll get a review up soon.

12. Trusting God: Even when life hurts
     by Jerry Bridges
Another great book—about learning to depend on God for more than just your eternal salvation (as if that isn’t enough!). I’ll return to this one over and over.

* * *

What’s the last book you finished?

What would you like to start?

What's on Your Nightstand at _5 minutes for Books_


bekahcubed said...

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Greener Grass Conspiracy. I've been fighting an ongoing battle with what God has convicted me is the sin of covetousness for several years now--but I haven't necessarily seen much written on it.

As for the rest? Well, my TBR list always grows ridiculously every time I read your nightstand!

Monica said...

I really enjoyed Heaven is for Real! And I love anything by Max Lucado. I am very interested in Greener Grass Conspiracy. I will have to check that one out! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I love your little recaps.

I received an unsolicited copy of Max on Life, but haven't looked at it. You make me want to make sure I do!

Kara said...

So many great books! I look forward to hearing what you think of Think. ;-) I'm also curious about The Greener Grass Conspiracy...I'm wanting to read that one. And wasn't Trusting God a wonderful book?!

Janet said...

I am impressed by your ability to juggle so many titles. You and Bekah Cubed always inspire me!

Your thoughts on the Rob Bell book seem refreshingly solid and balanced. I haven't read it, but it's hard to miss some of what's been said ABOUT it.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I appreciate your appraisals of both the Burpo and Bell books--"read it for yourself" is really what we all should do, right? You always pick the best nonfiction, something that has been missing from my Nightstand.

Barbara H. said...

You always have such an interesting variety of books, and get through way more non-fiction than I can in a month.

LivingforGod said... read a lot :)! The only book from your list that I've read is Max on Life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about each book.

Anonymous said...

I think Greener Grass Conspiracy looks fascinating! And, reading the above comments, I'm obviously in good company :)

Elizabeth from 5MFB

Anonymous said...

sorry for the double computer froze so of course i handled it by frantically clicking the button several times...sigh...when will I learn? ;)

Lynn Severance said...

I recently completed: “All That Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us” by Stan Guthrie. It is excellent - deeply engaging. My review and others’ are on Amazon.

“Reliving the Passion” by Walter Wangerin, Jr. ( a Lenten devotional ).

Almost completed: “If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers & What to Do About Them” by David Sanford

Begun: “The Sacrament of Evangelism” by Jerry Root and Stan Guthrie

Begun: “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas ( At 600 pages I hope to complete this by the end of July when I attend a conference where Eric is one of the main speakers. It is a riveting book and flows so well - a page turner. He is a fluid writer.)

Lisa notes... said...

That would have been the exact thing I would have done too. Doesn't everyone work this way? Ha.

Lisa notes... said...

I’m glad you listed what you’re reading. I’m always curious because you haven’t led me wrong yet. However, you may not can lead me to read the 600 pg Bonhoeffer book! Ha. I’ll take your words for it that it’s a page turner.

“All that Jesus Asks” sounds intriguing. I looked up your review on Amazon. So glad to find you there! I’m now reading all your reviews… And I just downloaded the free sample of “All that Jesus Asks” while I was there.

You always add value to my life, Lynn. :-)

Susannah {Seven Sisters} said...

I've just found some more books to add to my "want to read" list :)

Heaven is for Real is SO good!! We just finished reading it as a family.

I just finished reading "If I Perish" by Esther Ahn Kim. A wonderful bio!!

Pam said...

I'm glad to have found your blog. I haven't read 'Heaven is for Real', but people keep telling me that I need to read it. Your review of it has really piqued my interest.

Cassandra said...

You have a great list! All three of your "just started" books look really good. Happy reading!

Trish said...

Wow, you've been busy! I actually just finished one of the novels on my TBR list (A Scattered Life) and am starting in on my nonfiction pile! First up is Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships.


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