You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read. What are you reading today?
I chose the following books as my Top 26 for two reasons:
1. I could recall the title and the author’s name. I have hundreds of books in my library and though I’ve read them all I cannot recall them all. These I can. I’ve met some of the authors in person and own autographed copies of their book. They left a deep impression on me.
2. The content of the books have formed my personal perspective, principles, and practices. They address theology, personality, healing, prayer, relationships, marriage, parenting and leadership.
These are my Top 26.
Top 12 Books For PERSONAL GROWTH
1. “The Divine Conspiracy” – Dallas Willard
The best insights you’ll read on Jesus’ most famous sermon. Willard changed my understanding of discipleship and fellowship.
2. “The Knowledge of the Holy” – A. W. Tozer
“What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” The best theology book on the market.
3. “Life’s Healing Choices” – John Baker
Applied theology. Our church family was changed more by this book than any other. I have a stack on my shelf that I give away in counseling.
4. “The Purpose Driven Life” – Rick Warren
I met Rick Warren in 1999 in Orange county, California. He was recovering from surgery and had to cancel a conference I was there to attend. He heard that a group of Canadian pastors were caught up in the cancellation and hurried from his house to meet with us. We spent over an hour together with him answering our questions.
5. “Mindset” – Carol Dweck
I wish I had read this book when I was 13. This was one of our most popular Ironman reading books. The book offers a healthy perspective on challenge, adversity and failure.
6. “Personality Plus” – Florence Littauer
Florence is one of our favorite people. She and her husband Fred spoke numerous times at Central Tabernacle. We loved sharing meals and stories with them. I have more books authored by Flo than any other author. Her insights on personality and relationships are priceless.
7. “The Prayer of Jabez” – Bruce Wilkinson
This prayer will enlarge your thinking, your faith and your horizons.
8. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen Covey
Everyone should own this book. Covey’s terminology has woven its way into our everyday vocabulary. A profoundly practical way to develop an abundance mindset.
9. “Ordering Your Private World” – Gordon MacDonald
Everyone should be owned by this book. “The man or woman who learns to make peace with routine responsibilities and obligations will make the greatest contributions in the long run.”
10. “The Blue Parakeet” – Scot McKnight
The best insights for understanding how to read the Bible.
11. “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives” – Richard Swenson
If you can get by the length of the title, this book will speak volumes into your life.
12. “Prayer: My Soul’s Journey With God” – Robert Schuller
I met Pastor Schuller in 1997 at the Crystal Cathedral. The man was genuine. He knew God.
13. “Divine Alignment” – Squire Rushnell
God’s got His eye on you. He is in the details of your life. This book came along at just the right time for me and introduced me to the term “Godwinks.” It could be a very timely book for you.
BONUS BOOK: “The Insanity of God” – Nik Ripken
I saved “the best” for last. Why the best? The Ripken’s story is a composite of all the people I’ve pastored in one family. People who have faith; who have seen miracles; who are obedient; who have suffered the sudden death of a child; who have gone to the depths of despair; who have learned transformational lessons; and glorify God.
Top 4 Books For MARRIAGE
1. “The Five Languages of Love” – Gary Chapman
I refer couples to this book in EVERY pre-marital session and many of my marriage counseling sessions.
2. “Fit To Be Tied” – Bill and Lynn Hybels
This is the foundational book I use in pre-marital counseling. Bill and Lynn are vulnerable, candid and homorous in sharing their failures, findings and fun in their marriage.
3.“Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage” Mark Gungor
Mark Gungor has a style all his own. His homorous approach delivers He is one of North Pointe’s favorite speakers on the subject of marriage.
4. “Incompatibility: Grounds for a Great Marriage” – Chuck and Barb Snyder
I never knew incompatibility could make a marriage great! Chuck spoke at our church in 2002 and our marriage has never been the same.
BONUS: “The Insanity Of God” – Nik Ripken
I saved “the best” for last. Best? Because it deals with the reality of a strong faith and obedience to Jesus and the despair resulting from the sudden death of their son on Easter Sunday morning. This family discovers the miraculous in what many of us take for granted.
Top 4 Books For PARENTING
1. “Grace-Based Parenting” – Tim Kimmel
We give this book away at North Pointe to all parents of two-year olds. Developing spiritually strong children who grow up with a sense of calm and a heart full of purpose and confidence.
2. “Parenting Isn’t For Cowards” – James Dobson
Dr Dobson has been a friend of families for four decades. We raised our sons using some of his timeless principles. A breath of fresh air for every parent and especially moms.
3. “The Strong-Willed Child” – James Dobson
More fresh air in parenting from birth to adolescence.
4. “The Birth Order Book” – Kevin Leman
Why you are the way you are. I’m a first born. What are you?
Top 5 Books For LEADERSHIP
1. “A Tale of Three Kings” – Gene Edwards
The best investment any pastor / leader could make. Read it early and often in your life.
2. “Developing the Leader Within You” – John Maxwell
The best book on leadership ever. Period.
3. “Beyond Success: Applying John Wooden’s Pyramid Principles” – Brian Biro
The only book our Ironman group has read twice. Applying the principles that Coach John Wooden used to build championship teams. This one is great for coaches of any sport.
4. “The New One Minute Manager” – Ken Blanchard
The updated version of a timeless classic.
5. “See You At The Top” – Zig Ziglar
My first and all-time favorite book on attitude. A “check up from the neck up” that will help you avoid “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
APPLICATION: These books are available in North Pointe’s Bookstore or through Chapters.ca Have you read one of the books? Please leave a comment about it below. Thank you.
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