Article: Impact of Great Spiritual Books – Part Five
I definitely didn’t set out to spend several days journaling on this topic, but the response from many has encouraged me to stay longer than intended. Suggestions are being made even to start a reading or book club to help spur one another in developing and cultivating great reading or learning habits.
Yesterday, a great brother and friend shared a list of at least 30 books he has read and benefited from. He actually had a lot more to share. Looking at the outcome of his life, his career, his family and his impact in the church, no wonder he is so effective. Leaders are truly Readers!
His reading culture truly makes the difference – he makes no excuses. He promised me to work on sharing the quintessence of what he got from reading some of those books. My list of books to read has clearly skyrocketed with such a list -almost intimidating.
“The Prophets” by Dr. Steve Kinnard introduced me to the Old Testament prophets in a deeper way, taking Gordon Ferguson’s “Major and Minor Prophets” to a new level. Both books endeared me to the role of spokesman for God and what that entails. As disciples, we are called to speak for God, and the sold-out attitude of these men and women of old remains an upper call.
“The Overview of the Bible” by Dr. Douglas Jacoby has helped me grow in my understanding of the historical, geographical and cultural background of the biblical world. I am able to tell the story of the Bible in one go by connecting the different eras, with the help of such a great book.
“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman along with “Men are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray are both classics in relationships, especially for marrieds. There’s hardly a time we get to share from our lives as married couples without mentioning a principle from one of these two great books.
Gary Chapman highlights 5 major love languages – the way we each tend to express love. The default is to express our appreciation to our spouse using our primary love language, instead of identifying and using their love language – one they understand and connect with.
My primary language is “words of affirmation”, while my wife’s is “works of service.” Over the years, I am learning to express my love to her through acts of service (no matter how little), and she is learning to use encouraging and affirming words to express her’s for me. We both share “quality time” as our secondary love language. It probably explains why we love taking time out, enjoy traveling for vacations, for missions, etc. By practicing these principles, our emotional bank account is continuously replenished, with the outcome being fewer conflicts and more harmony in the relationship.
It amazes me how many married couples still don’t know or apply this principle in their marriages. These have proven to be a
difference-maker. The same laws apply to other relationships – singles, teens, etc.
Where would I be without the lessons gleaned from such insightful books? Can we afford to ignore them?
Hosea 4:6 ; Proverbs 4:7