Shaped by Words: The Daily Adventure of Reading

Words, when taken to heart and acted upon, move from the stratosphere of ideas into life-changing reality. We live in a world of images, but moreover, in a world of words whispered or shouted in our minds from waking to sleeping, even stirring us in our dreams. All the more reason we should be deliberate about the words that shape our lives.
From early childhood, books have been a major part of my life. I always have a list of books I want to read, seeing them as part of a trajectory leading me in the direction I am pursuing. The first one on my list is always a daily dose of Bible, authored by the Word who became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth.
Since we left most of our library overseas, I’ve had to beg, borrow, buy and occasionally get a freebie on Kindle to have enough books around to whet my appetite. Here is the list of books I read in 2012. And now in 2013 I’m reading on, pursuing God, and allowing words to shape me and to motivate me to change our world.
For life, daily:
The Bible
This year I’m reading the YouVersion One Year Bible and loving it because of the daily readings from the Old & New Testaments, Psalms and Proverbs.
For ministry, understanding orphans, understanding the Russian-speaking world:
by Larry Taunton
For counseling, written by an experienced, professional counselor:
by Dan B. Allender
For inspiration:
Poems by Emily Dickinson (Kindle freebie)
For knowing God and ministering to others:
by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breashears
For challenge, encouragement and wisdom. Definitely a favorite:
by Eric Metaxas
For living the Gospel and coaching others in ministry:
by Scott Thomas
For the intellect:
Paradise Lost (Kindle freebie)
by John Milton
For learning discipleship and mission:
by Alan & Debra Hirsch
For depth of mind and heart:
Czeslaw Milosz: New & Collected Poems (1931- 2001) (still reading)
For learning to live better in the now, with gratitude. Difficult for the visionary type:
by Ann Voskamp
For understanding past and present Europe:
by Tony Judt (still reading)
For knowing Jesus and better communicating who He is to others:
by John Ortberg
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
Proverbs 16:3
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

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