I have a shortage of shelf space. I never seem to have enough bookshelves. Some might say the real problem is too many books, but I’m sticking with my ‘not enough shelves’ angle. Some time ago, the normal vertical-only orientation had to be abandoned and I began stacking horizontal piles in the space on top of most rows. I have my books organized in sections by topic mostly, but this stacks-on-top-of-rows arrangement has forced me to change that up a bit, mostly based on when I read something. New books just get set on the top of a stack.
As I recently placed a finished book on the top of a stack, I thought the column told an interesting story of its own.
- Jump is Efrem Smith’s look at faithful obedience to Christ, even when the outcome is uncertain. You may not see where you’re landing, but don’t let the small fences of life keep you from following Jesus.
- In Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud describes how to create the endings needed to be able to move forward in life. Sometimes there are patterns or jobs or even people that we have to leave behind. That’s often difficult, so we get stuck in avoidance behaviors that keep us mired in unhealthy situations. Endings, as Cloud says, aren’t necessarily negative failures or tragedies to be avoided at all costs… Sometimes they’re a necessary step we must take before we’ll ever be able to take the next one.
- Eugene Peterson takes on our cultural preference for the instant in his description of discipleship as A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Walking through the Psalms of Ascent that have traveled with Hebrew pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for centuries, Peterson holds out their consistent step after step persistence as the pattern disciples follow in response to Jesus. Keep going and growing closer to Him.
- Multipliers is Liz Wiseman’s well researched dig into “how the best leaders make everyone smarter” (which is the book’s subtitle). It’s an organizational leadership book, so as someone who’s convinced that good leadership is a critical component of a healthy church, it was a great look at how to make disciples who are rising up to fully engage their potential in the mission of Jesus.
- Who Is This Man? puts the life of Jesus in historical perspective. John Ortberg examines the impact Jesus made not just in his own day, but in ours as well. Just how could a first century carpenter’s boy in Roman occupied Palestine transform the history of humanity? (Hint: It’s because He is the ultimate multiplier, who humbly jumped the fence of eternity to become one of us and who faithfully executed every necessary ending on His long obedience to make all things new.)
I want to be the kind of leader who’s always growing into the next steps of his journey with Christ. So I read. A lot. I find that often, there’s an underlying current to books I’m reading in a particular time span. This was really evident in this stack. I hear God using writers to echo His own heart as they share theirs. What is He echoing into you? What story do your “stacks” tell? Anything I can help with?