“Till I come, give attendance to reading…” – 1 Timothy 4:13a KJV
New Years is the time for setting goals. Most of us do this, either formally or just as a passive metal thought, and most of us will fail in these goals. Still, whether we fail or not, some goals are worth having. The attempt is always more likely to lead to some success than never trying.
For me, this past year was to increase my reading throughout the year. To do so can be a challenge when you are a husband, a father of two young girls, holding a job that covers at least 50 hours a week on average, taking classes and involved in much ministry in addition to this. So I wanted to share with you some things I have employed to help redeem my time as well as share with you my reading list from 2014 in hopes it may help you as well.
Three Ways to Redeem Your Time:
I prefer traditional books. I like to underline, highlight, bookmark and feel the creases in the spine of a paperback. But there are many different types of media available now. For example, do not overlook audio books. You can read through these on you commute to work. If you own an I-pad you can use the accessibility features to read Kindle book audibly that are not available in a traditional audio format. One advantage of audio book is that for some of us hearing helps with grasping content.
In addition to audio formats, kindle books make it easier to always have a book with you when you have some free time, waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. It hard to carry your bible with you 24-7, but with kindle and bible apps like Logos you can always have it at your fingertips.
Kill the television. Seriously…if you only calculated your wasted time watching sports, commercials and reality shows you would see how much productivity you have lost. Yes, I did say sports. Watching and following sports has become a great distraction to the Christian community. I have noticed that Christians have a better ability to describe for you what their team did last week than what they read in their bibles during the same period. Believe me, I’ve asked. Have you ever marveled at the amount of sermons Spurgeon preached or the work accomplished by John Calvin? Remember they didn’t have the distractions of entertainment we have today…and they also disciplined themselves. Something that is lacking in today’s culture.
So there are some quick tips that can help you increase your reading in 2015. Below are the books I worked through this year. I am not a fast reader and it was challenging…but also very rewarding. Feel free to share with use some of the books you have read this year that didn’t make my list.
2014 reading list:
- The Bible (read through completely in one year)
- An Eschatology of Hope-Marcellus Kik
- How to Give Your Faith Away-Paul E. Little
- Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible- Rasmussen
- (Portions of) Interpreting the Psalms- Mark D. Futato
- An Historical Survey of the Old Testament- Eugene H. Merrill
- The Message of the Prophets- J. Daniel Hays
- From Paradise to the Promised Land- T. Desmond Alexander
- Dominion and Dynasty- Stephen Dempster
- What is Biblical Theology- Hamilton
- For Us and For Our Salvation – Nichols
- The Story of Christianity Vol. 1 – Gonzalez
- The Story of Christianity Vol. 2 – Gonzalez
- A Concise History of Christian Thought –Tony Lane
- Readings in the History of Christian Theology Vol.2- Placher
- Apocity: The Greatest Omission- George Alverado
- (Portions of) Everyday Evangelism- Matt Queen
- Institutes of the Christian religion- John Calvin (In Progress)
- The Old Religion in a New World- Mark Noll
- Anne of Green Gables- L.M. Montgomery (With my girls)
- The Swiss Family Robinson- Johann David Wyss (In Progress with my girls)
- Reformation Heroes- Kleyn (In Progress with my girls)
- The Electric Sky – Donald E. Scott (You may not have an interest in astronomy, but this has a great apologetic against evolutionary cosmology from a nonbeliever within the first few chapters.)
- A sketch of the life and Works of George Whitfield- J.C. Ryle
- Confessions – Saint Augustine
- The Gospel according to Jesus- John MacArthur
- The Crisis of Islam – Bernard Lewis
- David Livingstone – Lora Clement
- Organizing for Success – Zeigler
- How to Pray – R. A. Torey
- Purpose in Prayer- E.M. Bonds
- With Christ in the School of Prayer – Andrew Murray (This was a re-read. Great book.)