Talk to you soon.
As a result, I have a high awareness of good books on a variety of subjects. I've been told that I have the spiritual gift of bibliography-- I almost always have a book recommendation for a particular problem or issue. And, as an extension of that (and following in the pattern of several friends and others whose blogs I read), I thought I would start logging my reading habits here.
Most months, I finish at least two or three books during the month and begin others. Every now and then, I hit a peculiar month: while I continue to read, I don't actually finish any books! Whether its because I've spent a good bit of time writing, I've been reading magazines or other periodicals, or I've been reading parts of lots of books, I just don't make a lot of progress through any single volume.
January was one of those months. Thus, my first post sharing my reading with you is somewhat anti-climactic, I freely admit.
Just so that I don't leave it at that, here's the list of books that I am currently reading:
- The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott
- The Shadow of the Cross by Walter Chantry
- The Challenge of Jesus by N. T. Wright
- The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink
- How Your Church Family Works by Peter L. Steinke
At some point, I wondered if there might be a book-length project in this material, or even more than one. I first posted about this idea in July 2006-- so it is something that has been percolating for a while. Since then, I've gone through different stages of prepping for that-- including copying all of my posts into a very useful writing application (and discovering that I had more than enough material already for a book-length project-- and also realizing that about half of the book had barely been discussed); drafting a book proposal; getting great feedback from a trusted friend and fellow writer that I should divide the material into two books; writing a grant (that was rejected) for additional research for my book; actually losing the final draft of my book proposal; and putting all of it (including the Placement Reflections blog) on indefinite hold as I transitioned into pastoral ministry.
Now, the time is right for me to pick it up again over the coming months. I think there are several reasons why the timing is good:
- For starters, I've actually done the transition now, and I'm finishing up my examinations for ordination; Lord willing, I'll be ordained by mid-March. Since I first began to discuss doing a book, this has been the biggest hang-up for those who I've interacted with, and while I still believe that the research I've done could stand on its own in this regard, the added (and possibly fundamental) credibility of having actually done it means a lot.
- Next, approaching the completion (hopefully!) of ordination means that a major item that has been on my plate is finished. I'm settling into ministry well, and the other consulting and side work I'm doing is also reaching a manageable pace. So I have the capacity, I think, to re-focus on this project. Worst case, I'll start up and then slow down again, but we'll see.
- I'm eager to publish this material-- mainly because I really want to see men (and women) helped with their transition into ministry. Like I said above, I have a burdened heart for this.
- Finally, my friend Craig is setting his sights on finishing his (latest) book up this year, too-- and I think it would be cool to go through that together. Maybe we'll covenant to pray for one another in that, or at least be good support; Craig has been a great encourager of my writing in general.
By the way, if you don't already subscribe to ByFaith, I would highly recommend it (and not just because I write for them)-- it is a good magazine that offers a helpful look at many diverse topics.
sermon is for this Sunday
will it be worthy?