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    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    My Book Recommendations from 2010

    If you've known me for any length of time, you know me to be a reader.  I love to read, I love getting inspired by others, learning from others and seeking to better myself and my walk with Christ by reading what other Christians have written.  I'm a bit slow on the list this year and have been slow on writing so far in January because I've been working on my manuscript and copy edits from the publisher for my coming book: Pinocchio Vs. The Real Boy.  However, that is all past so I will be actively blogging once again  "YAY!"

      Below are the 25 books that hit me this past year.  Some are Super amazing, others are just fantastic for the genre they represent.  Enjoy!

    P.S.  These are in order as I read them during the year, not of how much I like them...

    1. Deep Church- Jim Belcher
      This book asks if there is a 3rd way to look at church.  Not Emerging/Emergent or Traditional views of the church, but a new, fresh, 3rd way.  It's a great read and I wrote up a blog about it last year here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/01/deep-church.html

    2. Total Church- Chester and Timmis
    This was just a great book on how we do Church.  What is a church that looks at the Totality of church really look like?

    3. Middle School Ministry- Oestreicher and Rubin
    By far my FAVORITE book written to Middle School Youth Pastors about Middle School Ministry!  I've given away 10 copies of this book because it's just that freakin good!  I have read this now 2 years in a row and will probably read it again this coming year: 2011 because it is so full of great, usable content.  It's practical, yet informative at the same time.  Thanks Marko!

    4. Love & War- John and Stasi Eldridge
    This is hands down the BEST book on Marriage I have ever read.  I've read several books and this one just spoke to me.  I love John Eldridge and the way he writes about manhood, so he and his wife writing on marriage was GOLDEN.  I highly recommend this book to couples.  I wrote a blog on it earlier last year here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/02/love-and-war-book-review.html

    5. Confessions- St. Augustine
    Just a good classic read by and old Saint.  I had never read anything from Augustine and I heard this was a great place to start.  His authentic transparency was convicting because of how deeply honest he was.  It's a book that is somewhat heady but also very narrative in nature.

    6. A Multi-Site Road Trip- Bird, Ligon and Surratt
    One of the journey's that ACAC feels like God is calling them to as a church is the journey of Multi-Site.  This book is an incredible resource for any church/pastor/congregant who finds themselves in a community asking the multi-site questions.  It helps frame the why's and how's and I couldn't put it down.  I also blogged on this book here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/03/multi-site-road-trip.html

    7. Patrick- Stephen R. Lawhead
    The Best Fantasy novel of the year for me.  I've owned this book for about 3 years and finally picked it up in the middle of last year.  It was a refreshing read full of interesting stories and amazing events.  Some of the story is quite true to what actually happened to Saint Patrick, so that in depth information also helped me understand Patrick better.

    8. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe- Mark Driscoll
    This was a great book outlining Christian Doctrine.  I enjoyed getting into the Christian Doctrine again and hearing it from a Pastor I respect.

    9. The Early Tozer: A Word in Season- A.W. Tozer
    This Year was the year of Tozer for me.  I resonate so much with his works and ejoyed reading some of his great highlights, so much so that it ignited me on a path to read more of his books this past year!

    10.  Get Outta My Face!- Rick Horne
    My boss, Scott asked me to read this book and review it and I did.  I was surprised to enjoy the book thoroughly and did a 10 page review to hand out to parents and leaders alike so they can glean the great things from this book that I did.  The review can be found here: http://www.archive.org/details/GetOuttaMyFaceSummaryreview

    11.  A Passion for God (Bio. Of A.W. Tozer)- Lyle Dorsett
    This has got to be my favorite book of the year!  I was challenged by Tozer's life in so many ways.  His heart for God, His passion for Ministry and his emphasis on the Holy Spirit resonated deep within me and birthed an even deeper desire to follow Christ full-heartedly.  I've never been a reader of Biography's but there was just something about this book.  I couldn't put it down and I bet you won't be able to either.  If there is a book I would say is a 2011 MUST read, it's this one! Here's the blog I wrote up about this book: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/04/passion-for-god.html

    12.  The Knowledge of the Holy- A.W. Tozer
    Again, like I said, 2010 was the year of Tozer for me.  His passion for God is contagious and he dumped that passion into every page of his writing.  This book is a short, but deep book on the Holiness of God and the Character of God.  I strongly recommend this book.  I wrote some thoughts up on some things Tozer said in this book here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/06/fearing-god.html and here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/12/omniscience-of-god.html

    13.  Exponential- Jon and Dave Ferguson
    Another book about Church.  There is much to say about this book but much of it I already said here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/05/exponential-starting-reproducing.html  If you're a pastor, I will say this though: You should read this book!

    14.  Ethnic Blends- Deymaz & Li
    It seems when I like a book, I write all about it, because I blogged on this one too!  This book is all about how to and why we should set up a multi-ethnic group of people (mainly within the church). It was an impactful and insightful book that I even used to help develop a series for my Middle School students called: Ethnic Mosaic.  To read what I blogged on it, go here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/06/etnic-blends-multi-ethnic-coffee.html

    15.  Power in the Blood- Charles Spurgeon
    Loved the depth and ease of this book.  Spurgeon was known as the "Prince of Preachers" and I can see, from this book why he was dubbed with that title.  He is a fantastic communicator and this book has given me the itch for more, so I went out and bought The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon, which I am eagerly awaiting the time to read (since it is well over 1,000 pages long).

    16.  Gems From Tozer- A.W. Tozer
    Yet another Tozer book.  Like I said, I just kept getting so much stuff from him, that it was hard to not read every book of his in 2010.  This was another compilation of several of his good works.  I found a couple of the same quotes and what-not from the other books I read of his, but it was a good refresher none-the-less.

    17.  How to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit- A.W. Tozer
    Great, short book on the Holy Spirit.  It is a must read for every believer and is very easy to read.  So...go get a copy already!

    18. Trouble in Paris- Mark Sayers
    Great book on culture and how it effects us.  Spurred me on to use some of what it talked about in one of my talks this year with the Middle Schoolers!

    19.  Evil and the Justice of God- N.T. Wright
    I was blessed to get this book for free, but I would've paid what is cost to read it.  This book is a great resource for any believer to look at Evil and God's Justice.  N.T. has a deep way about him but is still easily understood with what he talks about.  This book caused me to step back and think even more about these two subjects than I had previously.  Again, I blogged on this book earlier in the year here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/07/evil-and-justice-of-god.html

    20.  Wired for Intimacy- Struthers
    This was one of the BEST books I have ever read on Porn and it's effect on the male brain.  I was dumbfounded by the power it has to take over the male brain and also weirded out by it.  This book, if used properly could be a great asset to parents, youth pastors, wives and men (OK, well...anyone!) in the battle against Porn and Porn addiction!  I blogged on this book as well here: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/08/wired-for-intimacy.html
    21.  Jonathan Edwards- Douglas Sweeney
    Inspired by my Tozer biography, I ventured out to read my second biography for the year and was not disappointed!  This was another excellent read.  I feel like a broken record saying this, but I blogged on this book.  Here is the blog address: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/07/jonathan-edwards-book-review.html

    22.  Tozer: The Mystery of the Holy Spirit
    The year of Tozer continues!  This was a more in depth book on the Holy Spirit and was very challenging to me and my faith.  I love the way Tozer writes, so this was an amazingly refreshing read for me.

    23.  The Skin Map- Stephen R. Lawhead
    I have read almost every Lawhead book written and have found myself enjoying all of them.  This was a Sci-Fi Thriller type and was very enjoyable.  Here is the blog on this one: http://youthmaster.blogspot.com/2010/08/skin-map-book-review.html
    24.  God’s Pursuit of Man- A.W. Tozer
    Another book by Tozer and yet another great one.  Deeply profound topic on how God deeply desires intimate relationship with His children.

    25.  The Radical Cross- A.W. Tozer
    Last, but not least...another Tozer book!  This one was more of an essayesque book which was quite interesting because it flowed, but didn't flow which made it tougher to read but it was an amazingly deep and rich book about the Cross of Christ!

    Hope to have given you some great resources to read.  I enjoyed these books very much and love to share what God is using to grow me!  So, read some, read all or read none of the above but know they are good if you want something good to read!