What Are You Reading?

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  ~Edward P. Morgan

Here’s what I’m currently reading…

1. From Eden to the New Jerusalem, by T. Desmond Alexander.  I’m reading this primarily because I loved his From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch.

2. Contagious Holiness:  Jesus’ Meals with Sinners, by Craig L. Blomberg.  It’s challenging–not so much on an intellectual level, but in its application.

3.  Man and Woman, One in Christ:  An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters, by Philip B. Payne.   I just need to understand this issue as much as possible.

4. The Mentor Leader, by Tony Dungy.  An inspirational read because Dungy is such a man of integrity.  There is application in this book for husbands, parents, teachers, ministry leaders, bosses…there is something for anyone who desires to lead others well in any environment.

5. Great is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God, by Ron Highfield.  This is not a book you’ll want to speed through.  It’s transformational…if you let it be so.

6.  By My Spirit, by Jonathan Goforth.  Writing of his missionary experiences in China, Goforth provides a valuable reminder to all ministry leaders of the need to depend upon and rejoice in God’s work.  His humility and dedication is inspiring.

7.  Sports Illustrated.  It’s football time, so once again I care what’s being talked about in the sport’s world.  Will the Seahawks give us something to cheer about this year???  Maybe???  Please?

What are you reading?  Any recommendations?

It is Mine

There it sits…

right in front of me.

I know what it is–I have seen it before.

I know whose it is–it declares its owner like some haughty personalized plate.

There it sits…

The fruit of my prayers…the wakeful nights spent praying for conviction.  The early mornings tirelessly imploring for a confession.  The sentinel preoccupation of waiting for a sign of repentance.

And now there it sits…

All mine to claim.

Like so many times before, I’ve slipped and fallen back into sin.

I’ve cluttered my thoughts with libraries of judgment.

I’ve crowded my heart with hate, depositing offenses like a frenzied shopper collecting bargains at a clearance sale.

I’ve worn another’s weakness as my own folly.

Like so many times before, I alone stand guilty.

Next to my guilt, sits another truth…

the basin containing the water of forgiveness.

The cut of conviction has been bathed in its mercies before.

Each dip into its warmth and comfort soothes my grief and awakens my poisoned thoughts and heart to live again the life they have been called to live.

There it sits…

My forgiveness.  It is mine.

“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness., let the bones which You have broken rejoice…Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain with a willing spirit…Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, that my tongue may declare your praise”  Psalm 51:7-15.