Atop my bookcase are about forty books – my “to be read” collection. For a slow reader like me that’s nearly three years’ worth. They include both books I’ve chosen and books I’ve been given. Some folks give me books they’re excited about, and want to share. Others give me books hoping that it will fill some gap in my understanding. I’ve come into some fine books in both ways.
Here are some observations about the books that await me on the shelf:
- Some are for preparation for future preaching and teaching. For example, I’ve been reading books on Isaiah for this summer’s sermon series.
- Some are by authors who have been my mentors (Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Tom Smail, Eugene Peterson, John Wimber, Tim Keller, and John Claypool). I read nearly everything they write.
- Some are sample books from a rising star. For example, I’ll soon read a book by Francis Chan, so that as I hear people speak of him I’ll understand.
- Some are remedial. I realize how little I know of art, so I’m trying to make up for that gap. Likewise with Virginia history. Ever since we moved here, I’ve been learning about where we are.
- Some of the books have been on the shelf for years, waiting for the mood to strike. Others move immediately to the front of the line – usually ones by a favorite author (Keller of late), or on a favorite topic (the Holy Spirit’s presence and power).
What’s your plan for study? How do you choose something of worth? Are there gaps you need to fill? What grabs your heart?
We can certainly serve the Lord better with our minds when we study with a plan. I’d be happy to help you make one!