Top 10 Books I Read In 2012 (Ministry & Fun)

I love to read and had the joy of reading through a number of books in 2012. I thought it would be fun to post my “Top 10 List” both for books I read for ministry and books I read for fun. For me, this was the year for Kindle books – I read most of these on my Kindle App. Several of these books were published this year but that was not necessarily the case for all of them.

Top 10 “Ministry” Books

dc-bookDangerous Calling (Paul Tripp)





gospelGospel (J. D. Greear)





FreshWindFreshFireJimC1598_fFresh Wind, Fresh Fire (Jim Cymbala)





forgotten_godForgotten God (Francis Chan)





LettersLetters To A Young Pastor (Calvin Miller)





pastorThe Pastor As Scholar, The Scholar As Pastor (D. A. Carson and John Piper)





meaningofmarriageThe Meaning of Marriage (Tim Keller)





conviction-to-lead-thumbThe Conviction To Lead (Albert Mohler)





lit!Lit! (Tony Reinke)





measureThe Measure of our Success (Shawn Lovejoy)





Top 10 “Fun” Books

killingkennedy-3dKilling Kennedy (Bill O’Reilly)





Mrs. Kennedy and Me.grid-4x2Mrs. Kennedy And Me (Clint Hill)





Blaze_coverBlaze Of Glory (Jeff Streucker)





CertainJeopardyCertain Jeopardy (Jeff Streucker)





digital-fortressDigital Fortress (Dan Brown)





deceptionDeception Point (Dan Brown)





beyond-tallulah706Beyond Tallulah (Dennis Hamilton)





from_the_hood_to_the_hill_bigFrom The Hood To The Hill (Barry Black)





brokerThe Broker (John Grisham)





Grisham_-_The_Litigators_CoverartThe Litigators (John Grisham)




Rest Is Good

We live in a culture obsessed with productivity and accomplishment. Take a quick break from reading and type the word “productivity” into a Google search. There are hundreds of thousands of articles detailing how readers can be more productive, manage time more efficiently and set better goals. In fact, there are numerous websites devoted solely to these topics. By no means am I saying that these websites are bad or unhelpful, but we must be careful!

I struggle to balance my desire to be more productive with my desperate need for rest. I’m confident that I am not alone! We all hear stories of people who supposedly can sleep 5 hours each night and function at full capacity the next day. We hear about the productivity level of certain people and, inevitably, we feel inadequate. We read blogs of people, who claim to sleep little, exercise constantly, complete once-in-a-lifetime projects daily, read hundreds of books each year, and have a happy family life. Really?!?

Where does rest fit into the picture? How do we understand our desperate need for rest in light of our culture’s obsession with productivity?

Here are some things I was reminded of recently concerning rest:

1. We are created with limitations. One thing is crystal clear (and my wife would echo this statement), I struggle to function on less that 7 hours of sleep. Studies show that most people need between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Our need for sleep reminds us that we are created with limitations. Our limitations point to the fact that we are mortal. They also remind us of our desperate need for God, who is not limited in any capacity.

2. God rested and tells us to rest. After God spent six days creating, he rested. God did not need to rest. He was not tired or overworked. He rested to show us our desperate need for rest. God, our maker, created us with a need: rest. Rest temporarily in this life and ultimate rest forever (eternal life).

3. There is a time for rest and a time to work. We should not live in a constant season of rest. This would be called laziness! There is a time to work and a time to rest. The questions we must ask are, “Am I working when I need to be working and resting when I need to be resting?” “Am I out of balance?” “Am I living as if I am God and I have no limitations?”