Some exceptional books reviewed by Mike Betts

Mike Betts on Lowestoft Beach

Every now and again I find I have waded through a whole pile of books. I am not a fast reader and tend to scribble and highlight things I find interesting or require extra thought, rather than plough through them relentlessly.

Anyway a few I think have some merit to them for various reasons are described below – I hope they are helpful!

Leading on Empty – Wayne Cordiero
I enjoyed his perspective on building in rhythms to life to help those in ministry pace themselves over the long haul. I liked his imagery of the marathon runner who must take in fluids at regular points and that if a runner feels thirsty he has already gone past the point when fluids were required – the point being a balanced rhythm to work and life is essential. Very practical and worthy of a read.

Mystery of Providence – John Flavel
This is a magnificent classic. My pen was highlighting and marking on almost every page. Stunning! Buy it. Read it slowly and savour it like a nice single malt.

For example: ‘We read: can two walk together unless they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)….. Providences and Scriptures all go one way, and if they seem at any time to go different or opposite ways, be sure they will meet at the journey’s end. There is an agreement between them to do so’ – quite brilliant! Includes some refreshing reflections on death for the saints of God: seldom talked about these days.

God on Mute – Pete Grieg
Now this is, without doubt, on my top shelf of great books (as is Flavel). Perhaps it is because much of his life circumstances I can readily associate with, perhaps it is because of his outstanding writing style, perhaps it is because of the breadth of theological sources he draws on. Whatever it is this, is a must read. In these days there is increased desire to see demonstrations of God’s kingdom through healing especially. We must have a theology that allows for failure and mystery and also an appropriate culture within church life that honours those who walk in great love for God even when they continue to be sick or in pain after prayer – such should not be the subject of further speculation or probing ministry attempts. This book comments honestly on some of the sad and somewhat immature side of church life in regard to how people are treated. Yet it is not a book of complaints but of dignity, maturity and quite profound reflection. A must read for anyone who ever prays for healing or has issues of mystery in their own lives.

Good to Great and Social Sector Addition – Jim Collins
This is a fascinating look into what makes a company or organisation not just good but great. The hallmarks of a level five leader make interesting reading and I will not spoil your read. There is also a smaller additional booklet written with specific application to the social sector.

Paul the Apostle – John Pollock
I like this because I can imagine the scenes he paints. It is extra-biblical in the story telling but never unbelievable and always tethered well to the narrative and epistles. Again worth a read in these days of multiplication of apostolic ministry to get something of the flavour of the early church in this regard.

I also encourage you to read the great titles published through Lastword Publications. As you continue to support them we can see more great wisdom and values put into print.

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