Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How To Worship Jesus Christ by Joseph Carroll

Recently Ryan Brown, Jamin Boyer, and I had the privilege to visit Dr. Tim Jayne's new office. It's beautiful, roomy, and as ideal as any preacher could imagine. We talked, had a great visit, and as Dr. Jayne is known to do, he gave us each a book. In addition to teaching college students the Bible, he is well known as one who encourages preachers to read fine books. I appreciate that emphasis in his ministry. There is an obvious passion in him that I share on that subject.

While there he recommended a book that he wishes every pastor would read--"How To Worship Jesus Christ". He has given scores of this book away over the years. Strangely, I already had the book and it was laying in a pile of books that I intended to read soon. Somehow, it was never the book I selected. I think I got it in a box of books I picked up at a library sale.

Since he told us that many pastors he has introduced the book to read it every year, I read it right away. The book fully lived up to its reputation. He was a missionary for many years and the contents of this book were worked out in those days of service. His influences command respect. He called Hudson Taylor "the father of modern faith missions" (emphasis mine). A. W. Tozer, who never fails to challenge me, was clearly his greatest influence.

He effectively made the case for what our private time is all about. He says, "My quiet time then became something for Him, not something for me." The great need, he says, is to worship Christ until He becomes real to you. That grows into it being about Him, not even the people to whom you minister. Perhaps preachers talking of that concept today learned it here. In any case, I have never heard it better said.

He quotes Phil 3:8 "...that I may win Christ" and spoke of intimate fellowship with Christ being the key. He explains that people who must always be pushed to do things like witnessing or supporting missions have a serious problem. Then he continues: "What was Paul always doing? He is consistently bringing you to Christ and leaving you with Christ." To my mind, that is profound. Nuggets that really challenge you continue to the end of the book.

The book is still in print by Moody (My copy is older). Amazon.com and others have inexpensive used copies while a new copy can be gotten from CBD for $8.19 (Christianbook.com)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Still Hour by Austin Phelps

Here's a book on prayer from the 1800s. I read once sometime ago that Peter Masters recommended the book and said it was "once enormously popular." My copy includes a quote from Spurgeon saying the author "seems to truly and completely know the power of prayer." It seems this book fell off the map for decades. Used copies can be found and Solid Ground Christian Books has a beautiful paperback volume in print now for an economical price. Check solid-ground-books.com.

I have at least 20 volumes on prayer in my library and nothing quite moved me like this one. As a young Christian John R. Rice's "Prayer: Asking and Receiving"  helped me as did R. A. Torrey's volume on prayer. Mrs. Rosalind Goforth's volume on "How I know God Answers Prayer" is not to be missed as well.

"The Still Hour" is a book, though, I wonder how I missed all these years. Read it at your own risk. I was greatly convicted and concluded I didn't pray at all.

Listen to these chapter titles to get an idea of what you will encounter in this volume:

Absence of God in Prayer
Unhallowed Prayer
Romance in Prayer
Idolatry in Prayer

and many more. It's only 136 pages, but a phenomenal read. 

Hello

As an avid book lover, particularly in Bible study, I get asked about recommendations fairly often. I am not an expert in any way, but as a pastor I spend a great deal in time in these type books.

I'd love to hear from others too. Just this week I received a recommendation that has proven to be extraordinary. I'll write about it later.

We live in a digital age, but my heart is in the past. I want to feel the book, hold it in my hands, and put in on my shelf often with scribbled notes inside.