No, I’m not Oprah, although we may be in the same weight class. Because I’m not Oprah, I won’t be giving away free stuff. But I can tell you some of what I’ve enjoyed the most in 2008.
Books – My favorite book of the year is actually an old one: The Heart of a Servant Leader by Jack Miller. It’s a compilation of letters written by Jack Miller, pastor of New Life Presbyterian and founder of World Harvest Mission. They’re so full of gospel that I keep a copy on my desk so I can read a letter or two when I need to be re-centered. An excellent book.
I didn’t reach my reading goals this year, but I thoroughly enjoyed Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (a must-read if you are an ordinary pastor), Why We’re Not Emergent (strikes a good tone in its critique), volumes one and two of Iain Murray’s biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (which reminded me that most of the issues we deal with really aren’t new), and Tim Keller’s new books The Prodigal God and The Reason for God (the gospel for believers and unbelievers). Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns was also a highlight from the year.
Blogs – I read way too many blogs, but three of my favorites are newer. Trevin Wax is an awesome book reviewer and an insightful blogger. I love his stuff. Tullian Tchividjian is a must-read. Another newish one is Ed Stetzer’s blog. The more I read him, the more I like him. I could probably list about fifty that I really appreciate, but these three would be at the top of the list.
By the way, I keep seeing my friend Bill Kinnon’s blog making the list of people’s favorites, and he deserves it.
Blog Post – For some reason, this post by Steve McCoy called “How I hit REFRESH” stands out as the most helpful post I read all year.
Sermon Downloads – When I have a Tim Keller sermon and a Matt Chandler sermon on my iPod, I never know which one to listen to first. But I usually go with Keller. Both are excellent and help me a lot.
Podcast – I’m really becoming a fan of Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe. He’s Canada’s answer to Garrison Keillor. I started listening to him to learn how to tell stories better, but now I just listen to him for the sheer pleasure.
These are just a few of my favorite things from the past year.