The leaders of First Pres read a lot of varied books in 2021, so we wondered what some of the best were. Here’s what they told us.
“Pursuing a Heart of Wisdom” (John C. Kwasny)
Associate Pastor Billy Craig: This book was about counseling teenagers biblically and by showing God’s love for them. This book deepened my love for Jesus as I dove into all the issues that not only teenagers face today but those same issues which I face. I saw how Jesus loves me even in the midst of all my sin and struggles (issues). My love for Him continues to grow as I understand the Gospel more deeply. His mercy and grace are continually poured out in my life. I am so thankful and blessed. Out of all that I have been given, may I extend this love to all but especially teenagers and those whom I live with may need it from me most of all.
“New Morning Mercies” (Paul David Tripp)
Elder Don Shiflet: The book that has caused me to grow spiritually and to love Jesus more deeply in 2021 is “New Morning Mercies” by Paul David Tripp. The daily meditations and scriptural readings in this book have opened my heart to Christ’s love and showed me how to honor and obey him in every part of life on this earth.
“Prayer in the Night – For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep” (Tish Harrison Warren)
Pastor Jon Heeringa: The book that most deepened my love for Jesus was “Prayer in the Night – For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep” by Tish Harrison Warren. What I particularly loved about the book was the reminder of how ready God is to have us pray and how we can trust God in the “dark” both literal and metaphorical.
“The Reluctant Witness” (Don Everts)
Elder Judy von Seldeneck: I was especially struck by chapter five, which dealt with “delightful conversations.” I, too, have been “reluctant” to start conversations about Jesus and God. This book has helped me to “loosen up my tongue” and start conversations. The more I study the Bible, the better the situations open for me!
“Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers” (Dane Ortland)
Commissioned Lay Pastor for Communications Brad Jenkins: Rarely do I re-read books. But I read this book once and then read it again and discussed it with someone else. The book looks at Jesus’ heart and how he is tenderhearted toward me, even in my most sinful moments. It’s such an incredibly amazing message, that I want to get it from my head to my heart. So, I read it in 2021 and will likely do so again in the years to come.