Unpacking Boxes and Life Change

It has been a crazy, challenging and good first two weeks in Grand Rapids.  

Here are a very quick update and an explanation why the above picture is so important to me.

Quick Update:
  • School:  The kids and Krista are at Northpointe Christian School.  Also, Krista is working at the elementary school 20 hours a week.  To help us have all three kids at NPC, God has provided in some amazing ways.  Of all the kids, Josiah was the one who seemed to be struggling the most with school.  That is until soccer started and he found out they do their 6th-grade outdoor education at Lake Ann the end of September. 
  • I am getting settled into my office.  Most books unloaded.  Evernote on my computer.  I am preparing for my first message next Sunday night.  It is interesting joining a staff where Doug Crawford has been here 30+ years, Dave Parmerlee (business and missions) has been here 20+ years, Tim Anderson (children) has been here 10+ years and I have been here 1 week now.  They have been great in helping me make connections with them and others in the church. 
  • We are still looking for a house.  No strong leads as of right now.  The families we have been staying with are great and the houses are awesome.  In both situations, the kids have their own living area.  But it is challenging living out of suitcases and boxes.
In unpacking boxes of books at my church office, I have been reminded over and over again the impact different books and writers have had on my life and my ministry.
Here are a couple of books that have made a tremendous impact on me. At later time I might write more about these and other books that have influenced and changed me. 

The Holy Bible by God
Obviously this is THE BOOK that has changed my life.  Over and over again God has shown my what a great God He is through this book.  The truth of the Gospel is contained in its pages.  Above all other books the Bible needs to be read and used as the standard of truth.  Blessed by a Forgotten Bible Reading and Reading about Reading are two posts I wrote about reading and Bible reading
Matthias Media's The Trellis and the Vine and The Vine Project) by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
Matthias Media has many great resources out.  The Trellis and the Vine and The Vine Project have greatly impact how I believe ministry should be done.  Page 14 of The Trellis and the Vine as a quote that I have used many times and has been a go-to idea of mine - "To be a disciple is to be called t make new disciples."  Disciples make Disciples.
I Will by Thom Rainer
I have used this book in Bible classes and have recommended it to help people understand how they should be living in community.  HERE is a podcast about the 9 marks of an outward focused Christian.  This book fleshes out many of the Trellis and the Vine principles in a practical way.
Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper
I first read this worship focused book on missions while in the Dominican Republic.  Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.  HERE is the Desiring God link to order the book and watch a preview video.
Gaining by Losing by J.D. Greear
At the end of August last year, I picked up this book and read it in less than a week.  Greear challenges churches to think more about Gospel Growth and sending out leaders rather than Numerical Growth and growing a crowd.  HERE are some previous posts about this book.
Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp
As Paul David Tripp explains, God’s plan can be summed up in a sentence: people in need of change helping people in need of change. He calls all His children to participate in ministry all the time.  HERE is Paul Tripp's official page
Family Ministry Field Guide by Timothy Paul Jones
Timothy Paul Jones book really started my thinking about developing a children's ministry model that teaches and encourages parent to be the primary disciple maker in their child's life.  The other thing I appreciate about Timothy Paul Jones is that he understands this book is not the final word on family ministry.  As a matter of fact, recently he wrote a three blog posts retractatio.
Radical by David Platt
I know there have been many people who have critiqued this book in articles and books.  I even own two books that I believe were written in response to Radical.  Boring by Michael Kelly and Ordinary by Michael Horton.  Yet Platt's book and sermon series by the same name have really helped me to examine my own life and what I really value. 
When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch
This book on the fear of man has greatly influenced how I think about ministry.  I need to focus my heart and eyes on God, not man.  I have also used it in a couple of Biblical counseling situations.  HERE is a review of the book at 9Marks.

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