Subtle influences of community

In one of my many bids to put off house cleaning yesterday I sat down to finish the last chapter of “Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson. We were reading it as a part GraceSLO’s Thursday morning book study for men: Connect.

After I’d completed it I started looking at my bookshelf which was in serious need of dusting. A book caught my eye that I had bought to read before last years mission conference. Thoroughly distracted from cleaning I started thinking about all the books that I had bought over the years because I was a part of Grace Church SLO.

Mission conference books, books for adult bible fellowship classes, books that were recommended by brothers and sisters, or that I bought so I could read and discuss with others. I gathered all the books I could find that had a Grace Church connection and I stacked them on my kitchen table. There are 4 more that I know are missing, lent out, lost and given away. 16 books in all. And those are just the ones that I remember.

With the exception of “Systematic Theology”, where I’ve just read a chapter here and there, I have read nearly every page. Not every book was a winner, some I couldn’t recommend without qualification, but each had its value and place.

Until I stacked them all up I hadn’t really thought about how Grace Church had encouraged and guided my Christ centered reading.

Almost 5,000 pages of my bookshelves.

One more thing about GraceSLO to be thankful for, and one more thing I will miss when I move to Dallas.

The list of titles, authors, and motivation in no particular order:

  • Missions in the 3rd Millenium : Stan Guthrie – The mission team was reading this and the chair, Jim, thought it would give us something to discuss as the two of us met. I read it, we never discussed it. 😀
  • Reason For God : Tim Keller – Connect book study
  • Radical : David Platt – Lent to me by Mike Alshouse, a member of the mission team. After I read it I bought my own copy and promptly lent it out.
  • Madness : Jossy Chako – 2011 Mission conference book, and speaker.
  • Don’t Waste Your Life : John Piper – Grace and other central coast churches brought John Piper to the central coast for a conference in 2008. I bought it and read it in preperation.
  • Heavenly Man : Brother Yun – Mission conference book, our speaker was Peter Xu, who spent some time in prison with the author of this book.
  • The Discipline of Grace : Jerry Bridges – Studied in our 2:42 ABF (I got to teach on the chapter about meditating on the word)
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl : N.D. Wilson – Connect book study
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven : Don Piper – A growth group member wanted to know if I’d read this book and what I thought of it, I eventually picked it up and read it.
  • The Pleasures of God : John Piper – Connect book study
  • Spiritual Leadership : J. Oswald Sanders – Connect book study
  • Crosstalk : Michael R. Emlet – Given out to growth group shepherds during our leaders get together
  • Why We Love The Church : Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck – Connect book study
  • Torches of Joy : John Dekker – Mission conference book for 2010 (I think)
  • A Tree of God’s Planting : Ruthie Peterson – Book about the history of Grace church produced for the 75th anniversary celebration
  • Systematic Theology : Wayne Grudem – The pastors and elders were going through this book and pastor Tim on the Life Together blog suggested we join them, I decided to pick it up as a resource.


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