Best books I read in 2008

This year, I’m so grateful that God gave me more time to read, and He also kept providing for me so that I can keep reading new books (hooray!) :) I’ve been blessed by what I’ve read in these books, so I decided to share a list of some of the books that I really enjoyed this year. Here they are in no particular order:

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A WOMAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART by Elizabeth George

Why it’s on my list: I was reading this during Prayer & Fasting this year. It was the best book for me to read at the start of the year, and it really got me all excited for 2008. I remember that I prayed that I really want to become a woman after God’s own heart!
Notable quote: “God is responsible for presenting the opportunities but we are responsible for cooperating with His efforts to prepare us.”


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JUST LIKE JESUS by Max Lucado

Why it’s on my list: Hmmm. It’s been a while since I read this (it was the 2nd book I read this year), but I remember it being a really good book! Lots of notable quotes.
Notable quote: “Life is tough enough as it is. It’s even tougher when we’re heading in the wrong direction.”


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25 WAYS TO WIN WITH PEOPLE by John Maxwell and Les Parrott

Why it’s on my list: It’s the first John Maxwell book I ever read, and I’m glad I read it or else I probably wouldn’t be where I am today (i.e. being certified as a Maxwell trainer). It’s an excellent book for those who want to improve their relational skills.
Notable quotes:
“It takes quantity time to find quality time.”
“Be kind…everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”


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DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER by David Gregory

Why it’s on my list: I read this on the plane ride back from the US early this year. I was traveling by myself and was going through a trying season, and I was hit really hard by this book. It’s a great book to read for those who feel like they need to have a relationship (or a better relationship) with Jesus.
Notable quote: “You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backward. You’re like a kid who doesn’t want to leave for Disney World because he’s having fun making mud pies by the curb. He doesn’t realize that what’s being offered is so much better.”


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YOUR ROAD MAP FOR SUCCESS by John Maxwell

Why it’s on my list: It totally changed my perspective on success. I quote Maxwell on this all the time.
Notable quote: “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds to benefit others.”


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THE PRINCIPLES AND POWER OF VISION by Dr. Myles Munroe

Why it’s on my list: It was the only book I took with me when I went on that Asian cruise with my family and I had just resigned from my full-time job. Every morning on the ship, I would find a quiet place to read this book. It helped take away my anxiety and it got me excited about the future.
Notable quote: “Vision isn’t about us. It’s about God and His purposes.”


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THE STOREHOUSE PRINCIPLE by Al Jandl and Van Crouch

Why it’s on my list: I am not good with numbers. Investments, savings, deposits, bonds, stocks–they all make me dizzy. I bought it because on the back is said that “Storehouse people: become good stewards of God’s resources * develop financial stability * overcome the fear of financial lack and poverty * accelerate debt reduction * learn to manage their current income * are positioned to act on financial opportunities * acquire godly contentment with hope for tomorrow * master their money instead of their money mastering them * are generous proactive givers * fulfill their divine destiny in God * leave a legacy for those they love” — Wouldn’t you want to pick up this book, too? :) I’m glad I read this; it really changed my perspective on money.
Notable quote: Hmmm. You have to read the entire thing to truly appreciate it. It’s really easy to read.

Book - Teaching to Change Lives (www.LifeWayStores.com)

TEACHING TO CHANGE LIVES by Dr. Howard Hendricks

Why it’s on my list: After resigning from my full-time job, I was totally committed to becoming a teacher, and hopefully a good one. I found this on sale in OMF and I bought it immediately. Great insights on teaching.
Notable quote: “Effective teaching comes only through a changed person. The more you change, the more you become an instrument of change in the lives of others.”


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HAVING A MARY HEART IN A MARTHA WORLD by Joanna Weaver

Why it’s on my list: I bought this on a whim at the Victory Fort bookstore during our ENLI class break. It was just the book I needed to read at that time because I was feeling tired and restless. It’s a great book to read for women who are feeling weary.
Notable quote: (this is POWERFUL!)
“Satan’s never been terribly creative. The tools he uses today are the same tools as he’s always used–and no wonder, for they’ve been quite effective…Satan still plans his attacks around what I call the ‘Three Deadly Ds of Destruction.’ They are: Distraction, Discouragement, and Doubt. Throughout time, Satan has resorted to these tactics to bring down God’s best and brightest. The underlying strategy is fairly simple: Get people’s eyes off God and on their circumstances. Make them believe that their ‘happiness’ lies in the ‘happenings’ that surround them. Or send then good news–about somebody else. When they’re thoroughly discouraged, tell them God does’t care. Then sit back and let doubt do its work. It’s really a brilliant strategy when you think of it. Plant the Deadly Ds deep in human hearts, and sooner or later, people will destroy themselves. Unless of course, someone intervenes–which is exactly what Jesus came to do.”

P.S. I also recommend a good follow-up to this book, HAVING A MARY SPIRIT, also by Weaver.

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BLUE LIKE JAZZ by Donald Miller

Why it’s on my list: Derek and Amanda told me about this book at the start of the year. I finally found a copy at OMF a couple of months ago and I’m glad I decided to get it. This was fun to read because it’s a different kind of book. It’s very personal. I like Donald Miller’s writing style–he’s so witty and clever, and the way he writes is so refreshing.
Notable quotes:
“In exchange for our humility and willingness to accept the charity of God, we are given a kingdom. And a beggar’s kingdom is better than a proud man’s delusion.”
“If you don’t love somebody, it gets annoying when they tell you what to do or what to feel. When you love them you get pleasure from their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve.”


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THE GRAND WEAVER by Ravi Zacharias

Why it’s on my list: Ravi Zacharias. Need I say more? :) I gave my Stabilo highlighter a tough time while I was reading this. I gave my copy away (with all the highlights!) at our small group Christmas party the other night. We were supposed to give someone a personal item that is meaningful to us that we’re willing to let go of. Since it’s one of the best books I read this year, I thought that it would be a good idea to bless someone else with it.
Notable quote: “Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.” (Isn’t that awesome?)

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IF YOU WANT TO WALK ON WATER, YOU’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT by John Ortberg

Why it’s on my list: I tend to hold back a lot because I’m a very careful person. I’m not a fan of taking risks. I took this book with me during a work trip to Bicol. I had a whole free day and it was raining outside, so I stayed in the hotel and devoured it in a couple of hours. I felt like the entire book was speaking to me, and I really needed to hear what it had to say.
Notable quotes:
“Each time you get out of the boat, you become a little more likely to get out the next time. It’s not that the fear goes away, but that you get used to living with fear. You realize that it does not have the power to destroy you.”
“You did not arrive on this planet with your calling pre-clarified and your gifts pre-developed. You arrived with a little warning:
Some assembly required.
“Too often we want God’s resources but we do not want his timing. We want the penny, but not the minute. We forget that his work in us while we wait is as important as what it is we think we are waiting for.”


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THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF APOLOGY by Dr. Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas and THE LOVE LANGUAGES OF GOD by Dr. Gary Chapman

Why they’re on my list: I’m a fan of Chapman’s books. I think his insights on the love languages are so helpful. I’ve read the Five Love Languages for Singles and the Five Love Languages for Children (because I have 4 nephews!) and I really liked them both. Naturally, I gravitated towards these two books. Two home runs for Chapman. Very helpful again.

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S.H.A.P.E.: FINDING AND FULFILLING YOUR PURPOSE FOR LIFE by Erik Rees

Why it’s on my list: This book is the follow-up to Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life. Erik Rees took over the writing duties (although Warren wrote the Foreword). I love it, and I refer to it often when I teach.
Notable quotes:
“He is the master craftsman; we are like clay in his hands. His role is to carefully shape us; ours is to remain pliable, allowing him to do so. It’s amazing how well the process works when we cooperate!”

“Go to God with empty hands and uncrossed fingers.”

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COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones

Why it’s on my list: One week before my first “official” talk as a youth trainer/speaker, I was so nervous. I’m petrified of public speaking (although people say they would never be able to tell, I know how queasy I really am!), and I had no idea how I was going to pull off a 30-minute motivational talk (i.e. walking around on stage and not looking at any cue cards or notes). I am so thankful that I spotted this book at the display window of the Victory Fort bookstore. I finished it in one night and it changed the way I do talks forever. It’s a must-read for every speaker/teacher/preacher!
Notable quotes:
“Every talk is a journey. You start somewhere, you go somewhere, and you ultimately end up somewhere. The question is, did you end up where you wanted to go?”
“My effectiveness comes from knowing where I’m going and getting there.”
“Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not effective. The best tools are.”
“It’s God who really does the talking. We’re just the mouthpieces.”


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GOD’S BLOGS by Lanny Donoho

Why it’s on my list: My cousins gave it to me for my birthday because they know I love God and I love blogging. It was an awesome choice. It’s a very easy-to-read book. It’s poignant and meaningful, but also so much fun to read. Lanny Donoho is BRILLIANT.
Notable quotes:
“Reflections happen best when you are standing near to that which you want to reflect.”
“God is light. When you know Him, you see better. When you see better, you don’t get hurt as much.”
“The only way to really get what you want is to give it up. Then you’ll get what you really want way down in the depths of your soul.”

and last but DEFINITELY not the least:

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THE BIBLE

Why it’s on my list: It guides me, leads me, speaks to me, rebukes me, enlightens me, protects me, and comforts me–time and time again. (The photo on the left shows the Bible that got me through the year, my TNIV/The Message:REMIX parallel Bible. Sadly, it got soaked and it looks old already, but it still rocks! People have been asking me where I found this. It’s not available in the Philippines, I ordered it on Amazon.)
Notable quotes: Too many to mention. But let me put the verse I’m holding on to today–“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” -Psalm 55:22

How about you? I’d love to know your recommendations! :)

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