3 books that have profoundly influenced my life


I have to be honest about two things. First, I should state that I was influenced by the authors, not just the books themselves. I have since read many books by many of these men and enjoy the conversation I have with each one. Second, with the exception of John Piper, the authors on this list are dead. God has used them in a mighty way past the years he has given them on this earth. I am thankful that though they are dead, they still speak.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/george_eastman_house/2677422743/

1. Desiring GodJohn Piper

I first read this book while still in school at the University of Mobile and it opened up a world for me to begin to understand God in a way that I had never understood him before.  I was amazed to discover that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”  I don’t think any other single person (short of my parents) has had the level of impact on my thinking.  I was blessed to hear a sermon by Dr. Piper a little later that year entitled “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain.”  (you can listen to the same sermon for free here.) I have never been the same.

2. Pilgrim’s ProgressJohn Bunyan

I read pilgrims progress when I was a child at a small Christian School in Montana.  I have since read and reread it in several different modern English versions.  It was through John Bunyan that I was introduced to the rich application of the scriptures.  I have never read another book that so completely described the Christian journey.  I think this is the book I have shared most often with others. It was once a theme for a Disciple Now and a Christian Heritage Conference Its an easy read, but spiritually challenging.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie

I picked up the 1936 edition of this book and read it when I was 16 years old.  A speech teacher had told me about it and I set out to read it.  It profoundly shaped the way I communicate and made me a different person.  Dale Carnegie taught me to take a genuine interest and really care about people.

What about you?  What books or people have greatly influenced your life?

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3 thoughts on “3 books that have profoundly influenced my life

  1. I don’t know if I could make up such a list. As a primary influence, I was given a set of “Young Reader” books and I devoured them. I’ve read many authors and their influence on me changes as I learn more. I qualify as a voracious reader, although I don’t read as much as I used to, at least in books.

    For people, I’d have to cite my grandfather, father, grandmother and sister, because all of them read. A lot. My sister might get the primary influence since she was twelve years older than me and every day after school she would get me, place me on her bed and read her homework to me. How could I not love to read when my sister’s early trick was to teach me to read and then stick me in a chair with a snack and a book?

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