9 books that shaped my life in 2013.

I like to read. I seriously value those who take the time to write for the benefit of others.   I do my best to make time for reading in midst of work and relational commitments and priorities. I read a lot on the kindle app on my mobile phone to make the most of the time when I’m waiting for someone or something.  It’s amazing how 10 minutes here and there add up.

People often ask me what I read – who influences my life and messages.  So here is a list of books (other than the bible) I read in 2013 that I’d like to recommend to you:

1.  The Truth about Lies and the Lies about Truth – David Takle.


David begins the book with brilliant and concise insight into how our worldview shapes our lives.  There are many that write well about worldviews but I loved David’s practical approach and application.  He goes on to write about role of truth, lies, belief systems, experiences and real transformation through encountering the Truth in our hearts – that is Jesus Christ – who said ‘I am the Turth’.  I don’t think I have a book more highlighted in my library. It’s thick with revelation and insight. Thanks David for writing this!

Amazon Kindle Link: The Truth About Lies And Lies About Truth

Hardcopy from USA:  BUY IT HERE

2.  Breathing Underwater – Richard Rohr


Richard Rohr is a Franciscan father who writes profoundly about spirituality and society.  He hits home hard and is a favourite author of my wife and I.  Why? Because he sees and contextualizes God in the  midst of pain, suffering and in the valley seasons.  Perhaps it’s his Franciscan roots but I am yet to find a more prolific writer and provocotive thinker.  In this book he takes the 12 steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and contrasts them to the Gospels.  He explains that essentially, we are all addicts – addicted to our own way of thinking.  The last chapter is gold and it’s the sort of book my wife and I will return to for the rest of our lives I believe.

Link: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

3.  The Heart Journey – Phil Mason

I had the honour of reading this in draft form before it went to print recently and am still working through it but want to put it forward as a must read. Phil has become a personal friend this year and is the real deal.  The book is the third in a series but stands alone as a tremendous read.  As a pastor and gifted teacher, Phil convincingly and personally compels the reader to consider the heart as the central place for real, lasting transformation.  Packed full of revelation and tremendous insight, this book (just released to print) is a life-changer and flows from the pen of a person who continues to walk the narrow road of the heart journey. Get it!

Link: BUY IT HERE

4.  Healing the Earth – John L Sandford and Mark Sandford

Every time I watched John Sandford briefly talk about the land and earth  in the 20 year old Elijah House training videos his eyes would well up and you could sense the deep connection he has had with the earth for so long.  It’s from that heart that John and Mark draw out the plans of God for the earth and our role as His sons to bring healing to the land.  Filled with convincing scriptures, thoughtful insight and wonderful personal stories this book has brought a greater appreciation and love for creation in our lives.  As John Paul Jackson commented in a review, ‘this book with shock you.’

Hard Copy Link:  BUY IT HERE

e book Copy:  BUY IT HERE

5.  The Myth that is True (Draft) – Dr Michael Heiser

I came across Michael’s extensive work whilst researching the courts of heaven and the divine council. As an avid researcher and reader of ancient language (including Ugaritic / cuneiform) Micheal does a tremendous job of bringing the reader on a journey from Genesis to Revelation unveiling great insight into the ancient writings, their times and meanings. Some of the stand-outs in this very thorough read are the insights into the Genesis 6 account concerning the Nephilim and the Sons of God.  It has shone a much needed light on the violence and ethnic cleansing you read about in the Old Testament.  The book has absolutely transformed the way I read the scriptures and see the world.  Dr Heiser is an academic but has created a work that is readable. Caution: This book may blow your mind.

Link to PDF:  http://www.michaelsheiser.com/ResearchPDFs.html

*Note: At last check, this product has been removed. Perhaps contact Michael to see when it will be printed or where it is available.

6.  Falling Upwards – Richard Rohr


As noted in point 2, Fr Rohr is a favourite author and this book came to us at a great time.  In this book Rohr explains the dynamics of maturity and the contrast between the first and second halves of lives. He points out this is rarely chronologically measured but is marked by sufferings and brokenness.  To summarize this process, Rohr basically says that the first half of life one spends building their container, in the second half of life one seeks to meaningfully fill it.  We may feel like we are on the decline but Rohr expains it’s a process of Falling Upward into real spirituality.  Totally recommended for those that feel they are in a transition phase in life.

7. God’s Panoply –  Anne Hamilton


Just when you think you have a grasp on the biblical concepts of warfare and relationships, Anne comes along and blows your mind (for good) and shows you the Kingdom of God and Wisdom of the scriptures are deeper, more wider and wonderful than you could have imagined.  I’m not sure how to describe this book but to say that it’s insight into the armour of God and the beauty of our covenant keeping Lord emanates from it’s pages.  This book has won awards and saved marriages.  I read from it during a healing and reconciliation seminar in August and it moved the listeners to deep repentance and reconciliation.  As with a few of these authors, I have the honour of knowing Anne personally and working with her in prayer ministry and she is the real deal. A lover of Christ, highly intelligent and a mystic at heart. Check it out!

Kindle Link: God’s Panoply

8.  The Elijah Task – John and Paula Sandford

Written in 1977, this classic is as relevant and profound today as it was then.  John and Paula write on the prophetic like few others. This book continues to remind me of the role of the prophetic on the earth. They do a wonderful job of contrasting the OT prophet model to the NT model and reminds the reader that the foundational role of the prophetic is to make a way for Christ.  I dare say this book was written ahead of it’s time and it’s insight and teaching are deeply needed in this hour.

e book: BUY IT HERE

Hard Copy Australia: BUY IT HERE

9.  The Facade –  Dr. Michael Heiser


This is the only fiction novel in the list – but it’s not total fiction. Heiser has taken fact and woven it into gripping modern fictional story.  Take this as you may but the increase UFO and alien activity on the earth in the past 100 years has greatly increased and has leaked into the mainstream in a massive way. Notice the genre of other-race movies released, abduction accounts documented, the increase of bizarre supernatural activity across the earth. Much of the church has laughed it off and turned a blind eye – and they’ve been able too because very few effected people have felt it safe to share their stories, beliefs and personal traumatic experiences in fear they’ll be laughed at or sent to a psych ward. Those of us who work in the arena of prayer ministry, counselling and deliverance know this is not fiction or Hollywood creativity.  It’s real and scripture has answers through Christ.  Some people love and are largely attracted to the conspiracy arena but I don’t feel this is where Heiser writes from.  This book opened my eyes to a lot of things and along with the Myth That is True (5) I have really come to appreciate and get solid answers for some of the things that could have otherwise left me feeling numb, dumb and overcome.

So there we are! 9 books that shaped my year and changed the way I see the world.  At the end of the day they’ve made Jesus bigger, brighter, stronger and more wonderful than I have seen Him in the past. He’s the hope of the world and the true desire of the nations. They’ve prepared me for seasons ahead and some of given me greater love and appreciation for the authors that I personally know.

What reads heave shaped your year?

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