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My 12 most transformative books (part 1)

For better or worse, I am the person I’ve become in part as a result of the influence of people thru the books they’ve written. I’m particularly interested in the question, “How are people transformed over time (transformed economically, spiritually, physically, and emotionally)?” I can’t introdu…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

For better or worse, I am the person I’ve become in part as a result of the influence of people thru the books they’ve written. I’m particularly interested in the question, “How are people transformed over time (transformed economically, spiritually, physically, and emotionally)?” I can’t introduce you to the people, but I can tell you about the books they’ve written. Of course the Bible tops the list and is in a category all by itself. In the Bible, the books that have most transformed me are Luke, Acts, and Isaiah.

Here’s the list of books and how they changed me:

Please Understand Me; David Keirsey

If you’re like me, you’re constantly meeting and needing to take the measure of new people. We do this particularly as leaders when we’re hiring or when we’re forming teams.
Please Understand Me gives
you a short-hand to one of the best temperament tools – the Myers/Briggs assessment. It has helped me answer thousands of people-based questions in the course of my life – how to parent, how to match up with your spouse, how to relate to your boss, etc. The point is to make you more compassionate by understanding what motivates people to do what they do.

The Bondage Breaker; Neal Anderson

Growing up evangelical, we never heard much about demons or their power. I was amazed to hear that they are still around, and
The Bondage Breaker gave me the tool to take them on using biblical truths. Jesus gave us all authority, but many of us don’t know how to use it. When I got this book, I began to learn how to get rid of fear and a host of other issues over which we Jesus-followers have authority. If you’ve given evil permission to hang around you, you need to get rid of the legal grounds for it to do so.

Natural Health, Natural Medicine; Andrew Weil

Actually, this book is the best summary I’ve seen of the many health books I’ve read over the years. Doctors don’t give you all the particulars you need about how to eat right and stay in shape. Weil gives you a wide range of common sense advice. Face it gang, we are overweight and prone to heart attacks and cancer. I’ve watched too many friends struggle with pain as the result of poor health decisions. You don’t need to put yourself thru that misery. Read this and begin taking preventative steps.

Everything Belongs; Richard Rohr

In God’s reign ‘everything belongs’ – even that which is broken and poor. God doesn’t waste anything. All of life is grist for the mill. God uses everything; there are no dead-ends; there is no wasted energy. Everything is recycled. Sin-history and salvation-history are two sides of the one coin. The world tells you that you are all sorts of things that have nothing to do with who you really are. The poor have a head start in that they have no instant fix for all problems. This book is filled with such wisdom. It seems my whole life is a project to appropriate the grace that is my birthright. This book helped a lot.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey

There is so much practical wisdom in this book. I am constantly using principles from it and teaching them to others. For example, onsider the Win/Win that Covey describes. Once you commit to memory the five categories in which you need agreement in order to have a Win/Win, you will find yourself using them over and over again. One reason it has sold over 10 million copies and keeps selling is that it has helped so many people.


(continued tomorrow)

Comment

  • Yippee! Just in time for summer ;-). Seth, I’ve enjoyed a number of these, and will probably check out some of those I haven’t read yet. The books I have already been led to by you (particularly Irresistible Revolution) have been transformative, so I know these will be as well.
    Blessings,
    Diana

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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