“Prayer of Yielding”

“I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.”

“Wesley Covenant Service”, John Wesley, Founder of the Methodist Church

Also, did you know that Martha’s Vinyard is the site of the first Methodist Summer Campground in the United States?

My 2019 Reading List

Since there are only a few days left in 2019 and I don’t think I will get any more books in before the year ends, here’s a list of some of the books I read in 2019 that you should add to your 2020 list.

“Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg

“The Red Sea Rules: Ten God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” by Robert J. Morgan

“The Pilgrim’s Regress” by C.S. Lewis

“The Boy Crisis: Why our boys are struggling and what we can do about it” by Warren Farrell Ph.D. and John Gray Ph.D.

“The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

“Punk Monk: New Monasticism and the Ancient Art of Breathing” by Andy Freeman

“The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

“The Naked Now: Learning to see as the mystics see” by Richard Rohr

“Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton

“Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go.” By Richard Rohr

“The Lord and His Prayer” by N.T. Wright

“Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life” by Henri Nouwen

“Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer” by Richard Rohr

“Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life” by Henri Nouwen

“Everything Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ” by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

“Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life” by Richard Rohr

“Humility” by Andrew Murray

“The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen

“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene H. Peterson

“The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Own Unique Path to Spiritual Growth” by Christopher L. Heuertz

“How the Bible Actually Works” by Peter Enns

“Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image” by Dr. Paul Bland and Philip Yancey

“How To Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People.” by Pete Greig

“No Man Is an Island” by Thomas Merton

“Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved” by Kate Bowler

“The Lord of the Ring” by Phil Anderson

“The Jesus Way” by Eugene Peterson

“Blessed Broken Given” by Glen Packian

“Letters from a Modern Mystic” by Frank C. Laubach

“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

You can read my lists from previous years or check out the list of books I think everyone should read.

Two Great Books I Read Over Christmas


I took some time off over Christmas to do nothing but unplug, hangout with my family, and not think about anything.

I also read two amazing books. (Seriously, these are great.)

“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight
 This is the story of Nike from its first day to the day it went public in the 80’s, written by the founder Phil Knight.
 I love books like this because it reminds me that big companies like Nike weren’t instant successes. We see the big company but miss the years of hard work, doubt, failure and in some cases dumb luck that lead to breakthroughs.
 Something I did not expect from this book was how honest Phil Knight was on how empty and frustrating parts of his success has been, and what he lost along the way. (His oldest son died in a diving accident and he is really open about how he dealt with it.) I really loved this book.

“Stuff Matters” by Mark Miodownik
 Everything we use and rely on is made of something, and that something is made of something else. The screen you are reading right now is made of glass or crystal and that glass or crystal is made of other elements that is made of a combination of other elements (and so on and so on). The author, Mark Miodownik, is a material scientist and is able to explain what “stuff” like glass, paper, or concrete is made of in a very scientific yet simple way that anyone can understand and be completely fascinated by.

I literally read this book in a couple hours. It was that interesting and understandable.

So, there you go. Add these books to your 2017 reading list. (You have already started writing your reading list right?)


Originally published at Niles Holsinger.

My Favorite Books from 2016

Last year I listed my top 5 books as well as 8 that almost made top 5. (Check out 2015’s list here)

This year I am going to list my top 5 books of 2016, these are the books that I read and re-read that made the greatest impact on how I live and think, plus 12 other books that I had a hard time not adding to the top 5.

The “Honorable Mention” list are a few other books I enjoyed from the books I completed in 2016. (I don’t finish every book I start, if I get bored or I lose interest I don’t waste my time in finishing.)

All of these books are really amazing. Just buy them all.

Top 5 Books of 2016:

1) “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown
 2) “The Way of the Heart” by Henri J.M. Nouwen
 3) “American Icon” by Bryce G. Hoffman
 4) “Humility” by Andew Murray
 5) “Reclaiming Conversation” by Sherry Turkle

“Originals” by Adam Grant
 “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson
 “Adventures in Prayer” by Mary Jo Pierce
 “Deep Work” by Cal Newport
 “How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg *Re-read from 2015 (Probably should be top 5 since it’s the second year I’ve listed it.)
 “Sprint” by Jake Knapp
 “Finding Eve” by Rita Springer
 “The Wisdom of the Desert” by Thomas Merton
 “The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Church Monks” by Benedicta Ward
 “Sacred Listening” by James L. Wakefield
 “Prayer Primer” by Thomas Dubai
 “The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting” by Talbot W. Chambers

Honorable Mention:

“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday
 “Poets and Saints” by Jamie George
 “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” by Benjamin Franklin
 “The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sherma
 “The Lives of the Desert Fathers” by Norman Russell


Originally published at Niles Holsinger.

Ministry Advice to a Young Leader

Earlier today while doing a live Periscope Q&A for my church with another one of our Pastors, we were asked what advice we would give to young leaders starting out in ministry. The video cut off right before we answered the question, so I thought I would share my answer here. (Hopefully, the person who asked the question will see this answer.)

In short, my answer is this: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

When I was starting out in ministry I took myself WAY too seriously. I thought Pastors were supposed to be serious, firm, and stoic. The COMPLETE OPPOSITE of my personality.

I like to have fun. I’m a goof-off, a smart aleck and I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth so many times I can tell you the brand of shoes you are wearing by the taste. That’s who I am. That’s who God made me to be. (Though, I am getting better about the foot in mouth thing. Sort of.)

I take the CALL OF GOD on my life VERY SERIOUSLY. I take my position as a Pastor VERY SERIOUSLY. I just try not to take myself too seriously.

I believe that one of the greatest things a Pastor can do to spread the Gospel is lighten up and have some fun.

The Gospel is literally translated “Good News”, and it is our responsibility to share that “Good News” with everyone we come in contact with. How can we effectively share the Good News of the Gospel, if when we show up, it’s BAD NEWS to everyone around us.

*This applies to all Christians as well.