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Same Book, Different Day

 

Hey all,

 

During my study time this morning I started thinking about some of the books that have really taught me valuable insights and/or live changing principles. I realized, looking over the list that these are all books that I’ve read several times.

 

After pondering that for a while, I realized that the reason I’ve read these books several times, is that each time I reach the last page, I have a gut-feeling that there was still more to be learned from them than what I had just read. Something I’d missed.

 

Looking back it seems like the first time I read a book, I get revelation…ie: I learn something new. I might not fully understand this new idea (in fact, I usually don’t) but if something new to my “world-view” isn’t revealed, I probably won’t read that book again.

 

The second reading I begin to get understanding, that is, because I know what I’m looking for this time, it’s easier to see the steps that led to that initial revelation, and I can start to put “handles” on it, so as to begin applying it in my own life.

 

Now, if I stopped there, I would still have gotten something pretty valuable for my time, and I think a lot of folks do stop there. But, if I keep reading that book (and most of these I try to read once a year) I start to see not only how to do something, but why, and how to apply that understanding on a deeper level to areas outside the main focus of the book.

 

Example: The Five Love Languages helps me see which “acts of love” mean the most to my wife, that’s revelation. Re-reading, I know that I’m looking for specific examples of how to love my wife in her own “language,” that’s understanding. But, by the time I get to a third (or more) reading, I’m pretty familiar with the text, and the instructions, and I can start to see through those to a deeper theme…why do I want to speak her language, why do acts of service mean so much to her (while gifts mean so much to me) and I start to understand my wife, and my relationship with her in areas and ways that the book itself doesn’t (and couldn’t) reveal.

 

Btw, this list isn’t limited to non-fiction or “help” books, as I’ve gotten some pretty major revelations from well-written fiction (after all, what is a parable but allegorical fiction with a moral?)

 

To put it another way…it goes from being a “fix me” book, to a “change me” book.

 

Anyway, here’s my list. There are more, but these are the top half-dozen:

 

The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman

Mars & Venus – John Gray

Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes – Brennan Manning (actually still reading this one for the first time)

Hinds Feet on High Places – Hannah Hurnand

The Visitation – Frank Peretti

The Oath – Frank Peretti

 

As, Lord knows, this post was long enough all ready, I didn’t go into why I chose these books, or what I’ve been taught from them, but if you’re curious about a specific title, feel free to ask.

 

Note: Obviously, the Bible would be at the top of this list, but I didn’t mention it because I feel like, as necessary as its repeated reading is, the inclusion of the Holy Spirit’s active presence allows us to get all three (revelation, understanding, & wisdom) every time we read it. So, it’s kind of in a category all its own.

 

Second note: I’ve listed first, second, and third readings to simplify the concept. Some of these books took several readings to get to step two, and others I’ve read numerous times in the hope of someday reaching the wisdom stage, lol.

 

Btw, after jotting down a few of these thoughts, I logged on to check my email, and this was my “Quote of the Day”:

 

“The truth dazzles gradually, or else the world would be blind.” – Emily Dickinson

 

Seemed like confirmation!

 

So…any thoughts on this? Any books you’d like to add to the list? If so please add them, I’m always trying to overcome my deficit of wisdom, lol!

 

-Perk

 

PS – I’m going to ask a favor here, if you would like to post a reply, please share your thoughts and/or insights on the topic.

As much as I appreciate the “what a great post” comments, I’d really like these kind of topics to generate active dialog, something that we can all learn from.

Thanks! – P

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10 thoughts on “Same Book, Different Day

  1. Dean S. on said:

    Well, Perry P. as you say, the Bible is in a class by itself. It is like food and required daily. “Mars and Venus”. I actually listened to it on CD’s but it changed how I communicate with Carlene and made a big difference. “The God Who Won’t Let Go”. I read and reread at least a chapter every two weeks or so. Picks me up when I’m down and humbles me when I’m to full of myself.

  2. I would agree strongly with the first two and add the third to my list of books to look for at my next trip to the library. I felt that Mars and Venus was by far the most helpful book for my marriage out of literally hundreds of good ones.

    Books that I would personally add to the list are
    7 Habits of highly successful people by Stephen Covey
    Rich dad poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki

    I would also add something that is not available in book form
    Creation in Symphony:the Model by Dr. Carl Baugh

    PS please add authors to your book list to make it easier for people to find the right book.

    Drew

  3. Dean –

    Thanks for the comment! FYI, I just got my copy of “The God Who Won’t Let Go” in the mail this week, it’s next on my “to read” list!

    Thanks!

    -Perk

  4. Drew –

    Good idea! I’ve added the authors and well as Amazon links to the original post.

    I’ll be ordering “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” this week!

    Thanks!

    -Perk

  5. Dana Ramsey on said:

    Perk, i think we have “rich dad,poor dad”if you want to borrow it.

  6. Dana Ramsey on said:

    can i add your blog to my google page?

  7. Dana,

    Yes, and yes!

    Thanks!

    -Perk

  8. Mary Lou on said:

    I am right with you on Visitation, I would also include Ted Dekkers Red, White, Black trilogy and would add Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz not an obvious choice but it has a positive effect on me. Also I would have to say Piercing the Darkness by Peretti, it reminds that prayer is a way to actively create a solution rather than a way to passively beg for one.
    I have never read the Mars and Venus one, but I did read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Hell” sounds they are very similar.

  9. “Men are from Mars, Women are from Hell”

    Dude…there’s brave…and then there’s just stupid!

    LOL,

    -Perk

  10. I would like to respond to this from an experience this week resulting from reading a book. Here’re my email to my mom and her email response.
    My email:
    I was reading a book last night and one of the characters remembered another character’s words.
    “He said that all adversity contained seeds of greatness and that every trial, every heartache, every disappointment or loss, when planted in the fertile soil of God’s love, possessed the ability to grow into mountain-moving faith. And through the witness of that faith, others received hope.” (Grace Will Lead Me Home by Katherine Valentine, pg. 198).
    This really spoke to me. I’m praying that the Lord will help me to nurture those seeds of greatness in His love. I have lost sight for the last couple of years on how to go through a trial–with faith and hope in my Father’s love. This life is hard and bad things happen. The Lord has proven his love by turning all the bad things into good and I know he will do the same again.
    My Mom’s response:
    Beautiful!
    Losing sight of God’s past faithfulness seems to be what we humans do best. Reading the Old Testament is a treasure trove of examples of our short-lived memory. Amazingly, wondrously, He still continues on being faithful and leading us through. Then, with 20-20 hindsight (when we take the time to thoughtfully look back on our lives), we see His hand in every twist and turn. I wonder what would/could happen if we changed our 20-20 hindsight into 20-20 trust. It’s like we’re just waiting for Him to fail us. Like we do one another. But He doesn’t, and we just don’t get it at all.
    That’s why we need to continually feed our minds with His Word and with literature like “Grace Will Lead Me Home”, to keep His faithfulness fresh and new in our minds each day. And why it is important to follow His nudges and share His truths…like you just did.

    I just discovered this series of books–there are 3–about the people in a town named Dorsetville. I will definitely be reading these again in the future. There are a lot of faith-building messages in them.
    I’m keeping the quote I found around on my fridge as well as my wise mom’s “20/20 Trust” phrase. This will be studied in my Bible and my life for a long while, I’m sure.
    Di

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