Idol Chatter

There are many of us in the faith-based world who enjoy movies, music and culture with an eye and ear towards spiritual matters. This holiday season, why not forego a movie or two and pick up one of a number of books that really capture the season and bring inspiration and, perhaps more importantly, opportunities for reflection. If you’re up for it, here’s our list of the Top Ten Bedstand Reads for this holiday season:
10. “The Little Book of Big Ideas: Religion,” by Dr. Jeremy Stangroom. From Christianity, Islam and Judaism to Buddhism, Confucius and Zarathustra, this short read covers the majors and the minors and the words of their leaders, from Jesus to Muhammad, from Calvin to Rashi. A nice way to really learn what’s behind the names and words that are frequently thrown around by those who don’t really know what they mean.

9. “The 4:8 Principle,” by Tommy Newberry. Do you want better health, a more successful career, a stronger marriage and a purpose-filled life? “They’re all within your reach when you change the way you think,” claims this ’07 release.
8. “The Most Important Person on Earth,” by Dr. Myles Monroe. This is motivating and captivating, focusing on something called “The Holy Spirit Governor of the Kingdom.” Not exactly the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, but part of the Christmas story nonetheless.

7. “The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told,” from the History Channel.
This one makes our list for those who aren’t into religious reading but want to learn from history and apply it to our futures. And, in an election year, it’s both informative and entertaining, moreso than the debate repeats and endless polls and banter.
6. “Success Stories of The World’s Most Cynical Man,” by K. Solomon. For the Scrooge in all of us—or as a gift to the Scrooge in your life—this book shows how a little scrooge-ness went a long way for a man who had it all: wealth, wisdom, wine and women.
5. “The Seventeen Traditions,” by Ralph Nader. Though not an overtly religious book, this takes us back to some wonderful traditions that have likely been lost on most of us, including the family table, disciplines, listening, scarcity and simple enjoyments.

4. “Become a Better You,” by Joel Osteen
. I don’t tend to be a Joel Osteen fan, but I see the impact he’s having around many of those I come across. We all want to be the best version of ourselves we can be and such is the focus of this book.

3. “Breaking Free,” by Beth Moore.
This is the only older book on our list—it presents a truly wonderful strategy for breaking loose of some of the issues or habits or problems that have tended to hold too many of us back for far too long.
2. “Ten Eternal Questions,” by Zoe Sallis. From a neutral perspective, the ten questions all stem from the issue of why Jesus came and what that has to do with us now. From what we believe about God, or Karma, or heaven, or ethics, Sallis edits the words of Bono, Mandela, Geldof, Peres, the Dalai Lama and more to give you food for thought.
1. The original Christmas Story. Amidst all of the rustle and bustle of the season, why not enjoy the shortest read from the original source? The first two chapters of Matthew and Luke and the first 14 verses from John take about 10 minutes to read and, in them, you’ll have the whole Christmas story. From there, your response will at least be an educated one, and one you’ve come to by your own choice, straight from the source!

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