What are we going to read this year? I’ve been retired now for 9 years. I’ve tried to increase my reading goals each of those 9 years. I read before but never like I’ve read in the last 9 years.

So what changed. I also not only retired but I got remarried 9 years ago. Jill my new wife has revolutionized my life. I’m in a relationship with someone who is intensely interested in everything I read and everything I write. She also is a tireless reader and writer.

I’ve been journaling since 1969. In that time I’ve composed a variety of journals & outlines. I’ve also kept track of many other things written over those 51 years. Things that my Dad wrote. Letters I got in the military. I have files of things my kids wrote in their home schooling. I have things written by my former wife and her current husband. I have things written by previous church pastors & counselors.

Reading is cathartic. Journaling is centering and very healing also.

One thing Jill & I we’re doing when her mom was still with us was to read through a book out loud at dinner time. We read through various books on prophecy. We read a medical book called Grey Matters about a brain surgeon who prayed with his patients before he operated on their brain.

It’s not like reading a book is necessarily a sign of any great virtue—some of the world’s worst people have been some of the world’s most voracious readers. Tim Challies wrote that Joseph Stalin was a bookworm who had an extensive library and was usually the best-read and most knowledgeable person in any room. His reading made him a worse, not a better, person. But still, reading has incredible value.

It’s was amazing to read out loud to Jill and her mom Rita. When Rita became bed bound I would read to her in bed. And she valued it up to her last moments on earth.

So far this year I’ve reread Knowing God by Packer. I’ve reread The Mortification of Sin by John Owen. Since I’ve read those books many times I’m doing it differently this time through. I’m writting a summary of each key thought in a prayer journaling format for review.

I’ve found a blog that has 200 sermons on prayer by Charles Spurgeon which are an incredible read.

I’m only 15 sermons into the 200 but Spurgeon’s insights, illustrations & analogies are the most amazing concepts I’ve ever read on prayer.

Another book I’m going to re-read and do a prayer journal summary of is The Holiness of God by Sproul.

It’s hands down the most amazing treatise on worship.

So what are your reading goals this year?

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