Books read in 2012

Here are the books I read in 2012 – not including fiction đŸ˜‰

  1. NIV Bible
  2. Art of Neighbouring (by Jay Pathak)
  3. Handle with prayer (by Charles Stanley)
  4. Surprised by the Voice of God (Jack Deere)
  5. The Silent Listener Falklands 1982 (Major DJ Thorpe)
  6. Straight to the Heart of 1 & 2 Samuel
  7. Thinking for a Change (by John Maxwell)
  8. Mud, Sweat and Tears (by Bear Grylls)
  9. The Message of Judges
  10. The Message of Exodus
  11. How to build a magnetic Church (Herb Miller)
  12. The returning King (Vern Poythress)
  13. Romans. An Exposition of Chapter 8. 17-39 The Final Perseverance of the Saints
  14. Epistle to the Romans (NICNT)
  15. The Glory of Christ (John Owen)
  16. Eternal Security (Charles Stanley)
  17. Chicken Manual
  18. Chicken Coops for the Soul: A henkeeper’s story
  19. The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive

Copying Amazon Kindle highlights to Evernote

I’m loving Evernote as a storage and retrieval medium for notes and quotes. You can download the app for most devices here and once installed it will synchronise with your online account.

Evernote EssentialsIf like me you are just getting started with Evernote, then this ebook Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly is well worth a look. He was hired by Evernote to be their technical communications manager after they read it!

It’s a 95 page pdf book, with over 12,000 copies sold and just $29.

I’ve a few books on Kindle now and as always I want to store useful quotes to spice up sermons and talks. So here’s how to get the best bits into Evernote…

1) Install Evernote web clipper

If you don’t have the Evernote Webclipper installed on your browser, head over to and install it on your browser.

2) Go to your very own Kindle web page (If you have an Amazon kindle account!)

It’s at – login with your normal Amazon details and you should reach a page like the one on the left.

3) Click on Your Highlights

That will bring up all the highlights you have made in Amazon Kindle ebooks. Then select the highlights for the book you want to copy over to Evernote. Next click on the Evernote elephant icon on your browser toolbar, which brings up the screen shot below!

I store book quotes in a notebook called Books Read and then create a note for each book. So by filling the menu with the book title, selecting “Books read” and then “Clip selected” my highlighted quotes are safely in Evernote. I leave the tags blank as Evernote’s search engine is good enough to not need them!

The screenshots show the process I went through to store quotes from the fantastic “Art of Neighboring” which is without doubt the best book I’ve read on the second great commandment. Just got to improve my putting it into practice now!

I’ve adapted the steps from Michael Hyatts’ how to guide, so that it stores my highlights, not everyone elses! (His method is to goto the chosen book via My Books and select what you want to copy over)

What’s the latest Kindle book you have read?


I’m so excited, this just arrived from ICMBooks Direct who trade on Amazon and with their own website (Their Amazon store is often slightly cheaper).

“The Gospel According to John” by D.A. Carson is the definitive commentary on John. I’m looking forward to spending the first half of next year digging into John at The Gateway Church – it’s all about Jesus! Along the way we’ll get to dig into prayer, grace, heaven, the Church, the Spirit, the trinity to name a few highlights. Can’t wait!

ICMBooks is a gem of bookshop in Northern Ireland. It’s based in a purpose built warehouse on a farm in the middle of nowhere! Last time I was across the water, a friend took me down there. It’s piled high with quality Christian books and cheap prices.

They have over 10,000 books in stock and are open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm with late night opening until 8.00 pm on Thursday evening. It’s well worth a visit!

Their address is ICM Books,115 Dunkirk Road, Lurgan, Craigavon, BT66 7AR. Northern Ireland.

If you can’t get therr in the flesh, please use them on Amazon when you buy Christian books to support an outstanding Christian run bookshop and enjoy the best price (usually!)


Okay, so I am a late adopter, but I am loving Evernote to keep quotes, notes and clippings for future use! Best of all it is free!

Evernote Screenshot

Evernote works on all platforms and most devices and synchronises your notes to the cloud, so they are available across your devices. It has a super search engine to find that information fast!

I have created a notebook for different areas of focus – a key one for me is “Books Read”. I then create a note for each book and paste in quotes from that book that I want to keep for future use. In my next post, I’ll show you how to get your Kindle highlights into Evernote quickly!


Evernote EssentialsI like me you are just getting started with Evernote, then this ebook Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly is well worth a look. He was hired by Evernote to be their technical communications manager after they read it!

It’s a 95 page pdf book, with over 12,000 copies sold and just $29.

Here’s how the author describes it…

  • Get up and running with Evernote quickly
  • Learn how simple it is to save information to your Evernote account from almost anywhere
  • Discover the best ways to organize your Evernote account so your information is easy to find later
  • Understand how easily Evernote integrates with everything you’re already using
  • Start using Evernote’s newest features immediately

How are you using Evernote?


Friends on

Ouch! I’m reading a book “The art of Neighbouring” where the authors are writing about putting loving your neighbour into real practice. All very innocuous and nice until I got to page 36, where they have what is jokingly called the chart of shame.

The idea is to write a little a bit about the eight households nearest you.
a) their names
b) something you might know having talked to them once or twice.
c) some more in depth things you have found out by getting to know them – hopes and dreams, spiritual journey, what they would say about God etc.

The authors have done that exercise in many churches, so here are the stats…
About 10 percent of people can fill out the names of all eight of their neighbours, line a.
About 3 percent can fill out line b for every home.
Less than 1 percent can fill out line c for every home.

Ouch. For three of the eight nearest homes I’m a level b. Ouch.
I had better read on to learn how to improve.
Why don’t you join me reading “The Art of Neighbouring”

What level are you at neighbouring with your 8 nearest neighbours?

Handle with Prayer

Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley is free on Amazon Kindle at the moment and an utter gem of a book!

In eleven chapters Charles Stanley casts a vision for praying and delivers helpful pointers to developing a life that is full of prayer and breakthrough. He tells us “It is in prayer that our battles are won and lost. Therefore, it is essential that we learn how to pray.”  The chapters on fasting and the armour of God were particularly helpful.

If we want our prayers to affect God, we must:
(1) begin with a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ;
(2) make specific requests;
(3) pray according to His will for us;
(4) pray in Jesus’ name and in keeping with His character;
(5) ask in faith that is based on God’s Word, not on feelings or on others’ opinions; and
(6) pray with the right motives. All we do, say, and pray must be to the glory of God. (p. 76).
Last week I wrote about how I read to retain information that will help. Since then I have discovered  the delightful Evernote program that stores notes for most devices! That is now why I store my quotes. I have a notebook called “Books Read” and creates a note for each quote I want to keep. The search engine on Evernote is pretty good, so that will now be my quote database!
There is so much I want to remember from “Handle with prayer” – it was a challenging and helpful book, especially on the battle of prayer.
How’s your prayer life?

Reading Well!

Reading well is important to leaders! Michael Hyatt says Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. I’ve always made it my practice to make the most of any reading I get to do. I’m not the fastest reader, but here’s how I try to make it memorable and useful.

1) I read with a highlighter and pen in hand

The number one thing for me to retain useful stuff from my reading is to highlight it and make a note in the margin. It’s okay to deface a book you own that way! i highlight significant points and great quotes.

2) Rewind and scan!

Having read the book through, the next step for me is to get those quotes in a useful place for using in the future. I want to store them for easy searching and retrieval later. I used to type them in by hand, but that is so time consuming. Nowadays I use a pen scanner – in my case the Infoscan TS – it’s pretty good about 90% accurate. I scan the useful quotes into my own little database online – but a word document would also be good!

4) I summarise the book

Recently I have restarted this practice –  I summarise the book in a word document in my “reading” directory – that really seals the nuggets of gold and useful information into my memory and makes it easy to find later. A simple search helps me find useful stuff later where I wander which book it came out of.

Often I find nuggets in books that the title wouldn’t hint would be there. At the moment I am reading “Satan and His Kingdom” by Dennis MacCullum – he has a fantastic appendix on the Servant Songs -my book summary will enable me to find that in a search at a later date, in addition to diving into the more obvious “Isaiah God Saves sinners” by Ray Ortlund or Motyer’s “The Prophecy of Isaiah

Having a system that makes for easy retrieval of what you have learned is vital to retaining your reading.

How do you remember what you have read?

Books read in 2011

  1. Whose Word is it Anyway?: Receiving and Acting on Personal and Corporate Prophecy (by Keith Hazell)
  2. Zion’s Christian Soldiers?: The Bible, Israel and the Church (by Stephen Sizer)
  3. Living Under Grace: Romans 6: 1-7: 25 (by Michael Eaton)
  4. Fathering Leaders, Motivating Mission (by David Devenish)
  5. The Message of Luke (by Michael Wilcock)
  6. The Confession (by John Grisham)
  7. The Covenant Meal: Meaningful Holy Communion (by Dave Matthews)
  8. Ordering your private world (by Gordon Macdonald
  9. Good to Grow (by Steve Tibbert)
  10. The Spirit-filled Church (by Terry Virgo)
  11. The Message of Mark (Bible Speaks Today)
  12. WordPress Plugin Development (by Vladimir Prelovac)
  13. The Code Book (By Simon Singh)
  14. Just Walk Across the Room (By Bill Hybels)
  15. Glory Invasion (By David Herzog)
  16. Straight to the Heart of Acts (By Phil Moore)
  17. MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949
  18. Raised with Christ (by Adrian Warnock)
  19. Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman (by Ben Macintyre)
  20. Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1
  21. Pagan Christianity (By Frank Viola)
  22. Battle for the Mind (by David Holden)
  23. The Message of Matthew (Bible Speaks Today)
  24. Money, Possessions and Eternity (by Randy Alcorn)
  25. Operation Mincemeat (By Ben Macintyre)
  26. J. Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ (By Roger Steer)
  27. What the Dog Saw (by Malcolm Gladwell)
  28. Storm Warning: The Origins of the Weather Forecast (by Pauline Halford)

“Good to grow” review

"Good to Grow" on*

I found myself enjoying Good to Grow far more than I thought I would. It was chock full of pithy principles that Steve has used to grow King’s in Catford and himself. I was surprised, because Steve is one of the most task oriented people I have met and I am relationally wired – probably the other end of the scale! One of the chapters is about knowing yourself and the book as a whole could be summed up as know yourself, build a team, grow a church. I found myself catching his heart for reaching lost people into a vibrant New Testament Church in greater numbers than many have done in recent times.

“Good to grow” reminded me of Mark Driscoll’s Confessions of a Reformission Rev as it would be written by a house-trained Englishman, so I didn’t find the phrase “nut-job” in Steve’s book! I nearly wore out a highlighter pen on the pithy principles. Steve has clearly grabbed the best wisdom from as many sources as he could AND put them into practice. My must buy book list has grown by five books!

Steve’s book is about growing Kings in Catford from 200 to over 1,000 and so as I first picked it up, I wondered how it would help a market town church planter who has around 50 people! There was plenty. I have two pages of A4 notes to discuss with our leadership team.


  • The facilities,finance and team triangle to work out how to unstick a growth plateau
  • Don’t build a big church and loose your marriage
  • The future is new people – move the church from “Feed me!” to “Who can I feed?”, because Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
  • Principles for building a diverse church

for an easy to read helpful book.
Buy from or from (run by one of the elders at New Life Church North MK)

Just Walk Across the Room

The Church I lead has plateaued. It is pretty common with church plants. They grow rapidly at the start, because they are so hungry for growth they are the most welcoming and friendly church in the area. For eighteen months or so the growth is rapid and consists of those who are new to the area, those who had given up on church and are willing to have another crack at it and one or two who have left other churches. And during those eighteen months you feel like that speed of growth will continue, but it doesn’t and you need to grow through people becoming Christians.

We have been stuck around the mid 50s for a while and one of our guys, a Spirit filled, fiery retired Methodist minister challenged us to pray for one convert each this year. I’m taking it seriously! So, being the avid book reading type that I am, I grabbed a book of the shelf, one that I had read before, but knew was worth another look…

It’s “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels. I was hooked quickly – see I’m tired of evangelistic fads – Evangelism Explosion, Contagious Christian, strategic level spiritual warfare, personal tracts and treasure hunting. Hybels is too – in the first few chapters he relates some of the fads and then tells us “Staying attuned to and cooperating with the Spirit” is the highest value for personal evangelism. I was hooked!

Keeping that central thrust in mind, Hybels exhorts us to live in 3D
1)Develop friendships – I have found that harder and slower in King’s Lynn than anywhere else, but we are getting there
2) Discover Stories – especially looking for commonalities, being sensitive and always asking good questions
3) Discern next steps – try to catch the often unintentional, but crystal clear, signals people send. Thus aim to be a resource provider for next steps towards Christ.

When we stay tuned into the Spirit and ask him for opportunities – we get promptings to “Just walk across the room” and put living in 3D into practice. Bill is such a visionary and he has a way with words and stories to get you to want to get up and out there doing it!

In later chapters he talks of the power of the story – coming up with a 100 word before and after of coming to faith by focusing on before and after key phrases that sum up your life. He then gives simple models for when you actually get to share the Gospel and exhorts us to pray for open doors.

In one chapter he reminds us about the “Matthew Parties” principle of having fun socials where you mix old-life and new-life friends together and trust God to do something mystical and miraculous as they mix together. We’ve always loved doing that and I’m filled with fresh faith for them, especially as we get to try out our new outdoor pizza oven!

“Just Walk Across the Room” is a fantastic book – quite the best on personal evangelism I have ever read. I’m looking forward to putting it into practice afresh over the coming decades!
– Buy “Just Walk Across The Room” from Amazon, if you don’t already have it!