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Jeff’s Personal Reading List

I do not endorse every one of these books but found them to be useful in areas I am studying or trying to grow in. I am a child of God and the Bible is the best of all books, but I believe it wise to study and to better in every area as a husband, father, friend, leader, preacher and encourager. I trust that some of the books listed below will challenge you as well.  – Jeffrey Bush

 

Finances.

    • Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn 
    • The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
    • Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
    • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • The Richest Man in Babylon by Denis Waitley

 

Marriage.

    • Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs 
    • If Only He Knew by Gary Smalley
    • The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage by Jim Daily
    • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
    • 7 Ways to Be Her Hero by Doug Fields
    • 52 things wives need from their husbands by Jay Payleitner
    • Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by Dr. John Gray
    • When Risqué is Okay by Clint Caviness
    • Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
    • Saving your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot
    • The Intimate Marriage by RC Sproul
    • Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman
    • Turn up the Heat by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Re-spark and Keep Chemistry in your Relationship Forever by Leil Lowndes
    • Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
    • Fall in Love, Stay in Love by Willard Harley, Jr. 
    • Things I Wish I’d Known Before We God Married by Gary Chapman
    • For Married Men Only by Tony Evans
    • Worthy of Her Trust by Stephen Arterburn
    • Tender Warrior by Stu Weber
    • Married and Still Loving It by Gary Chapman
    • Trading Places by Les and Leslie Parrott
    • His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. 

 

Dating.

    • The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn
    • Every Young Man’s Battle (also Every Man’s Battle) by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
    • Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot
    • The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating by Andy Stanley
    • Sexual Detox by Tim Challies 

 

Leadership.

    • Axiom by Bill Hybels
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    • The Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
    • The 10 X Rule by Grant Cardone
    • Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
    • Lectures to my Students by Charles Spurgeon
    • The Motivation Mastery by Chris Widener
    • Courageous by Bill Hybels
    • The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur
    • The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
    • Lincoln on leadership by Donald T. Phillips
    • Becoming a Person of Influence by John Maxwell
    • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day by John Maxwell
    • The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell
    • Hyles Church Manual by Jack Hyles
    • Criswell Guidebook For Pastors by W. A. Criswell
    • Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley
    • Leadership Gold by John Maxwell
    • Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
    • Mistakes Leaders Make by Dave Kraft
    • Never Eat Alone by Tahl Raz and Keith Ferrazzi
    • Some Things I’ve Learned by Curtis Hutson
    • The Spiritual Leader by Paul Chappell
    • Order in the Church by Paul Chappell
    • Developing the Leaders Around You by John Maxwell
    • Good to great by Jim Collins 
    • The Leader in You by Dale Carnegie
    • The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay
    • Training Camp by Jon Gordon
    • The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell
    • How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins
    • What Makes a Leader by Daniel Goleman

 

Preaching or Public Speaking.

    • Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell
    • The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie.
    • Speak Like Lincoln, Stand Like Churchill by James C. Humes
    • TED Talks by Akash Karia
    • Talk Like TED by Camine Gallo
    • Public Speaking to Win by Dale Carnegie.
    • The Art of Storytelling by Jeff Davidson
    • 7 Laws of the Learner by Bruce Wilkinson
    • 7 Laws of the Teacher by Howard Hendricks
    • The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory
    • Smart Talk by Lisa B. Marshall
    • The Art of Public Speaking by John R. Hale
    • Communicating For Change by Andy Stanley
    • What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
    • Preaching that Pleases God by Tom Farrell
    • Teaching on Preaching by Jack Hyles
    • Teaching on Teaching by Jack Hyles

 

Christian Life.

    • Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
    • Ordering Your Private world by Gordon MacDonald
    • Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
    • The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee 
    • Out of the Comfort Zone by Ray Comfort
    • Cat and Dog Theology By Bob Sjogern
    • Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds
    • Demolishing Strongholds by Johnny Hunt
    • Finally Free by Heath Lambert
    • Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash
    • The Red Sea Rules by Robert Morgan
    • When Young Men are Tempted by Bill Perkins
    • When We Say Father by Adrian Rogers

 

Parenting

    • Better Dad’s Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson
    • 52 Things Kids Need From a Dad by Jay Payleitner
    • Be the Dad She Needs You To Be by Kevin Lehman
    • Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson
    • Bringing up Boys by James Dobson
    • Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker
    • Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Lehman
    • How to Bring Your Children to Christ..& Keep Them There by Ray Comfort 
    • The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
    • Point Man by Steve Farrar
    • Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kemmel
    • 52 Things Daughters Need From Their Dad by Jay Payleitner
    • Planet Middle school by Kevin Leman
    • Hero by Meg Meeker
    • Better Dads, Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson
    • Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney
    • Raising Men, Not Boys by Mark Faberez
    • King Me by Steve Farrar 

 

Missions.

    • The Challenge of Missions by Oswald J. Smith
    • The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E Coleman
    • Deputation Manual by Austin Gardner and Tony Howeth
    • The Anatomy of a Missions Church by Ron Maggard
    • Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
    • Have We No Rights by Mabel Williamson
    • Mentoring for Missions by Günter Krallmann
    • The Indigenous Church by Melvin Hodges
    • Culture Shock by Myron Loss
    • Training of the Twelve by A.B. Bruce
    • Cross-cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer
    • Missionary Methods: Saint Paul’s or Ours by Rolland Allen 
    • Faith Promise for World Witness by Norm Lewis
    • Missions in the Twenty-First Century by Tom Telford
    • Starting a New Church by Ralph Moore
    • Today’s All-Star Missions Churches by Tom Telford
    • The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches by John Nevius 
    • Simple Church by Thom Rainer
    • LAMP, Language Acquisition Made Practical 
    • The Creation of a Student Movement to Evangelize the World by Timothy Wallstrom
    • The Effective Invitation by R. Alan Streett
    • The Ugly American by William Lederer 
    • Buried in Bitter Waters by Elliot Jaspen
    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Go Ye Means You by Norman Lewis
    • The Principles and Practices of Indigenous Church Planting by Charles Brock
    • Chocolate Soldiers by CT Studd

 

Personal Growth.

    • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.
    • Be Obsessed or Be average by Grant Cardone
    • Developing Winner Habits by Dennis Waitely
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • The Power of Attitude by Mac Anderson
    • The Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy
    • Crashing the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
    • Talent is overrated by Geoff Colvin
    • Stressaholic by Heidi Hanna 
    • The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
    • This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick
    • Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo
    • Stopping Stress before It Stops You by Kevin Lehman
    • The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell
    • The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
    • The Birth Order by Kevin Lehman
    • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
    • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
    • How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    • Keys to Positive Thinking by Napoleon Hill
    • One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill
    • The Passion for Souls by Oswald J Smith
    • To Seek and to Save by Paul Chappell
    • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • Ziglar on Selling by Zig Ziglar
    • Dangerous Calling by Jack Tripp
    • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
    • How to Stop Worrying by Dale Carnegie
    • Intimacy with the Almighty by Charles Swindoll
    • Making a Good Brain Great by Daniel G. Amen
    • The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
    • Start by John Acuff
    • The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon 
    • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
    • The Wisdom and Teaching of Stephen R. Covey
    • Relationships 101 by John Maxwell
    • True Purity by Hayley & Michael DiMarco
    • The Fight of Your Life by Tim Clinton
    • Praying The Bible by Donald S. Whitney
    • The Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley
    • Man of God by Charles Stanley 
    • Move Your Bus by Ron Clark
    • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday 
    • Time Management in an Instant by Karen Leland
    • The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus
    • Time Warrior by Steve Chandler

 

Biographies.

    • Bruchko by Bruce Olson
    • Adoniram Judson, Bound for Burma by Janet and Geoff Benge
    • Come Up to this Mountain by Lois Neely
    • Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
    • Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
    • Peace Child by Don Richardson
    • Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
    • To The Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson 
    • Christian Heroes: Then and Now by Janet and Geoff Benge 
    • Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By Howard and Geraldine Taylor
    • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
    • Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
    • Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
    • The Life And Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards 
    • Jerry Falwell, His Life and Legacy by Macel Falwell
    • Brother Andrew by Janet Benge
    • Billy Graham, America’s Pastor by Janet Benge
    • George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet Benge 
    • Klaus-Dieter John by Janet Benge
    • Jacob Deshazer, Forgive Your Enemies by Janet Benge
    • Gladys Aylward, The Adventure of a Lifetime by Janet Benge
    • Great Lives: Abraham by Charles Swindoll
    • Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
    • Great Lives: David by Charles Swindoll 
    • Bob Hughes: An Extraordinary Life by Monroe Roark 
    • Steal Away Home by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey

When Increase Comes

Psalm 62:10 – “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them”

Many times in life, God blesses us – spiritually, physically, with friends, family, … and yes even materially. I don’t think anyone would turn down a raise at work, a bonus or a big financial gift, in fact, it makes it a pretty good day when God chooses to increase what we have. Although every person should be careful to not set their hearts upon the increase, I want to take this view from the point of someone in the ministry who receives increase in life. There are some grave dangers that can occur when the Lord chooses to give material increase in our lives, and I hope these simple thoughts can provoke strong reactions of carefulness as we minister for the Lord. Read More

When You Feel you have Plateaued

Whether serving as a missionary, pastorate, assistant or lay person, we have probably all at one time felt like we have “plateaued” in our ministry or life. It is exciting when you are advancing, growing, and clearly seeing the Lord work, but what do you do when you feel you have hit a certain spot and have plateaued? This brief article has the intention of helping you see that there is still room to grow, go forward and see wonderful things accomplished in your life and ministry. God is still interested in your life and ministry. Below are some simple ideas to help you break the mediocrity and begin to advance once again. Read More

Self Motivated

Every Friday from 9am to 1pm we hold classes at the Vision Baptist Church to discuss missions and ministry. Our pastor, Austin Gardner, moderates it and many of the OGTC students, VBM missionaries and other missionaries drive in to participate in these Friday classes. If you are ever in the area and want to be challenged about missions and ministry, this class is for you! Today, specifically, we had a wonderful class and I was inspired to write this blog about Self Motivation as a result. I personally believe that being self-motivated could be the break point for many missionaries and ministries. Being self-motivated has EVERYTHING to do with missions and ministry! Read More

Finish What you Start

A long while back I read this stat and although I don’t know that the numbers are accurate, I do think it is pretty interesting:

100 young people walk an isle at mission conference, only 6 go to Bible college, 4 graduate and go to the field, and only one goes back for the second term!

Wow! Think about that, only a few really finish what they start. The truth is that we can apply this to any area of life… very few people finish what they start. When I was in Argentina, there were crazy amounts of people that would enter in the local university as lawyers (or accountants, medical, etc.) and the second year the number would be less than half, third year would be fewer and those that graduated many times were just a handful of those who started. Probably all of us could mention examples of how people quit and don’t follow through, but the sad thing is that this same mindset is happening in the ministry just as much as it is in the secular world. We must enter this subject taking the wise counsel given to us by God in I Corinthians 10:12 – “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. We should be very careful before looking at other situations with a judgmental attitude, but we can be wise and try to learn some things, we can try to strive with all our might to finish what we start. Remember that serving God will almost guarantee the devil’s attacks, so we might want to set our hearts and minds on finishing what we start. Here are a few ideas that may help all of us to continue on and not quit. Read More

Don’t Burn Bridges

We don’t have to live very long to find out that some people offend us and things do not always go as we wished or planned. A common mistake, in my opinion, is our reaction to people or problems with things happen to us – whether on a mission field, on deputation, in a church, work place, with friends, etc. When something does not go our way, we are prone to cut the person off or just walk out… but burning bridges only makes it more difficult to return if ever needed. The Biblical way to handle problems is not to burn bridges but to be humble and just keep going. It hurts, but when someone belittles you, offends you, treats you unjustly or shoots any negative vibe your way, it is best to respond humbly and not hatefully. Many times I have been hurt via email or phone conversations but later I was very glad that I didn’t decide to burn the bridges. Here are some simple reasons why not to burn bridges in life.

  1. You may need them one day

If you do ever need the person one day, it will be very hard to return back to them if you previously burned the bridges. If the last time you met with the person you concluded in a good manner, you will be happy you responded correctly when the you come to the time that you need the person.

  1. We are told to not respond in hate

A soft answer will appease the fire and fight but the strong words will only add fuel to the fire. The Bible commands us to respond correctly, not react sharply and burn the bridges.

  1. You might have been the one who was wrong

Have you ever been mad, stormed off totally disgusted only to find out later that it was you who was the mistaken one? Try going back and saying sorry after making a fool of yourself – that takes a lot of swallowing of the pride. Just in case you are wrong, which happens more often than we want to admit, it would be best to act kindly and not harshly.

  1. Others are watching

Whether kids, friends, other Christians or whoever it may be, there is always someone watching our lives. Even though someone hurts us, getting mad and burning the bridges will sure not let us win in other people’s eyes… even if you think it makes you feel better doing so. It is much better for someone to look at you and say, “they mistreated you, but that was amazing how you reacted in a mature manner towards them”, instead of someone seeing you react badly and burn all the bridges to future possibilities. You not only burn the future possibilities of recuperating relationships with the other party, but you now are closing doors to the person who was watching you and once thought good of you. Burning bridges is usually a lose-lose situation when it comes with working with people.

Here to Serve,

Jeff Bush

General Director of Vision Baptist Missions

Do you have a Coach?

A big mistake we make many times in ministry is that we think we know enough or have learned enough to be successful. It is interesting that the best sports players out there (Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, etc.) all have a coach and realize they need a coach, yet us “average” guys think we are ok. A coach is one who instructs you, tells you how to improve, corrects you when you are not doing it the best way, etc. Yes, professional players have natural talent but they also know that it can and must be perfected; they need someone to “coach” them. Here are a few thoughts if you are going to become good at what you do or want to do: Read More