Best and Worst Excuses for Getting Out of Work by Alison Doyle from

NerdWallet was the website calculator for estimating the return on a talent over 25 years... On a practical note it also illustrates the power of saving NOW! Yes, you can!

The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love is the 3rd book in an excellent trilogy (The Apprentice Series). It is a book that both informs and transforms through the spiritual exercises that accompany each chapter. If you enjoy the writings of Dallas Willard you will enjoy James Bryan Smith.. 


Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus by Robert Farrar Capon is my favorite devotional overview on the parables of Jesus. This book is actually an collection of the 3 books he wrote on the parables. I do not know of another book that has an ear to the outrageous, provocative, and disrupting character of the parables. This book is challenging, funny, poignant, and cutting. 

Stories With Intent by Klyne R. Snodgrass is an encyclopedia on the parables -- and is priced like one too! Still, reading it is profitable and challenging. An immense amount of work and devotion has been invested in this book that has made it a modern classic. You can read it cover to cover or simply look up the parable you are interested in.

The Cross & the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants by Kenneth Bailey, introduces the reader to power of contextual studies that take surrounding culture seriously. Kenneth Bailey was a long time Christian worker in the Middle East. where he discovered that Muslims, for centuries, have called attention to the father's forgiveness in this parable in order to question the need for a Mediator between humanity and God. Bailey draws on his extensive knowledge of both the New Testament and Middle Eastern culture, to interpret this parable from a Middle Eastern perspective and, in doing so, powerfully demonstrates its essentially Christian message. Bailey explores the underlying tensions between law and love, servanthood and sonship, and honor and forgiveness that grant this story such timeless spiritual power and application.