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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

books: past and present

I am not at all complaining about Sundance - but I will say that I've been craving sitting down in front of the heater and holing up with a good book more than normal ... so much so that in the past week and a half I've finished four books and am now sifting through another stack. Mmmm. Did I ever mention that I can't just read one book? I have my genres. So first, the finished:

*The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: fun little Swedish murder mystery but the author who seemed to gain fame upon his death before the third of the trilogy was completed. I will say that reading book #2 is a viable option...

*Culture Making: This I "had" to read for my recent Fuller (ie: SUNDANCE) class, and it was good, but not my favorite (at least of the four recent reads). It's simply looking at the intersection of faith and culture, and how as and because God's created each of us individually and uniquely that he can and will use those as we become future makers of culture.

*Clinging: WOW. This was a book we "had" to read for Soul Care (a spiritual direction program I get to participate in this year), but I'm telling you for an easy, soul-filling, honest, short book on prayer, this is it.

*Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Now, truth be told, I've been trying to sift through this for the past year, so though that doesn't sound very good, this book is AMAZING! It's by a professor who spent 30 years in the Middle East, so KNOWS the culture. So many of our stories about Jesus stem from our own westernized interpretations - and he sets the story straight. I used it in quite a few preparations for speaking this year - it's that good!

So indeed, now the books that I'm slowly sifting through:

*The morning read: BeautyI love the mystic picture of beauty that's holy, that's real, that's present, and that's right there for me to grasp.

*The coffee shop read: God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality. Recommended by my friend Jamie whose getting her degree in counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School, this book looks at the truth of, well, God, and what he thinks about, well, sexuality. I love that it's continuing to break up some of the myths I've latched onto in/from the church.

*The BART read: The Witch of Portobello. I'm a big Paulo Coelho fan simply because I like that he makes me think outside the box. Even if I don't 100% agree with his spiritual beliefs portrayed through some of his characters, I like that he makes me think and realize that I've got a box. And he's a beautiful writer. Mmm.

*The bed-time read: The Family. I'll be honest: I was dying to read this after a week at the prayer breakfast, after and while friends have been and are involved with the Fellowship, after recent NPR specials. I appreciate that it's written from an outsider's perspective, but I have to also realize that it's written from an outsider's perspective, and hold its "truth" loosely.

*The work-out read: Incarnate Leadership. This is another "have to" read for Young Life, but I'm enjoying it, and getting a good sweat on at the same time. This idea I love: leaders are not supposed to be up on a pedestal, but down in the trenches. I think it's too easy as leaders within our communities (or wherever we find ourselves) to assume that we can only be real with those who "really" get us. But was that Christ's model? I'm gaining new perspective, and loving it.

And now, with Paul Potts singing to me in the background, it's time to go grab the bed-time read and skee-daddle!