Wednesday, April 18, 2007

on my desk

We have a big chair in our office that I often sit in to read, especially if Sean is on the computer. It's nice to be in the same room even when we're doing different things. I was laughing at how many books I have on the go - maybe my attention span is shortening as I get older - I can't just do one at a time any more. Unless it's fiction; then I don't put it down till it's done.

The fiction that I'm reading now is just comedy fluff: Paper Moon by Linda Windsor. I had to give up on the last one I was reading, House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. That was really disappointing - I am a huge Dekker fan, but this was a horror movie on paper. I'm sure it had some great spiritual parallel lines in it, but I couldn't get past the axe hammer fights while locked in the meat locker freezer parts... I'd still recommend any of Ted Dekker's other stuff. Next up for me is his new one, Showdown.

These are the non-fiction ones I'm into (what I meant to be writing about!):

Soul Shaper by Tony Jones. Exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry. I'm finding it a good deep thirst quenching one. It's a really good summary of different approaches to Spirituality. I'm looking forward to the chapter at the end on establishing a "Rule of Life" which is "a pattern of spiritual disciplines that provides structure and direction for growth in holiness."

Soul Salsa by Leonard Sweet. 17 surprising steps for Godly living in the 21st century. He asks "How can one live a biblical faith that emerges from everyday living?" Each chapter looks at one way to live a Godly life - think the flipside of your day when you're not practicing the ancient spiritual disciplines from the above book!

Sex God by Rob Bell. Exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality. It's good. I recommend it. You can borrow it when I'm done. It's refreshing; it presents the goodness and wholeness and purity of sexuality that God designed and explains why we have turned it into something bad or dirty or casual. I haven't read his last book Velvet Elvis, but that will come soon, I think.

Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. Living in your sweet spot. Got this one as a birthday present. Lucado is ultra positive; reading one of his books is like a warm fuzzy. I went through a phase maybe 10 years ago where I read most of what he had out, but haven't read any since. There are a couple of titles out now that I wouldn't mind reading through one day. This book attempts to teach you to Use your uniqueness, To make a big deal out of God, Every day of your life. (Yes, those caps are intentional; those are the three sections of the book.) It has a workbook section to it to help you discover your sweet spot. Not a bad book.

Growing a Healthy Church by Dann Spader and Gary Mayes. This one is about building "an effective discipling strategy for your church," and has been very useful as I'm in the midst of rethinking what we do and how we do it. That sums it up pretty good - if I try to explain any more, the nutshell will get too big... It is a great standard - written in 1991, it's not old enough to consider a classic yet, but I think it might be in that catagory. It's very solidly based on Jesus' example.

I read once that for every new book you read (like all of the above) you should read one classic. Ones on my shelf that I should read are:
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
Maybe someone could check up on me in a couple of months and see if I've started any of those...

So many books, so little time.

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