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Thursday, August 09, 2018

The Eternal Current by Aaron Niequist


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have been following The Practice Tribe at Willow Creek for quite some time. I found it fascinating that a church that is your typical contemporary church would invite a liturgical service into their midst. Aaron Niequist said that his heart grew weary of four rocks songs and a hymn on Sunday mornings. He was tired of the pep rally and yearned for his heart to be pastored.

Tucked in the pages of this book are ancient practices that makes us better worshippers. They invite us to give our whole selves to God and let him rake us over and rebuild us. Worship is meant to become a prayerful, intentional space.

I have hundreds of highlighted notes from this book. I loved so much of me. It challenged me. One of the things Aaron said that stuck with me is that many of us have a wealth of knowledge about the river, but few of us have ever swam in it. “Contemplation becomes an attentiveness of spirit that shifts the seeker from an ordinary reality to the Kingdom of God.”

I want to write a note about it from every single page. If you are looking to deepen your faith and think more widely about what God is doing with his kingdom around you, read it.

*I was a little hesitant to read this when I saw that Aaron had been on staff with Rob Bell, but I read on anyway. It was lovely discovering with him.




Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A Light So Lovely by Sarah Arthur


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I remember reading A Wrinkle in Time decades ago. I couldn’t tell you every detail about it. I have had a curiosity about Madeleine L’Engle that has not been indulged. When I saw this biography by Sarah Arthur, I immediately wanted to read it. The picture she put together of the depth and complexity of this woman has spoken volumes to me.

Sarah not only delivered a good biography, she wrote rich words about things of faith. I have read many of Madeleine’s critics call her New Age. I just couldn’t see it. In these pages, I found out that Madeleine was a devout Anglican. She loved scripture and sacrament. Sarah’s detailing of Madeleine’s daily spiritual life made me feel the nearness of the Lord. I didn’t want it to end. It was one of those books that make you ache to put away.

You can dive into the complexity of her personality and see the truth of her relationships. Her flaws are examined with grace. The lovely thing to see here is how she plumbed the depths of mercy through joy and pain. Madeleine truly was “an apologist for joy.”


This book has been graciously given by Zondervan Publishing for review.



Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Less Than Perfect by Ann Spangler

Less Than Perfect comes out today, friends. At first glance I wondered what I might learn from these stories. We have heard them time and time again. Knowing that God has given Ann a unique way of seeing and timeless wisdom, I trusted that I would learn something. I have not been disappointed. 

For some reason, many of us were taught the Bible more as a book of morals. Truly, I think God wrote down the hall of faith to remind us that he accomplished the miraculous with a group of ragamuffins. It is much more about him than them. That is what we see here in Ann's book. These people aren't a bunch of faithful dynamos. They are simply another reminder that God can use anyone for anything.


Ann has done a wonderful job of writing out these tales in a story form with a cultural context. I have had several little "aha" moments while reading. Some of the things I read I have heard explained  before, but they clicked into my understanding as I read them here. I highly recommend this book. Take a deep breath and learn something new from these ancient words.





Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Hope of Nations is Power Packed



My rating: 4 of 5 stars
John's words in Hope of Nations resound with much of what Christian culture is feeling these days. We know that we are living in a Post-Truth society full of anger towards Christianity. Some of it is warranted because people claiming to be Christian committed terrible atrocities against other human beings. Some of it is because people reject God and turn to the lustful inclinations of the flesh. What we see in this book is the history of how nations that had been blessed by God spiraled down and became evil nations. You can see the histories of Hitler, Stalin, etc. took the reigns and how they turned and entire people to commit terrible atrocities by slowly corrupting their ideas.

Honestly. the first half of the book feels like a punch in the gut. You can easily see how society is turning against us and seemingly wants to punish us. John explains that we are going to have to find new ways to sustain ourselves and our institutions. The enemy is at the gate.

The second half of the book is greatly encouraging. It spells out all of ways we can respond to what history teaches us might happen. We must cling to truth. We must know truth. We are going to need to be creative and support each other in every way possible. We can diligently search scripture for answers. God has given us a strategy: "Live good lives among pagans." Dignify people. Be an ambassador to foreign tribes. Listen. Love your neighbor.

I highly recommend it. This book was graciously given by Zondervan Publishers for review.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I LOVED Life Giving Parent!

 The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for ChristThe Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ by Clay Clarkson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not sure how to write a review for one of the best parenting books I have ever read. Every single page was inspiring. I have continually read tons of books on parenting to gather skills that I did not learn and instill virtue in my own heart. Sally and Clay have written something I will read again and again. I have already purchased the study book so that I can work my way back through it. Read it. If you see Sally out and about, ask her if she will come live with me.

This book will help you realize the time you have with your kids is precious and how to number the days you have with them. You will be equipped to nurture your child's spirit, guard their heart, renew their mind, and shape their will/character. In the process, yours will be shaped and formed as well. It is full of what is good, true, and beautiful.

My favorite line:

"Only you-parents alive in Christ because of the Holy Spirit within you-have the ability and power of the Spirit to make your home a Christian home. Engagement with Christian culture does not define a Christian home; engagement with the living Christ does."

This book was graciously given by Tyndale House for review.


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