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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.