BOOKS I FINISHED
Race, Cross, and the Christian
by John Piper
I appreciate Piper’s encouragement that conversations about racism STILL need to be had. It’s not just a thing of the past. Good material here. “This deeply felt sense of race as a continuing, painful, and pervasive issue in America means that talking about race continues to be difficult. . . . But holding our tongues does not usually advance understanding, deepen respect, warm the affections, or motivate action.”
2. One Way Love
Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
by Tullian Tchividjian
I admit I didn’t love this book as much Tchividjian’s Jesus + Nothing = Everything (and perhaps my expectations were too high), but it’s still a very worthwhile read calling us back to celebrating God’s grace instead of our works. “Paul knows that licentious people are not those who believe the Gospel of God’s free grace too much, but too little.”
3. How I Know God Answers Prayer
by Rosalind Goforth
This is a short personal account of ways Goforth saw God answering her prayers as a missionary to China. It’s an inspiring little read that might inadvertently prod you to keep your own accounting of how God has answered your prayers. “I find it most difficult to record just what ‘asking and getting things from God’ meant at that time, but it now seems to me to have been the very foundation of the whole life.”
4. Four Cups
God’s Timeless Promises for a Life of Fulfillment
by Chris Hodges
I love how Pastor Chris writes plainly and positively about believing God’s promises for our lives. “I’m committed to seeing people saved, delivered, redeemed, and fulfilled. Here’s how we define success at our church: when people are moving from where they are to where God wants them to be.”
5. My Spiritual Journey
by Dalai Lama XIV
I read these next four books partially for my month’s assignment of One Word: Compassion and to prepare for hearing the Dalai Lama in Birmingham, Alabama, last Sunday (very interesting experience!). This book is a spiritual autobiography of sorts, in particular his journey as a human being, as a Buddhist monk, and as the Dalai Lama. “I try to treat every person I meet like an old friend, and that gives me a real sensation of happiness.”
6. A Simple Monk
Writings on His Holiness the Dalai Lama
by Tom Morgan
This was a beautiful picture book and short essays about the Dalai Lama written by others.
7. An Open Heart
Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life
by Dalai Lama XIV
Here the Dalai Lama talks about the path to becoming a more compassionate person. “Our compassion for others grows as our recognition of their suffering does.”
8. Taking the Path of Zen
by Robert Aitken
I read this book at the recommendation of a new Buddhist friend I met this month in my quest to learn more first-hand about another religious tradition. While I’m not a Buddhist, I still found teachings here that are helpful in my Centering Prayer practice in Christianity. “Rest is the essence of patience. Cultivate rest.”
BOOKS I’M READING NOW
1. Vanishing Grace
What Ever Happened to the Good News?
by Philip Yancey
Because Christians are often more known for dispensing guilt instead of grace, Philip Yancey has written this book to point us back in the right direction. Very good so far! If it works out, I hope to attend his book tour in a few weeks to hear him speak on this.
2. Les Misérables
by Victor Hugo
I still love some parts, and get terribly bored in others. But it’s still worth it. And the end is in sight (I’m 80% there). I look forward to indulging in watching the 2014 film again when I finish.
3. Nickel and Dimed
On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich
Most interesting! I’m listening to the audio version of Ehrenreich’s experiment to see how possible (or impossible) it is to survive in America on minimum wage. While her temporary experiences can’t replicate someone’s lifetime of poverty, it can open our eyes a tad more to how difficult it is. (I tipped the maids at my last hotel much better as a result. When we know better, we do better, per Maya Angelou.)
4. Praying in the Reign
by Bruce Green
This is my sentimental favorite of the month. It’s written by one of my dear youth ministers from my teenage years. He’s now a preacher in Opelika, Alabama, and has written quite a good book on the Lord’s Prayer! I’ll share more when I’m finished.
5. Mudhouse Sabbath
An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline
by Lauren Winner
Winner shares 11 Jewish spiritual practices that would benefit Christians. I’ve barely started (only read the Kindle sample while awaiting my “real” book to come in). I’m reading this for our next book club discussion and so far, so good.
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What’s a good book you are reading this month? Please share here.
- You can’t contain all God’s grace
- Words we long to hear