Review – Sensible Shoes: A Story About The Spiritual Journey

Women in their 20's and 30's understand the value of a mentor far more than women of my Boomer generation did when we were their age. For some young women, it may be an experienced businessperson who can coach them through the first years of establishing a career. For others, it may be a veteran mother who can help them navigate the bewildering choices faced by new parents. It's been my privilege to serve as a spiritual mentor to several young women along the way who were trying to figure out … [Read more...]

Read, Reading, Gonna Read

I love a long conversation over coffee with a friend. Before I was old enough to drink coffee, books were my favorite conversation partners and most trusted friends. They still hold a prime spot in my heart. The not-so-good ones give me food for thought, if only to remind me to do something different in my own writing. Good books educate, provoke, or inspire. Great ones do all three.The long weeks of illness combined with the shut-in-life that is late winter in Chicago gave me plenty of … [Read more...]

Review: What Every Christian Needs To Know About The Jewishness Of Jesus

What was first-century Judaism like? How did first-century Judaism help people approach God and draw holiness into their lives? When Jesus, a Jew, thought of God and Scripture and prayer, what kinds of things was he thinking about? By looking at the life of Jesus as a Jewish life, this book seeks to uncover the Jewish roots of Christianity. I want to hear Jesus the way his contemporaries—Jews in first-century Israel and Galilee—would have heard him. I want to understand him the way his Jewish con … [Read more...]

Review: Beginnings

Steve Wiens wants us to stop pursuing an ideal life. Most of us dedicate ourselves to this goal - and that includes Christians, who tend to baptize this pursuit in spiritual language. For example, whenever I ask a group to tell me what comes to mind when they hear the words abundant life, their answers tend to go right to the stuff of ideal life wins: material blessings, problem-free relationships, fulfilling and lucrative jobs, and an upgraded zip code. Wiens suggests that our "forced march" in … [Read more...]

Review: The Soul Of Shame

We recognize shame in the form of someone else's finger wagging in our faces, telling us we messed up when we should have done better. Those "You should be ashamed of yourself!" moments are the tip of the iceberg, according to author Curt Thompson. In his book The Soul Of Shame, Thompson explores the internal mechanisms of shame that warp our understanding of ourselves, of the world around us, and of God. When we're able to use words to describe our feelings of shame, we tend to use phrases like … [Read more...]

What’s In Your Current “To Read” Pile?

One of my favorite questions to ask both old friends and new acquaintances alike is "What book or books are you reading right now?" I'll share the contents of my current pile of books, and I'd love it if you'd share the title of a book or two you're reading (or have read recently). If you've read more than half of it, please add a thought or two about what you're enjoying - or not. I'm always looking for more great reads to add to my stack. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri - A friend who belongs to … [Read more...]

Review: The Road To Character

My general belief is that we’ve accidentally left this moral tradition behind. Over the last several decades, we’ve lost this language, this way of organizing life. We’re not bad. But we are morally inarticulate. We’re not more selfish or venal than people in other times, but we’ve lost the understanding of how character is built. – David Brooks If I could shove one book into the hands of most everyone I know and demand they read it, it would be NY Times columnist and pundit David Brooks' The Ro … [Read more...]


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