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...]

Review: Lessons In Belonging From A Church-Going Commitment Phobe

I used to believe there was something deeply flawed about me because I've been a part of a number of different churches over the last four decades. Between the pastors who shamed people for being church-hopping consumers and some congregants I've met along the way who were able to stick with a church for life, no matter how dysfunctional it was, I chalked up my own rolling-stone resume to some deeply flawed part of my character. Not any more. This survey was an eye-opener for me. I discovered … [Read more...]

I Don’t Live In A Library

You might think my office was a very poorly organized library if you were to stop by my house right now. You'd be right about the sad state of my organizational skills. The festive piles of books surrounding me includes my textbooks for this quarter's class at Northern Seminary and the crazy rotating cast of characters I've been borrowing by the pound (for this project) from actual libraries that keep their books on shelves organized by Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress numbering systems. I al … [Read more...]

In Search Of Mitford

To The Good People Of Mitford, NC -You may be classified as fictional characters living in an imaginary place, but after reading all nine books in Jan Karon's series featuring so many of you during the last two decades, I feel as though I've you've taken on the status of my second home. I've had five addresses since I first met you all when a good friend pressed a just-off-the-press copy of At Home In Mitford (the 1994 Lion Press edition) into my hands. I've imagined myself living among … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X