Reviews: Pursuing God’s Will Together and I’ve Got Your Back

I've had some pretty terrible leaders. I've served under leaders who were burned out, on power trips, coddling a secret life of sin and corruption. I've had leaders who were living illustrations of The Peter Principle, and others who got their training in the Benito Mussolini School of Management.A good, long look in the mirror shows me the face of someone who has been a terrible leader, too. Left to my own devices, I tend to make fast, unilateral decisions – which can alternately frustate or t … [Read more...]

Review: Booked

When I was a young parent building a library of kiddie lit for my children, it dawned on me that I'd heard bits and pieces of the Good News long before I first read the Gospel of John during high school. I learned about faith and redemption from Grimm's fairy tales like Little Briar Rose, Snow White and Rose Red, the Fisherman and His Wife, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I learned about the power of love to triumph over evil by reading Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time. I learned about … [Read more...]

Review: Silence And Other Surprising Invitations Of Advent

I have yet to meet anyone who likes to wait. I usually stink at it, to tell you the truth.But within the rhythm of the Christian year, Advent is the block of time leading up to Christmas given over to waiting. The practice is as countercultural as it comes. December's secular Festivus frenzy, with its shoppingholidaypartiescookieexchangesconcertsdecoratingwrapping is an exhausting runup to December 25. Though some count down through their December with Santa-themed "Advent" calendars, a nod to … [Read more...]

Review: Walk With Me

Even if you've never read John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, you're probably familiar with the allegorical description of the Christian life as a dangerous journey filled with "many dangers, toils and snares". The story is a touchstone in the canon of English-language literature as well as an apt interpreter of the trials, temptations and glimpses of glory we experience as we journey from The City Of Destruction through The Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, over the Delectable Mountains and toward … [Read more...]

Book review: Veneer

Only the shallow know themselves. - Oscar Wilde Wilde spoke these words more than 100 years ago. If they're true, then we should have a culture full of self-actualized people who've ascended to the tip-top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Popular culture that celebrates surface appearances with relentless devotion. Any Warhol captured this devotion perfectly: "I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."  (Can't help but … [Read more...]

Some Assembly Required: A Conversation

Twenty years ago, author Anne Lamott was ambushed by her unexpected pregnancy. Her best selling 1993 memoir, Operating Instructions, describes her tumultuous first year as a single mother after her son Sam’s birth.When Sam turned 19, he told his mom that he and girlfriend Amy were about to become parents, a life-altering event for the young couple.  The news did some serious upending of Anne Lamott's life as well. Anne and Sam together agree to tell the story of the growing up that all three ge … [Read more...]

A short stack of mini-reviews

Is there anything more inviting than a stack of books waiting TBR (to be read)?Whether they're piled on a nightstand, a coffee table or next to a Adirondack chair parked alongside a freshwater lake, the promise of new worlds awaits between the covers of the books in a TBR pile. And there's something almost as delightful as hitting the "on" switch on a Kindle, and seeing a fresh list of *new* books waiting TBR.My internal red pen offers a quick reminder that TBR is a passive voice … [Read more...]