What’s on your nightstand? – April ‘13

Just started

accidental-phariseesAccidental Pharisees
Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith

by Larry Osborne

Who ever plans to be a Pharisee, one viewed as always “right” and proud and judgmental? Yet we all can name quite a few who are. I know I’ve been one, but I don’t want to be anymore. This book addresses how to avoid becoming one even accidentally.

transformational-architectureTransformational Architecture
Reshaping Our Lives as Narrative
by Ron Martoia

Very interesting so far. Martoia is breaking down how God’s story fits into our stories using a less traditional approach revolving around context, Biblical text, and the human text, and how to better connect in spiritual conversations with others. 

understanding-jesus-a-guide-to-his-life-and-timesUnderstanding Jesus
A Guide to His Life and Times

by Stephen M. Miller

This is a very detailed (i.e., long) book about all things concerning Jesus and the history surrounding the accounts of his time on earth. I got it free on my Kindle because it fits in perfectly with my One Word 2013: Jesus. It’s a review of some stuff I already know, but filling in some new details as well.

EducationOfLittleTreeThe Education of Little Tree
by Forrest Carter

I’m struggling to stay interested in this classic novel about a boy during the Great Depression being raised by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather. It’s sweet but just not very plot-heavy. But it’s the May selection of a reading group in my neighborhood I’m thinking about joining, but now I’m not so sure. 

from-eternity-to-hereFrom Eternity to Here
Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God

by Frank Viola

I’m in the first of three sections of this book. This one “lays out the Biblical narrative in such a way that it emphasizes the church as the bride as an eternal passion of God from before the beginning of time.” It makes some interesting points (not all of which I agree with); I do want to keep reading more.

Finished from March’s nightstand

harris-humble-orthodoxyHumble Orthodoxy
Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down

by Joshua Harris

My review here. I liked it. It’s short and to the point—an expanded chapter from Harris’ Dug Down Deep. It blended well with my reading of Accidental Pharisees (above). (Is God trying to tell me something?)

The-Bible-as-ImprovThe Bible as Improv
Seeing and Living the Script in New Ways

by Ron Martoia

I finished this one a few weeks ago, but I’m still thinking about it. Martoia presents some new metaphors (to me anyway) about reading and interpreting the Bible that might not be accepted among traditionalists, but are definitely worth pondering over.

servanthood-as-worshipServanthood as Worship
by Nate Palmer

Another freebie on my Kindle. It’s a fine book, and I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t particularly thought-provoking. Nonetheless, Palmer makes several valid points about rekindling the call to service not just as a way to help others but as part of our worship to God. 

awakenings-thomas-keatingAwakenings
by Thomas Keating

This is a book I’ll return to because of its depth. Keating addresses various stories in the Bible with a fresh outlook that makes you think a little differently and a little sharper than the same old interpretations. I checked it out from my public library only because it was beside this next book I was looking for by Keating (below), and I’m glad I picked it up.

open-mind-open-heartOpen Mind, Open Heart
The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel
by Thomas Keating
 

Keating comes across as such a gentle soul. I read this book to learn more about Centering Prayer, a practice that Keating helped bring back into favor. He encourages us that any time we intentionally spend in conversation with God is time well spent.

centering-prayer-and-inner-awakeningCentering Prayer and Inner Awakening
by Cynthia Bourgeault

This book amplifies many of the principles from Keating (who is a Catholic monk) and puts them a little more within our reach. But Bourgeault is herself very much a contemplative and writes and practices as such (I like that). I gained a lot from reading this book. 

draw-the-circle-mark-batterson_thumbDraw the Circle
The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

by Mark Batterson

My review here. This devotional (although it’s a full book) is based on his The Circle Maker, and is a wonderful encouragement to pray more often and more persistently. Batterson excels at retelling Bible stories but also fleshing them out with modern-day stories from his own experiences.

walking-in-the-dust-of-rabbi-jesus_t[1]Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus
How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life

by Lois Tverberg

This is about the story behind the stories in the New Testament. It explains a little more in depth about the culture and common sayings and other details of Jesus’s time that helps the stories have even more meaning.

the-merchants-daughter-melanie-dicke[1]The Merchant’s Daughter
by Melanie Dickerson

A sweet medieval novel loosely based on Beauty and the Beast by my friend Melanie. She weaves scripture and godly principles into all her stories in a way that isn’t preachy but still gets the message across. She writes for young adults, but I love her stories as well.

the-survivors-club_thumb_thumb1The Survivors Club
The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life

by Ben Sherwood

This is one of those books I wouldn’t have picked out for myself, so I’m glad my sister loaned me her copy because it was a most interesting read about what gives people that survival instinct. The author researched those who’ve lived through harrowing experiences, and analyzed what helped them make it.

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What book(s) are you reading this month?

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