What’s on your nightstand? – May ‘13

Just started

The_Fault_in_Our_StarsThe Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

This novel is a witty but serious story of teenage cancer patients.

Jenna said it made her sob uncontrollably when she finished it. So why am I reading it? Because she thought the cry was worth it. That’s good enough for me, too.

Dancing-Priest-Glynn-YoungDancing Priest
by Glynn Young

This one is by a fellow-blogger that I’ve read and admired for a few years now. It’s a college coming-of-age story about an American brother and sister studying abroad and the life and love they find there.

(Two novels on my nightstand? Who am I?)

the-icarus-deceptionThe Icarus Deception
How High Will You Fly?

by Seth Godin

The mythological Icarus was warned not to fly too high. But he was also warned not to fly too low.

Seth Godin writes here about the danger of living too centered inside our comfort zone. Be brave; make art; care more.

the-gospel-according-to-peanutsThe Gospel According to Peanuts
by Robert L. Short

My niece Danielle has loaned me her well-worn copy of this 1965 book about the spiritual parables found in Peanuts. As I read, I’m getting another glimpse into her heart about why she’s been telling me for years I should read this book.

Therefore if there is some truth in art (and it must follow, as the night the day, that the greater the art the more truth-full it will be) that the Christian observer can point to, he can then by this means speak a word to his brother who might not be willing to listen in any other way.

rumors-of-another-worldRumors of Another World
What on Earth Are We Missing?

by Philip Yancey

Are we too caught up in this physical world that we miss the underlying spiritual world? I haven’t met a Yancey book yet that doesn’t move me to think deeper about life and God.

If you can live through a moment, you can live through a day, and how you live a day is eventually how you live your life. I spend so much energy on the correct way to live in general that I miss the specific moments that are actually the only way I can live.

writing-to-change-the-worldWriting to Change the World
by Mary Pipher

I’m not so vain to believe my writings change the world. But I can write about what changes my world. And what in my world changes. This book is part practical and part inspirational about the writing process by an author who is both writer and therapist.

Still reading

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

by Stephen M. Miller

An excerpt: “A Bible latecomer, Satan makes his grand entrance into scripture only when he arrives to tempt Jesus. That’s the first time Satan shows up as a spiritual being. Before that, Satan wasn’t used as a person’s name. It was just a Hebrew word that meant “accuser.” Old Testament writers used that word to describe all kinds of people—including revered characters such as David, Solomon, and even God when he angrily accused Israel of sin.”

Finished from April’s nightstand

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

by Larry Osborne

You’re not a Pharisee, right? Me neither. So we all think. This book helps us take a closer look at ourselves to find the truth.

My review here of Accidental Pharisees.

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

A favorite of the month. Excerpt: As long as Christianity is primarily understood as a batch of propositions in which God is judging how well we execute them, we will have problems getting people interested in the story, primarily because it is an uninteresting and inaccurate downer.

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

by Frank Viola

When the Father gives us something, it’s always His Son. When the Son gives us something, it’s always Himself. This insight greatly simplifies the Christian life. Instead of seeking many spiritual things, we seek only Him.

the-pressures-offThe Pressure’s Off
by Larry Crabb

So very good! When the law works, we become proud, though we disguise it as gratitude. . . . When the law doesn’t work, we assume we simply didn’t follow it well enough. We believe someone failed, usually us. We become more defeated than trusting. It doesn’t occur to us that the law might no longer be in effect.

. . . Old Way prayers come in at least three varieties: Change that. Use this. Satisfy me. . . . the New Way is rather Lord, I come (just as I am. One thing I ask—let me see Your beauty. And seeing Your beauty, let me love like You and live like You.)

the-gifts-of-imperfectionThe Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown

Sigh. I know I don’t have to be perfect, but oh, how I do want to be. Instead, I can lean on Christ’s perfection. And live authentically, make connections, and be compassionate.

Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. …Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.

falling-in-love-with-godFalling in Love with God
by Bob Hostetler

Using the book of Hosea as a base, this book shows you the overwhelming love of God as a prompt for your love of him. My review here.

Can you possibly put yourself in that story and not fall in love with a God who would look beyond your faults, your rejection, your betrayal, your indifference, your running from his love, and still love you with such an unreasonable, immeasurable, unstoppable love?

open-heart-elie-wieselOpen Heart
by Elie Wiesel

A short but vulnerable look inside his heart when at age 82, Elie Wiesel underwent emergency heart surgery.

His honesty: In truth, for the Jew that I am, Auschwitz is not only a human tragedy but also—and most of all—a theological scandal. For me, it is impossible to accept Auschwitz with God as without God. But then how is one to understand His silence?

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What book(s) are you reading this month?

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