Saturday, April 20, 2013


Books of late:

Crossing to Safety, Stegner
I LOVED this book. Like want all my friends to read it, possibly is my new favorite novel after Hannah Coulter. Beautiful prose. Likable, well-developed characters. Joyful and focused on the beauty of life without being overly sentimental; it went into the painful, rubbing nuances of joy and goodness. Reading this book was especially meaningful to me right now... Lots about growing older and what matters as you enter adulthood and "real life". Lots about the unexplainable joy that are deep friendships.
Isaiah 40-66, Brueggemann
I'm doing this in my personal times with God right now. Great to dive deep into my favorite book of the Bible, great to learn interpretation from a scholar and pastor I respect so much, and great to love God more as I learn how His goodness and greatness show in the book of Isaiah.

Celebration of Discipline, Foster
I've been re-reading the chapter on simplicity a lot the last few weeks, reminding and refreshing... "If what we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will possess freedom from anxiety... the inward reality of simplicity." "Simplicity knows contentment in both abasement and abounding."

The Hobbit, Tolkien
I love reading out loud with people and being read out loud to. My friend Courtney and I decided that The Hobbit, which I had never read, seemed like the perfect read-aloud book (for grownups).  On random weeknight evenings when we both have time, we take turns reading chapters out loud to each other and knitting. Love the memory with her and loving the book. Also, I think I must have been switched at birth because inside I really am a hobbit.

Bread & Wine, Niequist
Christine gave me a beautiful hardback copy of this new release while I was in Wheaton. So special because it's a gift from her and I know how much she loves (read: is obsessed with) the author. I can't wait to get more into: "...A collection of stories... about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us." "This is what I want you to do: tell someone you love them, and that dinner's at six."

The Snow Child, Ivey
I cancelled multiple plans this week so that I could spend hours on my porch swing this week finishing this new favorite. Simple, beautiful writing. Vivid imagery of life on an Alaskan farm in the 1920s, which I really enjoyed- the kind of creation of a setting where I was surprised to look outside and realize it wasn't snowing. Joyful, sad, and beautifully tender.

The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Noll
I'm about a third of the way into this and it's kind of rocking my world. Fascinating look at America in the early-mid 1800's if you enjoy history, which I'm discovering more and more I really do. The vastly different conclusions that "Bible-believing" people can defend as holy  and obvious... make it very humbling and thought-provoking for me.

Love Does, Goff
My sweet friend Elaine read this, texted me that I had to read it, and the next time I stopped by her house had bought me a copy. I love the playfulness and energy the author describes and it's inspiring me to live love in fun-for-no-reason ways. I texted Matty two chapters in and said, "You have to read the book Love Does, you would love it", and he texted back, "Already read it and I did love it :-)." I'm excited to keep reading.

Someone Knows My Name, Hill
This narrative of a the life of a woman captured in Africa as a young girl and sold into slavery in the US was fascinating, page-turning, beautiful and horrifying. I couldn't put it down. It added a lot to what I knew about slave life- and reading it simultanously with The Civil War as a Theological Crisis makes the latter much more meaningful and real. The author did an amazing job capturing the protagonist's grief, joy, and strength. One of my biggest take-aways was the picture he painted through her of resilience.

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Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.