Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Freefall to Fly

I saw Rebekah Lyons speak about her book at Catalyst Labs this October. Much to my surprise, my boss gave me the book as a birthday gift a few weeks later. I devoured the book. There's something genuine about her writing. I appreciated hearing about her personal struggle with anxiety... AND doing so while living in NYC!

I already lent the book to a friend, so obviously I highly recommend it!

I will probably update this when I get the book back with some of my favorite quotes, but I wanted to add this to my blog before 2013 comes to a close.

Check out the Freefall to Fly website.

A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity have a Funeral or a Future?

I am always hesitant to recommend Driscoll's books because I do not agree with everything he believes. That being said, it was interesting to read his perspective on Christendom since he lives in Seattle and has never had the Midwestern feel that Christianity is alive and well. He talks to the different tribes of Christianity and realizes there are differences.

"[M]any of those presumed to be Christians do not possess true faith. Rather, in the world of post-Christendom, true Christian belief has been replaced with a borrowed faith, a lost faith, or no faith at all" (kindle location 229). I found this section to be very interesting since I have worked for churches and experienced people with all three "false faiths".

One third of the book is appendixes. I'm not sure why appendix A was not a part of the book since it dealt with church history and would have been better than having two post script-type add-ons to a book. Appendix B was suggested reading based on the different tribes mentioned in the book.

I thought it was an ok book. Not outstanding but interesting to read.

Want to find more of Driscoll's books? You can find them here.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for this book review.

Empty Shelf Challenge Book #2.

Waging Heavy Peace

I only know a few songs by Neil Young. I am by no means an expert in his music or life. However, I found his book (the first one he has ever written) interesting. I am sure that if we crossed paths today, we could be friends. We both value time alone, taking walks in nature, great music (acoustic and electric), and red-winged blackbirds.

Neil is a dreamer. You can tell as you go through the book that he has his hands full of a lot of different projects. He has a genuine love for bringing back quality sound to the music industry. He names his cars and guitars. Like LOTR, it's sometimes hard to differentiate between objects and places when you come across a name. 

"Just as there is no way to change the past, there is no way to predict the future" (222).

"I think a lot about the music business and how it is reinventing itself.... The convenience is fantastic... but you can't feel it like you used to.... [C]omplaining without a solution is a waste of time" (259). Young's solution is Pono (formerly called PureTone). Information about it was scattered throughout his book. It sounds like it would be great!

In this book you will discover what tradition he has with his wife and the neighbors, his most embarrassing moment and who he actually wrote "Old Man" about (not his dad)!

This book contains language, which is expected from a rock and roll musician. Just warning you in case you are not expecting it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Rest of God

As part of my required reading for the program I am in, I read The Rest of God. It took me longer to get through this because I wanted to put into practice what I was reading and REST! It is one of the best books I have read about the Sabbath. It is written in an easy to understand way. 

"I don't know how many books I've read or sermons I'e heard (and too many I've preached) that have helped me think better but not live better" (10).

"... simple tasks -- preparing sermons, cooking soup, cutting grass, growing corn -- when done in the same spirit, are holy. It is all the Lord's work. Virtually any job no matter how grueling or tedious -- any job that is not criminal or sinful -- can be a gift from God, through God, and to God" (24-25).

"Busyness makes us stop caring about the things we care about" (48-49).

"[S]ome facets of God we glimpse only through motion.... But other facets of God we discover only through stillness" (49). I like the idea that we have to be people of action, but we also have to slow down enough to learn new things about God.

"Sabbath is camping out in one place long enough for God to wound us and heal us" (99).

"Some of the most gifted people I've met are also some of the most broken" (118).

One of the hardest chapters for me was entitled: "Play: Stopping Just to Waste Time". I'm a pretty serious person most of the time and am thankful for the people who remind me to have fun. "Play and Sabbath are joined at the hip, and sometimes we rest best when we play hardest" (142).

I appreciated Buchanan's honesty with his own struggle in keeping the Sabbath. As he wrote, he shared personal stories of how being too busy would cause him to miss out on Sabbath. At the end of every chapter is a liturgy, a suggestion of what to put into action.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

LOTR triology

I never wrote a post about these books because what can you say?! This is such a must-read! It's quite the journey and is not for the faint of heart. From February-August this year, I made my way through these books. Tolkien is clever in his writing style. My former college professor, Charlie Starr, is teaching a class this spring and wanted to have an online discussion.

It was my first time through the series and I am hoping to read them again -- which shows how much I liked them since I rarely re-read books.

I found it interesting and sometimes confusing that so many things had names (like swords, people having multiple names, and places). It was hard for me to distinguish sometimes what they were talking about. Luckily, my roommate at the time, Krysten, knew a lot about LOTR and would explain things to me.

My favorite sub-plot was Eowyn. I guess I was sympathetic to her situation because she liked Aragorn and experienced unrequited love. I think she liked the IDEA of him, and I am glad she finally found her man. You'll have to actually read to see who she ends up with in the end! (Or you can google it - ha).

At some point, I want to read The Silmarillion.

I highly recommend reading this series. If you need to, use audio books. That's my secret to get through hard-to-read classics. You can find youtube videos of it.