This book is a challenge to Christians to stop being “fans” of Jesus and start becoming a completely devoted follower. Mr. Idleman is a pastor at a megachurch in Louisville who believes a majority of us are just fans of Jesus who do not fully give over our lives to him. It is very insightful making you want to further your own relationship with God.
Western culture has long sidelined compassion as the province of the saintly or the overly naive. To our great detriment, we have overlooked one of our most powerful inner resources for creating a life of happiness and contentment. In The Lost Art of Compassion, clinical psychologist and longtime Tibetan Buddhist practitioner Lorne Ladner rescues compassion from the margins, and demonstrates its direct and powerful benefits for our day-to-day lives. Until recently Western psychology focused almost exclusively on working with unhealthy emotions and relationships, turning very little of its research or expertise toward understanding positive emotional states. While interest in positive psychology is just dawning in the West, the cultivation of compassion has been a cornerstone of Tibetan Buddhism, studied and developed for over a thousand years. The Lost Art of Compassion is the first book to incorporate the Tibetan Buddhist teachings most suited to Westerners and provides a crucial perspective that is sorely lacking in Western psychology. Bringing together the best contributions of psychology and Buddhism, Dr. Ladner bridges the gap between East and West, theory and practice, in this user-friendly guide for getting through each day with greater contentment and ease. The Lost Art of Compassion offers ten methods for cultivating joy and contentment, bringing directly applicable wisdom to everyday situations. The result is a highly practical, engaging guide that weaves together these two disciplines and encourages readers to reclaim this neglected path to happiness.
Renowned Jesus Seminar scholar, Marcus Borg, distinguishes between “Earlier Christianity” and “Emerging Christianity”. He discusses how Christianity limited its focus in reaction to Enlightenment Science challenging aspects of the Bible. Christianity narrowed its focus to a set of beliefs (atonement theology) focused around sin and the afterlife. Borg shows how much deeper and richer Christianity is than merely believing certain doctrines or the literalness of certain biblical passages.
I was impressed.
If you’re interested and want to see a video-clip of him go to:
The Ancestral Continuum is an extraordinary investigation into the spiritual and emotional legacies we inherit at our birth from our ancestors, and a powerful and revolutionary blueprint for transforming how we feel about ourselves. The book takes you on a journey to discover how humanity, throughout time and around the world, acknowledges loved ones who have died and honors those who came before them. And it will give you the tools to explore your family tree, meet your ancestors anew and find your way through the labyrinth of your own legacy. You will begin to see yourself as just one strand in a never-ending tapestry of history and emotion, personality and achievement, tragedy and death, that will continue through your family into eternity.There is a massive interest worldwide in people tracing their roots. But researching into our forebears’ lives often unearths surprising or turbulent histories. The past 250 years have seen more change and upheaval than at any other point in history, and almost everyone alive now will have ancestors whose lives were touched by war, migration, mass upheavals and major turning points in society. Although we may not know their names, the stories of these ancestors have an impact on our lives now and will in the future. We are all connected. By remembering those who have gone before us, we can step into our true power and realize our highest potential.
This book is a great addition in helping to discover your family tree.
Brene Brown’s latest work debunks the myth that showing vulnerability is weakness, rather it takes courage to be vulnerable. At the end she provides guideposts to living wholeheartedly.
Brene Brown has a couple of fabulous talks on TED. I recomend starting with this one http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html its been viewed over 10 million times! I think she is profound.
Some of her quotes:
Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.
You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside, your story & hustle for your worthiness.
Then there’s a Teddy Roosevelt quote that she likes.
It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if zhe fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Anne Lamott has created a concise explanation of prayer. In three essential
prayers she shows how to ask for assistance from a higher power, how to
appreciate the good things in life and how to feel awe about the surrounding
world. These prayers will help people to achieve a feeling of serenity and get
through the day without undue stress. Lamott recounts how she came to these
insights, what they mean to her and how they have helped others. Insightful and
honest, this is the everyday faith book that will help all who read it.
On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 Tornado struck Joplin, Missouri destroying much of the community. Danielle C. Stammer retells her amazing story as she and her family barely escape, as some call it, “The Finger of God”. This book will tug at your heart. You feel for the family as you try to imagine the horror they went through and how they rebuild their lives from not one but two tragedies. I enjoyed the book but miss the detail. The book seems hurried and not fully thought out. I’m sure hearing Danielle in person would be a special treat. The book needed to be written for no other reason then to release the emotional energy trapped inside Stammer. Danielle and family have relocated to Jefferson City, Missouri.
Kate Winslet did the English voice narration for a documentary on autism, A Mother’s Courage (aka The Sunshine Boy) and learned of a whole other world of people who are intelligent and vital but unable to communicate through normal means. She met the filmmaker, Margret who filmed her own story with her autistic teenage son who wasn’t able to communicate until he was 10 through the use of a typing letter board.
Winslet wanted to create awareness of autism and to share some of what she had learned it might be like to be autistic or to be the parent of an autistic child. Kate Winslet’s daughter saw the documentary and asked if Kate could imagine not being able to hear her say, “I Love You Mommy.” Winslet knew she needed to do something. This book was born. She shares emails between herself and Margret, first words and photos from people with autism and asked friends and others famous people to pass her well known hat around with a digital camera and to take a photo of themselves with the hat and sent it on with a quote summing up something important they would wish to express if they only had a few words after not being able to communicate for years.
A moving story about one family’s struggle to “stay the course” and follow God’s will for their lives and ministry despite dangerous opposition from one wealthy member of the community who is also their neighbor. Shootings, bombings, threatening mesages… none of this made the pastor and his family leave the church and community that begged them to stay until one fateful night when the author was 7 years old. The daughter of the pastor Rebecca tells us her story and fills in and verified her memory using court documents, interviews with adults who were also there, newspaper accounts etc. Despite the anger directed at them the parents continued to forgive their neighbor and young Rebecca learned that forgiveness is truly the only way to move on and heal. Honest but uplifting.