I read this for a class I took at my church this summer [we called it Summinary ]. It gives a history of liberal religion and the quest for tolerance for religious freedom. I was amazed at how often, religious change came about due to other power struggles. The Germans were chafing under Roman authority. So when Luther made his religious objections, the powers of state used the theological dispute to their advantage.
A repeated theme was reformers in one decade turning into the old guard against whom the newer thinkers rebelled in the next generation. I was surprised at how enriching I found this read.
Muller’s book is divided into four sections framed by the following four questions:
1. Who am I? what is my identity.
2. What do I love?
3. How Shall I live, knowing that I shall die?
4. What gifts shall I leave behind to the Earth?
Muller then took these meaningmaking questions and explored the questions. I particularly liked question number three. Though, I didn’t agree with all of his statements/thoughts, for example, he said that EVERY single moment is a gift, I found these food for thought. I highly recommend this title!
Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto, read by Tammy, on 05/03/2014
One woman’s personal story of learning she has cancer, fighting it and surviving while trying to still have a normal life and work and plan her wedding. Everyone’s experience with cancer is unique but if you’re looking for a book to let you know what a friend with breast cancer may be going through both physically and emotionally this book should be helpful.
Lamott gives us an inside peek at her writing processes and the advice she gives to her workshop students. Hilariously written, as one reviewer notes, the book is “a warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer’s world and its treacherous swamps.” Lamott is not shy about telling her students and readers that writing is hard work and what we think of as reward, publication, may not ever happen. And yet, we should keep on writing about ourselves, our lives, our very ups and downs. She encourages us all to just keep writing day by day. A good dose of humor is thrown in to keep us from getting too despondent. Lamott tackles libel, beginning writing, taking classes, and finding writing partners with a good dose of reality and fun in her text. I highly recommend it for any creative person who needs a good laugh.
This book, a follow-up to Steal Like an Artist, continues Kleon’s advice on creativity by encouraging artists everywhere to show their work. This particular volume discusses the value of sharing work in online communities through blogs and other social media. Not only does the artist make work public in this way, but he or she also shares with others a bit about process and how the work is made. I found this book to be just as valuable a resource as the first and have already read it twice. It is inspirational and will have artists everywhere wanting to get up and share what they do with others. As Kleon notes, the world owes us nothing. We have to give selflessly in order to get and this book will show the reader how. I highly recommend Kleon’s work to artists of all kinds. Create–share. What a fun cycle to be in!
I had the pleasure of listening to Penny Kittle talk about Book Love at a conference recently. Her passion and dedication to introducing books to teenagers was inspiring. This book just continues that inspiration. If I had a teacher like Mrs. Kittle in high school I think I would have had a blast. Kittle discusses how most high school students are not readers and do not read at the level to prepare them for their future. Instead of cramming classics and class reads down their throats (which they don’t read any way), Kittle advocates finding the right books for the right kids and building their stamina for reading. She intersperses her philosophy and teachings with stories of her students. These stories are amazing. The fact that she gets so many non-readers to become readers is a testament to her love and resilience. I am not a teacher, but a librarian, and I found all kinds of ideas for books to connect with reluctant readers. Of course, most reluctant readers don’t find their way to the public library, but when they do I might be better prepared. I wish this book was required reading for all high school teachers. I would recommend it to all those interested in getting kids to read.
This was a fantastic autobiography! Reminiscent of Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Hiding Place provided the perspective of a Christian family in Holland hiding those who were fleeing Nazi persecution. I was amazed by the organization of the resistance and the positivity of Corrie ten Boom during one of the darkest times of history.
This is the true story of how Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch underground when the Nazis invaded Holland, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes examines archetypal themes in fairy tales relevant to unleashing creativity and letting your unique talents blossom. Estes uses a combination of Jungian psychology together with family wisdom to explain the significance of various tales. I learned that she had been held at gunpoint down in Guatemala, during a period of civil unrest, listening to her inner voice/angel, she eventually started singing to her kidnappers, who let her go, saying the singing was driving them nuts. She finishes each chapter with a blessing. I really liked this title, As it was so deep & rich, I wouldn’t want to read several back to back. I really enjoyed this book, & feel like I benefited from her wisdom.
The Four Doors is Evans’s message to those who seek inspiration in their lives. It began as a talk he gave on the spur of the moment, and over the course of ten years, it has evolved into a message he has shared with successful business people, students, and even addicts and prisoners. It includes stories his readers have told him, stories about great achievers who overcame hardships, and stories about his own struggle growing up in a large family with financial difficulties and a suicidal mother, and about his diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome later in life. These inspiring stories are woven through his identification and careful explanation of the four doors to a more fulfilling life:
BELIEVE THERE’ S A REASON YOU WERE BORN
FREE YOURSELF FROM LIMITATION
MAGNIF Y YOUR LIFE
DEVELOP A LOVE-CENTERED MAP
Evans believes that we all want to know the meaning of our lives. In The Four Doors, he shows how even the most quiet life can be full of purpose and joy, if we choose to take that first step over the threshold.
If you’re a Richard Paul Evans fan, I think you’ll like this book. It’s a quick read, short and concise.
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best.
Author Philip Gulley started writing by doing newsletter essays for his twelve member Quaker congregation in Indiana. Much to his surprise one found its way to radio commentator Paul Harvey Jr., and was read on the air to 24 million listeners. Now he has fourteen books in print including this collection of his newsletter essays.
Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, read by Sarah, on 12/07/2013
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 fast but moving book both visually with the photos and demonstrates the power of words.
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.