Thursday, December 29, 2011

hello, my name is Deborah and I have a thing for books...

Today a Facebook friend asked for reading recommendations - when another friend, who is not on Facebook, asked me what was on my bookshelf in regards to the missional and emergent church movement I figured it was time to share my reading list. Especially since I spent much of the day sorting through stuff and loading up a new bookshelf in my room!

So, here is what I have been reading in 2011 and what I'm looking forward to in the next couple of months.  I'd love to hear what you're reading too!

This year I have been to 3 different continuing ed conferences where I have heard from the likes of Phyllis Tickle, Doug Paggit, Mike Slaughter, Rudy Rasmus, Adam Hamilton, Alan Hirsh and then at Wild Goose Festival I heard Diana Butler Bass, Richard Rohr, Jim Wallis, Peter Rollins, Jay Bakker, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Shane Claiborne...well the list can go on and on.

In 2012 I am really looking forward to Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Faith and Practice for the 21st Century by Alan Hirsch - he speaks truth and he is winsome - he has a much better developed voice than even a few years ago when it seemed to me that he wanted to blow up the church (not that there is anything wrong with that!)

Elaine Heath, UMC prof at Perkins is doing some very cool stuff with the Neo-Monastic movement in Dallas/Ft Worth area.   Her book The Mystic Way of Evangelism is a must read for church leaders and especially for those who have been wrestling with what church can and should look like.  I highly recommend it. I was about to disregard the last 1/3 because it was a case study, but I ended up in tears.

Have you visited Henri Nouwen lately? The Wounded Healer and The Life of the Beloved are both favorites from this year. I did a study with some folks this summer on Life of the Beloved that was well received.  Both are small volumes but pack great wisdom.  The Wounded Healer was written in 1979 but is very post-modern in my humble opinion.

I was intrigued by Diana Butler Bass at Wild Goose.  I like what she is saying about the church and the culture shift we are in the midst of. She has a book coming out in February called Christianity After Religion.  I will preorder it soon.

I would like to do this study by Phyllis Tickle Embracing Emergence Christianity.  She is still one of my favorite people, as I told Mrs Tickle in March, I want to be like her when I grow up.  She is wonderful and I got to see her in June at Wild Goose as well!

I really like Richard Rohr - his book The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See rocks - as does Falling Upward. Falling Upward really speaks to people at midlife transitions - so might be something to do with newly empty nesters. But it goes really deep - not for the faint of heart.

Brian McLaren is one of the most down to earth guys I have met this year.  McLaren is a pioneer in the missional/emergent movement. Brian led a conversation with Justin's age group at Wild Goose and Justin loved 'Brian'. It was a highlight for me when later I thanked him and he remembered Justin. :) I have been working on a couple of his books including Naked Spirituality and A New Christianity: 10 Questions that are transforming the Faith.  Good, thoughtful stuff.

Mike Slaughter was equally accessible at Ginghamsburg - which was very cool!  I have some of his stuff to read but have not had time to read it - yet.  I was really impressed by how willing Ginghamsburg is to share their stuff.  A real leader in the UMC!

Adam Hamilton is a great speaker and a prophetic and positive leader in the UMC.   I was VERY impressed by the Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute - I will take a group of folks from Trinity to COR in the fall.  We used Hamilton's The Journey during the Advent season.

I would really like to hear Scot McKnight speak. His blog, Jesus Creed, is very insightful. I wish the UMC had someone who could speak with similar authority and as prolifically as McKnight.   McKnight is Evangelical Covenant and teaches New Testament at Northpark in Chicago. Brilliant and accessible writing - I just love it. His book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited is rocking my world right now - and One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow is also very powerful - I could see it being used especially with 20 something/college ages.

I read Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy last winter and used it for a sermon series on the Beatitudes during Epiphany. His book really got me to thinking about being kingdom builders - wonderful book but very dense. We used his DVD study and it was well received by folks at Trinity.

Sean Gladding was at Wild Goose and he has done a narrative of the Bible called The Story of God, the Story of Us. It is meant to be done over 12 weeks with a group as readers theatre. Really cool way to look at scripture as a way to form people.

One more thing on my shelf - NT Wright has translated the New Testament - focusing on the Kingdom of God - the Kingdom New Testament came out this fall.   Good, good stuff!

If you want to read a novel, Ian Morgan Cron's Jesus, the CIA and Me: a memoir of sorts is a poignant story of grace and God's redemptive love.  Ian was at Wild Goose and he has a lovely voice and way of telling a story.  

I am blessed to be part of two different Emergent/Missional Church reading groups, it helps to gather together with others to discuss what you read and wrestle over ideas.  I'd highly recommend seeking out some others to do so - even if it means driving 100 miles each way!  It's worth it to stir things up and get your mind in gear.  You never know how the Holy Spirit will work through these sorts of gatherings!

This year my continuing ed schedule will look quite different, but I am just as excited for the new books that will be coming out in 2012.  In the meanwhile - Happy New Year everyone and happy reading!

Peace, love in Christ,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I need a wife.


thank you,

ps  not a wife/wife but someone to help around the house...maybe you could loan me an elf or two during the off season?  It would be nice if they liked to do stuff other than cooking and cleaning.  ummm, like folding socks (I hate folding socks) and sending out the Christmas cards on time, taking walks, hanging out is ok too.