Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Good Books List from the Fall

In the Spring I recommended the book, Heaven Is For Real, to a friend. This week she wrote and asked if I had other recommendations. I did.  From July through the middle of November our Beeson cohort has had assigned reading of 44 books.  These 44 have opened doors to a host of other works that we become acquainted with.  I made a top ten list for my friend, nine are from the assigned reading and one was not.

  1. "The Attentive Life" - Leighton Ford. It takes the Benedictine hours of prayer and uses them as a path through the stages of one's life. Leighton Ford is a brother-in-law to Billy Graham.
  2. "The Seven Storey Mountain" - Thomas Merton. This is Merton's spiritual autobiography and it tells of his journey to Christ and becoming a Benedictine monk. It's a great book of discovery.
  3. "In the Name of Jesus" - Henri Nouwen. Nouwen writes about self-deception and leadership based on the temptation of Jesus.
  4. "Wounds That Heal" - Steve Seamands. This is a good and hard read. Honesty about wounds and hopefulness about healing.
  5. "The Story of God, The Story of Us" - Sean Gladding. Imaginative story-telling of the entire Bible. If the Bible has become stale - pick up this book.  Better than the book in print form, would be to have it in audio; that's really the way it was meant to be heard.
  6. "One Church Many Tribes" - Richard Twiss. A First Nations (Native American) person talks about how the church could be an inclusive and reconciling community. This would be a great book for friends in the last neighborhood we lived in. 
  7. "Leadership & Self Deception" - The Arbinger Institute. About being in the box of self-deception and its ramifications in the work place and at home.
  8. "The Experience Economy" - B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. Describes how the world is changing and suggests that if something can be made a commodity then its economic value plummets. They give examples of companies that exhibit the experience economy.
  9. "Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life" - Marjorie Thompson. Writing about spiritual practices and disciplines in a way that helps unpack why we do some of the things we do.
  10. "Tattoos on the Heart; The Power of Boundless Compassion." - by Father Gregory Boyle. Father Greg became the pastor to the poorest parish church in LA in the late 1980's. It was in the middle of the hood with gang violence all around. Father G and some brave souls prayed and went to work incarnating the love of God. He writes a compelling story, not perfect, but compelling. A major contribution to the story is a company that he started to address the need for work; the company is Homeboy Industries. I visited Homeboy in October during a visit to Los Angeles. I absolutely love their work and the way in which Father G tells the story. 

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