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Talking About It
Category Archives: Christian Growth
“Jesus does not say, “Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.” No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy- laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 , NASB). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
(Goes along well with my post for the start of 2015: A Call to Stop Doing)
Like many Evangelicals, I have grown weary of seeing Christian authors simply take secular books, concepts, and ideas, slap on the label “Biblical” (or “Gospel-centered,” “Christian,” “godly,” or other buzzwords), throw in a few (usually-out-of-context) Bible verses and call it their own, usually holding their version on a pedestal.
When I first saw this book and started into it, I’m afraid both Daniel and I did a mental eye roll, thinking that’s what this book would be. But all those initial red flags quickly dropped as I delved further into this book.
Is it possible to disguise a theology book as a productivity book? Or a productivity book as a theology book? If so, Matt Perman just did it in What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. And actually, it seems he’s done better than simply disguising one as the other: he’s showed how the two are intrinsically linked together for the believer. (more…)
Kyle Idleman’s Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus has been out for a few years now, and perhaps ironically, has since gained quite the following. (You can now buy the Not a Fan Student Edition, the Not a Fan: Teen Edition, or even a Not a Fan Follower’s Journal, among many other options, of which I’m sure there will be more to come.) (more…)
At this point in my life, it is rare that life should bring me to tears, though sometimes books and movies get me closer to that point (well, along with too little sleep). But a book about food? There were no heaving sobs, but Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist kept simultaneously me laughing out loud and wondering if my watery eyes would turn to flowing tears.
Bread & Wine is profound, moving, deeply spiritual, and deeply human. It’s about hoping and healing, feasting and fasting, learning to love and to accept love, learning when to hold others close and when to let go, and learning to weave together the rhythms life. Most of all, it’s about learning to gather together and embrace community and hospitality, particularly for those of us who are the people of the bread and wine.
This unique book recipe blends part spiritual memoir and part cookbook (although Neiquist insists it is not, maybe a “collection of recipes,” then?) to create a flavor all its own.
Niequist’s book will undoubtedly be on my list of favorite reads for 2013. Although I haven’t yet tried any of the recipes, the spiritual lessons are simmering away on my heart and mind. (And hopefully, I’ll make Shauna’s recipe for blueberry crisp before we eat all the blueberries the kids and I just picked!)
Shauna’s husband discovered that he had a gluten allergy, and many of Shauna’s friends have had to live with food restrictions. Her book is geared in such a way that most of the recipes are friendly or easy to adapt to diets with special limitations, particularly gluten free. (Which is good, since my gluten intake since return to the States has hit me hard with some side effects this week.)
Going into this book, I didn’t realize who the author’s father was, and I hadn’t read anything by Niequist prior to this book. Realizing who she was might have changed my perception of the book, though she certainly doesn’t she bask in the limelight of her father’s religious fame.
Evangelicals who hold to the belief that Scripture teaches total from alcohol may be a bit uncomfortable with Niequists frequent mention of enjoying alcoholic beverages (after all, the title is Bread & Wine), but I think even many who take such a position would readily take value in the overall message of the book.