Books for the New Year

As promised, I’ve updated my reading list. I’m excited about the books cluttering my nightstand. They are eclectic, and challenging, and most of all, rich with beautiful and soul-stirring words.

All in Day's Read

Most of my reading is devoted to my preparation for the #LikeAGirl study. This new season of study is on The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In addition to my other study books, I’ve been learning a lot from the following:

  • Sermon on the Mount, by Scot McKnight
  • The Sermon on the Mount, by Daniel M. Doriani
  • The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries, by Greenman, Larsen, and Spencer
  • Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision-Making in Matthew 5-7, by C.H. Talbert
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom, by George Eldon Ladd
  • Sermons on the Beatitudes, by John Calvin
  • Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
  • The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If you’d like to see the Amazon links to these books, you can find them here. Do you have a favorite book on The Sermon on the Mount? Leave me a recommendation in the comments. I’d love to hear who has aided your understanding of what Jesus means for his listeners in this sermon. You could also let me know what you/re prepared to read in 2015. Even though I might not have time to add them to my list, I’d love to hear about them from you. I’ve already made myself sick looking at the lists of the best books of 2014. How I wish I had more time to read, but then when I would keep working on my formula to make book-reading a caloric-burning activity?

What Are We Doing and Why? {Mark Labberton Quotable on the Church}

I updated my Reading page today with the books that are currently occupying my time. Take a look. I’d love to hear what books are challenging and encouraging your walk of faith.

The Church is a burden that weighs heavily on my heart with both hopeful expectancy and frustrated irritation. I know you’ve been reading the blogs and papers; you’re aware of how  much our humanness gets in the way of our living as the people God intends us to be. You’ve heard about the big and little fallings of notable of leaders and of compromise in the ranks. It’s saddening. Sometimes it’s downright pound-your-fist-on-the table maddening. Often it is personally convicting–my house is made of thin glass.

I’ve been reading Called: The Crisis and Promises of Following Jesus Today, by Mark Labberton. It is both soul salve and a swift kick in the Levis.

Here is a quote from my reading today:

Sometimes the church is just odd: habits, speech, attitudes, potlucks, whatever. Every church is something particular, and you smell it the moment you’re on the premises. The point isn’t whether a church is odd, but whether it’s odd because it imitates Jesus Christ. Does the church live that vocation? Surely this plain and unadorned questions is the one that people inside, and certainly outside, the church want to have answered. If the response is anything but yes, we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing and why. 

Few outside the church measure it by a standard of perfection. What they seek is far, far more achievable: authentic people whose proclamation of their trust in Jesus is backed up by their ordinary but self-giving acts of grace, justice and compassion.”

What are we doing and why? I’m stewing on this answer. I hope you will too.

The Theater of the Glory of God {Craddock Quotable}

“Sharper than any earthly two-edged sword, the speech of God knifes through the curtain between heaven and earth…The sword is so sharp that it can separate even the ‘soul from the spirit,’ dividing between what really matters and what seems to matter. No one can hide from this speech act of God; the word God unveils every human life, laid bare before the eyes of God. The word of God takes an ordinary day and makes it ‘today,’ takes an ordinary moment and makes it the time of crisis and decision, takes an ordinary event and makes it the theater of the glory of God, takes a routine life and calls it to holiness.” ~Fred B. Craddock, Hebrews

Who will you listen to today? Will you continue to be confused about what really matters or will you listen to His voice? Will you live in the ordinary routine of just another day or in the today’s theater of His glory?