the summer reading list

Sara over at Coffee Randoms posted her "seven quick takes" for the week about what she's been reading this summer. (You can learn a lot about a person by finding out what they're reading.) :) I thought I'd follow suit.

1. A Place Called Home - by Lori Wick

This book definitely falls into the "summer fluff" category, but what I love about Lori Wick is that her characters grow in their relationships with the Lord in ways that challenge me to do the same.

2. John G. Lake: The Complete Collection Of His Life's Teachings - compiled by Roberts Liardon

I haven't actually cracked this one open yet, but it's next on the reading list. It's a little intimidating - the only books I own that are longer than this one are my systematic theology textbook and an out-dated dictionary. Still, I am looking forward to digging in, hopefully later today.

3. The Transforming Power of Fasting and Prayer: Personal Accounts of Spiritual Renewal - by Bill Bright

This book has been incredibly encouraging. Most encouraging are the stories of people who didn't experience anything all that out-of-the-ordinary while fasting, but who saw their lives, churches, and ministries transformed afterwards in ways they saw linked to that season of prayer and fasting.

4. Kathryn Kuhlman: A Spiritual Biography of God's Miracle Worker - by Roberts Liardon

Kathryn Kuhlman is one of my favorite interesting people. She was one gutsy woman of God. And I was surprised, in reading this book, to learn some things I hadn't known about her, and to find that I am more like her than I would have thought. At the end of this book are a few excerpts from some of her radio broadcasts that made for excellent morning devotional reading.

5. Walking with God - by John Eldredge

Again. :) I read this book last summer and it literally changed my life, and re-reading it this summer with my small group, I am finding that it still has much to speak. If you read nothing else this year, I would highly recommend it.

6. You Matter More Than You Think - by Dr. Leslie Parrott

I've seen this book on a shelf at the bookstore off and on for over a year now, picked it up, read a page here and there, and put it back - but something told me it was finally time. This book spoke healing into my life that I didn't even know I needed.

7. In Constant Prayer - by Robert Benson

This is a very interesting book. It tackles the question: "what does it mean to pray without ceasing, and is it possible?" and suggests that it is, thru the ancient practice of the daily office (a pattern of prayer and worship offered at specific times of the day). I have been wrestling for a while now with the sneaking suspicion that there is more to prayer than I have yet experienced, and I am learning a lot - and trying not to be too weirded out by the fact that the picture of the author looks suspiciously like my 7th grade English teacher, Mr. Benson, whose first name escapes me, and about whom all I remember is that he really liked baseball, and that he once lived in a place in Brazil where cockroaches would come up through the shower drain.

So how about you? What are you reading this summer?

random ramblings, vol. 3

It's been a crazy few weeks - crazy, busy, relatively sleepless - but fun. Here are some highlights of things I've been up to while not blogging. :)

1) Torch Church is officially opening its doors on Sunday mornings starting this weekend! We're meeting in a movie theatre, which presents a myriad of opportunities for creativity. :) There have been a lot of emails and phone calls and meetings these past few weeks in preparation for tomorrow - and I am excited to see what God will do with our church in this new season of ministry.

2) It's summer, so of course we have been outside a lot. It's been strange weather these past few days - feels more like October than mid-July, but we'll take it. The heat wave is likely still coming. :)

3) Tonight I went to see my good friend Nicole in The Sound of Music. It was wonderful! Well-produced, well-done, amazing sets. It was really fun. And now I'm all misty-eyed and weepy. :P A good love story will do that to a girl. Especially when she's up this late, lol.

4) I've had some really great theological conversations this summer. Hoping to find time to write about some of them soon.

5) I've also been road-tripping a fair bit. Two trips up to Michigan, and one up to Indiana - all to see good friends. I think the currently reigning lol conversation of the month is still this snippet from my road trip to Indiana; I went to church with my friends, and when I noticed the wooden cross in the corner of the sanctuary, the conversation began something like this:

me: "Um, why is that cross covered in chicken-wire?"
my friend: (pauses, grins, thinks for a minute how to sum this up): "Well... that's an issue."

It was a great moment in conversational history. :)

6) I'm painting a lot these days. Redoing my apartment one bit at a time. I will try to find batteries for my camera and post pictures once it's done. I'm doing a couple of paintings to match the new color scheme, and painting bookshelves, reorganizing closets, etc. It's been incredibly good for the artist in me to have an outlet, and I'm looking forward to being done, but enjoying the process, too.

7) In the midst of reorganizing and repainting, I had misplace the tickets to the play tonight, so today, in an attempt to find them, I tackled the stack of junk mail. I began going thru my multiple baskets of junk mail over a year ago, and I am almost done!!! I have one basket left, and then everything will be filed or recycled. YAY! I know it's ridiculous, but you have no idea what a victory this is for me. I was amused, therefore, when the stack of junk mail I thought the tickets were in had been sorted and appropriately organized, to finally find the tickets on the couch. They weren't quite in plain sight - there was a magazine on top of them. But I'd left them out for safe-keeping. I'm glad I forgot that, tho - because now I feel really accomplished. ;)