books


I’m currently reading through “The Year of Living Like Jesus”- My journey of discovering what Jesus would really do – by Ed Dobson.  He wrote the book after hearing A.J. Jacobs on NPR talking about his book “The Year of Living Biblically”.

So far I’ve been struck by a couple things.  First, Dobson brings up the outrage some in the Christian community express when a courthouse or other public place refuses to display the Ten Commandments.  He thinks it somewhat humorous that petitions would be signed and marches organized, when most every Christian breaks one of the Ten Commandments every week – the whole “keeping the Sabbath” thing.  Is that a valid point?  Are we just cherry picking the Commandments that are easiest to keep?  Shouldn’t we be more concerned with keeping the Ten Commandments instead of displaying them?

Secondly, prayers and liturgy.  I’ve kinda grown up thinking that all prayers should be spontaneous and free-flowing, otherwise it wasn’t really me talking to God.  I didn’t often read a prayer, write a prayer or much less recite an ancient prayer.  Dobson addresses this when after growing up with said “free-flowing prayers…I soon realized that most people generally said the same thing over and over again.  Even though we were against liturgical prayers, our free-flowing prayers ended up being pretty liturgical themselves.”

I’ve really enjoyed the last couple years at Vox Dei and stepping out of a comfort zone I didn’t really know I had.  There is something about the liturgy and ancient prayers that calms me and reminds me that I don’t have it all figured out.  I don’t have all the right things to say.  Millions of people for hundreds of years have said the same prayers and they didn’t have it all figured out.  There is a measure of freedom in that.

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Rustin shared this at Vox this morning –

Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of god, into the new creation that god will one day make. That is the logic of the mission of God. God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and in the power of his Spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted. – N.T. Wright (Suprised by Hope)

“We routinely disqualify testimony that would plead for extenuation.  That is, we are so persuaded of the rightness of our judgement as to invalidate evidence that does not conform us in it.  Nothing that deserves to be called truth could ever be arrived at by such means”.  – Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam

“Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country, or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.’  But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always axious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied.  You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run.”

-Henri Nouwen (Life of the Beloved)

 Just finished reading “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller, who also has a new book out entitled “No More Mondays”.  Lots of good info for the person looking for a typical corporate job, how to stuff for writing resumes, interviewing, non-normative approaches to finding jobs, ect.  Also has a few good chapters on starting your own business and working from home. 

  But a few of the questions really got me thinking about my career as a nurse.  Questions like “What types of things do you find yourself daydreaming about doing?”, “what types of things, when you’re doing them, do you find the time just flying by?”, and “is what you’re doing now giving you a sense of purpose or fulfillement at the end of the day?”.  Man, those kinda got me thinking, ’cause I don’t often find myself daydreaming about holding down drunk people, wiping rear-ends, and suctioning out tracheostomys….imagine that! 

   I’m even thinking about writing out some 5 year goals for myself and our family…which my wife thinks is the first sign that I’ve gone crazy (“what?  you have dreams and goals, that’s not the man I married”.