I was just wondering what everyone is reading this summer? I have an unofficial/now official list that I’m working on. And I’m sure a couple of things will be added to it by the end of August. (Sorry for the lack of links–I’m writing this from my phone!)
1. 4/7 of The Chronicles of Narnia series. I’m halfway through Caspian and I can’t believe I’ve never read these before now.
2. The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero. In pursuit of wholeness.
3. The Great Omission. Dallas Willard’s apologetic for discipleship. Sarah and I are reading this together.
4. One The Verge. I’m interested in the apostolic community conversation and this book by Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson looks to expand on things nicely.
5. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s about President Lincoln’s cabinet and the leadership he exerted to bring them together and function well.
6. Homerun by Kevin Meyers and John Maxwell. Our Executive Team is reading through this leadership book about living a life filled with wins.
Well, there’s mine. What’s yours?
Most of us want our lives to matter, but many of us don’t know where to start. I recently shared by heart with theWELL about what I believe God has called me to do. My prayer is for everyone to find their own purpose which coincides with Christ’s mission in His community.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
-A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
Eugene Peterson, in The Unnecessary Pastor:
The difference between his [Paul's] life as Pharisee and as Christian was not in his intellectual ability nor in his knowledge of Scripture but in his relation to the Scriptures: as a Pharisee he used the Scriptures; as a Christian he submitted to them.
Carey Nieuwhof has written a post that is part-response to Donald Miller’s post about not attending church and part-appeal for people who are about to leave to reconsider. His 10 thoughts are:
1. A step out of a local church is many times a step away from God.
2. The church puts us into contact with people with whom we would rather not associate.
3. A step away from organized community is often a step away from accountability.
4. A movement is more effective when it has leadership and authority.
5. There is tremendous potential when people are aligned and released around a common mission, vision and strategy.
6. An outward focus of the church is best maintained when people gather intentionally.
7. The faith you cherish is built on the foundation of people who were part of the local church.
8. A wound created in community is best healed in community.
9. The promise of the church is still greater than the problems of the church.
10. Trying something new is better than walking away.
You can read his reasoning here.
Chuck Smith passed away on Thursday. He was a major influence in the church of North America, and I really enjoyed stories from his ministry like this one (from Ray Ortlund’s blog).
He was pastoring a little church in Costa Mesa, California, in the late 1960′s, not far from the beach. God began to pour out his Spirit. Teenage kids started getting saved and coming to Smith’s church. But there was a problem. The oil deposits off the coast of California bubble up little globs of oil that land on the beach. If you step on one, it sticks to the bottom of your foot and you mess up the carpet when you get home. So these young people began coming into church right off the beach. They didn’t know they were supposed to wear shoes. They didn’t know church culture. All they knew was Jesus. But the new carpets and pews at Smith’s church were getting stained. One Sunday morning Chuck arrived at church to find a sign posted outside: “Shirts and shoes please.” He took it down. After the service he met with the church officers. They talked it through. They agreed that they would remove the new carpet and pews before they would hinder one kid from coming to Christ. And that wise decision cleared the way for God to visit Calvary Chapel with wonderful revival (Isaiah 57:14-15). I was there when they were holding services five nights a week, standing room only. The breakthrough came when they humbled themselves and chose to care about what God cares about, and nothing else.
I love the passion to embrace the outsider. Check out his biography here.