Suggested Reading List

Foundational 

The Holy Bible 

The root of our faith tradition!  I enjoy reading a Psalm a day as they often become my prayer.  Though we are all learning these scriptures, if you are new to reading, I’d begin with Genesis and Exodus as well as exploration in the New Testament, especially the Gospels.


Spiritual Formation

Thomas Merton—New Seeds of Contemplation

This powerful writing awakens us to a deeper look at each moment of our lives.  Merton says,

"Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."

This is a great introduction to the contemplative tradition and an invitation to allow a depth of growth that we have always longed for!

Richard Rohr—Falling Upward- Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life 

Father Rohr looks at the fullness of life as two unique segments.  The first half all enter where we build our ego and sense of security but also develop a false sense of self, the false self. The second half of life is where we learn that we are made for much more!  Through the reality of pain/suffering, we begin to realize a need for something more and we begin the journey toward our true self.

Richard Rohr—Immortal Diamond- The Search for the True Self

What does it mean to have a ‘true self?’ In this book, we discover that the pursuit of life is to live into the fullness of the authentic self which is only found in God!  The book descriptor grants us a taste of what is to come by sharing, 

“This book likens True Self to a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds it. In a sense True Self must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that process is not resuscitation but transformation.”


Justice

Vinh Chung—Where the Wind Leads

A true story of one man’s family and their journey from a privileged life in Vietnam to the fall of the family’s empire and pursuit of freedom in life.  Through this story, we are given a glimpse of the horror that people face and the reason that they are willing to flee their homelands for the hope of freedom.  

In a world filled with refugees, this insightful book helps us connect with the actual story of hope, loss, love and faith.  

Bryan Stevenson—Just Mercy

A powerful look into the unjust incarceration system found within our country.  As a lawyer who works on death row cases, Bryan helps us hear the stories of those falsely imprisoned as well as those incarcerated for their crimes with extreme sentences.  This powerful read helps us to pause and ask what is justice anyway.

Robert D. Lupton—Toxic Charity- How Churches and Christians Hurt Those they Help (and how to reverse it)

We love to help others!  It makes us feel good that we can do something for someone else.  But what do we do if the acts we are doing are actually hurting others?  This book is a must read for all involved in serving others to help us ask deeper questions about why we are doing what we are doing; what actual impact are we making; and how do we really bless others?

Elie Wiesel—Night

 This powerhouse autobiography comes from Wiesel as he tells of his experience of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager.  From the very start, the story grips us as he invites us into the depth of his pain, processing what he experienced and the hope of liberation.  I always find myself asking questions about human nature, the danger of phobias, and the prayers that we raise to God for help.


Inspiration/Life Together

Daniel James Brown—The Boys in the Boat

The story of a team willing to work in sync in order to shock the world.  Set in the midst of the Great Depression and the looming Olympics in Nazi Germany, this remarkable tale of teamwork, sacrifice and inspiration will move you!

Ron Hall and Denver Moore—What Difference Do It Make? Stories of Hope and Healing

Unique in the method of writing, each writer shares their part of the story in their own words.  Ron was an affluent art dealer whose wife believed it was her duty to care for the poor.  Denver was a poor man from southern Louisiana who avoided people like the Hall’s.  What starts as a strained relationship ultimately transforms both men in ways they could never imagine. 


Thoughtful Reading (fun and deeper questions)

Mitch Albom— The Time Keeper

What is the story of Father Time?  In this thoughtful fictional tale, we gain insight and pause with our own questions to ask ‘What is time?’  This book has countless quotes that invite one to sit and ponder their own experience of life, time and what is the point of it all.

Richard Paul Evans—The Walk Series including The Walk; Walking on Water; A Step of Faith; The Road to Grace; Miles to Go

A fun read as the writer takes us on a journey from Seattle to Key West…on foot!  As Alan experiences the collapse of life, he sets out on a journey to rediscover who he is.  After this read, you may just want to take a walk!

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