Saturday, April 30, 2011

Off the not-so-dusty bookshelf

My apologies that my blogging here has significantly lapsed lately, in part because of the serving I mentioned in my last post and in part because of all the reading I've been doing lately. 

It started with my Boundaries book for the Boundaries course I mentioned, and although I didn't read that one all the way through again (I already read it about 8 years ago when trying to deal with this relationship) but I was reading the material for the course as well.  Anyway, I've been wanting to write something about the course here now for awhile because it has helped me so much (along with Changes That Heal by the same authors, which I read last summer for that course we ran in the fall). I have yet to meet one person who hasn't been struck by one of the truths in these books that directly impact their own life, whether it causes internal or external changes, everyone I know who has read this book has benefited from it. 
It's hard to summarize it, and even the book description linked above I personally don't feel does it justice.  It's human nature to eventually come in to contact with someone with whom the relationship will be strained, it's because as we get close to people our personal space crosses their personal space and the property lines get blurred and it's hard to know which feelings you are responsible for and which they are responsible for. This is where Boundaries comes in and I can't rave enough about how all encompassing and far reaching the truths of this book will go to help any and every relationship you have.

And to that same tune, I also read No More Christian Nice Girl, which has a lot of the same principles as Boundaries, but with one additional point that I found so helpful, being nice isn't the same as being good (by God's standards). Nice is not a fruit of the spirit, but goodness is. And if we are to be Christ-like, think about this, Jesus was often a very not-nice guy. Even when he healed people he is quoted in blunt terms.  People often say, if Jesus was a nice guy he would have lived to an old age. A really great book that's great for women at all stages as it also tackles of the issues of being nice vs. good while dating or married.

Then I read this book that was recommended by my ministry leader, No Perfect People Allowed.  Wow! I'm only 4 chapters in and I'm just so loving it! I have tried to live my life with the motto 'love the sinner, hate the sin', but this book really delves into how you can balance being truthful, not holding back opinions about sin, but in a loving way that ultimately shows real care for people no matter where they are on their journey through faith. It's been really insightful, full of real examples from the author's rapidly growing Church.  It especially focuses on the best way to engage those who are affected by the postmodernism belief that there is no one truth. I find that the toughest, that people won't even bother to investigate claims of truth because they refuse to accept another reality than the one they have - that there isn't just one truth.  This book is exactly what I have been needing to help me step out and talk more with others about their faith journey, I can't wait to finish it!

Well, that's just been the last 2 months, and there are a couple in there I've started to read (some fiction, yay! :) that I'm sure I'll be mentioning soon....serving at Church is slower now and so are the t.v. shows I watch.  Yay summer!

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