Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Jesus of suburbia: Have we tamed the Son of God to fit our lifestyle?

Mike Erre (2006), pastor at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, CA, writes:
"The Jesus of Suburbia is the Jesus of Christian religion. He is the Jesus who calls us into comfort and convenience and away from engaging the world around us with truth and grace. He is the Jesus who makes sense. Not surprisingly, we are tempted to follow him. The children of God have always been tempted to temper and soften the God who is there into a much tamer counterfeit."

In this book, Erre challenges us to NOT settle for the safe, drab Jesus that is preached about in our clean North American churches. Instead, Erre asks us to wonder what it would be like to open up our hearts to the real Jesus who has the power to transform lives and communities. The real Jesus is wild and wonderful. Jesus calls us to follow Him, to trust Him, to take risks for Him, to see Him as He really is instead of what we want Him to be. What would life look like if we actually did this? Scary, huh? And somehow compelling at the same time.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

This is a great summer read chronicling a year in the life of Nan, the nanny for Mr. and Mrs. X's son, Grayer, in New York City. This book contains a lot of smart, funny commentary on childcare and family life (or lack thereof). It also highlights the significance of the attachment that children develop to their primary caregivers, whether that be their mom, dad, or nanny.

Friday, July 27, 2007

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

This is one of the few books that has made me burst into tears at the very end. It's a coming-of-age tale, with the main character, Haven, surrounded by broken family relationships along with new (and possibly unwanted) additions to the family. She learns that we never know the full truth about anyone or any situation and thus, our assumptions and judgments can sometimes be very wrong and unfair.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

I loved Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies, a collection of essays on life and faith. Plan B, another collection of essays about the same, was just okay. This, her third collection, was stale and repetitive. There wasn't anything truly new and creative here. It was still easy to read, but it was just more of the same. I'd rather just read Traveling Mercies again.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


And to J.K. Rowling: Thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Welcome, summer. I've been waiting for you.

I finished summer school yesterday! The eight weeks ahead of me are untouched by syllabi, reading assignments, and research papers. Let the fun reading begin! First up, of course, is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This is Khaled Hosseini's second novel (his first was The Kite Runner). The story spans 30 years and tells of two women in Afghanistan and how their lives become intertwined. It's an easy read in the sense that the story moves along quickly. It's a difficult read in some parts because of the graphic scenes of domestic abuse. There really is everything in this story: revenge, love, tragedy, friendship, redemption. I recommend that you read this book. If you haven't read The Kite Runner yet, read that one too.