Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Words that have shaped us

It's no secret that I like to read. I always have, so it's not surprising to me that books have been a tool that God has used to shape my heart and to inform and guide our journey. Of course the only book that really has the power to is His Word, but there have certainly been some specific books along the journey that have challenged my beliefs, stretched my faith, convicted me, and taught me.

So I thought I should share with y'all some of the voices (in book-form) that we have listened to, and been changed by (especially in the way we do our lives and missions, and in what we believe about race and poverty).
In particular, we began this foray into missions, and particularly inner-city missions, nearly seven years ago on our first wedding anniversary (while on a cruise). We read the book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (by Shane Claiborne). His words echoed the questions we had already been posing in our own hearts and lives. What if we really believed the Gospel? Shouldn't our lives look differently? We searched and asked and decided that we DO actually believe the Gospel, and now our lives actually DO look dramatically different than they used to, and than most Christians' lives look.
My favorite book that I've read (maybe ever, but particularly as related to our lives and inner-city ministry) is Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle. I just feel like Father G (as I like to call him) has such a beautiful heart for the folks he ministers to and lives life with. The ideas he builds on reflect a kinship with those around him, rather than a "savior-complex," which really appeals to me and feels like a reflection of our Father's heart.

And some books that have shaped, in more practical and specific ways, how we look at our neighborhoods and how we do ministry:




Any books you think I've missed? What should I be reading that I haven't? I always love getting new reading material!

8 comments:

  1. Have I told you about "Everyday A Beautiful Change" by Katherine Willis Pershey? It's my new favorite. Not urban, but a wonderful spiritual memoir of ministry and motherhood. So, so good. (I have a copy you can borrow)

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    1. oh I cant wait :-) I definitely want to borrow it my friend!

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  2. BOOM. I've read all but the last one. Better get on it!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing! I've added a bunch of these to my amazon wishlist. I recommend Compassion by Nouwen, McNeil and Morrison for spiritual inspiration and The Working Poor by Shipler for a general introduction to working-class poverty. I also love Tell Them Who I Am by Liebow on homelessness among women. Everything Dorothy Day wrote is deeply inspiring as well.

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    1. added those to my (already ridiculously long) amazon wish list! :-)

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  4. I'm behind on my favorite blogs again! And I don't even have time to catch up right now so I'm jumping around here and there so forgive me if over the next few weeks I'm making random comments on posts you wrote days and days ago. This one's less than a week old, so that's not so bad. I am such a sucker for book lists so I'll have to bookmark this post so I can come back and add these titles to my never-ending list.

    I was wondering if you'd read Toxic Charity. I read it and parts of made a lot of sense, but I left if feeling less unsure of what God would have me do than I was before I read it. I don't even know if that makes any sense at all. If you've read it, I'd love to know what you thought since you're on the front battle lines every day.

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    1. Hey girl! So I actually had the same problem with Toxic Charity (and even a little bit with When Helping Hurts) that I felt like maybe I was doing everything wrong and should stop immediately . . . after much soul searching and prayer, Adam and I ended up falling firmly on the side of everything done in relationship. There's such a difference in the boys sitting down to a family dinner with us and handing out food to those in need. And yet both have the same end result: feeding hungry boys. . . Anyways, I dont know if that makes sense. And I am not sure you'll read this, so I'll email you too :-) love ya friend!

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