Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September Reading List

77. Never Enough, by Joe McGinniss
78. If I am Missing or Dead, by Janine Latus
79. The Front, by Patricia Cornwell
80. Redeemed, by Heather King
81. Leaper, by Geoffrey Wood
82. The Whole Truth, by David Baldacci
83. Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, by Peter Walsh

Friday, September 26, 2008

Book Review

Redeemed, by Heather King.

King's first memoir, Parched, focused on her years of addicition (drugs and alcohol) and treatment, and ended with her entering sobriety. That memoir had little if any spiritual content, apart from the general God-stuff of AA.

But this is a total spiritual memoir, as King explains how she found God in the most unlikeliest place she could imagine: the Catholic Church. Her expressions of love for Mary and the Eucharist may make some uncomfortable, but whoever can get past that will find a delightful and extremely well-written book. The sections describing her newfound love for the church's teachings on sex and abortion, for example, are worth finding.

I am personally a sucker for conversion stories of all types, and this one is written by someone with a humbling transparency and real ability to spin a compelling tale. I was hooked from the first page and enjoyed it all the way to the end.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Censorship @ Lifeway?

It seems to me this is a conversation worth having, not supressing. But whoever owns the stores has the right to decide what they will and won't display, I suppose.
Magazine Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, 'Treated Like Pornography'
Friday, September 19, 2008
Associated Press

ATLANTA — The five women on the cover are dressed in black and smiling — not an uncommon strategy for selling magazines.

But these cover girls are women of the cloth, featured in Gospel Today magazine's latest issue, which Lifeway Christian Bookstores (affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention) has pulled from the shelves at its bookstores, though the magazine is available for sale upon request.

The group says women pastors go against its beliefs, according to its interpretation of the New Testament. The magazine was taken off stands in more than 100 Lifeway stores across the country, including six in metro Atlanta.

Published for nearly 20 years, Gospel Today is the largest and most widely distributed urban Christian publication in the country, with a circulation of 240,000. The magazine's publisher, Teresa Hairston, said she was just reporting on a trend, not trying to promote women pastors.
"They basically treated it like pornography and put it behind the counter," she said. "Unless a person goes into the store and asks for it, they won't see it displayed."

Nationally, the Southern Baptists have adopted statements discouraging women from being pastors, but their 42,000 U.S. churches are independent and a few have selected women to lead their congregations. The faith was organized in 1845 in Augusta, Ga.

Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, said the cover was not the reason the magazine was pulled from Lifeway's shelves.

"The buyers said the statements that were in it took positions that were contrary to what we would say," Turner said. "It wasn't so much that there were women on the cover."

Featured on the cover are Pastor Sheryl Brady of The River in Durham, N.C.; Pastor Tamara Bennett of This Is Pentecost Ministries in Sacramento, Calif.; Bishop Millicent Hunter of The Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pa.; Pastor Claudette Copeland of New Creation Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, Texas; and Pastor Kimberly Ray of Church on the Rock in Matteson, Ill.

Bennett said the issue of women in the ministry is not one that should be shelved.
"It's a story that needs to be told," she said in a telephone interview Friday. "Sometimes we forget that ministry is God's business. It's not a man's business. God gives gifts to whomever he sees fit."

Bennett said she is encouraging people to ask for the magazine.

"All Dr. Hairston did was tell a story, she didn't preach a doctrine," Bennett said of the article. "It's just sharing news."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Abandon Yourself To It

This is from Abandonment to Divine Providence, from Jean Pierre de Caussade, a Jesuit priest from the 18th Century:

"For those who abandon themselves to it, God's love contains every good thing and if you long for it with all your heart and soul it will be yours. All God asks for is love, and if you search for this kingdom where God alone rules, you can be quite sure you will find it. For if your heart is completely devoted to God, your heart itself is this treasure, this very kingdom which you desire so ardently."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Book Review

The Dead Whisper On, by T.L. Hines.

This is Hines' second novel. Though not a sequel to Waking Lazarus, it plows similar material: creepy events, eerie spirituality, and an interesting Christian take on the ghost story.

Canada MacHugh, a hard-working woman in Montana, hears the voice of her father, dead for 11 years. And Dad has a mission for her: helping him and other (supposedly) dead folk go about and perform missions of mercy and goodness. What could be wrong with that?

Well, of course, plenty can go wrong with that. And it does go wrong for Canada, and she is thrown into a variety of dangerous situations, all the while trying to figure out exactly what the ghosts are.

Hines' books have a dry sense of humor that counteract the suspense/horror aspects well. No book is everyone's cup of tea, but this one is a solid example of the spiritual thriller genre.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

August Reading

65. The Dark Knight novelization, by Dennis O'Neal
66. Left Behind: The Kids #10, by Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
67. Left Behind: The Kids #11, by Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
68. Left Behind: The Kids #12, by Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
69. Left Behind: The Kids #13, by Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
70. Queen of Sorcery, by David Eddings
71. Invincible Ultimate Collection, vol. 1 & 2, Robert Kirkman et. al.
72. Playing for Keeps, by Mur Lafferty
73. Beverly Hills Dead, by Stuary Woods
74. A Cat in a Chorus Line, by Lydia Adamson
75. The Star Scroll, by Melanie Rawn
76. Tom Clancy's Op-Center #3: Games of State, by Jeff Rovin