Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Reading List: Living a Gospel of Peace and Reflection

So. Finals week pending, the semester is done and gone, and I'm ready to start my summer.

Well. Sort of.

I have this whole wedding/honeymoon thing to do first.

But then...then, I'll DEFINITELY be ready for summer.

Among the current plans on the list of things to do before fall semester:

1) Attend the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros concert in St. Louis on June 14. Consider this an open invitation to attend with my wife and me--just shoot me a message on facebook, or let me know in a comment below if you're interested in joining us.

2) Attend the Cornerstone Music Festival on June 28-July 3 in Marietta, IL. Same offer applies. We'll hopefully be taking a small caravan of people to the festival (which features, among other things, seminars of all shapes, sizes, and colors; group sessions; corporate--in a good way--worship; and lots and lots of music) and camping out for the duration of the week.

3) Counsel two separate youth camps during the second and third weeks of July.

In the meantime, I've started compiling a list of summer reading I'd like to get done in my free time before the semester starts again. Check it:

1) The Lessons of St. Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality Into Your Daily Life, by John Michael Talbot. A gift from Alyssa that just tickled me pink to get. St. Francis is my hero. Speaking of St. Francis...

2) Saint Francis, by Nikos Kazantzakis. I bought this book about the same time as The Last Temptation of Christ (in which I am currently completely engrossed, and hope to have finished by the summer), and can't wait to start on Kazantzakis's adaptation of the life story of this amazing man.

3) Literary Companion to the Festivals: A Poetic Gathering to Accompany Liturgical Celebrations of Commemorations and Festivals, by Mark Price. Another gift from Alyssa. It's liturgy. And literature. I don't think I can overstate ho
w cool this is.

4) Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, by Donald Kraybill, et. al. The strange and incredible story of the power of forgiveness displayed by the Amish following the shooting of several children at a schoolhouse near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The first time I heard Kraybill recount this story (even though I remember it from the news) in the documentary, The Ordinary Radicals, I wept.

5) Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Alyssa and I are fascinated by intentional community, and I've even had some talks with a friend of mine in the Liberty, MO area about new monasticism. This seems like a literary cornerstone to the movement.

Anyway. I guess that's just about it. Not sure I'll get to read all of them, especially at the pace I read. But it's a start, and I hope to come out a bit wiser at the other end. That's all any of us could ask, right?

God's grace and peace be with you,


PS--My five-part blog series on my top five favorite/most influential depictions of/references to Jesus in pop culture is coming soon, I promise!

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