I've finished reading "The Jesuit Guide to Just about Everything" by James Martin SJ. It's a truly wonderful read. Well worth your time and energy. However, if you don't like to think and if you are bound and determined to believe your way is the only way then, for sure, pick this book up. It might help you grow beyond the narrow confines of your theological thinking. Don't we all need that?
Somewhere in the book Martin talks about community. He speaks of a friend who believes these three principles will help us both build and live in community.
Understand you're not God.
This world of ours is not heaven.
Don't be an ass.
That's about as succinct as one can get. How many times has community been ruined by God complexes, bad behavior, and idealism?
Speaking of books. My wife is the host of Midday Connection on the Moody Radio Network. Periodically, They have a book club. This time the Moody professor who helps host the club picked the book "Dracula". It's been interesting reading the Facebook comments. There's a whole segment of folks that are pretty frustrated with the choice. It stretches their paradigm of what constitutes acceptable literature. They can't wrap their arms around so called 'secular' books having thoughtful and redemptive content. A few skeptical women have chosen to read the book. They can't put it down. Their eyes are being opened.
In all honesty I haven't read it yet either but did download it to my Kindle today. It was free. What can I say? Perhaps I need my paradigms rocked a bit.
My friend and colleague at Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Arloa Sutter, wrote a book called "The Invisible". It's a book about noticing those we often choose to ignore. It's a great read. What's cool is that the study guide was just released. It's perfect for small group discussions and will help prod your thinking about biblical justice issues. Arloa lives out her faith in quite remarkable ways. Check out her web site http://arloasutter.com/
Along the same lines my buddy John Green recently released his book called "Streetwalking with Jesus". John has a ministry to male prostitutes. He's the real deal. I recommend his book and his ministry. www.streets.org
I'm convinced my wife' s book "What Women Tell Me" can help lead a whole lot of women to the freedom they're seeking. Anita (Lustrea) doesn't pull many punches as she talks about God's amazing work in her life. Some real hot topics are covered. She lays it on the line. Perfect for a small group study. www.anitalustrea.com
Finally, check out the Redbud Writers Guild http://www.redbudwritersguild.com/. This is a group of amazing Christian women who are writing fearlessly about issues that matter.