Thursday, June 18, 2009

At Least I'm Reading

For a variety of reasons, including early-summer insane busy-ness, I haven't been posting much lately. But I have been reading! And I hope to get back to regular posting soon.

In the meantime, here are my latest offerings to share:

#19. Out of the Deep I Cry. I'm almost done with all of the Julia Spencer-Fleming books. Since I read them out of order, I'm thinking about going back and re-reading the final two after I finish the next one.

#20. Speaking of Sin: The Lost Language of Salvation, by Barbara Brown Taylor. This is one of her older books. I got it a few years ago when I went to the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I just wanted to buy a book that she could sign. A couple of weeks ago it sort of fell off my shelf, and I thought it would be a good time to read it. Since she wrote it in 2000, I'm not sure if she stands by her thoughts and opinions now; I found it quite thought-provoking. I like the way she ends the last chapter, called "Righteousness redeemed."

One of the Hebrew words for a righteous person suggests "one whose aim is true." Set beside the word that defines sin as "missing a mark", this gives me an image of righteousness as target practice.....Since I sew more than I shoot arrows, I cannot help but extend the image. It is a needle I am wielding on my way through the word, with a sturdy brown thread looped through the silver eye. By the grace of God, I am being mended too, and God has called me to be a mender too. Since many threads are stronger than one, God has put me on a sewing team. Day by day, our job is to hunt the places where the world is ripped and bend over the damage to do what we can......We made plenty of the rips ourselves, and some of the worst ones show evidence of having been mended many times before, but that does not seem to discourage anyone. Mending is how we continue to be mended, and we would not trade the work for anything. (pp. 101-102

#21. My Name is Child of God.... not Those People, by Julia Dinsmore. It's an unusual book by a woman who has lived with poverty, both as a child and as an adult. It's not really a memoir, but a collection of poems, thoughts, memories and observations. Julia is a mother, a writer, a singer, a storyteller, and a prophet. The last page of her book offers these observations....

I call myself...
Storyteller, artist, social change maker of twenty-five years,
Working to end poverty and homelessness,
Singer, songwriter, learning to practice Christianity,
Becoming a servant kingdom builder
Generosity, and begger in the land of plenty.


FranIAm said...

Ah... reading. School is just about over and my paper is done. Now I can try to read (and breath) again!

Thanks for sharing all of these.

Jan said...

It's always nice to hear what you're reading. Thanks, Diane.

Jennifer said...

I haven't read the Dinsmore book and it sounds great!
On the list it goes!

mompriest said...

I read Speaking of Sin with the adult forum at small church - we really appreciated it, thought provoking indeed! And that last bit you quoted, excellent! I've used portions from that book in many sermons....