If you are like me, Christmas isn’t complete without pulling out those special books from the Christmas box. The same stories year after year–and sometimes a new one or two–create that nostalgia that makes the holidays so special. Here are a couple new editions of old favorites, and a couple brand new offerings–a style for… Continue reading Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas
As the long nights descend and the trees grow naked, Advent waits in the marrow of winter’s chill despite the twinkling lights. It is a season of stripping away, even, some might say, of death. It is out of this barrenness that Gayle Boss bore All Creation Waits. Behind the dull cloak of winter green things sprout and new life bulges, it is but the hush before a new beginning.
In reading this book I have gotten the sense that I have come to know Bobby a little bit. He writes in a very personal manner as if everything he has chosen to say comes from deep within him. He pours himself out here because he is writing about what he himself has been molded by, and yet it is beyond him. This isn’t a book pushed out to fulfill a marketing niche, but a sincere guide worth returning to.
According to artist Yumiko Higuchi’s book’s description her motifs blend Japanese and Scandinavian styles. Both of these styles leverage simplicity to create an arrangement that highlights subtleties of shape and striking pairings of color. Every detail matters.
Love, Henri is a collection of correspondence from the late highly respected Catholic priest, professor, and pastor Henri Nouwen. Nouwen came to me highly recommended, but I was still surprised how deeply impactful the content of mere letters could be. These are words of friendship, constructive criticism, sympathy and encouragement sent by Nouwen to address various needs in his friends and acquaintances throughout his life. I filled the pages with ink stains.
For anyone who has experienced the feeling of being abandoned by God, or the dark emptiness of unfulfilled longing for him, St. Teresa of Calcutta— who termed herself a Saint of Darkness—provides deep encouragement. Her lonely road of faith without feeling God’s touch lasted for over 10 years, presumably up to her death, but in I Loved Jesus in the Night Father Paul Murray shows us the connection between her darkness and her joy, going so far as to term this darkness not an abandonment but an outpouring of God’s presence.
In this dissection of a family, award winning author Ann Patchett follows fifty years of life in the Cousins and Keating households. From the first glimpses of unraveling marriages, to the aftereffects of divorce, to children now grown with families of their own, Commonwealth examines the effects of time and the ties of family.
I’ve always thought the famous question “If you could have lunch with anyone in the world who would it be?” was dreadful. Put me across the table from a complete stranger and expect me to have interesting things to say? No, thank you! But what if we re-phrased the question: “If you could look through the personal photographs of anyone in the world, who would you choose?” I have a lot of ideas in answer to that one, and one extraordinary author has opened her life like an album in this very way.
As I pensively wandered through a cemetery this morning, the weight of this reality surrounded me: I sit among beings awaiting resurrection. You can almost feel the longing in a graveyard, the yawning patience, the crusty waiting. Everything rests on pause, held in the drawn out sigh of dirt and decay. But then, we too, the living, await resurrection. We pilgrimage among still festering wounds and brokenness. At times we circle old patterns, are pierced by grief, or feel the internal chill of winter. Demonstrated through baptism’s dip into grave-like waters, and then the lift into new air, we have been promised fullness of life to come. But in the mean time life sometimes looks like death. Despite this reality for each one of us, somehow it is often easier to “show face” and pretend to be more healed, more whole than we are.
This story taught me that repentance is not an obligation but a gift. It’s God’s invitation to drop the burden from our backs as we “work out our salvation” by putting one foot in front of the other (in this case, literally) towards God and away from our brokenness. Repentance is how we heal.