Posts Tagged: "Barbara Brown Taylor"

Favorite Books Read In 2016

I thought I’d share the list of my favorite books read in 2016. A new thing (for me anyway) that I’ve been doing is reading poetry and fiction… I think Brian Zahnd convicted me with something he wrote that included the following quote from Eugene Peterson:

Isn’t it odd that pastors, who are responsible for interpreting the Scriptures, so much of which come in the form of poetry, have so little interest in poetry? It is a crippling defect and must be remedied.

So anyway, this year’s list includes a little poetry and fiction too. Not everything on the list is new—in fact, some of the books are quite old. It’s just that I read them in 2016 and they made my favorites list. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Water to Wine: Some of my Story by Brian Zahnd – OK, so I might have lied about “no particular order,” at least concerning this one. It’s number one on my list because this was the best book I read all year. Honestly, I wish every Christian would read it. If you only read one book from my list, please read this one!

2. Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity by Norman Wirzba – this book is accessible, enjoyable to read, and totally connects with the heart. I rarely mark up a book as much as I did this one. And this line is gonna stick with me for a long time:

It is a profound calling to look at whatever is before us and ask, “How can I make love visible here and now?”

3.  Celtic Daily Prayer: Book Two: Farther Up and Farther In by the Northumbria Community – this is designed as a daily prayer/devotional book. It is both thought-provoking and beautiful… something to look forward to every day.

4. Life’s too short to Pretend You’re not Religious by David Dark – David has become… Read More

How A Sermon Becomes A Sermon

Obviously this post is not very clickbait-y. Perhaps a couple of my pastor friends will read it (although I think even they are more inclined to only click a link when I’m saying scandalous-sounding things. No worries. Maybe I will require staff members on our church’s teaching team to read this post. Haha, yes, that’s a great idea.

Rather than sharing all the relatively boring things I do in crafting sermons, I thought I’d share a few words from Barbara Brown Taylor.

First, a little about her…  she is an Episcopal priest, professor, author, theologian, and is one of the United States’ best known preachers. In 2014, the TIME magazine placed her in its annual TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world. Impressive!

Here’s what she says… Read More

About That Book

This past weekend my friends threw a book release party for me. It was fun and full of surprises. I was interviewed about the book, my mom read a selection, and so did I. Everything was perfect – the music, the food, and the decorations. Such a great night!

And the people there were amazing.

I wanted to share just a little bit of the behind the scenes on the… Read More

14 Good & Bad Stains 2014 Left On Me

*note: The picture above was taken through the window of my room at the Los Angeles Dream Center from our recent trip with a crew from NWLife – serving for a week there.

I’m so ready for 2015.

This year—while it wasn’t all bad—certainly had more than it’s fair share of bad news. I’ve felt like 2014 has refused to go out quietly or peacefully. It all reminds me of the opening lines from Jesus Walks by Kanye West…

Yo, we at war. We at war with terrorism, racism, and most of all we at war with ourselves.

As I reflect on 2014, I’m struck by a number of things that left their mark on me. So here they are: 14 Good & Bad Stains 2014 Left On Me… Read More

Have You Had Your Own Dark Night of the Soul?

I will give you treasures, hidden in the darkness. —Isaiah 45.3

I recently preached a sermon entitled, “Finding God in the Dark.” I was attempting to describe those times of uncertainty or transition where things aren’t the way they used to be and our hearts cry out, “God, where are you in all of this?”

The term “Dark Night of the Soul” is borrowed from 16th century Spanish poet St. John of the Cross – and is often used to describe a crisis of faith.

In these times, the familiar lamp posts that previously illuminated our lives are no longer there, so we must learn to walk in the dark.

Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a book called “Learning to Walk in the Dark.” I loved it. Here are some quotes:

“New life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”

“There is a light that shines in the darkness, which is only visible there.”

“During the day it is hard to remember that all the stars in the sky are out there all the time, even when I am too blinded by the sun to see them”

I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light…

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Below are two different stories of individuals learning to walk in the dark. I think they’re worth… Read More