Sunday, October 26, 2008

books

Been doing some reading.

"11" by Leonard Sweet (11 indispensible relationships you can't be without)

Almost done this one. Here is an excerpt taken from the jacket:

"We all need some friends for the journey. . friends like Barnabas, Nathan, Rhoda, Zacchaeus just to name a few. Eleven of them to be exact. Without these people in your life, you'll miss out on the person you could have been. And without you in their lives, they'll miss out as well."

This book takes people from the Bible and puts them forth as embodied examples of positive character traits. E.g., Jethro was a motivator, Jonathan a true friend, Timothy an heir, Deborah was someone who had your back, etc.

I have eaten this book up. Its really causing me to think about just what kind of friend i am/have been to others. . and conversely, what kind of friends i have. Of course I sadly see deficiencies on both sides. Len Sweet was one of the keynote speakers at a conference I had the privilege to attend last weekend. I like how he thinks, outside of the box, unconventional yet gracious and godly. I really recommend this one.

Another one i have begun:
"A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle

A friend loaned this to me. She wanted to see what i thought of it. We've been talking about 'purpose', etc. I'm not too sure about this guy. . he's a "spiritual teacher" who dips into various pools of 'spirituality'. hinduism, buddhism, Christianity, zen, etc. The result is a kind of quasispiritual smorgasboard. A little bit of this and a little taste of that.For me, it can never satisfy. I'm in the 'ego' chapters now and they're actually quite interesting. The author talks about the arising new consciousness, meditation, enlightenment and so on, none of which seems particularly 'new'. . but rather ancient.

I follow Jesus himself. He's very much alive. This distinction puts him in his own category, light years from all other contenders. Other 'teachings' are words left behind, dried up on parchment,stone, manuscript. They can be 'good' but they can never be God. Having THE spiritual master to live with and be in relationship with, I'm not particularly interested in any kind of inferior counsel, but I am interested in dialogue with my friends, so I keep reading. Mr. Tolle does extensively quote and reference Christ. I'm not sure if he does so to have higher sales or because he respects Christ. Regardless, I'll finish it and hopefully my friend and i can have some good discussion at the end. She's been teasing me, saying "I want a book report!"

2 comments:

Gina said...

I may have to quiz you on book recommendations sometime. I too look to Christ for spiritual guidance... and am a bit afraid of the teachings of the 'world' (until I get through the bible, I will use great 'discernment' towards what other people think is 'spiritual') In some ways, I'm a little extreme... avoiding the really popular "sold 500,000 copies" books because I don't like partaking in hype.

Glad you are finding some good reads, friend... and are enjoying them with good people.

kathryn said...

i'd love to recommend some books for you, Gi! I just bought two more tonight. . may blog about those too! Sometimes hype is deserved, other times not. . i know what you mean.