What I’m Feasting On

place_beyond_pines2Over the past two months I’ve taken the longest break from consistent writing since I started this blog. One of my goals in doing this was to provide myself the extra space to begin reading.

7 months into being a dad all my normal rhythms for reading, writing, silence, and prayer were completely gone. It was time to start over.

On my own I typically evaluate what I’ve been consuming to help me understand how I’m being shaped, so I thought I’d share some of that with you as well.

Often times I can look back on dry spells in life and see that it had so much to do with how poorly I was consuming life. I had poor reading and prayer habits. I had poor decision making with my free time. And even though I may have been more entertained, my soul was starving to death.

So the past 2 months were a step toward keeping my soul from starvation. Here’s what I feasted on during the break:

  • Heroes and Monsters– I actually read this in the spring, but it’s too good not to include here. Josh is an awesome dude, and this is an awesome book.
  • Worship by the Book– I think worship leading has continually become more about leading songs professionally within evangelical churches. Less and less do I meet worship leaders who think deeply about why they do what they do. And I don’t want to be that kind of worship leader, so I read this book.
  • A Meal With Jesus–┬áTim Chester thinks deeply about average subjects like how we consume our meals. Here’s a book that challenges the reader to be purposeful with our consumption of food, to see it as an opportunity for relational engagement, not the filling of a stomach.
  • Chasing Francis– A book for anyone struggling to figure out where they fit within the church. Probably my 2nd favorite book on this list. I didn’t directly relate to the struggles of the pastor within the story, but many of the conclusions presented in the book were spot on for me.
  • It– I’m a fan of Craig’s, but not a fan of this book. Craig is a great speaker, but his writing is too much like his speaking.
  • Preach– As a rookie pastor, preaching is a new thing for me. I read this book to help myself become better at speaking from God’s Word in front of people who deserve something decent to listen to.
  • Drive– I’m currently halfway through this book and have found the focus on understanding what drives people to be helpful in shaping how I direct my time at work.
  • Managing Me– This is a short ebook I’m using for a study with a few guys. I’ve found it to be insightful and helpful for leading into group discussion.

On top of this I’ve been reading Joshua devotionally to prepare my heart for our sermon series on the book this fall. I’ve also been trying to start 5 days a week by reading through a daily selection from the Book of Common Prayer. This typically includes time of silence, and some additional Scripture reading related to the theme of the day’s prayer.

Since the boy was born I’ve only watched a few movies but the few I’ve seen were worth mentioning as well.

  • The┬áPlace Beyond the Pines– I don’t understand why this movie isn’t being talked about more. It’s not quite in the A+ category but it’s definitely an A- or A. It’s a movie every dad should watch. Being a dad is more than having a child.
  • Life of Pi– While I understand why people were drawn to this, I wasn’t a fan. The worldview presented to the viewer did not line up with my thinking. Wonderful story, sure, but not the whole time I was thinking, “this is all very odd.” Maybe it’s because I’m not a sci-fi fan.
  • Silver Linings Playbook– I’m not a particularly empathetic person, the one thing that stood out to me was how we so quickly treat anyone any different than us as outsiders. And all the while they’re capable of accomplishing more than us.

What have you been consuming, and how has it been shaping you?