Summer Reading: Intentional, Slow, Reflective

If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I really enjoy reading. It is a family trait passed down from my dad’s side. He has thousands of books; my parents’ walls are literally lined with books. I haven’t always been this way, but the past 5 years or so my shift to reading has really taken hold. As I wrote here,

I have tried to attain and read a smattering of cultural books in an effort to have not only a robust theological mind, but also boots-on-the-ground theological feet. I want to cultivate a Jesus-centered imagination to live out of and my books help me greatly in this.

Sometimes I read for particular teachings I am doing. Sometimes I read for writing I am preparing. And other times, I read for more personal reasons: seasons of life, deeper theological reflections, or for enjoyment without the need for critical thinking.

This summer I am reading with some intentionality as my wife and I are taking a bit of a sabbatical. We have been involved in church planting for the past 11 or so years, the last 4+/- being our own endeavors here in Syracuse. Rest has been difficult to find; not just sleeping, but true rest from soul-wrenching effort and sweat. As I have been finding out, there is a weariness that seems to known by bivocational church planters alone.

So, this summer I will be reading the following books. Not just reading, but slowly digesting, reflecting, and examining myself through them. They won’t just be living in my head, but will be discussed with friends and family (and from time to time, on here as well). I’m not just seeking information, but formation: a continued molding of character and skill alike. And as you can tell from their titles, and even more so if you click on the links, their content is directly related to what we need: Sabbath, attentiveness, and missional meals.

Here are my textual conversation partners for the summer:

Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight by Norman Wirzba

The Attentive Life: Discerning God’s Presence in All Things by Leighton Ford

Soul Banquets: How Meals Become Mission in the Local Congregation by John Koenig

How about you? What are you reading for the summer? Are there certain books you’re engaging to aid in forming your being (character) and doing (skill)? I’d love to hear.

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