The Jesus Gap (Formation Resources, Pt. 3)

IMG_7250Hi friends,
As a follow up to my last two posts (The Jesus Gap, Parts One and Two), I wanted to give you some resources that have been helpful on my path for your further exploration.

Books to Read:

Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie Thompson
A wonderful overview to introduce you to spiritual practice in your everyday life.

Inner Compass by Margaret Silf
This book is a friend for your inner journey. If you’re asking questions like, “What is my life about? How do I decide between all the choices coming at me? Isn’t there more to life than surviving? (from the Introductory pages of Inner Compass)”, then this book will be an incredible help. Based on the wisdom of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Silf gives many practical exercises to help navigate your path.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation and Activation by Brian D. McLaren
McLaren is a brilliant, curious pastor and theologian who takes you through a 52-week walk that pairs with the liturgical church year. He begins each chapter with a few Bible passages, followed by a few engaging written pages responding to those passages. Each chapter ends with five questions to engage discussion. If you are looking to ignite your day-to-day living and activate your faith, this is highly recommended. I could easily see this book as a source of conversation for dinner gatherings, Theology on Tap, or with friends at a casual coffee shop.

Water, Wind, Earth & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christina Valters-Paintner
The four elements are more powerful than we often consider. In this book, you’ll find where these elements are mentioned in Scripture; you’ll be met with ancient prayers about water, wind, earth and fire; you’ll be given reflections and prayerful exercises to begin to embrace each element as part of your sacred life. If you are a small group leader looking to enhance time together, this is a resource I’d recommend.

The Joy of Ritual : Spiritual Recipes to Celebrate Milestones, Ease Transitions and Make Every Day Sacred by Barbara Biziou
Often, when ritual is mentioned, we think of a boring repetitive routine. Ritual is anything but! Ritual invites us to create a rhythm in our life with our physical beings and objects that helps bring our focus to God. This book gives ideas for beautiful rituals for everyday, stressful times, health, relationships and more.

Praying With Body and Soul by Jane E. Vennard
If you are looking to make peace with your body and see the gift of embodiment, check this book out. Praying with Body and Soul invites you to see your body as a gateway to intimacy with God. A few chapter titles include “Our Sensuality and Sexuality Help us Know God; Praying When Our Bodies Betray Us; Praying with Our Imaginations” This book helped me receive my body as a gift, to be gentle with my embodiment.

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson
This amazing story begins with the author who was in the space of transition in his life. In his life experience agriculture and the faith were at the center. Along the way, he discovered a connection between the cultivation of food and cultivation of the spirit but was missing the ability to live it out. He sets out on a year long spiritual journey to visit a different garden for each of the seasons. His visits with Trappist monks, Pentecostal organic farmers, a Jewish farming community and a mainline Protestant community garden. His perspective will engage and delight you into a new way of seeing.

Drawn In: A Creative Process for Artist, Activists, and Jesus Followers by Troy Bronsink
If you like to think outside the box when it comes to your faith life, I encourage you to pick this book up. It is a treasure trove of ideas. Bronsink invites you to touch, color, see, consider the link between Bible passages and your way of living in a whole new way.

Belonging and Becoming: Creating a Thriving Family Culture by Mark & Lisa Scandrette
If you are tired of faith parenting books making you feel like a parenting failure (I am), then this is the book for you. This book is a rich and imaginative way to create a thriving family culture. By no means is this an easy book. It requires the time and willingness to dig into some deep conversations with your spouse and kids, but it gives you a healthy way of moving forward in the name of love.

Websites to check out:

Spirituality and Practice: an amazing website with many ideas for everyday practice and affordable e-courses

Center for Contemplation and Action: Richard Rohr’s website provides an option for daily meditations with are rich and thoughtful

Abbey of the Arts: A site to ignite your life with monastic wisdom and creative arts to enhance your walk. A beautiful, weekly reflection is sent via email if you sign up for it.

Podcasts to Listen to:

The Robcast: Rob Bell’s podcast. Life changing. Really.

Creative Spirit: A weekly interview of creative people who weave spirituality and arts together for the betterment of humanity.

If you are one of my local friends and would like to borrow a book, let me know. The only one I don’t have a physical copy of is Soul Feast since I downloaded it as an e-book!

Blessings, dear friends!

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