Freedom to Read!
Yesterday I finished my first book since graduating from seminary. Ahhh, refreshing!
It feels good to read again just to read. No assignments, no papers, no exams, just personal pleasure and growth. It feels so good that I am back to my pre-seminary habit of reading more than one book at a time, each from a different genre. I'm reading Richard Foster's, "Celebration of Discipline" at about one or two pages a day, for my own spiritual growth. My husband and I are reading together Christopher Moore's "Lamb: The gospel according to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal," for the sure pleasure and shared laugh that Moore offers. And I just completed, Julia Duin's "Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community." Julia actually sent me this book about a year ago and we finally met today to discuss it.
I actually have several books on my "to-read" list that I have been given by authors. I've started several of them - but in the midst of my school work, it was just too much to continue. So, over the next few months, I hope to pick up Os Guinness's book "The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends On It," Bob Fryling's "The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead By Who We Are," and one of Nigel Cameron's books, just to name a few.
My neighbor and I are also planning to read and discuss books together this summer. We are starting with the number one New York Times bestseller, "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson.
In the midst of reading all these books, I also hope to begin writing two of my own. One on racism and the other,... well, I'll let that remain a secret for the time being.
Anyways - the first book I've completed since graduation was Duin's "Days of Fire and Glory." It was a great book to read prior to being ordained and starting as the minister at a church. In a narrative style that is enriched with journalistic touches, Julia writes about the birth of the 1960s charismatic movement in Houston, Texas and its growth all the way to its demise in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She writes of the power of community and the joys of life experienced through Holy Spirit inspired personal sacrifice. She also hints throughout the book to the dangers of such power not being held in check and warns of how leaders lacking accountability can lead to the demise of a community. She writes historically and she writes theologically. This book could be considered for study in a church history class, absorbed by someone seeking healing from past charismatic church pains, or reviewed as a lesson on leadership.