As Christians there is much to learn as we journey toward discipleship. The Tuesday Morning Book Group at Still Waters Church helps us along the way by offering open discussion and exploration of ideas in a friendly and compassionate environment. The group reads a wide variety of books selected to stretch our minds and grow our faith. And as we read, we learn about ourselves and each other, strengthening friendships and building community. The group meets at 10:00 on Tuesday mornings. Why not join us!
June 27th - Zen Tangle, Mary Boettcher will be educating us on Zen Tangle and then demonstrating and we all will be able to create our own Zen Tangle.
July 25th - Jesus artwork, we will be viewing many images of Jesus drawn by a close friend of Jean Salewsky and then we will have a time of sharing our thoughts and any insights from this experience.
August 22nd - We will meet at the labyrinth at Regner Park in West Bend. There will be time to walk, reflect and pray. We will then have a time of sharing and catching up.
What is the Bible? – How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything, by Rob Bell. New York: Harper Collins, 2017
When I think about uncovering the nugget of wisdom from bible verses, a mental image used to come to mind of getting out my magnifying glass to look more closely at the verses surrounding my potential “nugget.” Rob Bell models a different approach in his new book. Context for Bell begins with recognition that:
“The Bible comes out of actual human history, reflecting the funky, flawed, frustrating world these stories came out of. And right there in the midst of those stories, you often see growth and maturing and expanding perspectives.“ (p. 117)
Through his examples you are helped to see “radically new ideas about freedom, equality, justice, compassion and love” sitting “side by side with old ideas” (p.123) such as war, slavery, and death of innocent people.
This is NOT a “Study Bible,” i.e., a Bible with verse by verse references. Rather, it is a how-to-appreciate the Bible book, written in down-to-earth language. You gain tools that you can apply to any passage or story you choose. And if you have read any of Bell’s other books, you will not be surprised by the touch of humor the surfaces to highlight some of his thought provoking points.
As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I’m trading in my magnifying glass for a wide angle lens.
The Book of Joy - The conversations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as documented by Douglas Abrams, New York: Avery Press, 2016
Imagine two world religious leaders who represent significantly different faith practices meeting for a week to reflect on the topic of joy. Imagine that each has experienced significant hardships in their respective lives. And yet, each has emerged with a strong faith, an amazing sense of humor, and a huge capacity for joy. This is the story that is captured by Douglas Abrams as he documents the insights, reflections, and funny anecdotes that emerged from a week long discussion between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the topic of joy.
These men identify obstacles to joy, sharing how they faced them, and coped with them. However, they also emphasize in their words and in the ways they have lived their lives that the obstacles can be overcome. They describe eight behaviors or habits that can lead to more joy and satisfaction in life. This is not an “easy-self-help-book.” Rather, it is the documentation of the inspirational journeys of two amazing men, which have contributed to in an incredible friendship across faith boundaries, and resulted in a week of shared joy. With thought and effort, the joy they experience is within your reach as well.
A groundbreaking book about Americans searching for faith and mutual respect, The Faith Club weaves the story of three women, their three religions, and their urgent quest to understand one another. The book summarizes the faith journeys of a Christian, Jew, and Muslim as they attempt to find common ground following the 9/11 strike in New York City.
Note: It is recommended that we read through the book, or at least get a good start, before our first meeting in September as we will be discussing themes rather than going through it in blocks of chapters as we have with other books in the past.
BOB is preparing for the Tuesday Morning Book Group. What will BOB be reading next? What books would you like to read next? We'd love to hear your ideas! Submit your suggestions by clicking on the link below.
Have you ever received a wonderful gift? It may have come in the form of an object, reflecting someone’s thoughtful reflection on your needs. It may have come as someone extended a hand to help with a task, or a shoulder upon which to cry in a time of trouble. Such wonderful gifts may leave you wondering, “What can I do in return?” In Generous Justice, Timothy Keller begins with the wonderful gift we have received from God through Jesus Christ, the gift of grace. He provides an answer for the question, “What can I do in response to this gracious gift?” by directing us to Matthew 10:8 (NIV) which says, “Freely you have received; now, freely give.” In Generous Justice, he explores how each and every one of us has a gift that will allow us in some way to say “thank you” by engaging in acts of compassion, mercy and justice.
We’re all searching. Sometimes the search is easy: simply type a question and the answer pops up. But sometimes our questions are complicated, and the answers are difficult to see and harder to articulate. How do we discover and examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life? Adam Hamilton believes that some powerful answers are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs. In this book for Lent, Easter, and beyond, Hamilton considers important questions of life, reality, and truth. He explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe it and why it matters.
In this book, author Nabeel Qureshi provides an autobiographical account of his faith journey. Qureshi introduces us to Islam through his description of growing up in a devout Muslim family. As he develops friendships with Christians during his high school and college years, Qureshi begins to question Islam’s characterization of Jesus. He learns how to use the techniques applied by historians to test the beliefs offered by Islam and by Christianity regarding Jesus. The book follows Qureshi from his first exposure to a Christian worship service to the conclusions he reaches regarding Christianity and Islam.
Christianity has always been about being saved. But today what Christians need saving from most is the toxic understanding of salvation we've received through bad theology. The loudest voices in Christianity today sound exactly like the religious authorities who crucified Jesus. Each of the 12 chapters proposes an antidote for the toxicity that has infiltrated Christian culture, such as "Worship not Performance", "Temple not Program" and "Solidarity not Sanctimony".
There are many reasons to lose hope about the state of our world and our church, but Guyton offers one piece of good news: Jesus is saving the world from us, one Christian at a time.
They are simple phrases. They sound Christian—like something you might find in the Bible. We’ve all heard these words. Maybe we’ve said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. Adam Hamilton's book searches for the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés to the message and ministry of Jesus. The clichés include:
- Everything happens for a reason.
- God helps those who help themselves.
- God won’t give you more than you can handle.
- God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
- Love the sinner, hate the sin.
- Everything happens for a reason.
Being close to God means communicating with him, and this communication is a two-way street—telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but can also be so difficult. How can you be sure God is speaking to you? The key is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator. Hearing God provides rich spiritual insight into how we can hear God's voice clearly and develop an intimate partnership with him in the work of his kingdom.
Searching for Sunday is a book about all that is frustrating and beautiful and complicated about church. Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachael didn't want to go to church anymore. With all the hypocrisy, the politics, the huge budgets, and scandals, church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis presents a Christian worldview through a mythic tale. It takes place in Narnia, a world of magic. In Narnia, virtually every fairy tale or mythic creature imaginable comes alive. The mythic elements are used as a vehicle to tell a bigger story. It is an allegory in which Aslan represents Christ. Aslan's death to save Edmund's life and his subsequent resurrection are clear references to the life of Christ. All in all, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe presents the gospel in a powerful way that children can relate to, and adults can still learn from.