2007 reading list


Here’s my 2007 intended reading list. Books I meant to read in 2006 but never got around to, books folks have suggested to me, titles I have jotted down in my journal throughout the year. Granted, this list is quite ambitious for me, but it is nice to have all of my potential reads in one place. And the list will probably keep growing. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

Bono, Michka Assayas

The Red Notebook, Paul Auster

The Invention of Solitude, Paul Auster

Chasing Sophia: Reclaiming the Lost Wisdom of Jesus, Lillian Calles Barger

Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry

The Seven Longings of the Human Heart, Mike Bickle

What Should I Do With My Life? Po Bronson

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, Walter Brueggemann

Secrets in the Dark, Frederick Buechner

Floor Sample, Julia Cameron

The Stranger, Albert Camus

Secrets of the Zona Rosa, Rosemary Daniel

The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard

A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius, Dave Eggers

What is the What? Dave Eggers

Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl

Exiles, Michael Frost

The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gaugin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, Martin Gayford

Emerging Churches, Eddie Gibbs, Ryan Bolger

Seeing What is Sacred, Ken Gire

Everyday Matters, Danny Gregory

The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are, Danny Gregory

The Critical Journey, Janet Hagberg

Shouts and Whispers: Twenty-One Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith, Jennifer Holberg

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neal Hurston

7 Days Behind the Veil, John Paul Jackson

The Path, Laurie Beth Jones

Faith, God, and Rock and Roll, Mark Joseph

Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina, Tony Jones

The Emerging Church, Dan Kimball

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman

Shows I’ll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concert-going Experience, Sean Manning

Qualities of a Team Player, John Maxwell

Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South, Catherine McCall

The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian McLaren

The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer

Here and Now, Henri Nouwen

The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, Henri Nouwen

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, Henri Nouwen

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eugene Peterson

Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson

The Chosen, Chaim Potok

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr

Jesus Land: A Memoir, Julia Scheeres

Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh, Irvin Stone

Blankets, Craig Thompson

True Faced, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, John Lynch

The Man Called CASH: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend, Steve Turner

The Divine Omission, Dallas Willard

Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? Philip Yancey

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blessed are the cake makers

Blessed are the cake makers at Savage’s Bakery in Homewood.


farewell, Ruth

Ruth Bernhard, my favorite photographer, died Monday at her home in San Francisco, at the age of 101.

I met Ruth when, well into her 90s, she came to Birmingham for the opening reception of her work at Agnes, a photography gallery owned by my friends Shawn & Johnny. Most well know for her work photographing the female nude, my favorites are some of her earlier still-life works.

My most treasured book in my photography collection is a signed copy of Ruth’s Gift of the Commonplace.


it’s a good day

– I left Denver last evening, or I would be snowed in.
– Started off the day by seeing my niece, who was just as excited to see me as I was her.
– Nice little roadtrip by myself to Birmingham. Just me and some Starbucks and some Sufjan Stevens. Which I highly recommend – the Sufjan Stevens. Nothing against Starbucks, but they are just common nowadays.
– Went to a luncheon at my old Bible study. Was good to see some familiar faces and to be around so many people who were excited that I was there. Haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.
– Then a visit to a couple of favorite neighborhood stores.
– Now I am enjoying an Americano at O’Henry’s, my favorite Bham coffee house, and writing from my favorite perch – a high table in the front of the shop, that is kind of hidden by a bunch of shelves with gifts.
– Will follow this up with dinner with 2 close friends. Likely more coffee.
– Will spend the night in what I refer to as The Cave. Bedroom in a friend’s basement that is cool and dark, and has the most comfy huge bed. This will somewhat counter-balance my night last night at my Dad’s, which was akin to sleeping in a sweat lodge.
– Tomorrow will catch up with a couple of old (I should probably say former, lest they think I am calling them old) mentors. Probably throw in some BBQ, another special place or two, and then back to Music City.
– Overall, a nice little side trip to feed my soul.


advent 2006 – week two


Little behind in my Advent postings – today is actually the beginning of week three, but here is week two. Click on the photo above to expand it so you can read the text.

In week two we focused on the simplicity of the message and life of the shepherd.

Question of the week: Where in your life have you experienced a holy simplicity?


advent 2006 – week one


This is the cover art to our Urban Skye Advent Guide. It follows the traditional church calendar, which means Advent begins on the first of the four Sundays leading up to December 25. That would be today. If you follow the Celtic Christian calendar, you are already into the Advent season, as it begins 40 days before Christmas.

For me, I’ve already hosted a Christmas party, so the house is clean and decorated. Travel plans are made, and I’m avoiding the mall. Hopefully having a bunch of preparation out of the way will allow me time to escape the busyness that so often dictates this time of year, and I’ll slow down. And prepare Him room.

Join us at Urban Skye this Advent season as we explore God outside the camp.

Here’s our Advent Guide. The question posed for week one, and where I find myself pondering this evening is: Recall one place from your past where God made something of Himself known to you.

Join me if you will. I’ll post my Advent musings here throughout the month, and invite you to do the same.