top 5 most challenging, convicting, mind-bending, face-melting books of all time?

I received this email from one of my blog readers a few weeks ago asking about my thoughts about the “Top 5 most challenging/convicting/mind-bending/face-melting books of all time.”

Do you take requests for posts on your blog? If so…. I know that from time to time you do top 5 stuff, like favorite movies or songs or artists, etc. This isn’t anything novel, but I’d be grateful for a “Top 5 most challenging/convicting/mind-bending/face-melting books of all time.” I guess I’m someone who learns a lot from books and I was just thinking about how I have roughly 5 books that I have read within the last few years that have truly changed the way I perceive myself and the world around me. It would be great to hear what others are reading -not their most favorite or enjoyable books (although this might be the case)- but books that have significantly reoriented the way they live. Maybe, you’ve done something like this before and I just missed it, but if not, something like this would be fun to be a part of.

Thanks! ~Ric

Asides from the Bible, what would you be on your Top 5 List?

I can’t list 5…I don’t even know know where to begin so I’m just sharing my list of most influential Christians books again. There are so many excellent books that it’s really difficult to condense it into a list of 10. My recommendations are created with an attempt towards the larger picture of Christian discipleship – meaning that I want to balance my list with theology, discipleship, spirituality, bibilical studies, etc.

I hope 50 years from now, this list will change so that it also includes numerous female and non-Caucasian authors. Continue reading “top 5 most challenging, convicting, mind-bending, face-melting books of all time?”

the most difficult year of my life

Since everything is so current, I may be biased but 2009 has been one of the most (if not the most) difficult year of my life – and yet, incredibly formative for the reasons I share below.

How was this past year for you?

As part of our human inclination and disposition, we make plans and we do all that we can to pursue those plans. Things turn bad when some of those plans don’t come to pass. Things suck when everything feels it’s moving in the opposite trajectory of what you hoped for.

In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

To list a few challenging things in 2009: Continue reading “the most difficult year of my life”

a letter to my children’s pastor

quest children's ministry

Dear Katey,

You’ve been our children’s director and pastor for several years now. You’ve done an amazing job.  I still remember the days of Quest when our (Minhee and I) – then 2 children – were the only kids at Quest. Through you and Christina, our amazing associate director, and other folks like Becky, Karis, Gordon, Stacy and on and on, God has immensely blessed our church community. When we “hired” you as our children’s pastor many years ago, you were just graduating from college and there were some concerns expressed by the interview committee but I remember sharing with them these words: Continue reading “a letter to my children’s pastor”

the church video venue coming near you

I ran into a fellow pastor/acquaintance at the Q Cafe yesterday.  He’s a good guy.  We ended up having a short but substantive talk since I haven’t seen him for several months.  When I last chatted with him, he asked for some advice about churchplanting and so I did the good midrash thing and asked him a few questions which he said he really took to heart and got him thinking. Those questions led him down a road where he eventually left his denomination and go figure, joined the Mars Hill Church network.  He’ll soon be pastoring one of their zillion “campuses.”   That’s just kind of funny to me that my advice got another pastor to join Mars Hill. 

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill has been on the national news a lot recently.  The NY Times published an article couple months ago entitled, Who Would Jesus Smack Down?  The reporter called last year and asked me for some quotes but I said, “No thanks.”  My ego was tempted since it would have been nice to be mentioned in the NY Times but not that way.  I’ve got my differences with Mark but heck, we’re still Facebook friends.  BFF  KIT  TTYL.  Meme me.

In previous entries on this blog, I’ve shared both the concerns and respect I have for Mark here and here.   But my conversation yesterday with this soon to be MH elder got me thinking [again] about the church video venue. Continue reading “the church video venue coming near you”