So its 2009 huh? pretty wild...where are the flying cars? I'm just going to keep asking that question every year until I have one sitting in my driveway... or will it be called a "flyway"? hmm...
Christmas was good. Every year I try to really remind myself that Christmas is about Christ and I ought to reflect on the fact that he humbled Himself to be born a child so that He would save humanity from the clutches of sin, but but by about the second gift that I've unwrapped that pretty much goes out the window. Later on, as I lay down to bed it will hit me and I will feel like a jerk because I didn't so much as pray that day to thank God for sending His Son. That's pretty much my Christmas tradition.
Speaking of Christmas, I did get some pretty sweet gifts and that's all that really matters, eh? Apparently the gift of the year for Brian this year was books. I think I ended up with four. And they all have to do with Christian faith, so apparently I'm doing something wrong. Anyway, I will now talk about them briefly in order from most excited to read to least excited to read.
1. Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
by Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and is pretty much my favorite pastor ever. This book is lot more serious and a lot less sarcastic than most of what comes from Driscoll - it is a series of letters that he wrote to various members of his congregation regarding various sins and struggles they are facing, and each letter focuses on a different aspect of Christ's act of atonement on the cross. I've read the first chapter som far and its really powerful and he uses to very striking imagery to convey the power of Christ and his death on the cross. I'm pretty stoked to read this one.
2. Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals
by Shane Claiborne
I've heard really good things about Claiborne and his book The Irresistible Revolution, but truthfully don't know that much about him. This book is about Christians, the Church, and their role in American politics. This is a topic that really intrigues me and that along with the really cool and unique design of the book is what really has me excited to read this one. I've only read the Intro and so far he talks about how the Church has fallen into the lie that the state has more power to change peoples' lives than the death and resurrection of Christ. Sounds like the truth to me, so now what do we do about it?
3. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
by Francis Chan
This is a book that came out last year I think, and I heard good things but don't really know a lot of specifics. From what I gather, Chan is a pastor in CA and his book is about living out one's faith boldly and dynamically and not being afraid to take risks for the sake of the Gospel. Sounds good and sounds like something that I need to hear. This one falls to third only because of my unfamiliarity with it and because I'm so pumped about the first two.
4. The Love Dare
by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
OK, so maybe I'm a hater but I'm not very excited about this one. Maybe its because it is inspired by a seemingly cheesy Christian movie starring Kirk Cameron. Or maybe its because it requires homework and discipline to complete. Whatever it is, it was a thoughtful gift that is meant to strengthen my marriage and help me learn to love unconditionally, but I'm going to have to feel really motivated to dig into this and attempt the "Love Dare", and knowing myself pretty well, I just don't see that happening.
Not to be overlooked, but falling into a different types of category of books, I also received a commentary on the Gospel of John from my beautiful wife, and a book on how to begin a career as a freelance graphic designer from Clayton. I'm excited about taking a look at both of those as well.
I think that will be all for now.
Hopefully I will read these and return with some comments/reviews soon.