Books I Love From 2013!

by Mark Votava

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1. Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community by Christopher L. Heuertz

“Most of real life consist of living in the ordinary, in-between times, the space and pauses filled with monotony…”

2. Immortal Diamond: The Search for the True Self by Richard Rohr

“Our hurts now become the home for our greatest hopes.  Without such implanted hope, it is very hard not to be cynical, bitter, and tired by the second half of our lives.”

 3. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber

“New doesn’t always look perfect.  Like the Easter story itself, new is often messy.  New looks like recovering alcoholics.  New looks like reconciliation between family members who don’t actually deserve it.  New looks like every time I manage to admit I was wrong and every time I manage to not mention when I’m right.  New looks like every fresh start and every act of forgiveness and every moment of letting go of what we thought we couldn’t live without and then somehow living without it anyway.  New is the thing we never saw coming – never even hoped for – but ends up being what we needed all along.”  

4. Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most by Mark and Lisa Scandrette

“Simplicity is about your process, not comparisons.  Because we are unique individuals, no two people who seek the freedom of simplicity make the exact same choices or have the same challenges.  The path to simplicity will look different for each of us, and it will look different at various stages of life…”

5. The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction by Peter Rollins

“Our self-image is one that attempts to retain a sense of mastery and togetherness that these ghosts challenge.  Yet no matter how hard we try to avoid them, they remain, making their presence felt in subtle but significant ways.  Hence the difficulty many of us have with taking time in silent contemplation.  When we stop what we are doing and attempt to become still, we discover that there are fears and anxieties within us that clutter up our world.  Thus the popular wisdom that we must become silent in order to work things through in our lives covers over a deeper reality – namely, that silent meditation is all but impossible for us because we have so much to work through.  In light of this, it might be better to say that the ability to be truly silent with yourself is not the path to peace but a sign that you have found it.”

What are some of your favorite books of 2013?