Monday, January 17, 2011

Reading and Renewing

I am currently on a month long study leave. In the United Methodist Church, pastors are encouraged to take a week each year and a month each four years. After 28+ years, this is the first study leave I have taken.

It is in my nature to plan. I want structure, clear guidelines and obvious goals. When on vacation, I want to know when, where, and how long. Let's just say, flexibility and spontaneity are not my strong suits.

So, I chose NOT to structure this leave. I knew I wanted to read, to reflect and to rest. I knew I wanted to spend some time learning to use my "gadgets" better. I wanted some down time and some learning.

I have rested and for the first time in a long time, I don't wake up tired. I am enjoying reading. I have read or finished reading some amazing books. Some I had picked and put down because of lack of time, but not lack of interest. I have been journaling for the first time in years. I am scheduled for a social media class which I think will challenging and fascinating.

For renewal I have been using the books Guerrillas of Grace, by Ted Loder, The Illuminated Life, by Joan Chittister and A Guide to Prayer for all who Seek God, by Rueben Job.

What I have finished reading:

Saving Jesus from the the Church, by Robin Meyers.
Traveling with Pomegranates, by Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Monk
An Altar in this World, by Barbara Brown Taylor
The Starfish and The Spider, by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
take this bread, by Sara Miles

My favorites in order have been take this bread, Saving Jesus from the Church and An Altar in this World. I really appreciated The Starfish and the Spider for its insights into leadership and organizations.

Coming up:

Exclusion & Embrace by Miroslav Volf. Having started this book, I know it will take some deep digging, but I am truly enjoying it. Engage, by Brian Solis needs to be read by Wednesday before my class. Engage, like The Starfish and the Spider come out of the business world and look at leadership, customer service and how to be flexible in changing times.

So my reading continues and I am always,

Graced to Serve.

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