Friends and Visionaries

Do you have any friends from your past that you think of every now and then? People that shared special seasons in your life, yet you slowly lost contact?

I have some of those people. There are people I shared some of the most formational times in my life with… my friend in Chile that I met in modeling school (she’s now an academic, I’m a – whatever I am!)… my best friend on the ship, who was always so peaceful in my torment… my friend from youth group in Chile, who could sing beautifully and was so patient with my lack of singing ability! Or my friends I walked the streets of Belfast with, both sides of the line, doing outreach… or my other friend who gave me a favorite devotional (Daily Light) over twenty years ago, which I still read… or my first pastors, two of them, so different from each other yet forever shaping my faith… or friends from California, with whom I used to homeschool, or swap kids, or puzzle and/or despair over church politics…

So many are making such a difference in the world today! They run NGO’s focused on bettering the lives of the poorest of the poor. Some in India, Brazil, Cambodia, North Africa…

I’m not surprised – they made such a difference in my life. I am thrilled because I have recently renewed contact with many of them! Reconnecting has breathed fresh strength into my dreams today.

My advice to you? Dream your visions, and make sure you surround yourself with dreaming visionaries! Don’t have any in your life right now? Ask and you shall receive!

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All at once, or one at a time?

Thanks for visiting with me at my desk yesterday!

I forgot to mention another book I am reading now, which is And Their Dogs Came With Them, by Helena Maria Viramontes. She’s the author of “The Moths” and many other short stories. Her stories are authentic – I feel they transfer me to the barrios about which she so touchingly writes. When I am reading her I can practically smell the food her characters are cooking… and I agonize with them over their struggles.

Here is a question for you!! The world is divided into two types of people: those that read several books at a time, and those that like to finish one before starting the next.

Which one are you? I am seriously curious as to other people’s reading habits…

Bookaholic

So here is a confession. I am a bookaholic. I can’t enter a bookstore with any kind of currency, because of the temptation. Seriously. I have such a deep affection for books, I read several at a time.

I have a “reader’s journal” where I am supposed to jot down mini-reviews of the books I read. It has been my intention for years to keep brief summaries/notes about each book, for reference as well as to use when I “prescribe” a book to a friend for whatever may ail him or her.
But I have recently finished a succession of books… and written about none of them! No sooner did I finish one that I compulsively started devouring another. Then another. Why? I don’t know. Such impatience. It gives you indigestion – to keep intaking the thoughts of others without adequately digesting them. You cannot savour them, and they don’t nourish you as much as they could. What am I missing, when I press ahead like that? I don’t know, do I?!

Here in a nutshell are the recently finished books: Yann Martel’s Life of Pi – an odd and completely engrossing book about a boy from India who is cast adrift for months in a lifeboat with several animals from a zoo. This book sprained my brain slightly, and I love that. Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet on High Places – a classic which I had never read, about Miss Much Afraid (how I relate to her!) and her journey from the valley (where she is tormented by her relatives, the Fearings) to the High Places with the Shepherd. I think every woman on the planet should read it. A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser – a story of catastrophic loss, the words of a man who lost his mother, wife and daughter all in one tragic accident, and was left to raise his surviving children on his own. This non-depressing book has helped thousands deal with sudden, unexplained heartache and tragedy.

I’m working on Dear Church, by Sarah Cunningham – a letter from a young woman to the Church, explaining why so many of her generation have grown disillusioned. Every pastor should read this one… Also, the Confessions of Saint Augustine, which might take me a lifetime to read – it’s slow going. Did you know he was a type of prodigal son for ten very long years? He had a lot to confess! Am re-reading The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. Also a classic, and should be re-read regularly to maintain perspective on just Who is God.

Yup. Books are awesome.