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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Very Good Gospel

The Very Good Gospelby Lisa Sharon Harper
What we need in this world is a vision that reaches down to the nitty gritty of broken relationships and brings healing, hope, and dignity.  Lisa Sharon Harper, chief church engagement office at Sojourners (Jim Wallis) has written a hard hitting and challenging book on the gospel and the way shalom enters our lives and the lives of those around us.  Her experience with racial issues, injustice, and systemic brokenness gives her a trustworthy voice in the way believers can bring healing to our world. 
What makes this book a real game changer for believers and those interested in changing culture?  One, the gospel that Lisa promotes is one that is interested in the impoverished, oppressed, and broken, not only those who are broken by their own sin.  The good news is not good news to all if it is not reaching these groups of people.  Second, Lisa centers her discussion of the gospel around the concept of shalom, “for the emphatic goodness of all r…

Subversive Jesus

Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield
Have you ever considered what life would look like on the wrong side of the tracks?  In this new book, Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield, Craig calls his readers to peer into a life devoted to helping the messiest of people, from drug dealers to the impoverished, from homeless to the abusers.  What is most amazing in his journey is that he takes Jesus’ call to love the poor and to love his neighbor so seriously that he puts his family right into the middle of these situations.  From Cambodia to Vancouver, this book is filled with eye opening adventures, subversive ways of helping the hurting and seeking to release them from the bondage of addictions.  Yet, the book is really a wake-up call to those living comfortably to think how God is calling them to reach out to those all around them who they’ve never even met.
Coming back from a trip to Cambodia for over six month, Craig realizes something quite striking, he writes, “As I searched the Scriptur…

Beers Worth Blogging About

Recently, I have been enjoying some different kind of beers that are worth mentioning on this site.  I generally prefer the darker beers, stouts and porters, with a mix of brown ales in between.  Yet, recently I have been branching out and trying a few IPA's.  Here are some of the recent brews that you might also enjoy:

1. New Belgium- Out of these brews from New Belgium, the Rampant (Imperial IPA) and 1554 are very good indeed.  If you are wary of IPA's but are willing to try one, Rampant is for you.  1554 is a black ale that has a smooth finish and a very robust flavor.

2. Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale- This is an excellent Scotch ale, and at 7.7 % ABV this is a wee bit on the heavy side.  This Scotch Ale is very drinkable, with some coffee and chocolate notes.  A comparable Scotch Ale to this one is put out by Founders, their Dirty Bastard is the best.

Running on Red Dog Road

Running on Red Dog Road by Drema Hall Berkheimer
In the deep country of West Virginia, Drema Berkheimer grew up under the strong guidance of Pentecostal grandparents who have some experiences that you can’t quite believe.  This memoir, Running on Red Dog Road is replete with emotion, with the pain of losing one’s father and trying to get along in the world, and a sense of wonder at the pneumatic experiences of Pentecostal believers.  From speaking in tongues to witnessing a snake handler, Drema was enmeshed in a world that was drawn to the supernatural, but what makes this book come to life is her experiences with the way in which her grandparents lived. 
In chapter 6 Drema tells the story of how hobos would often come to visit her grandparents.  She recounts this, “This time, he led the hobo to a stack of kindling near the stump we used as a chopping block.  The man nodded and began to fill the wheelbarrow with the wood…Grandpa always said that man that earned his own dinner could hol…

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Eviction is not an easy topic nor one many want to read about, but Harvard Professor of the Social Sciences Matthew Desmond dives into the subject in his new book entitled by the same name.  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City takes a deep look into those being evicted, landlords, and the history of how Milwaukee was at once a booming place for good jobs but over time it gave way to poverty, crime, and drugs.  Desmond looks at the way struggling members of Milwaukee, both in apartments and in mobile homes struggle to make ends meet, often coming up with creative solutions to meet their rents, working jobs for the landlords. 
One example of this struggle to make rent is the story of Lamar, a dishonorably discharged Navy veteran who lives in his small apartment with his sons, playing cards at all hours of the night.  Sharrena, Lamar’s landlord was betting on Lamar making the cut for Supplemental Security Inc…