Clarissa Moll –Beyond the Darkness: A Gentle Guide for Living with Grief and Thriving after Loss A mom with four kids, whose husband wrote a book about how to think about dying before he died in a climbing accident, writes about her grief journey in a practical, thoughtful, compassionate way.
Jon Acuff – Soundtracks. An overthinker realizes that we have soundtracks that play in our heads, like small clips of songs, that tell us stories about ourselves. “Don’t mess things up”, something I used to say when walking into the hospital, is a lousy soundtrack. “Look for ways to be helpful” is better. So is “Fix things don’t fear things.” The book helps you turn the volume down on the bad ones and up on the better ones.
Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity A pastor (and paraphraser of The Message), talks about the three angles of pastoral work: prayer, scripture, and spiritual direction. Written in 1989, this still reads fresh. And convicting.
James Clear writes about habits. I've talked about the difference between urgent and important. This article about the Eisenhower Box explains the idea very well. Sample: "Urgent tasks are things that you feel like you need to react to: emails, phone calls, texts, news stories. Meanwhile, in the words of Brett McKay, “Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.”"
Craft and Character is a podcast by Steve Carter. It’s about craft of preaching and the character of preachers. A preacher himself, Carter helps people talk about the process of developing sermons. For people who speak, even if you don’t preach, this is an intriguing window into process. For a sample, listen to this conversation with Bob Goff about his book Undistracted and the ways he prepares to speak.
And speaking of Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Discover Your Joy, I thought it was about time or attention management. It's not. Instead, Goff looks at the things that distract us from our purpose, from the ways that we are helping in the world. It’s not a scolding book. But it is a challenging kind of book, saying, in essence, “You don’t have to be distracted by all those voices or ways that you think you have to measure up.”
And this is a nice article on being the chaplain of the House of representatives I love the last lines: “Not that I performed perfectly. Do I wish more members would have availed my ministry if they could have? Well, maybe. I don’t know that. But for those who did: I feel like I made a difference for them.”