challenges…

calendar1Over the last few years I’ve tried to set myself an alternative to traditional ‘resolutions’.  I guess one of the reasons behind my thinking is simply my uselessness at keeping to those resolutions that I’ve set for myself, whereas the idea of doing something that potentially improves me and those around me appeals so much more!

So, for 2014 I thought I’d set my sights on a new, slightly different goal.

I want to read 12 books by 12 authors whose work I haven’t read before.

Simple, eh?

Well, on one level, of course not.  I should be able to read twelve books in 12 months, shouldn’t I?  On another, it’s going to be massively challenging.  The moment that I get back to school I seem to lose reading time…or at least the energy or headspace to pick up something that isn’t work related…sad, really…especially for a teacher!  Add to that the imminent arrival of baby Thompson, and that finite amount of time that I might have set aside for reading will be even more pressurised!

I believe in reading.  It’s a life blood of a mind that is hungry for learning and growth.  As a teacher I think it’s lifeblood.  That’s why I know it’s important to set this challenge.  Rare indeed is the book that has no impact on me or forces me to think about the world in which I live.

So – here’s the communal bit: recommend a book or an author that I really should read below.  I’ll make a note of them all and then see if I can get my hands on them through our local library or something along those lines.  I really appreciate your wisdom on this…so please do participate.

I’m also going to set a second challenge.

I want to read my way through the bible once again this year.  It’s something I’ve been talking about a lot with friends recently.  As we’ve moved away from church it remains vital that I’m connected into this story that shapes us and our world.  To try and help with that I’m going to try to commit to writing a weekly summary of my thoughts on what I’ve read.  I also want this to be collaborative, so I’ll ask you to join in with me.  I think that the scheme I’ll follow is this one – you can use an app to follow it – but I think I’m going to try to do it ‘hands on’ with a real proper bible.

So, two challenges for 2014 that should in some way stretch me and help me grow…and possibly also others around me.

Here’s to 2014.

May it be a year full of moments.

8 thoughts on “challenges…

  1. Trying to get away from the trendy authors? how about one of the following, as usual my suggestions can be a little too serious for a relaxing read and you certainly won’t agree with them all but they are an interesting read. I have them all and you are welcome to rummage the shelves for alternatives, must do breakfast soon.
    Richard Bauckham – the Bible in Politics
    Michael Sandel – Public Philosophy
    Scott McKnight et al – Church in the present times
    Robert Webber (ed) – Listening to the beliefs of emerging Churches
    Richard Niebuhr – Christ and Culture
    Jim, Beltcher – Deep Church
    Dan Kimber – Adventures in churchland (or any of his other books)
    Stanley Grenz, anything from him, I have most of his books but Created for community is a summary of his systematic theology. I have his full systematic if you are really up for it, it reads well
    To make you grumpy I have a number of Mark Driscoll’s books for light entertainment

    1. I don’t mind reading something that I disagree with…well, with the exception of Driscoll! Seriously though, I need something which is manageable in a month. Which would you recommend?

      1. Actually none of the above books are particularly different from your general flow of thinking. I’ve just ordered Grenz’s Created for community. it is a good framework for a biblical understanding of people as communal beings. it is a summary of his larger systematic text.

        Dan Kimball’s thinking is balancing tradition church structures and creative engagement and I have two of his, Adventures in Churchland is an easy read. Very interesting church http://www.vintagechurch.org

  2. I am not a big reader and have an attention span of a warm kikat. Neverless I suggest ‘into the silent land’ by Martin Laird. A must for making the journey inwards to the indwelling God and starting the journey away from self. Good luck.

  3. Some bookish ideas:

    • I’ve almost finished “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which has been pretty gripping.

    • Last’s year’s fave was “The Humans” by Matt Haig. See if you can spot me:

    • I want to read “Leaving Alexandria” by Richard Holloway.

    • I lost my copy of “Seven Story Mountain” by Thomas Merton, which I was gutted about, so I’d like to revisit that.

    • I’m about to start “Remote” by Jason Fried & David Hansson

    1. There are some great ideas there Johnny. I’m working my way through Kay’s recommendation this month: ‘So Much for That’ by Lionel Shriver. Quite a read!

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