2 Reviews, 2 Books, One Life

What Children Remember
November 3, 2013
Reading Stuff with Brennan Manning (a review)
November 30, 2013


Stir: Spiritual Transformation in Relationships

I saw Mindy Caliguire speak at a conference in Wichita, Kansas a couple years ago. She gave an inviting, convicting, but highly practical message complete with props and a whiteboard. Her new book STIR is a lot like that. Mindy teaches, illustrates clearly, and invites you to join the conversation in a way that is fresh and unlike a lot of what is currently put on the market.

Under the banner of the phrase ‘spiritual formation’ I gravitate toward the writings of Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, and Brennan Manning. Simply put, I want to eat the words like dessert and think on them a bit. Caliguire, though, comes alongside the reader and unpacks three phases or movements she labels as follows: Learning together, journeying together, and following together. What sets her thinking apart is that all three must be done in relationship with others and outside of Ruth Barton, this doesn’t get much attention. On page 69, she writes that “we develop rhythms of attachment, dependency, and receptivity to God that acknowledge our true need for God.”

And this idea of rhythm within the context of relationship is profound. Many people I know can create rhythm on their own, but to do so with others is challenging. Caliguire sets herself up as an able guide in this regard and this can be read as both a discussion piece or a sort of guidebook as well seek to be pilgrims trying to make progress. I hope that Caliguire’s book gets a wide readership and that she’s invited in to new circles to teach. What would happen if we moved beyond learning together to actually journeying together? And then, what happens if we walked side by side behind Jesus, content to follow the Master instead of clamoring over who will sit on his right and left? STIR is on to something significant.

(I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review as part of the booksneeze program)


Learning a Bit from Bill Hybels on Caring for Your Own Life




From One Life to Another: A Review of a Limitless Life


Author Derwin Gray speaks of change and of transition and in this book, he sets out in ten chapters, a series of meditations on what it means to go from one life without the gospel to another.

There are many anecdotes of hope intermingled with insightful quotes and Biblical allusions. This is also the story of Gray’s congregation and we also get a glimpse in to his former NFL career. On pg. 115, Gray writes that “Grace is a person named Jesus,” and later in the book he states that “By God’s Design, we’re worshipers….”

Should you pick up this book? Let me simply put it this way: this won’t startle you, but it will encourage you. I found the book’s layout a bit disruptive and had trouble picking up momentum. Honestly, it’s an excellent small group tool and perhaps that’s where the true power of the book will lie…in conversation about our own journeys where we’ve seen pronounced change.

I found many of the admonitions ‘go do…be different’ types of messages and these are often difficult to swallow because I grow tired, often, of trying harder. But, Gray’s book doesn’t get in your face with marching orders, instead, he weaves together hope in the form of human stories. I am not sure I buy that I am ‘limitless’ with Christ, but I do buy that with Christ, life can be much different and more satisfying and for that reason, Gray is on to something.

(I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review as part of the booksneeze program)



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