A weekend reading list.

IMG_1145.JPGSome things I’ve come across recently that might make good reading for you this weekend:

1. Lots of us do it. We take a phrase or two from the Bible and we apply it like a bandage (or like salt) on wounds and situations. But sometimes, we’re not as helpful as we think. And the reason is because we don’t think about the words and phrases around what we quote.

Five passages your pastor wishes you’d stop taking out of context. 

2. I end up observing many struggles with understanding in the hospital. Most of them aren’t intentional. Many of them could be helped. So here’s the start of an attempt to help people in the hospital remember and interact.

Hospital journal

3. You read posts from Paul Merrill here the first Friday of every month. But Paul has his own blog, Shiny Bits of Life, where he pays attention to what he sees around him. This story about slowing down enough to think about a thin layer of paint caught my attention this week.

You are making a bigger difference than you think.

4. I’m not sure how I discovered the Humanitarian Disaster Institute. I found the Disaster Ministry Handbook very helpful for thinking through how a congregation can provide help in times of both natural and human disaster. The co-founder, Dr. Jamie Aten, talks about his understanding of disaster from Hurricane Katrina and his own cancer in “A Walking Disaster“.

5. For a dollar at a resale shop, I found Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler. Feiler decided to walk through the geography of the first five books of the Bible, not because he believed anything in particular but to explore. I’m enjoying the read, agreeing with some, disagreeing with some. And loving this phrase: “The Bible has perfect recall when it wants to. It remembers people, places, things, even dialogue. If it wanted to tell us the exact location of Mount Sinai, it could easily have done so, as it does for countless other places. Instead the story is vague, and it seems fair to assume that the vagueness is purposeful. “

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

4 thoughts on “A weekend reading list.

  1. Jon, thanks for sharing all of this today.
    I especially LOVE the hospital journal. This is such a wonderful idea. I think it’s something each family should be presented with when a loved one is hospitalized. In fact, it could almost be expanded to have a patient version, and then a caregiver version. It’s hard to track all of things related to medical care when something serious or traumatic happens.

    As well, thanks for sharing the list of commonly misused verses. It gave me pause to think about how I use familiar verses.

    I love hearing about God is working through you as a hospital chaplain. Seems like a perfect fit for you.

    All my best,
    denice

    Like

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