Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Books and Music Commentary

I usually have three books going at once. One for devotional reading in the morning, one for enrichment or work related issues and a novel for recreational reading. For my daily devotional reading (along with my NIV / the Message Parallel Bible) I've been reading Henri Nouwen's "Can You Drink the Cup". I really enjoy Henri's perspective on faith and spirituality. If you're not read any of Nouwen's material, I strongly encourage you to do so. I would start with the book "In the Name of Jesus".

"Can you Drink the Cup" was written near the end of his life and is reflective in nature. Here's an excerpt from what I read this morning from the chapter "Lifting the Cup":
Mostly we are willing to look back at our lives and say, "I am grateful for the good things that brought me to this place."

But when we lift our cup to life, we must dare to say, " I am grateful for all that has happened to me and led me to this moment." This gratitude which embraces all of our past is what makes our life a true gift to others, because the gratitude erases bitterness, resentments, regret and revenge as well as all jealousies and rivalries. It transforms our past into a fruitful gift for the future, and makes our life, all of it, into a life that gives life.
What an amazing to way to live! How many times do I wallow in what I should have done, didn't do and wish I hadn't done? Truth is, I can't change what has already happened - but I can learn from it and move forward in grace and peace. These are easy words to read and write, but it's something I'm struggling to practice.

The Kite Runner is one of the most powerful pieces of fiction I've read in years. I've seen the book around for a long while now, and picked it up a couple of weeks ago. It is an amazing portrayal of selfless friendship, betrayal, reconciliation, forgiveness and restitution set in the Bay Area, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It's not necessarily political in nature but does show the passion and heart of the Afghan people. This book will stay in my collection for years, it's one I may revisit often as it's themes are important and poignant.

I have a great excerpt I'd love to post, but I don't want to give anything away!

I just picked up the new Public Enemy record, "How You Sell Your Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold their Soul?" GREAT record. Chuck D., as always, has excellent commentary. He specifically takes on the commercial rap business and comments on it's destructive nature it has on urban communities. It's definitely 'old school' but worth listening to and supporting. I'm not too sure of Flav anymore - he seems as much as a sell out as any... I'm tried of the Flava of Love on VH1 and wish it would go away. But - Chuck keeps bringing the truth - he's still "Fighting the Power"!

1 comment:

  1. I've read the nouwen book (drinkt eh cup)... good little reflection!