Sunday, January 3, 2010


I love new beginnings. New beginnings in time such as days or years, metaphorical beginnings, spiritual beginnings...etc. Everyday is a new day with endless possibilities. Its kind of like Christmas presents... they could be anything and they are anything, until you unwrap them of course. Also with new beginnings means a clean fresh start. You can wipe down your proverbial chalkboard and just erase everything. Sometimes I have to have mental renewals for redemption's sake. What I mean is, sometimes I say or do something completely stupid and moronic; I normally dwell on that stupid action for a very long time and rerun it through my mind over and over again until I decide that there is nothing I can do to undo it and I will just have to start fresh. I then vow not to do said stupid thing ever again. I guess it is a form of repentance really (though I am not talking about a sinful repentance in this case). Though I do like the new spiritual slate, taking communion or witnessing someone's baptism or rededication. The first Sunday of every month we take communion as a church and as one body we pray for forgiveness we break bread and drink as a proclamation and remembrance. Made new, clean and fresh.

Clean slates can be rather daunting though. If you don't believe me ask any writer staring at a blank piece of paper, or any painter standing over an empty canvas and they will most assuredly agree with me. Part of having endless possibilities is the possibility to fail. There is the possibility to run dry and not have anything good to fill that canvas or paper. Not to mention all the work involved in starting something new. Lauren Winner once said something to the effect of: it is easier to move a car that is already moving. Meaning it is difficult to start from nothing or without momentum.

Every year I try and read more books than the previous year. I will set a particular number of books I want to reach for that year but usually as long as I read more than the previous year, I am happy. Though it is difficult to start new, to go from saying, " I have read 31 books this year!" to, " I am halfway through my first book for this year." kind of stinks. There isn't any accomplishments yet. That's when I balance it with thinking of the endless possibilities, of which books I will be able to consume.

On that note, I will leave you with a list of my books read in 2009.

Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
My Name is Asher Lev (Chaim Potok)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)
Rant (Chuck Palahniuck)
Grace (Eventually) (Anne Lamott)
The Know-It-All (A.J. Jacobs)
Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
Sex and the Single Person (Bob DeMoss)
Girl Meets God: A Memoir (Lauren F. Winner)
The Year of Living Biblically (A.J. Jacobs)
Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)
Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)
The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder & Other Mountains (Skip Yowel)
 Jesus Land (Julia Scheeres)
The Sacred Echo (Margaret Feinberg)
Celebration of the Disciplines (Richard Foster)
Reimagining Spiritual Formation (Doug Pagitt)
Running With Scissors (Augusten Burroughs)
Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller)
Searching For God Knows What (Donald Miller)
When You're Engulfed in Flames (David Sedaris)
The Knowledge of the Holy (AW Tozer)
The Kitchen God's Wife (Amy Tan)
The Organic Church (Neil Cole)
Green Greener Greenest (Lori Bongiorno)
Sermon on the Mount (John R. W. Stott)
Under the Banner of Heaven (John Krakauer)
Barrel Fever (David Sedaris)
Foreskin's Lament (Shalom Auslander)
Julie & Julia (Julie Powell)

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