Every so often, I re-post this list for my new readers. So…
These are just some of the books that have helped me SO much on my journey.
They have challenged me in ways I could have never imagined!
I believe they can truly help change the way we live.
(CLICK ON ANY BOOK image for a few quotes, or a brief review.)
(And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them)
A New Kind
(Hey, I’m mentioned in this book!)
Happy reading. Have a good life.
Oh. Recently, I was contacted by publishing house HarperColins. They asked me if I would read and review a new book they were getting ready to release. I wasn’t sure at first if it was a “legit” email. Turns out, it was. I was very honored.
The book is “Does Jesus Really Love Me?
A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America,”
by Jeff Chu
The Zimzum of Love December 7, 2015
The Zimzum of Love:
A New Way of Understanding Marriage
– Rob and Kristen Bell
My wife and I have been through counseling.
We’ve also had training to “do” counseling.
We have, in fact, provided counseling.
And we have 36 years (more or less) of marriage.
Just saying, I know a little bit about marriage and counseling.
From that stance, I can highly recommend this book.
This is a pretty short, easy read. Yet, there are some great truths and principles here. There’s a lot in these pages that is relatively standard marriage counseling, as well as some new ideas. All of it, of course, has that trademark “Bell-style” way of looking at life; a style I very much enjoy.
And, you get stick-figure drawings!
Who doesn’t like stick-figure drawings?!?!
We are given, of course, an explanation of zimzum (originally tzimtzum, a Hebrew word), and how that concept relates to marriage. Chapters 2 through 5 expound on how marriage is Responsive, Dynamic, Exclusive and Sacred.
“The Zimzum of Love” is highly anecdotal. There is a lot of back-and-forth between Rob and Kristen.
Every marriage is unique, but a book like this helps us see how universal many of our experiences are. Just about whatever you may be going through, rest assured you are not alone.
This book is written from a Christian perspective, and thus incorporates a lot of spiritual language and understanding. The associated actions could be easily adapted by non-Christians, as well. I can’t imagine anyone not receiving some benefit from reading this book. I think this would be a good hand-out for premarital counseling, as well as for those already married.
I’ve only done a few wedding ceremonies, but for future ones I’m asked to officiate I will be offering this book to the couple.
Marriage has been at the forefront of recent national discussion.
Some see marriage as a meaningless social construct, and think we’d all be better off without the legal commitment and ceremonial form. Many of us, including Rob and Kristen, believe marriage is much deeper than that. We believe that there’s more going on than meets the eye. More than biology. More than just synaptic brain activity. More, even, than what it means for the 2 people who are married. That marriage means “more” for our entire society.
“The Zimzum of Love” takes an in-depth look at this “more.”
Buy the book. Click HERE.
Some thoughts from other readers:
“The Bells wield their heartfelt words and honest voices to cheer on couples of all kinds. . . . This is a ‘feel good’ book, not because it skirts the issues, but precisely because it delves so deeply into them. . . . Married or not, read this book.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“After having stood on the cliff of divorce, I sure wish that our marriage counselor would have had a resource like this to share with us.” – Roger
“This is a book about how to people partner in life and create a special space between them–they zimzum. I’ve got a fantastic marriage, but I learned new things about my wife as we read this together.” – Mike
Buy the book. Click HERE.
A few QUOTES:
– There are moments in marriage when you realize that some of the most profound truths of the universe are lying next to you in bed.
– Great marriages have an ease about them, a back-and-forth nonreactive, non-defensive, open, and ongoing flow in which you never stop talking and figuring it out together.
– Life never stops changing. It’s inevitable that these changes will affect the space between you.,br.
– Any thought – however trivial or fleeting it is – about who or what you aren’t takes directly away from who and what you are.
– Home is whenever I’m with you. [Recently stated by me to my wife during our recent move, before reading the book.]
– Out of 7 billion people on the planet, you decided to say yes to just one of them.
– Learn to see things from their perspective. When in doubt, assume that they are seeing something that you don’t.
– Few triggers are more explosive than the phrase “You always do that.”
– One of the primary ways you strengthen this bond is through shared experiences.
– Marriage -gay and straight – is a gift to the world because the world needs more – not less – love, fidelity, commitment, devotion and sacrifice.
– It’s easy to divide your experiences in marriage into the good ones and the bad ones. We are invited to transcend those binaries, becoming aware of the divine presence in all of life.
Buy the book. Click HERE.
List December 6, 2015
This is not one of those online-generated mimes.
This is an actual church sign here in Fort Wayne.
(Only the name has been blured to protect the, well, I’m not sure.)
I couldn’t help but think, “What an anemic, petty and pathetic little god.
A narcissistic entity no better than (actually worse than) that fellow who flies around in a sleigh.
He’s actually quite selfish and immature, much like the omnipotent “Q” from Star Trek.
I do not believe this at all represents The Divine that Jesus spoke of.
I can tell you one thing: This is not a god I’d have any desire to show up at 10:00 am on a Sunday morning to worship.
“Q” as portrayed by the talented and quirky John de Lancie.