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JUST A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGSIMG_1338

BOOKS - I enjoy a wide variety of books, both classic and contemporary. We have book shelves in every room. My husband teases me about how many books I buy and still need to read. So many books, so little time. Here are just a few, both fiction and non-fiction, and this list probably changes weekly:

This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God – Rick                                                  McKinley

Christ and Culture– H. Richard Niebuhr

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting – Gary A Haugen 

Justice in the Burbs- Lisa and Will Samson

Pensees – -Pascal

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism– Timothy Keller

Finally Alive — John Piper

The Jesus Way- Eugene Peterson

Blue like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality –  Donald  Miller

In The Name Of Jesus: Reflections On Christian Leadership – Henri J.M.   Nouwen

 Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found – Jennifer Lauck

Drawn to the Rhythm: A Passionate Life reclaimed – Sara Hall

Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests,       Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haunting Thin Energetic   Dusty figure – Brian Doyle

Refuge: An unnatural History of Family and Place – Terry Tempest Williams

Mother Teresa: In My Own Words – Mother Teresa 

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – A novel by Kim Edwards

MUSIC -

Over the Rhine

Jennifer Knapp

Sufjan Stevans

Joshua Rabin

Third Day

Dave Mathews Band

Rich Mullins

Amy McDonald

Amy Grant

Norah Jones

Bach / Beethoven/Hayden will always rock

Classic hymns with an edge

Alanis Morissette

 Fleetwood Mac

QUOTES -

On Writing -

Write your first draft with your heart.  Re-write with your head.  ~From the movie               Finding Forrester

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to. – Somerset Maugham

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. – Herman Melville

 And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.                       ~Sylvia Plath

 “A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.”                                                                             –Emily Dickinson

On motherhood “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”  Robert Browning 

On life –       “Every person above the ordinary has a certain mission that they are called to fulfill.” –  Johann Wolfgan von Goethe 

 ”If you l ook for truth you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort youwill not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. — C.S. Lewis

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.”– Rainer Maria Rilke 
                                         

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.             – Goethe 

On love –         For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. — Rilke                

  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a Stranger and you Welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.                                                                 — Jesus Christ

MOVIES – I am a movie buff. I like old movies, new movies, cultural movies, funny movies, adventure movies. Here are just a few that stand out in my mind.

Finding Forrester       

Walk the Line

Princess Bride

Little Women

 The Lives of Others

POETRY – My mother read German poetry to us — R.M. Rilke, J.W.Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Schiller among others –  which instilled in me a love for the lyric of words. As I worked on my Masters of Arts in German, I deepened my appreciation for a wide variety of German literature, especially poetry. Today, I enjoy all kinds of poetry, listening to The Writer’s Almanac on NPR for a daily poem.  Recently I discovered Billy Collins and add one of his poems about poetry here along with poems from two of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver.

                Dear Reader by Billy Collins 
Baudelaire considers you his brother,
and Fielding calls out to you every few paragraphs
as if to make sure you have not closed the book,
and now I am summoning you up again,
attentive ghost, dark silent figure standing
in the doorway of these words.

Pope welcomes you into the glow of his  study
takes down a leather-bound Ovid to show you.
Tennyson lifts the latch to a moated  garden
and with Yeats you lean against a broken pear  tree,
the day hooded by low clouds.

But now you are here with me,
composed in the open field of this page,
no room or manicured garden to enclose us,
no Zeitgeist marching in the background,
no heavy ethos thrown over us like a cloak.

Instead, our meeting is so brief and accidental,
unnoticed by the monocled eye of History,
you could be the man I held the door for
this morning at the bank or post office
or the one who wrapped my speckled fish.
You could be someone I passed on the street
or the face behind the wheel of an oncoming car.

The sunlight flashes off your   windshield  
and when I look up into the small, posted mirror,
I  watch you diminish—my echo, my twin—
and vanish around a curve in this whip
of a road we can’t help traveling together.

 

“Hope” – by Emily Dickinson 

Hope is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

“The Journey” by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save. 

 

 

 

 

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