One of the things we decided to do when we got here to the Rez, was not get cable TV. Because of our training in Colorado and periods of limbo before and after the training, we had gone about two months without watching TV. So I figured this was a good opportunity to continue the TV fast. Surprisingly the revolt was very muted.
We do have internet and can watch movies and shows on Netflix. But its not the same and we just don't waste as time watching like we used to. (I should probably state for the record that I was the biggest offender.)
A benefit of this is that we all read more. For me especially, I've read a ton over the last couple months. I know most of you probably couldn't care less, but I thought I'd share a few of the books I've read and why I thought they were so good.
1. Reservation "Capitalism": Economic Development in Indian Country by Robert Miller. While Mr. Miller could have used a better editor (there was too much repetition in this book), overall this was a great summary of the economic problems on modern Reservations and ways tribes are going about solving this problem. It gives a great history of the US Government treatment of tribes and the different approaches it has taken, how the approaches have changed over the years and consequences of these government approaches. Very good book if you want a primer on economic development on modern day Reservations.
2. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction by Eugene H Peterson. I know I'm not a pastor, but I've seen this book for years and thought I would finally read it. It is a great book that helps us non-pastors get a picture of the life and struggles of our pastors. They have a difficult job: often thankless, stressful and often bearing criticism and complaints. Everyone should read this book, pray for your pastor and then see what you can do to minister to them and their families.
3. Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard. Eugene Peterson mentions Annie Dillard in his book and it lead me to want to read more. Very, very interesting writer. Her style is beautiful. She is able to observe the created world around her and see things that I can't. And then her ability to describe those things is amazing. I'm now in the middle of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek of which she won the Pulitzer Prize. It is very good as well.
4. Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer edited by Joel R Beeke and Brian G Najapfour. This book was given to me by friends from our church as we were leaving. It is an amazing book and very practical on why we should be praying, why it is such a blessing in the life of the believer and the prayer life of our Reformed and Puritan fathers. I was also exposed to A Method for Prayer by the great Matthew Henry in this book. A fantastic resource and still as practical today it was in the 1700s.
5. God's Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation by David W Saxton. This book has transformed my personal Bible study. After reading this book as well as Taking Hold of God I was struck by how feeble and malnourished my own personal time with the Lord was. The examples of the Reformers and Puritans were very helpful and convicting. I heartily recommend both books!
6. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. This is not a book for the faint of heart. You will come face to face with a sovereign God that is in control of every event that happens and has ordained all suffering - for His glory. Our God is great. He is also gracious and compassionate.
7. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. A very good book that helps point out some of the problems with the current approach to alleviate poverty and some methods on how to change what is currently being done. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Steve Corbett in April and ask him a long list of questions. He was very gracious with his time and gave me a green light to call him with questions in the future. You can bet that will happen.
In the Lord's provision, a couple weeks after we got here an FM station started that replicates the KIRO 710 AM programming from Seattle. So now I can listen to the Mariners games on the radio. You might smile when I say, "in the Lord's provision." But I truly believes that's true. The one thing that would have pushed me to get TV would have been to watch the Mariner's games.
While my own list of books to read is long, I'm always looking to hear about good books other's have read. Feel free to let me know what you've read.