Rose Madrid-Swetman

ā€” Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey ā€”

November 17, 2007

What I’m Reading

Category: All Posts – Rose – 2:53 pm

Maggi Dawn’s short readings from Advent to Epiphany is reminiscent of Henri Nouwen’s “Show Me the Way” short reflections for journeying through lent. I am looking forward to having a guide through the advent season.

For all the Information on Winn’s book go here
I am hoping if you are leading any form of missional community you would order this book now. It is a must read for understanding the story of God and where we locate ourselves within the story. We are privileged to have a gifted theologian and teacher in our midst. Understanding the overarching story of God, Humanity and the Kingdom will impact the way in which we view and live out our faith.
Leaving Church

Leaving Church – A Memoir by Barbara Brown Taylor is bringing refreshment to a life that is overly and completely busy. I first read Barbara Brown Taylor ten years ago while looking for women who preach. Her books quickly became one of my foremost mentors for preaching. Reading her memoir and getting the back story on what life as a parish pastor was like for her is a breath of fresh air to my being. I found myself relating to her story over and over again. Whether I ever meet her or not she has had significant impact on my life.

Free of Charge

Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace…I have only read a few pages yet I know from Volf’s “Exclusion and Embrace” this will be a challenging book from my western, evangelical Christian vantage point. Stopping to unlearn many of the practices and beliefs that have formed me for one world has been no small challenge, the more I realize I don’t know about God, the way of Jesus in 21st century America, the Global World and the cosmos, the more I need teachers like Volf to show me another way.

The Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke

We have been teaching through the Gospel of Luke throughout the year. No matter how many times I read and study through the Gospels I am amazed at how differently I see Jesus. This time I have seen him as a radical, subversive revolutionary. His message was so outrageous to the religious folk and such GOOD NEWS to many on the outside that could not even get close enough to look in…so much for us to meditate on and embrace and then live out in our own lives…Newbigin’s words ring true here….goodwill leads to good deeds that lead to good news…

Rich and I just got back from a five day cruise. It was for business. We had an incredible time getting to know some wonderful people that are giving their lives to serve the Kingdom. As we look forward to Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany — I really cannot believe how incredibly full and good my life is.


  1. I had the great privilege of going to a 5-day preaching workshop with BBT in about 1997. (I called to sign up at about 9:10 AM the day registration opened and it was already nearly full!) My most vivid memories are of

    1) her talking about the use of sensory language in preaching (she actually had us smell and feel things hidden in bags and try to describe them, as well as having us use colored pencils to highlight anything we could “taste,” “smell,” “hear” in a Bible text –very Ignatian)
    2) her saying she spent 2 hours every morning all week praying with and working with the text she was going to preach
    3) the last sermon at our closing eucharist, which she had prepared during our week together and preached to, you know, like 12 of us in a little chapel, and which I cried the whole way through almost

    I have to say, because I think of her as a preaching mentor as well, I have been saddened to watch her move (what looks like to me) further away from classical Christianity. As one who’s also sort of “left church” in the sense of being an Anglican priest no longer in a parish, her memoir resonated with me in a few parts (like: how do I go out not in clericals?? hey, nobody talks to me!) but it was sad to hear how big a part striving for approval played for her, and how in retrospect she now seems to view her move toward Christian priestly ordination as sort of the only way she had available at that point to construe what was really a more generalized pull toward God.

    Of course, it’s very well written and I am glad to have read it, and whatever else she does or decides I am forever in her debt as a preacher.

    Comment by Beth — November 23, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  2. I agree, parts of the book are sad…part of the book that resonates with me is thinking about how much I “do” because of the expectation people have on me…it causes me to pause and think about why I do what I do and who am I to be faithful to…
    I also resonate with spending hours praying and working through a text…I have to say that discipline alone is a way of living into Scripture for me, I’m glad I have to do it I’m not sure I would be disciplined enough to do it if I wasn’t speaking/preaching/teaching on a regular basis…
    what was the topic of the sermon she preached in your chapel time?

    Comment by Rose — November 25, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

  3. It was something from the story of Nicodemus. The specifics of the content have faded from memory 10 years later.

    I know what you mean about the expectations. Early on in pastoral ministry someone gave me this question as a tool: “Am I doing this out of joy or out of fear?” If joy didn’t predominate, I had a problem. Now, sometimes the answer was honestly fear (don’t want to do XYZ, don’t think I need to, but am going to, cause this very active family will be angry if I don’t) — but I felt like asking the question helped me not hide my own motivations from myself and kept things from getting emotionally knottier than they were.

    Comment by Beth — November 26, 2007 @ 5:59 am

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