Soul Care Book Club
Bringing like-minded people together in a brave space to discover, grow, and explore our relationship with the Divine and our inner selves through reading. We read books about all kinds of topics concerning religion and spirituality and have real conversations to build authentic community with one another. We welcome anyone who wants to join us to dialogue, discuss, support, and encourage one another in wrestling with new ideas. You can engage a lot or a little—it's totally up to you.
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- February 3: Anatomy of the Soul
- March 3: Accidental Saints
- April 7: Grounded
- May 5: Counter Culture
- June 2: The Book of Longings
- July 7: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
- August 4: Jesus and John Wayne
An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number-one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.
In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women.
Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary.
Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.
Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers?
Spoiler alert: Zebras don’t get ulcers because they only respond to the lion that is chasing them at the moment. Stressful enough, for sure! But zebras don’t worry about the lion that almost caught them last week or the one that might chase them in the future.
Renowned primatologist Robert Sapolsky's acclaimed and successful Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers features chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction, as well as new insights into anxiety and personality disorder and the impact of spirituality on managing stress.
As Sapolsky explains, most of us do not lie awake at night worrying about whether we have leprosy or malaria. Instead, the diseases we fear-and the ones that plague us now are illnesses brought on by the slow accumulation of damage, such as heart disease and cancer. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way -through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick.
Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses.
Books We've Read
If you want to improve your relationships and experience lasting personal change, Curt will lead you on an amazing journey to discover the surprising pathways for transformation hidden inside your own mind. Integrating new findings in neuroscience and attachment with Christian spirituality, he reveals how it is possible to rewire your mind, altering your brain patterns and literally making you more like the person God intended you to be.
Explaining discoveries about the brain in layman’s terms, he shows how you can be mentally transformed through spiritual practices, interaction with Scripture and connections with other people. He also provides practical exercises to help you experience healing in areas where you’ve been struggling.
Insightful and challenging, this book illustrates how learning about one of God’s most miraculous creations―your brain―can enrich your life, your relationships, and your impact on the world around you.
Grounded: Finding God in the World
The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, argues that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us—and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.
Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us—in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods, and in the global commons. Faith is no longer a matter of mountaintop experience or institutional practice; instead, people are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Grounded guides readers through our contemporary spiritual habitat as it points out and pays attention to the ways in which people experience a God who animates creation and community.
Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the wrong people
Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA.
As she lives and worships alongside these “accidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand encounters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are transformed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own.
In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike.
Counter-Culture: Following Christ in an Anti-Christian Age
Welcome to the front lines. Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn―traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. Seemingly overnight, culture has shifted to the point where right and wrong are no longer measured by universal truth but by popular opinion. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion, and religious liberty continue to inject themselves into our workplaces, our churches, our schools, and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: How are we supposed to respond to all this?
In Counter Culture, author David Platt shows Christians how to actively take a stand on such issues as poverty, sex trafficking, marriage, abortion, racism, and religious liberty―and challenges us to become passionate, unwavering voices for Christ. Drawing on compelling personal accounts from around the world, Platt presents an unapologetic yet winsome call for Christians to faithfully follow Christ into the cultural battlefield in ways that will prove both costly and rewarding. The lines have been drawn. The moment has come for Christians to rise up and deliver a gospel message that’s more radical than even the most controversial issues of our day.