Pastor's Picks - March 2018
Back again for the month of March with a new set of Pastor's Picks, once again available from the church library! In February I had the opportunity to attend our district worker's retreat where I sat under some important teaching about the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and this coming week we are going to be hosting the Holy Spirit Encounter here at The Bridge - which is a good reminder on both fronts that our heritage in the Christian and Missionary Alliance is a heritage of walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and that these things are not NEW discoveries or teachings that we're engaging with, but a return, in many ways, to our roots. So this month in the Pastor's Picks I'm featuring three great books that engage with that topic in some way or another written by great authors in our own family of churches. I hope you'll take some time to check them out.
The Voice of Jesus - Gordon T. Smith
Honestly, Gordon Smith is one of my favourite authors. The way he thinks about the church and Christian formation is refreshing and exciting. Sometimes he can be a little academic for some people's tastes, but here, in The Voice of Jesus, he writes for anyone who wants to know if they too can hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them. And with our focus this month on the Holy Spirit with our encounter at the beginning of the month, what better book to curl up with than this one. Gordon T. Smith is the president of Ambrose University and has a long history and involvement with the C&MA in Canada. Soul Care - Rob Reimer
Rob Reimer is new to me as an author, but pastors and leaders in our denomination have been talking about him and his work for a few years now, and have encouraged me to check it out. Well this year at our district worker's retreat Rob was the keynote speaker and he led all the pastors in attendance through an abbreviated Soul Care seminar. The premise of Soul Care is to deal with the stuff in our life that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit (the key metaphor is your soul as a suitcase that has a finite capacity) so that God can heal and deliver us. After a couple sessions with Rob at the retreat I grabbed my copy of Soul Care and spent an afternoon devouring the content. I found this book life changing. I can't say enough positive things about the self-realizations that came from it, and how "unpacking my suitcase" has led to a deeper and closer relationship with Christ. I challenge you to read it, and take the time to do the work assigned at the end of each chapter. As we focus again this month on the Holy Spirit, cleaning out your suitcase is a great way to get ready for what God wants to do in you. Rob Reimer was the Founding and Lead Pastor of South Shore Community Church, a church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Brockton, Massachusetts until June of 2017 when he followed the call of God to become a full time professor at Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Rethinking Holiness - Bernie Van De Walle
Bernie has been a professor, mentor, and friend of mine for many years now. If you want to know about what the Christian and Missionary Alliance is about, or where it came from, or what our values are - Bernie is the person I have on speed dial. In this, his latest book, his goal was to re-open the conversation around the concept of holiness and what it means to the church historically, biblically, and today. If that sounds like a dry and abstract topic, then you (like most people) have misunderstood what holiness really is. Bernie writes in an engaging and pastoral style with the layperson in mind as his audience. This book is accessible, enlightening, and important for a church that supposedly has roots in the holiness tradition. It's also a timely reminder of who and what we are called to be as a church, where that calling comes from, and how it plays out. This one comes highly recommended from your pastor. Bernie is the Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Ambrose University in Calgary. He has grown up in the Alliance, pastored in the Alliance and is currently serving his final term as Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the C&MA in Canada.