Rev. Carissa's Bookshelf

Books . Movies . Music . More
Rev.  Carissa's Bookshelf
Rev. Carissa's Bookshelf
Books . Movies . Music . More

Rev. Carissa

Executive Pastor

My Current Favorites

Five books, movies, or songs influencing me now
Campfire II: Simplicity
Campfire II: Simplicity
 
WHY I LIKE IT
As the summer starts, this kind of authentic worship captures my heart - praise stripped down to campfire instruments, thick with harmonies and joy. Start with "My Lighthouse" and check out the cover of "Oceans" as well!
Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season
Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
WHY I LIKE IT
I love that this devotional is so simple and centering - it uses just 1 word each day to focus my heart on God, and ends each day with a word from God spoken straight to my spirit. This is my current daily devo!
What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything
What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything
by Rob Bell
WHY I LIKE IT
An inspiring text overflowing with joy, Pastor Rob Bell shines a fresh light on the Bible, showing us how the scripture is more meaningful than ever today. A great listen on Audible!

My Essentials

My all-time favorite books, movies and music
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
by Rachel Held Evans
WHY I LIKE IT
In a series of blog-like essays, Rachel Held Evans uses the stuff of the church - baptism, confession, communion - to describe her journey of faith. Immediately relatable and thought provoking, especially for millennials navigating the waters of the church today.
A Collision
A Collision
by David Crowder Band
WHY I LIKE IT
During a difficult time in my teenage years, a friend shared this album with me - and out of the darkness, the guitar line and insistent lyrics of "Rescue is Coming" pierced into my heart with hope. This album traces the deepest of hard places and also celebrates the glorious resurrection - and it just doesn't get any better than that! "And there's nothing wrong with love / I know it's just enough to believe // Don't give up now / A break in the clouds / We will be found / Rescue is coming now..."
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
WHY I LIKE IT
The first of two memoirs by Nadia Bolz-Weber, where she tells her gritty and real story of God calling her out of addiction and into pastoral ministry. It's a story of real grace and real faith!
Faint Not
Faint Not
 
WHY I LIKE IT
A married duo who sing songs of their real life faith with magnificent harmonies. The title track is a song of encouragement when you feel worn out serving God: "Oh my soul, faint not..."
Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
by Rob Bell
WHY I LIKE IT
This book was the first to draw me into my faith as a teenager, as Bell invites us to swim deeper into the waters of our faith.

My Bookshelf Archive

my archived books, movies, music, and more
24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life
24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life
by Matthew Sleeth
WHY I LIKE IT
A veteran ER doctor talks about the topic of Sabbath. I love the depth of theology and clarity of practical wisdom on how to live life today with the rhythms God designed: 6 days of work and 1 day of rest.
The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction
The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction
by Eugene H. Peterson
WHY I LIKE IT
This poetic and heartfelt reflection constantly calls me back to the most important things in my ministry: to prayer, to preaching, to patience. The chapter on the "unbusy pastor" calls me to account every day!
Endless Years
Endless Years
 
WHY I LIKE IT
The music of my meditation! My favorite Will Reagan tracks are all on this album: Set a Fire, Take a Moment, Through and Through...he has a knack of writing songs with the kind of repetition that draws you into worship as you listen and sing along.
For Freedom II
For Freedom II
 
WHY I LIKE IT
The latest installment from my favorite artist Jenny & Tyler, all proceeds from this short covers album goes to support the work of International Justice Mission, as they seek to set people free from modern-day slavery all around the world. Learn more at ijm.org
Reading John for Dear Life
Reading John for Dear Life
by Jaime Clark-Soles
WHY I LIKE IT
Clark-Soles takes her wealth of insights on the gospel of John - from teaching John with groups of seminary students over many years - and lays it all out in compelling ways that speak to our sensibilities. I love that she isn't shy about presenting more than one way to read a passage!
New and Selected Poems, Volume One
New and Selected Poems, Volume One
by Mary Oliver
WHY I LIKE IT
Beautiful poetry from a contemplative, nature-inspired writer, including The Summer Day: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today
Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today
by Adam Hamilton
WHY I LIKE IT
Well-respected UMC pastor actually explains *how* to read the Bible - which is the critical step before we start actually diving into the texts! Plus - once he's covered the basics - he explores several issues on the hearts and minds of Christians today.
When Helping Hurts: The Small Group Experience: An Online Video-Based Study on Alleviating Poverty
When Helping Hurts: The Small Group Experience: An Online Video-Based Study on Alleviating Poverty
by Steve Corbett,Brian Fikkert
WHY I LIKE IT
Even when we have the best intentions, it's possible to do more harm than good. This short small group study explores key concepts about poverty, empowerment, and partnerships. If you're interested in doing ministry WITH people instead of ministry AT people, this is the study for you!
Poets & Saints
Poets & Saints
by All Sons & Daughters
WHY I LIKE IT
Excellent harmonies, taken to the next level in this new album. My favorite track is #6 because of it's great groove and beautiful lyrics: "How perfectly our hearts are made for love... You are Love and love alone..."
The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage
The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage
by Rob Bell,Kristen Bell
WHY I LIKE IT
I first "read" this book using Audible.com while on a road trip with my husband. It gave us such great ways to talk about our marriage, and how we take care of the space between us, so we can each love one another deeply and well. A very approachable, fresh way to talk about marriage!
Kneeling in Bethlehem
Kneeling in Bethlehem
by Ann Weems
WHY I LIKE IT
The most beautiful and authentic collection of poetry I have found yet, this compilation draws me into the Christmas season every year.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brené Brown
WHY I LIKE IT
Brene Brown starts from a very academic perspective (a social work researcher) but winds up exploring the most personal, intimate topics: vulnerability, shame, and compassion. She has a way of opening these topics up and inviting us to enter a space of healing and love.