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
Christ on the Psych Ward
Christ on the Psych Ward
by David Finnegan-Hosey
WHY I LIKE IT
Many of us love someone who struggles with mental illness. But how can we help? And how can we understand? In this book, my dear friend David (a chaplain at Georgetown University) shares some of his personal experiences with bipolar depression, and his theological reflections on how God's grace has worked in his life. Equal parts moving and challenging, this book can help all of us learn a little more from one person's testimony, and see Christ through different eyes.
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
by Kate Bowler
WHY I LIKE IT
Kate's whole life was perfect...until she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. This book is her story of making sense of her own suffering, sorting through her faith and living with less certainty and more trust of God. I love that she says, "God is here. We are loved. And that is enough." A heartbreaking but powerful read!
Who You Say I Am (Live/Acoustic)
Who You Say I Am (Live/Acoustic)
 
WHY I LIKE IT
This song always gets me worshiping when it comes on in the car: "Who the Son sets free - Oh is free indeed. I’m a child of God, yes I am! In my Father’s house there’s a place for me. I’m a child of God, yes I am..."
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
by Ian Morgan Cron,Suzanne Stabile
WHY I LIKE IT
The enneagram is an ancient Christian way of understanding 9 different types of personality, so we can have deeper compassion for ourselves and for one another. This book has helped me so much in my own personal life, by helping me see the ways God uses my personality - and how Christ is constantly saving me still! For anyone looking to learn more about themselves, this is an incredibly readable and invitational introduction to the enneagram.
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
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.
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 unique way of using stories to open these topics up and invite us to enter a space of healing and love.
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.
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. He takes everything apart, only to discover the beauty of Christianity goes much deeper than we expect!

My Bookshelf Archive

my archived books, movies, music, and more
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!
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..."
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!
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
by Brené Brown
WHY I LIKE IT
Brene shares authentic stories about true belonging, and names our human experiences in a profound way. The audio book is great because of her wonderful storytelling - but if you listen, you'll want a hard copy to get all the depth of her words!
Saint John's Bible: Prophets
Saint John's Bible: Prophets
 
WHY I LIKE IT
A beautiful artistic rendering of the scripture, with Benedictine caligraphy, painting, and contemporary images woven into the text.
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!
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.