have a confession to make. I never read the predecessors to this book:SoulTsunami
or AquaChurch. Leonard Sweet has even written an article for Next-Wave.
Did I read that? No. Are there any good explanations as to why I havenít
done my homework? Ugh, teacherÖ "My dog ate it!" Maybe, if I had
a dog. OKÖ to the review. My gut reaction to SoulSalsa is run, donít
walk to you nearest computer and click to Jeff Bezosí (www.amazon.com)
site and order this book (orÖ I guess you could go to your local bookstore
and buy the bookÖ but thatís not as fun). Two words that I would use to
describe this book: practical and real.
For something to be
practical in my world, I ask myself "Can I see myself doing this?"
And, as I read through this book, out of the 17 steps that Dr. Sweet described,
I found myself saying "yep, I could do this" to 15 of them. Ok, for
those curious folks out there who have to know which two I canít yet commit
to-- they were: "Bounce Your Last Check: Soul artists receive good
things gratefully and give it all away in the end." (My excuse for that
one: Iím a work in progress, Iím not always grateful and I donít always
want to give it all away at the end.) and "Make Love Like Tobias and
Sarah: Soul artists dare to be both spiritual and sexual." (easy
answer: Iím not married!).
introduction to SoulSalsa, Dr. Sweet wrote that this book was
"written as an exercise in sandals spirituality, a faith that tracks."
He went on to describe it as:
guidebook for individuals and communities who want to add traction and depth
to an everyday spirituality through the integration of ritual, ceremony, and
art. Its silhouette of changes to live by is dedicated to all who are
struggling to be faithful to the gospel while making the transition from
modern to postmodern."
"real" is to me: struggling to be faithful to the gospel. Me, a
postmodern, 28 year old, who with every two steps forward, seems to take one
step back. If you read this book, you might find (as I did) that there are
situations that you will be able to step into and relate to.
As is mentioned
in the title, SoulSalsa is broken into 17 different "surprising
steps." I already mentioned two above. A couple of my favorites are "Brush
Your Tongue: Soul artists take care with information" and "Build
a Compost Heap: Soul artists transform and reuse all kinds of Ďwaste.í"
Inside each chapter, youíll find great quotes from a myriad of sources (my
day planner became the collection place of a pile of sticky notes with different
quotes written on them). At the end of the chapters, there is a section
entitled, "Spiritual Practices and Web Interactives." This was the fun
part. There would always be at least one tough question that needed to be
answered or one really interesting website that needed to be looked at.
Truth be told, I
knew I was going to like SoulSalsa even before I bought it. I was excited
about reading it from the start. I would recommend this book to anybody. Since
the preface to the title is actually "Learn to Dance the SoulSalsa",
Iíll leave you with these words from Dr. Sweet: "Godís people deserve
to dance. And God deserves dancing people. You are a gift to life, and life is a
gift to you. Rejoice and be glad in it." Amen.
Check out a Next-Wave
article written by Dr. Sweet.
Ramusack is currently the Community and Outreach Liaison for Next-Wave
magazine. Currently, she lives in Columbus, Ohio and attends the Vineyard
Christian Fellowship and Joshua House. Her music picks of the month are Mars
Hill Worship Volume One and Audible Sigh by Bill Mallonee & Vigilantes
of Love. She loves receiving emailÖso write her at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any cool ministry stories or really good lasagna recipes.