Bob and Chris sit down with Richella Parham to talk about her debut book, Mythical Me: Finding Freedom from Constant Comparison. Richella talks about the trap of comparing ourselves to others and the way that a distorted picture of ourselves and others creates a distorted picture of God, and vice versa. Richella’s writing is as interesting, accessible, and deep as this interview. We touch on the work of Richella’s mentor Dallas Willard, as well as some of Richella’s favorite hymns.
Richella Parham is a writer, speaker, and the author of A Spiritual Formation Primer. She serves as the vice-chair on the board of directors at Renovaré, and she is also the worship coordinator at the Gathering Church and a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Richella lives in Durham, NC with her husband, Jack. Follow her at @richellaparham.
Music by Look Homeward. Featured songs include: Heads Hung Tall, Way Back Home, & Thoughts on W. Percy from their 2019 album Gold Plated Dime. Stream their music on Spotify and follow them @lookhomeward.
Episode edited by Gary Fletcher.
Other key related books:
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
This Classic text on Spiritual formation and growth opens up the great and varied traditions of the Church. These disciplines aren’t just personal and inward (prayer, fasting, study…), but also outward (simplicity, solitude, submission, & service) and communal (confession, worship, guidance, & celebration!).
Teach Us to Want by Jen Pollock Michel
Just as Jesus’ disciples asked him to “teach us to pray,” this book asks, “teach us to want.” Pollock Michel asserts that desire is fundamentally good and a gift and must be trained towards God rather than muted or eliminated. This book is a good exploration of where our hearts are aimed and an invitation to join God in active kingdom participation with our whole selves.
You Are the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
This daily devotional book distills many of Nouwen’s beautiful writings into small, digestible thoughts. This is a great way to engage with Fr. Nouwen’s deep good news of our belovedness in God whether you are a newcomer or an avid Nouwen reader.
The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith
Jim Smith’s book does a lot of work at interrogating and unwinding harmful narratives about God that affect our everyday lives, and reorienting us to the Good and Beautiful God known by the Spirit in Jesus. This is the first of a trilogy (The Good and Beautiful Life & The Good and Beautiful Community further these themes).
Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard
This new posthumous book from Dallas Willard explores the 23rd Psalm and features many of the dominant themes in Willard’s oeuvre (being with God, apprenticeship, abundance). This is a great introduction for a whole new generation of Willard-readers.