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Toward Wholeness Blog

An Overview of books by Richard

The Map is not the Journey: Faith Renewed while Hiking the Alps. "Replace weariness with refreshment, obligations with passion, and staleness with joy. After twenty years of working the same job, Richard was burned out. When a close friend died, grief led to questions about faith, meaning, work, and life. Seeking answers, Richard hiked four hundred kilometers through the Alps in forty days."

From Amazon reviews:

  • the most transformational book I have ever read

  • At a time when many memoirs or personal reflections seem to contribute little to helping the world become a better place, this book by Richard Dahlstrom stands out as a winsome and refreshing presentation

  • Richard's reflections were raw, honest, and transparent. On more than one occasion I felt as if Richard was reading my mind or living my life. The spiritual application throughout the book will undoubtedly penetrate the reader's heart as it did mine. After having taken four pages of notes, I have already recommended this book to my men's group

Breathing New Life into Faith is a new edition of the previous title, "o2: Breathing New Life into Faith". In it, Richard guides on a path to develop life altering habits, so that a rhythm of life is created that helps people move towards the life for which they're created - a life of purpose, meaning, joy, generosity, and service. Richard's work here is a fresh take on the timeless "rule of life" principles offered in the monastic practices of both Benedictines and Celtic Christians.


  • I have read several books on the spiritual disciplines, but none that truly inspired me to practice them. This book however gave me some fresh ways to think about practicing them that didn't become legalistic. In this busy world, most of us don't need anymore check off lists

  • a masterful piece that makes good on its promise to agitate the reader's views on faith, spirituality and serving God, in an imperfect world.

  • The chapter on how to live in good stewardship of the earth and rebalance your budget is mind-blowing and definitely a must read. I'm definitely hearing God's call to hospitality after hearing Dahlstrom's description of how he and his family have exercised it over the years and it has changed their lives.

The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love. The reputation of Christianity has been dragged through the mud recently, as the conspiracy of faith and politics creates a perception that the God of the universe is angry, combative, tribal, greedy, and more interested personal upward mobility than painting the world with the colors of hope. Nothing could be further from the truth! The reality is that God's vision for a life of faith is simple: embody justice, mercy, and intimacy in all your dealings! Richard likens the faith life to that of an artist: the world is our canvas and justice, mercy, and intimacy are the primary colors we're invited to use to pain hope.

From Amazon Reviews:

  • The Colors of Hope is very approachable but firm in its conclusion that we are made in God's (creative) image and are loved infinitely and are therefore able to be a blessing to others.

  • ...the principles in this book could change our world today if only all of us would put them to practice -- seeking justice, showing mercy, and becoming people who are able to forgive and give unconditional love to those who touch our lives each day.

  • "Apparently the deeper colors of pain and deprivation can spill onto the canvas of the faithful as easily as the colors of peace and contentment. Until we wrap our minds and hearts around this, we're in danger of forever seeking to create and live in a pastel world, when what we really need is to leaven how to be people of hope in the midst of bloody colors of suffering, shortcomings, and the loss that comes with living in a fallen world. Helmut Thielicke, the great German Theologian, said that America's inadequate theology of suffering is her greatest Achilles heel, that weakness that, if not addressed, is in danger of making her infertile."

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