Reblog: Christian…what will you read?

There’s a really good book called ‘Positively Powerless: How a Forgotten Movement Undermined Christianity’ by L.L. Martin which I can highly recommend.
Other books I can recommend: ‘God’s Smuggler’ by Brother Andrew, ‘A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power’ by Jimmy Carter, ‘Kisses from Katie’ and ‘Daring to Hope’ by Katie Davis Majors, ‘The Choice’ by Edith Eger (not a Christian book per se but one I would highly recommend), ‘A Year of Biblical Womanhood’ by Rachel Held Evans, ‘Streams of Living Water’ by Richard Foster, ‘William Wilberforce’ by William Hague (a secular biography of the devout abolitionist in which God’s presence shines through), ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence, ‘Mama Maggie: The Untold Story of One Woman’s Mission to Love the Forgotten’ by Marty Makary and Ellen Vaughn, ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning, ‘The Blue Parakeet’ by Scot McKnight, ‘A Life for Christ’ by Dwight L. Moody, ‘Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality’ by Richard Rohr, ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp and ‘Gospel Childhood’ by Elizabeth Ruth Obbard.

On my (Christian) to-read list: ‘The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola’, ‘Searching for Sunday’ by Rachel Held Evans, ‘The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul’ by Philip Doddridge, ‘Humility: the Beauty of Holiness’ by Andrew Murray, ‘The Bruised Reed’ by Richard Sibbes, ‘Man, the Dwelling Place of God’ by Tozer, ‘Sins of Omission: A Primer on Moral Indifference’ by S. Dennis Ford, ‘Eager to Love’ by Richard Rohr and ‘Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices’ by Thomas Brooks.

Enough Light

Will you read a book by an individual who had some type of near death experience and claims to have experienced heaven – But not a book that thoughtfully and carefully considers what the Bible says about heaven, such as this one: Heaven by Randy Alcorn?

Will you read a book by someone who dreamed they spent 23 minutes in hell and then wrote about it — But not a book that thoughtfully and carefully considers what the Bible says about hell, such as this one: Erasing Hell by Chan and Sprinkle?

Will you read a creative fiction book like The Shack –But not books that thoughtfully consider the biblical view of the Trinity or why bad things happen in life, such as these: Making Sense of the Trinity by Millard Erickson (only 108 pages!!) and If God is Good,Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

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A Reappraisal of Now

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One of our guinea pigs, wearing a crocheted Father Christmas hat. Because.

I caught a cold or somesuch. Even though it’s gone, I’m left exhausted and physically back where I was months ago. It’s frustrating. I had been making such progress! Who knows how long it will take to get back to where I was just a few weeks ago.

So I’m lying on the bed typing, cuddling a very cheeky little guinea pig and listening to audiobooks from Audible. Audiobooks are wonderful for people like me, people who tire on reading, people whose lives are (or can be) somewhat limited. Audible allows me to continue learning. I’m listening to a series of lectures on the development of language and another series of lectures on the Ignatian practice of discernment. In my years of Audible membership I have learnt about History, Economics, Linguistics, Theology, Physics, Neurology, Psychology… You name it. I’ve been able to begin to decipher Italian, French and Mandarin and I have revisited some of my childhood favourites, such as Enid Blyton and Joan Aiken. Of course, my forays into the world of adult fiction are also fairly constant. I am a fiction junkie. Through Audible I have fallen in love with the words of Lisa Gardner (supreme queen of crime thrillers), Liane Moriarty (and the narration of Caroline Lee), and have recently discovered the work of Amanda Prowse (who reads her own work). Audible also produce their own content, and the series of new audio plays (or ‘movies-in-the-mind’ as I call them) based on the Alien novels and films are brilliant – science fiction being my literary alma mater ❤ Thank you, Audible!

In another essential way Audible is a lifeline, too. I am listening to a dramatised version of the Old Testament, the New Testament read by David Suchet, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God and Ann Voskamp reading her One Thousand Gifts Devotional. I listen to a chapter of each every day and it allows me to keep up with my spiritual learning, too (which is the most important). When I reach the end of the OT or the NT, I just begin again. Same for The Practice of the Presence of God. It is so very simple, yet so easy to forget, that I reckon I need to keep revisiting all the ideas until I can actually do them.

In listening to educational and spiritual material, Audible allows me to be disciplined even in the middle of what feels like chaos or exhaustion. My life seems to swing between chaos and exhaustion and doesn’t stop for very long in ‘order’ and ‘wellness’ – at least, that’s how it feels. Que sera sera. God is eternal. The eternal is now. Right now. ‘Now’ is all we ever have. Yet –

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’ ~ Julian of Norwich

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… or about your body… Is not life more…?Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value [to God] than they?And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? …Therefore do not worry… indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Extract from Matthew 6:25-33 (NRSVA)

In summary: you gotta do what you gotta do – and that’s all you gotta do.

Give a Child a Future

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There are quite a few blog posts floating around my head at the moment, but I have been too busy and/or too tired to actually write them. This is just a quick post to provide a link to the ONE campaign’s petition calling for education for refugees, the following is from an email I received earlier today:

Every child deserves an education. But right now, well over 3 million refugee children aren’t just away from their homes, they’re out of school.

The impact of this is devastating, with children often forced to work and, in some cases, having to agree to child marriages in order to survive.

These children have already lost their homes. They shouldn’t lose their futures, too.

This September, our leaders will be meeting in New York to discuss the global refugee crisis – they need to put education at the heart of that conversation. Sign the petition and let’s help these children get the future they deserve.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for signing.