What I READ – Fall 2019

  • Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction by Susan. S. Phillips (4/5) – I love the raw and honest conversations that happened between Susan and her directees. It was very beautiful. She also taught me that lighting a candle can represent God’s presence in a beautiful way. It is strange that I am giving this book such a high star review. Because after reading this book I still do not understand the role of the Spiritual Director. Except that they seem like a good listener. I guess I am looking for something more.
  • Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament (Paperback) 
    by Melissa Florer-Bixler (1/5) – The old testament is somewhere I struggle to find God as loving. I struggle interpreting the Old Testament and this book didn’t help me understand it better. It just talked about ideas in the Old Testament.
  • Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions by Rachel Held Evans (4/5) – Rachel pointed out how we pick and choose which bible verses to follow. I don’t really agree with all her theology but this book definitely had me thinking. This was the first book she wrote however this is the book of hers that I chose to read last. I will miss her words so much. RIP Rachel

  • Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World by Osheta Moore (2/5)  –This book is about practicing peace. It also talks about we need to have joy in difficult circumstances. It is very hard to read books like that have such clear cut answers when life isn’t that easy. It also gave some basic ideas so I really wasn’t impressed by this book. I don’t think it is profound read like everyone says it is.

  • Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack by Alia Joy (5/5) – This book is all about what we lack. The secret is to surrender to God. Lack leads to God’s abundance. She shares her mental illness disorder (Bipolar). She tells us that she good days and bad days.

  • The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin (4/5) – This is a brilliant book about loving the people right where you are.
  • Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God (5/5) – If you don’t know Sarah Bessey this might not be the book for you. After you read her other book it will be good. That is because this is more of a memoir compared to her other books. She writes about her faith in God even through her Chronic Pain. It is a lovely book that inspires me to always have hope and lean on God even when it is hard.

  • The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever by Jamie Wright (4/5) – This book was a very thought provoking book on christian missions. I don’t like that she spoke of only the negative side of christian missions. However, I do think she was trying to be informative. The author was very engaging and funny.

Businesses That Empower Women

 

These descriptions are taken from other websites. These organizations have cute products plus they support women. How cool is that?

  • Glacier Salt Scrub –  Northlore has a long list of commitments including operating on a feminist and anti-racist business model. Whenever possible they “support businesses and cooperatives run by women and people of colour, recognizing the disadvantages BIPOC folx face within current capitalist, patriarchal systems.” Plus they also donate 10% of their profits to Indigenous Climate Action, an indigenous led organization that works to empower indigenous communities to take action on climate change.
  • Prosperity Candle– All their candles are made by women artisians and refugees in the US, and they also train women to make and sell their own candles in other countries. They promote refugee women to leadership postions, pay competitively, offer full benefits, support them through the immigration process. And women can bring their children to work!
  • Love Justly – She offers discounted fair trade and ethical products, which makes them more affordable for the consumer and gives the fair trade company another source of revenue for their goods!
  • Little By Little – Is a great social enterprise in Haiti & London, Ontario.
  • Project Lydia –  They have benefits for widows and orphans in Uganda.  The products are bath, beauty, baskets, jewelry and dolls crafted by these women to help pay fees for their children to go to school.
  • Frost Beard Studio – They combine love of books with pleasant smells. Le Cirque Des Reves, Sexy Librarian, Rainy Day Reads, and Divination Classroom are some of my favorities. Husband and wife trio.
  • War International – Their mission is to “unite and education to create circles of protection around those at risk through culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects.”

Singleness & Christianity

The church often tells parents to pray for their future children. Parents always talk to their children about their future marriage. Unfortunately, while that is great we aren’t guaranteed marriage. I just read an article recently said that their are way more religious women than men even though their are slightly more men than women in the world. How crazy is that? The article also said “maybe God want’s/loves single women.” I am not saying we can’t pray for our children’s future spouse. But I think we should focus on guiding and teaching youth and women towards learning to be independent.  Because of all the marriage talk when we are younger. This leads to a great disappointment in life when we are still single in our 30’s and 40’s. We feel that we have missed the mark. Also I think the church needs to improve on including singles. Most programs are for children and youth ministry. Single women often our ask to serve and do these things because they supposably have more time than married people. Then we get burned out. Of course we should serve but we also should be served and included in community. I love that famous author Tim Keller’s church is made of 80 % of singles. Also I think 40 % of of people in the USA are single in the USA. We need to do outreaches for singles just like we do it for minorities. Try to reach out singles. Invite them over for holidays if they don’t have family in town and love them well.

Foster Care and Adoption Resources

All this information is not necessarily just about foster  care and adoption. There are resources on at risk students and other things. I wanted to put this information out there ASAP but I will continue to add information on my What I am Into posts each month.

Read:

  • Another Place At The Table by Kathy Harrison (5/5) – Kathy has fostered over 100 kids. She has fostered abandoned babies, runaway teens, preschoolers in wheelchairs, and ten-year-old girls just discharged from psychiatric hospitals. She shares how each foster kid has negative and positively impacted their family. One of her fostered children molested another kid in her family. She fostered one baby who had burns all over their body. This is the sad and the beauty of foster care. She had to humbly admit she can’t give every foster kid a permanent home.

    Movies:

    Paper Tigers (5/5) – This is a documentary that follows a high school who helps at risk students. The school also is the first in their State to open a free healthy clinic for counseling. A guy says ” Behavior isn’t the kid. Behavior is about what is going on in their life.” Since implementing  its trauma-sensitive approach statistically the students have been significantly more successful.

  • Short Term 12  (5/5) – Grace a twenty-something staff member at a foster care facility as she reckons with caring for the teens in her charge and her own past. This is also about the group home she is in charge of. It shows what foster kids have been and are going through. It is extremely graphic and a lot of cursing. But it is worth to watch if you are an adult. 
  • Removed (5/5) – This shows the journey what it is like to be in the foster care system. It shows things like abusive parents ( birth and foster). It shows how it feels for siblings to be split up. You also get to see what it is like bouncing around to different homes.

 

Instagram Accounts:

  • Hallie Graves – a single foster mom who is always talking about the foster system.
  • Bethany Anne – she has adopted 2 out of 3 kids she has foster. She talks all about her journey.

Around The Web:

People In The Bible Who Wanted to Die

Depression

I have always been told depression and anxiety are wrong. But maybe with everything evil in this world it is normal to feel that way sometimes. We face many attacks. Yes, God is with us but there are seasons in life he will feel absent. Even though we must remember that He never leaves. I think are struggles are normal. As you will see in these passages some of the prophets wished they were never born and some wanted God to take their own life.

 

  • Jeremiah 20: 14-18 – I don’t know if Jeremiah wanted to die exactly but he was definitely in a low place. He kept preaching the Word of God and all he got was negative feed back and prosecution. In these verses he proclaims that he wished he would of died in his mother’s womb. I often have heard in my life that depression and anxiety are sins. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. However, even someone as close to God as Jeremiah struggled with life. Therefore, I don’t think we should be surprised of our own weaknesses.
  • Numbers 11:13-20- Moses asked God to kill him because he was getting stressed out about getting enough meat for the people. God took some power off Moses and put it on other people because He was distressed. God let other people carry some of the burden so Moses wouldn’t have to carry it all.  This shows that even people in the Bible got stressed out sometimes and didn’t feel like the could do the work the Lord asked them to do.
  • 1 Kings 19 – Elijah had enough he felt tired emotionally and physically. He asked God to take his life away. He could not handle the challenges he was facing in life anymore. An angel of the Lord came to Elijah and gave hms food and water since the journey was to hard for him. This food nourished him and he became strengthened again. This message helps me realize that there is still hope when we have lost all faith and our burned out by life.
  • Job – The whole book of Job would also be wise to read because he went through a lot. Many of his treasured positions and people were taken from him. He had to endure so much.

Do you know of any other people in the Bible who struggled with depression or wanted to die? Please Share With Me

What I Am Into – July 2019

Read:

  • Flee, Be Silent, Pray: An Anxious Evangelical Finds Peace with God through Contemplative Prayer by Ed Cyzewski (4/5) – This book mainly talks about contemplative prayer. However, even after reading this book I don’t grasp the concept. However, the author does talk about centering prayer. That means when your thoughts get distracted you keep going back to a word like Jesus, Beloved, or Mercy. That was such good information to read.
  • Still Life: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression by Gillian M. (4/5) –  The author of the book describes her life with depression. She said she excluded herself from the family, slept a lot, and refused to watch the kids or do chores. She had a lot of mentors that were in her life. I resonated with this book so much. My favorite quote was ” Because life still depression is still life”.

  • Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther (4/5) – Spiritual Direction was something brought up in the Episcopal church. Recently I have been jealous of the sacramental practices in the Catholic church ( even though I am not Catholic). The main purpose of spiritual direction is holy/attentive listening and having a loving presence. I am glad this practice is now being introduced in the Evangelical church. Spiritual Directors should be like a teacher, host, and midwife. These topics go in-depth in this book. This book is written mainly intended for Spiritual Directors. However, directees will benefit from it as well. I can’t wait until I find a Spiritual Director compatible with me.

Movies:

  • Brene Brown: The Call To Courage ( 4/5) – I rejoined Netflix just to  see this movie. It is her speaking about courage, vulnerability and shame. It was very insightful The only reason I gave it a four star and not a five star is because she went off on a tangent sometimes.

Sermons:

Lovely Links: