Category Archives: faith

WWW Wednesday (June 7)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

star wars heroes for a new hopeconvictions matter

I’m currently reading these two books:

  1. Star Wars: Heroes For a New Hope by Mark Waid (Writer), Charles Soule (Writer), Gerry Duggan (Writer), Terry Dodson (Penciler), Rachel Dodson (Inker), Alex Maleev (Artist), Phil Noto (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colourist) , Paul Mounts(Colour Artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letterer) – I borrowed this graphic novel from the library. It contains three different stories, following Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, and Chewbacca after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. It looks promising and I hope to get through it in the next few days.
  2. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines by Ray Harris – I bought this one about three years ago when it first came out. I started it, but never got back to it. So I’ve restarted it now. It will probably take me a little while to get it read as I’d like to complete the reflection exercises at the end of each chapter too, plus it’s not really a book that you can rush through.

Recently Finished:

I finished the following books this week:

boxerssaintsare you seeing me

  1. Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1) – Gene Luen Yang. This was a decent graphic novel telling the story of the Boxer Rebellion from the point of view of a young peasant who joins the rebellion.
  2. Saints (Boxers & Saints #2) – Gene Luen Yang. This graphic novel is a companion to Boxers, telling the story from the viewpoint of a young Chinese girl who converted to Christianity. Reading this one right after the first one helped me to understand the story from both sides.
  3. Are You Seeing Me? – Darren Groth. This was a book I received through Early Reviewers at LibraryThing. It was quite a fairly moving and, at times, humorous read, telling the story of twins from Australia travelling to BC and Seattle on a journey where they discover more than they expected to.

Up Next:

These are the same two that I mentioned last week and are both books that I also received from Early Reviewers at LibraryThing. Maybe I’ll get round to them before next week’s post!

bronze and sunfloweroptimists die first

  1. Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan
  2. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

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It’s all about love…

Image result for love god love neighbourI normally just use this blog for things pertaining to books, movies, sport, and other daily kinds of mundane fun things, but I feel the need to do something different today.

I think that the events in Manchester this week, along with the aftermath, have probably brought me to this, although it’s been on my mind for much longer.

It all boils down to this – our world needs more love. There is too much hatred and it comes from all sides everywhere and is not monopolized by any one group, nation, religion, or whatever tribe people align themselves with. There are fundamentalists everywhere, who will do anything, to the point of killing innocents, to make themselves heard. History repeats itself over and over again with the same results. I don’t pretend to understand everything, or have the solution to all the woes of the world, but our world could definitely use more love, along with some understanding.

Each day I read posts on Facebook and the social media platforms where people argue about everything and everything, where there often seems to be too much shouting and very little listening. Things often turn nasty when someone doesn’t agree with another person’s thoughts or ideas. It would be a boring world if we always agreed with each other, but why do differences of opinion often have to cause cessations of friendships or resort to name-calling, or worse. People often try to hide behind freedom of speech, but this freedom comes with responsibility and doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to continually put down others or destroy their character. It’s not wrong to disagree with another person over something, but it is crossing the line when the disagreement takes a personal turn. C.S. Lewis always enjoyed a good debate and had no problem disagreeing with others on a variety of matters, but he never allowed such disagreements to lead to personal acrimony (for a good article on this read C.S. Lewis and the Art of Disagreement).

It seems lately, though, that some issues have become more polarizing than others. One only need to mention the name ‘Trump’ and things can soon get out of hand. Some claim he is God’s chosen man, others say there’s no way he can be, and then the barbs start flying and things often get out of hand. By the way, from where I’m sitting, I can see no evidence that he could have been specially chosen by God. First of all, such a claim doesn’t seem scriptural to me, and secondly, his life certainly does not reflect it, in my opinion. Nothing that he has done so far as the leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth has persuaded me otherwise. In fact, with each passing day it seems like his actions take him further and further away from the possibility of there being any reflection in his life of being a follower of Jesus. Even this week at the NATO meetings in Europe Trump has shown himself to be an ignorant boor, as he pushed himself to the front like a spoiled schoolboy, in the process shoving Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro and leader of NATO, aside, then beaming like an imbecile when he got to the front. This shows a severe lack of respect and dignity, and is behaviour that belittles the position he was elected to. It’s hard to imagine Jesus behaving like this.

There are two key passages in scripture which point to the conclusions that I have come to. The first one is in Matthew 22 where one of the experts in the Law asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replies: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” If someone fails to follow these commandments then everything else they do negates any claims they may have to be a follower of Jesus. There is very little love for anyone but himself in the way that Trump shows himself on the world stage.

The second passage that comes to mind is in Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about the separation of those who have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, looked after the sick, and visited the imprisoned from those who have failed to do that. To those who did these things he says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Then he invites them into their inheritance. However, to those who have failed to do this things he says: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Later he adds “I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Most of the proposals Trump has made so far will do little or nothing for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or imprisoned (i.e. the poor), so how can he be God’s chosen if he fails to follow the commands of God?

Basically, what I am saying is that it’s all about love, but not love of self before all else. If you are in doubt about the importance of this love thing, then take a few minutes to read the first letter of John. There’s enough in there to confirm, and add to, what I’ve already said. It’s not easy and I know there are times when I’ve fallen short in the commands to love, but I have to pick myself up and try again.

We live in a very broken world, but let’s not add any more hatred to it. Instead endeavour to follow the commands to love. In the end love will win. It may not seem like that at times, but it will.

WWW Wednesday (May 24)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I’m currently reading the above three books, which are:

  1. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. One of my book challenges this month is to read a book that was made into a movie. I bought this one round about the time the movie came out, but am only getting around to reading it now. Once I’m finished it I’ll try to check out the movie.
  2. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. This is one of three books I received from LibraryThing for review, so I need to get on with this one as well.
  3. Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. I started this one last year and never got it finished. Now that I’m back to it again I’m really enjoying it and should be finished it soon.

Recently Finished:

I finished the above two books during the past week:

  1. You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris. I borrowed this little book from the library. It was written by the husband of one of the women killed in the Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack in Paris in late 2015 and is his account of the days following the loss of his wife, and how he will not let what happened cause either himself or their 17 month old son to hate. It was a fairly emotional read, but well worth reading.
  2. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This was one I had been looking forward to reading for a while and it did not disappoint me. I’ve been listening to a couple of podcasts that Mike is on – ‘Ask Science Mike’ and ‘The Liturgists Podcast’ – for a while now and it was great to finally be able to listen to his story.

Up Next:

I have a couple of review books to get to, as well as a graphic novel I borrowed from the library, so it could be any of them. I’d also like to get into Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance. So many books and not enough time!

Teaser Tuesdays – Grounded (May 23)

tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

groundedThe ground is the earth’s body, water its lifeblood, and the atmosphere its lungs. And the planet is sick.

From page 114 of Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass.

WWW Wednesday (May 17)

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

Afinding god in the waveslthough, as usual, I have quite a number of books on the go at the moment, the one I’m focusing on and have almost finished is Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. I’m really enjoying this one. McHargue is well-known as ‘Science Mike’ and I listen to him weekly on a couple of podcasts: The Liturgists podcast and The Science Mike podcast. If you’re looking for something different to listen to then both of these podcasts
are worth checking out.

Recently Finished:

I finished the above six books during the last week. Three of them I read for the SavvyReadathon on Saturday. The six books were:

  1. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator), Matthew Wilson (Illustrator)
  2. How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living – Rob Bell
  3. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter – edited by Plough Publishing House
  4. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #1) – Ian Edginton (Adapter), I.N.J. Culbard (Illustrator), Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. Pride: You Can’t Heal If You’re Hiding from Yourself – Ronald Holt
  6. A Letter of Consolation – Henri J.M. Nouwen

They were all fairly decent reads, although Paper Girls was a little disappointing. How to Be Here was probably the best of the bunch.

Up Next:

I haven’t really decided yet, but I have a few to choose from. I might try to get my hands on the new Rob Bell book and if I do, then that will be my next read. If not, then I might try to finish one of the other books that I still have on the go.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Finding God in the Waves (May 12)

For my Friday meme combo this week I’ve chosen Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This one has been on my TBR since it came out last year. I got it for my birthday last month and am now able to get it started. Goodreads has the following description:

finding god in the wavesFrom the host of the popular podcasts, The Liturgists Podcastand Ask Science Mike, a story of having faith, losing it, and finding it again through science—revealing how the latest in neuroscience, physics, and biology help us understand God, faith, and ourselves.

What do you do when God dies? It’s a question facing millions today, as science reveals a Universe that’s self-creating, as American culture departs from Christian social norms, and the idea of God begins to seem implausible at best and barbaric at worst.

Mike McHargue understands the pain of unraveling belief. In Finding God in the Waves, Mike tells the story of how his Evangelical faith dissolved into atheism as he studied the Bible, a crisis that threatened his life, his friendships, and even his marriage. Years later, Mike was standing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean when a bewildering, seemingly mystical moment motivated him to take another look. But this time, it wasn’t theology or scripture that led him back to God—it was science.

In Finding God in the Waves, “Science Mike” draws on his personal experience to tell the unlikely story of how science led him back to faith. Among other revelations, we learn what brain scans reveal about what happens when we pray; how fundamentalism affects the psyche; and how God is revealed not only in scripture, but in the night sky, in subatomic particles, and in us.

For the faithful and skeptic alike, Finding God in the Waves is a winsome, lucid, page-turning read about belonging, life’s biggest questions, and the hope of knowing God in an age of science.

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Finding God in the Waves:

She looks at me with haunted eyes.

That’s a very ominous beginning and not what I expected at all!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Finding God in the Waves:

Ancient people believed that our heart and bowels were the seat of our thoughts and emotions, but today we understand that our thoughts and feelings originate and transpire in our brains.

I wonder if when people look back at our generation in thousands of years time if they will think that some of our ideas were a bit backwards in their thinking. I’m looking forward to getting this one started and hopefully that will happen soon.

WWW Wednesday – May 10

www-wednesdayWWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Here is what you have to do to participate:

Answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments section the host page for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I was doing well for a little while there, but it’s almost two months since I did one of these posts. So it’s time to get started again! Here are my answers for the past week:

Currently Reading:

Three books that I have on the go at the moment are:

  1. How to be Here by Rob Bell. I’d wanted to read this one for a while, but only picked it up last month. It’s a great read so far.
  2. Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth. I received a review copy of this from LibraryThing early reviewers and am hoping to get it read soon. It’s been pretty good up to this point.
  3. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Trish Harrison Warren. I got a little behind in my reading for the Renovaré Book Club, but I’m almost caught up now and should be finished this one soon.

Recently Finished:

wenjackThe only book I finished in the last week was Wenjack by Joseph Boyden. It’s a sad little book based on the true story of Chanie ‘Charlie’ Wenjack, an Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. He never made it home. It’s a book every Canadian should consider reading, in order to educate ourselves about the dark aspects of our history that should never be allowed to happen again. I also recently read the graphic novel Secret Path, by Good Downie and Jeff Lemire,  that is another adaptation of the life of Chanie Wenjack. It’s worth checking out as well.

Up Next:

I’d like to get into any of the following books next:

  1. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This one has been on my TBR for a while. I got it for my birthday last mont and am looking forward to reading it soon.
  2. Silence by Shusaku Endo. I had stared this one, but got sidetracked. I’d like to get back to it as one of my book challenges for this month is to read a book that has been adapted into a movie. Once i’ve read it I’ll try to see the movie, as it has just been released on DVD.
  3. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell. I just picked this one up and really want to read it soon.

Teaser Tuesday – Finding God in the Waves (May 9)

tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

finding god in the wavesChristians can be really obnoxious. But you probably already knew that.

From page 45 of Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue.

Musing Monday (May 8)

monday

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you like to read when you are feeling under the weather?

I think I’ll try to answer a few of these this week, as it’s been a while since I participated in this meme.

I’m currently reading… 

As usual,  I have more than one book on the go. The one’s I want to get through first include: How to be Here by Rob Bell, Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth, and Liturgy of the Ordinary by Trish Harrison Warren. I want to get the Rob Bell one finished soon as his new one is out next week. Are You Seeing Me? is a review copy I received from LibraryThing, so I’d need to get that one done soon as well.

Up next I think I’ll read… 

I’d like to get into Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue. I got it for my birthday about a month ago and have been wanting to read it since it came out last year. I also have another review book from LibraryThing to read, Bronze and Sunflower by Can Wenxuan, which I need to get to soon as well.

I bought the following book(s) in the past week…

I only bought one book this week – The Face of Jesus by Edward Lucie Smith. It was on sale at Indigo and I got it for just over three dollars. It’s probably more a coffee table book than anything else and contains hundreds of different depictions of Jesus in art through the ages. The price was right and it is quite interesting too.

I can’t wait to get a copy of…

One of the books I’m really looking forward to is What is the Bible? by Rob Bell. It’s out next week, but I may still per-order it, as there are some extras available when pre-ordered. I’ll see how it goes, but it’s one I’ll definitely be picking up.

I blogged about ____ this past week…

I’ve been trying to post more on my blog recently after it being very sporadic for the first part of this year. I’ve also been taking part in a bookstagram challenge for the month of May, hosted by The Nocturnal Reader’s Box.

Teaser Tuesday – Finding God in the Waves (April 11)

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

finding god in the wavesAsk someone to tell you about Vincent van Gogh, and most people will tell you he was a painter who cut off his ear. That’s tragic, because it distills his fascinating life down to a single, sensational fact.

From page 235 of  Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue.

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