Life Changers 3/6/2015

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Update on my E-book: after much agonizing and brainstorming over 30+ titles, I have finally decided on:

Outside In: Ten Christian Voices We Can’t Ignore

It’s a book about Christian hospitality – on creating space for people who for ten different reasons feel marginalized within church community. Please sign up for my mailing list to receive a FREE copy as soon as it is out!

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Without further ado, wonderful reads around the internet for this week.

I thought this reflection on giving up something for Lent was very poignant. A great reminder that love and hospitality always trumps the law. When Hospitality Trumps Spiritual Discipline by April Fiet.

Spiritual disciplines are designed to draw us closer to God and to help us make space in our lives and our hearts for contemplation and reflection. But, those disciplines are worthless if they become a stumbling block to other people.

 

This is not the first time I’m sharing Kathy Escobar’s post and will certainly not be the last. She is simply one of my favorite writers. Her words are a fantastic mix of practical advice and straight up drop-the-mic, stand-up-on-chair-yell-hallelujah type preaching. Here’s a great piece about helping women experience the full humanity we deserve within the church. Amen and amen. lifting heads, straightening backs:

Shame is a powerful weapon of darkness that tells so many that they are not good enough, worthy enough, you-name-it enough.

And a significant part of the problem is that “the church” has perpetuated some of the problem. It sometimes is one of the most insecure places  on earth, cementing many damaging messages instead of freeing us from them.

 

Kelly Nikonheda ROARS in this piece on Dangerous Women for SheLoves Magazine. It’s stunning with truth and beauty.

Being dangerous people isn’t about being more adventurous or heroic, but about being more honest and open to God’s transformation in us and our world.

 

I always enjoy Tony Kriz’s insights, especially from his experience of living as a Christian in a post-Christian context. Seven Lies Christians Tell.

We lie when we claim we understand other beliefs, faiths and world views. We need to stop saying things like, “I understand Islam,” or, “I know what a Muslim thinks/believes.” Do you want someone saying that they understand your faith experience because they once lived in a Greek Orthodox neighborhood? Do you think a Muslim would accurately understand your beliefs because they read a book about Christianity (particularly one written by Muslim scholars)? Belief systems are extremely diverse (heck, in Christianity there are hundreds of Protestant denominations alone, before we even talk about Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, Palestinian, just to scratch the surface). Other religions are just as diverse. Further more, faith experience can be as specific as a neighborhood, family or individual.

 

In the spirit of sharing lists of seven, here are 7 Things Not to Say to a Depressed Christian.

All to often a lengthy (and often judgmental) assessment of every sin the depressed person has takes place. Once they’re identified they’ll try to get rid of them one by one. This is both impossible and can cause deeper depression. The depressed may believe you and think getting rid of all these sins is the answer. When they realize that this cannot happen this side of heaven, the depression deepens.

 

Lastly, I am so happy to have discovered John Pavlovtiz’s blog, finding all kinds of treasures in his archives. I was excited when I saw he had blogged about #dressgate in the same week I did.

Intolerance to dissension isn’t just for Instagram dresses, though.

Religion often operates the very same way.

We all think we see things the way they really are; that our eyes perceive reality correctly; that we’ve got the market cornered on objective truth.

When it comes to spirituality, we all believe that our perception, is God’s reality.

 

What changed your life this week?

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