Monday, January 01, 2024

2023 Movies Ranked


Favorite Movies of 2023 (definitely want to re-watch)

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 
2. The Marvels 
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 
4. The Flash 
5. The Color Purple
6. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania 
7. Red, White & Royal Blue
8. The Boy and the Heron 
9. NYAD 
10. Barbie  

Good Movies (would be willing to re-watch):
11. Wonka
12. Jesus Revolution
13. The Velveteen Rabbit
14. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves 
15. Elemental 
16. The Burial 
17. 80 for Brady 
18. Book Club: The Next Chapter 
19. Tetris 
20. BlackBerry 
21. Blue Beetle
22. Shazam! Fury of the Gods 
23. The Little Mermaid 

Meh Movies (much less likely to re-watch):
24. Ghosted 
25. EXmas 
26. The Super Mario Bros. Movie 
27. Murder Mystery 2


2023 Movies I still want to watch:
  • A Holiday I Do
  • Air
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  • Asteroid City
  • Bottoms
  • The Boys in the Boat
  • The Family Plan
  • Friends & Family Christmas
  • The Holdovers
  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
  • Maybe I Do
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3
  • Nimona
  • Oppenheimer 
  • Priscilla 
  • Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire
  • Theater Camp
  • Waitress: The Musical
  • Wish

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Book Review: Grace Can Lead Us Home: A Christian Call to End Homelessness by Kevin Nye

Grace Can Lead Us Home: A Christian Call to End Homelessness by Kevin Nye
207 pages
Published August 9th, 2022 by Herald Press
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grace Can Lead Us Home is a must-read that will challenge your assumptions about homelessness, its causes, and potential solutions. Author Kevin Nye is the assistant director of programs at The Center in Hollywood, a non-religious non-profit providing services and advocacy for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

Nye argues that homelessness is a problem of unaffordable housing, and no matter how they end up homeless, all people deserve the resources they need, including housing. He explores the complex and interconnected issues that contribute to homelessness, such as affordable housing, mental illness, addiction, trauma, and systemic injustice. Nye does not shy away from the hard questions or the messy realities, but he also offers hope and grace to both the unhoused and the housed. He writes, "By drawing readers back to the biblical vision of justice, Kevin Nye gives readers a new lens for seeing their unhoused neighbors."

In chapter four Nye talks about the disproportionate number of LGBTQ youth who are unhoused, in large part due to being kicked out of their homes. Sadly, even if they go to shelters, they aren’t always safe, especially trans women. Many faith-based shelters are explicitly non-affirming and trans women are forced to sleep in rooms with cisgender men “puts them at direct risk for targeted violence.”
“As the battles over LGBTQ+ affirmation rage on in Christian institutions, we cannot lose sight of the physical and psychological harm we are inflicting on people whom God loves. Our limited theological imaginations, which prioritize how we think and feel about sexuality and gender identity over how we value the actual lives of fellow bearers of the divine image, is driving LGBTQ+ people to homelessness and all its subsequent harms.”
I also appreciate the emphasis on harm reduction in chapter five. “Harm reduction” generally is about minimizing harm to people instead of demanding perfection. When it comes to substance abuse, Nye writes: “Harm reduction” is a set of beliefs for approaching substance use and addiction that highlights users’ choice, autonomy, and safety.” Therefore, the response to substance abuse shouldn’t be about punishment, but first about reducing the harm to people and communities impacted.

This book is not only informative but also transformative. It will challenge you to rethink your theology, your politics, and your relationships. It will also inspire you to join God's work of restoring dignity, healing, and community to those who are often overlooked and ignored. Grace Can Lead Us Home is a timely and prophetic call for Christians to end homelessness in our world.

Table of Contents
-A Note On Language
-Introduction
1. Seeing And Being Seen
2. Housing
3. Isolation And Connection
4. Community And Solidarity
5. Mental Health
6. Substance Use and Overdose
7. Addiction And Recovery
8. Abundance, Beauty, and Celebration
-Conclusion

“We must push for solutions that actually end homelessness, rather than ones that simply push it out of sight and out of mind.”

Grace Can Lead Us Home Affiliate Purchase Links: Bookshop.org (supports local bookstores)

I actually got to meet Kevin in person at Evolving Faith in October!
Kevin and Neyhart pictured together at Evolving Faith 2023


Kevin Nye is a writer and advocate working toward ending homelessness by engaging best practices. He has written on the intersections of homelessness and faith for Religion News Service, Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, and more. He has presented at national conferences on the topic of homelessness, including Housing First Partners Conference 2022.

Kevin currently lives with his wife and son in Minneapolis, MN, where he works as Housing Director at an organization addressing youth homelessness.

Follow Kevin on the web: 
Twitter: @kevinmnye1 

I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Amazon and I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

2022 Movies Ranked

 




Favorite Movies of 2022 (definitely want to re-watch)

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once 
2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 
3. Spirited 
4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 
5. Avatar: The Way of Water 
6. Glass Onion 
7. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 
8. The Woman King (this was a great film, but due to the level of violence I probably won't rewatch it)

Good Movies (would probably re-watch):
8. Thor: Love and Thunder 
9. Fire Island 
10. The Adam Project
11. Turning Red 

Decent Movies (less likely to re-watch):
12. Elvis 
13. Uncharted 
14. Disenchanted 
15. Hocus Pocus 2 

Meh (No desire to re-watch):
16. Senior Year 
17. Hustle 
18. The Lost City 
19. The Batman 

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Favorite Non-Fiction Books Read in 2022

These were my top ten favorite non-fiction books that I read for the first time in 2022 (simply alphabetized by author's last name):
  • Queer Hands of God edited by Crystal Cheatham
  • Baptized in Tear Gas: From White Moderate to Abolitionist by Elle Dowd 
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • The God Who Riots: Taking Back the Radical Jesus by Damon Garcia
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks
  • The World's Poorest President Speaks Out by Yoshimi Kusaba
  • Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Miracle on 10th Street and Other Christmas Writings by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Mother God by Teresa Kim Pecinovsky
  • Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms by Matthias Roberts 
I highly recommend all of these but most especially the titles in bold.