Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mini Book Reviews (February 2021)

A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for RenewalA Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal by Sarah Bessey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finished reading on 2/20/21

I have savored every word of this book. I’ve gone back over most of the prayers at least twice already. I have fallen asleep listening to the audiobook multiple times. (Is it any wonder I had a dream last night where Sarah Bessey was comforting me? 😂)

Anyway, do yourself a favor and read this book. Buy it if you can, you’re going to want to come back to it again and again.

A passage I love from the introduction:
"Often when we find ourselves at a crossroad in our faith, rethinking everything from church to scripture to family to art to politics to science to prayer, we think we have only two options: double down or burn it down. So when it comes to prayer, we might mistakenly believe that if we can’t pray the way we used to or the way we were taught, somehow that means we can’t or don’t pray anymore, period. [...] So no, the point of this is not to give you prayers to pray but to show you: you still get to pray. Prayer is still for you. You still get to cry out to God, you still get to yell, weep, praise, and sit in the silence until you sink down into the Love of God that has always been holding you whether you knew it or not. [...] I want this to help you feel a bit less alone. My hope is that you’ll borrow language from these prayers and be reminded that you are held—always, fully, completely—in the Love of God. I want this to be an act of resistance at this moment in our time, a way for us to fling wide the doors to prayer, to set up a few tables in your wilderness so that we can feast together on truth, justice, and goodness." - Sarah Bessey  

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A storyJonathan Livingston Seagull: A story by Richard Bach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finished reading on 2/23/21

I loved this book so much! It is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. This allegory/fable reminds me in some ways of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

"Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight – how to get from shore to food and back again, for most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight."

“He spoke of very simple things- that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.

"Set aside," came a voice from the multitude, "even if it be the Law of the Flock?"

"The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other.”

queering lentqueering lent by slats
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published 1/7/2018
Finished reading on 2/25/2021

I loved this short collection of poems/prayers so much. They wrote 40 poems, one for each day of Lent, and included a sermon they preached on Easter Sunday. Absolutely beautiful!

This was one of my favorite parts: 

"maybe it's because i grew up 
in churches 
crawling under pews 

and i know You don't 
constrict Yourself to churches 
but so often i just want 
to slump against church walls, 
to be absorbed into the plaster 
to kiss the stone 

because i need somewhere to pour this love. 
i need somewhere to find my rest. 
and curling up underneath Your pews 
is the closest thing i've got 
to falling asleep in Your arms."
- slats 
Finished re-reading on 2/24/21

This is a great resource for anyone who is wrestling with theology around transgender people and is wanting to understand and learn more. Highly recommend.

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