So Hot Right Now, Christian Edition
My faith fuels me. Here are a few things that have fueled my faith as of late:
Women of the Torah by Stephen J. Binz: I googled ‘non-cheesy Bible study books’ and this title popped up. It’s fantastic — an intelligent, thoughtful, empowering look at Israel’s matriarchs. Following the lectio divina format, Binz goes in-depth with different passages from the Bible and offers insightful commentary that has helped me see these stories from new and different angles.
Homebrewed Christianity Culturecast: Rev. Amy Piatt (Pastor of a Portland church), Christian Piatt (Writer at patheos.com), and Jordan Green (Founder of Burnside Books) get together every few weeks to interview interesting people (Tony Campolo, Rachel Held Evans, AJ Jacobs, Justin Lee, Stephanie Drury, et al.) and discuss various cultural happenings from a Christian perspective. It’s informal and low-budget, but they tackle thought-provoking topics with a good sense of humor. Check it out here.
Keeping a gratitude journal: Gratitude is truly an under-rated spiritual discipline. With Thanksgiving right around the bend, some friends of mine and I have committed to writing down things were grateful for each day while incrementally increasing the number of blessings we counted (one on 11/1, two on 11/2, three on 11/3, etc.). It’s helped temper my cynical side.
This Dorothy Sayers quote (from Are Women Human?):
“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”
Pray-As-You-Go Podcast: This podcast is created and produced by a group of British Jesuits. They walk you through 10 minutes or so of contemplative prayer and a daily scripture reading. It’s free, and a great way to start the day.
Humble Beast Records: A progressive Christian hip-hop artists’ collective, featuring the work of rapper Braille, the Portland-based hip-hop group Beautiful Eulogy (get their newest album, Instruments of Mercy, for free on Noisetrade), rapper and spoken word artist Propaganda, and more. Lots of good stuff going on here.