I changed the title of the page previously called "Testimony" to "About Me" as I figured it was more user-friendly. As I was writing more about my past, I realized how much I'd forgotten. Not forgotten--repressed. Probably not healthy, I know. I've worked through some things, but I believe there are some things that happen that are better left alone than dissected with some hopes of unearthing a great healing revelation. Jesus is my healing and He said to keep my eyes fixed forward- straight at Him. It is amazing to reflect on what He's saved me from (hopelessness, despair, self-loathing, seeking approval and attention from all the wrong sources, just to name a few). It sends a fresh wave of gratitude through my heart.
I just finished reading Real Church in a Social-Network World: From Facebook to Face-to-Face Faith by Leonard Sweet, and I have got to say, I was amazed by the amount of energy, conviction, logic, passion and encouragement could be packed into such a small book. At only 101 pages total, less than 70 pages are dedicated to the title, the rest being title pages, notes, and a preview to an upcoming book titled Viral by the same author.
To tell you the truth, when I saw the cover & read the title, I wasn't expecting much. I know, I know the old saying, but, we all still form first impressions, right? I got the book late at night and figured I would just read the introduction before heading to bed. I read straight through chapter one, and had I gotten the book earlier in the day, I most certainly would have read it all in one sitting.
This book is not a brief overview of what church's can learn from social media to enhance the ability to reach and connect their audiences, it is a vibrant and clear message that challenges the reader to step up and step out, resuscitating anyone who may fall into the category of a pew-warmer, Christian offering lip-service only, or "self-proclaimed" yet fruitless believers in a set of doctrinal statements. Sweet writes, "To become a Christian is not to adopt a different belief system. To become a Christian is to experience a transformation into the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit," driving his point home with, "Admitting without committing is useless." Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes (not sure of the origin): "There are three kinds of people, those who don't go to church, those who go to church, and those who are the church." Sweet points out differences between those who merely believe, and those who have an active faith in a tactful, yet concise way which causes the reader to reflect and encourages the reader to grow.
If you're thinking I recommend this book because it appears the author and I share some similar religious viewpoints, you may be partially correct. Naturally, I wouldn't give such a glowing review if I absolutely disagreed with the basis of his beliefs, since the book is about Christianity after all. However, I must take a moment to praise Sweet's ability to write in and of itself. His writing is easy to read, flows smoothly and draws you in. It has been a long time since I've read a book that was so good it was suspenseful not in content but in the fact that you couldn't wait to get to the next sentence. I literally found myself smiling, nodding my head, and even letting out a little giggle of excited agreement while reading this book. Mind you, I typically do not "interact" with books in such a way, I am a very skeptical and critical reader, particularly when concerning religious topics.
I'm not going to give an overview of the content of the book, I'm going to flatly tell you it is WORTH the read despite the title and any preconceived notion about it. In the interest of full-disclosure, I want to state that I did receive a copy of this ebook free of charge for the purpose of review. I also want to tell you that I will be looking to purchase a copy in paper* because I enjoyed it that much.
*I have since found out that this only comes as an ebook. I am currently reading What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet (also an ebook) and I noticed that in the title pages it was originally published as Out of the Question-into the Mystery: Getting Lost in the GodLife Relationship as a hardcover. Cha-ching, I found my paper version! What can I say, I like to actually hold a book in my hands while I read... Probably also prefer it because I have no means to read ebooks other than sitting down at my desktop pc. I am a fan of portability. Will be posting a review when finished!
Hmmmmmm, I don't really have any readers, so I'm not sure what to write. This website is more for me than it is for readers, anyway. It's an online journal- a location to daydream and vent, to record thoughts that I might come back to and to type up the chatter that comes to mind like a person would doodle on a piece of scratch paper. I have no point to this entry, except to state that there will be more entries to come which may actually prove to be interesting. Ha!
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I am not much of a blog reader. There's only a couple I check on occasion:
Love this girl's writing... feels like she's a long distance friend. Well, her sister is my long-distance friend, so that probably helps. Either way, what an inspiration and encouragement- you just need to check out some of the places life has taken Leah and be strengthened and inspired by the love that oozes (yes, oooozes) from her heart for Jesus, His people and His creation!
If you like nummy recipes, or have special dietary needs (or both!) check it out. ALL of her recipes are Vegan, and many can be made gluten-free. I stumbled upon it when searching for dairy/egg free treats to make for my kiddo and have gotten hooked on several recipes. Okay, "hooked on" doesn't portray it well enough. How about "addicted to"? That's more fitting. Will definitely be going back for more!