I got a new hair cut.

Bethany's Blessings

The Least of These

a book and a move...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
Idol Eyes Mandisa's autobiography 235 pages

And I am not writing over in blogspot and will no longer be writing here. So, feel free to go check me out at http://beth0329.blogspot.com/

Shalom
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I am alive....truly
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329

Wow, it's been awhile since I've written a post. So, I'm going to try to sum up all that I've been up to in the past month or so.

First, it's books: 

Sex God: Exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality by Rob Bell 201 pages
Such a good book! Rob has a unique writing aesthetic. The typed words almost look like a poem but it's a novel. I tried to read his first book, The Velvet Elvis, not that it wasn't good but I didn't finish it. This one was a definite read-again. There was several things I liked about this book, especially the fact that Bell really challenges Christians to consider their ideas of dating and marriage to see what God has to say about it. Good stuff.

The Gutter: Where life is meant to be lived by Craig Gross 156 pages
Challenging book! If we're not going to the gutter, who is? (By the way, this doesn't mean that I am better than the gutter-dweller, I have just been saved from there by Jesus coming to my gutter, but I better go back if I want others to be rescued from there gutter).

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon 256 pages
Also a challenging book. Fiction, which I normally don't read but this could seriously be a true story. Although they do use a phrase that today has been wayy over-used in the Christian circle; "What would Jesus do?" But, despite the marketing adoption of that phrase, as Christians we should ask that question in the situations that we find ourselves in. Very good book.

Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by J. Matthew Sleeth, MD 255 pages
The title really says it all. I haven't read a lot of Christian-based environmental books but I really appreciated this one for the sheer fact that he goes through normal daily activities and showed the Christian response. Next time I'll say more specific applications that I received from this book.

And now I have a new stack of books to read, currently I'm reading about 4 at different times throughout the week. I'm taking estimates on how many pages I've read this year. Think about it and let me know what you think.

And then there's been lots and lots of things goign on with the house I live in. I don't even think I want to write all that out so I think I'll just leave it at the fact that there's lots of changes going on and Kevin and I have been named as leaders of the house, which means some challenging and stretching moments for me :)

Okay, there's lots more I could type but I think I've been sitting here for the past 2 hour writing this while being distracted by my mom saying, "hey, watch ___ on TV" and about 3 different phone calls.

Blessings! And here's to writing more often.

Convert run aways fearful of dying because of her faith.
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0P5IaIE_LI


And sometimes I don't even want to pick up 1 of the 4 bibles in my book case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing  "the fear of being labeled "culturally insensitive" prevents US government officials and the media from both identifying and accurately reporting these incidents as "honor killings" when they occur."  Are you kidding me??? The U.S has got some major issues!

Please pray for Rifqa

Some things to reflect on...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I have a lot to write about but don't really feel up to it at the moment so here's some stuff that I've been watching/listening/reading that's been making me think.

The Struggle

She just can’t believe.
She can’t believe there is a God
who made her poor.
She Can’t believe God
doesn’t want her 8 children
to eat tonight.
She can’t believe. she won’t.
As she looks back on her life
full of broken years
she just can’t believe.
She can’t believe there exists someone
somewhere
something
who is at the same time
all-powerful
and all-loving
because she has no power
and she has never felt loved
and so she can’t believe, she won’t.
it would be far too painful to believe

But she has to believe
she must, she needs to believe
to get through the day
she has to believe that
the future of her 8 kids
isn’t hanging on her ability to provide
She has to believe because
she knows she can’t do it alone
she has to believe
she must
She has to believe that
in each tough break is grace
that each good thing is a blessing
and that there is a reason to hope
for things to get better
she has to believe
she must, she needs to believe
it would be far too painful not to believe.







God's masterpiece...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
This is really really good! Pastor showed it a few weeks ago.



Shalom
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Lord save us from your followers
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329

Just wanted to write down the book that I just finished yesterday (at the very very boring 4 hour shift at the firework's booth).

Lord save us from your followers by Dan Merchant 216 pages

This was a really great book. Dan traveled across the country wearing a jumpsuit that had different bumperstickers all over it, with varying religious ideas from super conservative (God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve) to super liberal (Sorry I missed church I was busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian). And he asked folks that would come up to him 1 main question; Why is the Gospel of Love dividing America?

Dan is  a Christian and the premise of the book is to have dialogue. So, the jumpsuit was just a really great way to open up the door to talk about the deeper issues that a lot of Christians aren't talking about or willing to talk about, instead they just slap bumperstickers onto their cars and say that's what I believe; no ifs, ands or buts about it. There's also a DVD documentary that I haven't watched yet but I'll definitely write more once I watch it.



Unfortunately there's no full body pictures on-line but you get the gist of the outfit.


Blessings y'all.
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pics and update...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329

Wow, I can't believe my last post was June 12th and it's June 24. Well, I am now officially in Modesto and into my new place. 512 Vine St. Crazy, right? No job yet but I know that will come soon. Please join me in praying for the right one! I have 3 housemates, Stephanie lives downstairs with me and Abby and Patty live upstairs. Next month Sara Jane will be moving in downstairs and then there's a couple girls who are considering moving in so we'll see who gets the last room. And then today Cole is moving in with the 2 guys at 511 so that's exciting. I'm getting to know all of them, plus attending many meetings where I get to know the folks in Modesto who are doing God's work which I really enjoy. Today I went to a CMN (City Ministry Network) and met this really cool guy, John Sanders who is a pastor to the homeless, literally. Their church is in the park. Plus, he has a ministry to those folks in prison, plus a mentor program for men and women coming out of jail so I'm hoping to do that. We'll see what else God is leading me towards.

I finally uploaded a bunch of pictures so I think I'm going to share them here. So, enjoy!

Pictures.Collapse )

Shalom.

book...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I just finished up another book...and it's fiction! If you haven't noticed I just don't read a lot of fiction. But here it is;

The Soloist by Mark Salzman 284 pages

It's about a prodigy who plays the cello as a child but once he grows up and his cello teacher dies his amazing talent diminishes because he can't play perfectly, with perfect intonation, perfect clarity etc. He ends up beginning to teach a young Chinese boy while also being put on a jury for a murder trial. So, it's interesting getting to know this guy through this interactions with the boy and his being on a jury. And I guess there's a movie out now based on the book so we'll see how they do the film


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falling off like grapes
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
2 down, 7 more to go. Nate and Esther are in their new place in the neighborhood. I don't want to go.

I finished a book last week. Angry conversations with God Really good book. Funny but real. She takes God to marriage counseling because everybody keeps telling her that she may be single but she's married to God and she's angry with him...so it's time for counseling. Must read!

She also shared a passage that I really really like:

Though The fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes me feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights. Hab. 3.17-19

242 pages.



If you find yourself on a pedestal, you'll probably do something soon to fall off it
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
It's been a rough last couple of days. On Wed. morning (after much prayer) I emailed Rosanna and told her that she needed to talk to PC, whether she wanted to or not and that if she didn't think she could then I'd talk to him with her. I also challenged her to think about her leadership positions within our church and encouraged her that I thought she needed some time to heal from this and decide whether she wanted to end the relationship with Jeff or not. Ironically enough but I was talking to PC as she was so I knew even before she emailed me that she decided to talk with him this Sunday about everything. But she also emailed me and said that she had already thought about the leadership positions she holds and that she had already begun withdrawing from her responsibilities, which isn't really a good thing since people were counting on her to get things done and they had no idea what she was going through, besides the fact that her boyfriend is in jail. But, I was really glad that she freely admitted that she'd be saying the same thing that I was if it were someone else that was doing what she's doing. 

But, unfortunately I got a heart-wrenching phone call Wed. evening. Paul calls me and I update him on everything; struggling with whether I should tell PC about everything, challenging Rosanna to tell him herself, etc. And after he interrupts me several times with shock that I do those things he goes on to tell me that I've been too judgmental through this all. I was seriously shocked beyond words that he said that. I really hate trying to defend myself but I tried a few times, just saying that I always went to Rosanna in love and that when I talked to him (Paul) I felt like  I should be able to say things to him that I would never say to Rosanna. I don't know, maybe that's wrong. But I've always felt like I should be able to tell some people in my life more personal things than others. Paul hasn't always taken what I've said before well so I'm not really sure why I continue to tell him such personal things but it's probably because I consider him my pastor and a father-figure in my life, but I guess I should really start being more careful. I even ended up calling my dad because he's really the only person who I've been completely honest and up to date on everything that's happened with Rosanna. And it was a really good conversation. He really set me at ease and encouraged me. He also reminded me that he thought I did the right thing, but that despite what he or Paul thinks it's really what I believe God has told me to do. So, I'm feeling better about it. But, I really am bummed that Paul said all that. I think it was even more frustrating when he continually told me, "I'm not judging you for judging her." wow, right? I guess this has been a good reminder that I can't put anyone on a pedestal.

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