The end of another month, and an opportunity to Share Four Somethings!
First of all, an update on the craft projects from last month – the scarf is still a work in progress, but the latch hook kit is finished!
My “something loved” this month is a song though – The Hope Of Christmas by Matthew West.
Christmas is undoubtedly going to be different for most of us this year, and difficult for many. I love how this song acknowledges the challenges of 2020 and yet points us beyond them to the true hope of Christmas – a hope that remains no matter what is happening in the world.
“You’re still the hope of Christmas,
You’re still the light when the world looks dark.
You’re still the hope of Christmas
And You’re still the hope of my heart.”
This is definitely a contender for one of my top books of 2020!
In it, Alisa Childers shares her story of how, despite being a life-long Christian and member of the Christian band Zoegirl, her faith was challenged on encountering a progressive Christian pastor with very different ideas about God, Jesus and the Bible.
The book describes her journey in wrestling with these questions and how God helped her rebuild her faith. It also explores some of the common ideas of progressive Christianity and looks at how these compare with the Bible.
Some of you might be wondering what progressive Christianity is. It’s very hard to define, so let me direct you to a progressive Christian website which spells out eight points they hold to. Hopefully it will be obvious that it is very different from biblical Christianity, but I agree with Alisa Childers’ assertion that some of these ideas have begun taking hold more widely in the church.
Personally I found this book incredibly helpful. I have had a lot of complicated theological conversations this year and this book helped me understand the context of these a bit better as well as giving me more confidence in my own views on certain topics.
The book covers a lot of complex ideas, but it does so in an easy-to-read and accessible way. Alisa Childers is very open about her own journey of faith, and her passion for truth, and for holding true to the Gospel, shines through in every page. I have struggled to focus a lot on books over the last couple of months, and this was the first time in a long time, I have found a book that compelled me to keep reading!
Continuing my “something treasured” theme of moments I would have taken for granted in the past, a highlight this month was playing music with others for the first time since March! Normally I’d get to do that at least once or twice a week, so it was amazing to have the opportunity after eight months!
We were recording Christmas music for one of our church services. I’m just quite proud of the fact that I managed to hold it together for O Holy Night, which stirs emotions at the best of times but seems particularly poignant this year.
“A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks that new and glorious morn.”
Music is definitely going to be one of the things I miss this Christmas. Normally I’d spend every weekend in December playing – there would be Santa parades, Christmas concerts, carol services and busking in shopping centres. This year, it looks like this was my one opportunity, but it definitely makes it something to treasure.
“Something ahead” continues to be uncertain, but with the talk of vaccines, something seems to be shifting in people’s thinking and tentative plans for the future are beginning to form.
For me, the focus has been on the Journey To Heal ministry I began in my church in January. After a promising start, it was halted by lockdown, and it is still uncertain exactly when it will be able to resume, but over the last few weeks I have begun to have some conversations and make some plans.
I was very encouraged to discover that the months since March have not been entirely wasted, but that God has been working behind the scenes, which gives me confidence that something good lies ahead even if I can’t see exactly how it will work out.
What about you? How has November been for you? Feel free to share a highlight or a prayer request in the comments.
I’m grateful to Tyndale House and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of her Another Gospel. As always, I only share books here that I genuinely think will be beneficial to my readers, and Amazon links are no affiliate links but simply included for your convenience.