Things I’m reading

Here are some words from around the web that have gotten me thinking more deeply about discipleship.

  1. These words from Shannan Martin:

“We’re kidding ourselves when we think too formally about our central purpose to reflect God’s glory onto those around us. It is in the spoons and forks of everyday living, in the dinner tables and minivans, the text message confessionals and songs we can’t help but sing out loud together, that we are drawn to the heart of Christ. He is oxygen. Soil. Sun and rain. He surrounds us, and the narrative uniting us  is one in which we constantly take turns pointing. Here he is!”

You can read more of her words here. She recently released a new book which I am highlighting like crazy. It is called The Ministry of Ordinary Places. I think you might like it too. You can find it here.

2. These words from Father James Martin:

“This is when you are also called to remember who called you to your ministry: God. More to the point, God put you there in front of the person in need—not Pope Francis, not Mother Teresa, not Jean Vanier, not Helen Prejean. God put you in this place at this time before this person, which means God wants you there, with all your strengths and weaknesses.”

Father Martin article on ministry here.

St. Mary, Side Chapel St. Michael Catholic Church, Houston.

St. Mary, Side Chapel St. Michael Catholic Church, Houston.

3. While our discipleship takes place right where we find ourselves, sometimes God puts us in places where our hands and voices need to be seen and heard on a larger scale. These words from a New York Times article introducing the Nobel Peace Prize winners for 2018: Nadia Murad and Dr. Dennis Mukwege inspired me. Both have been involved in the front lines serving and speaking up for women.

“Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, ‘We want to send out a message of awareness that women, who constitute half of the population in most communities, actually are used as a weapon of war, and that they need protection and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions.’”

Murad, a Yazidi raped by ISIS fighters, speaks out for women who are among the most vulnerable in times of war. You can read more about these wonderful people here.

4. Some thoughts on words we use and some we steer clear of in our every day conversations. We rarely think about how our words relate to the way that we each disciple Christ. Do our words reveal our love for Christ? Do we share Him with others?

“More than 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to them. An overwhelming majority of people say that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about faith, most of the time.” In a survey of 1000 American adults, “More than one-fifth of respondents admit they have not had a spiritual conversation at all in the past year. Six in 10 say they had a spiritual conversation only on rare occasions — either “once or twice” (29 percent) or “several times” (29 percent) in the past year. A paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly.

…But here’s the real shocker: Practicing Christians who attend church regularly aren’t faring much better. A mere 13 percent had a spiritual conversation around once a week.”

You can read more of this New York Times article here.