Thursday, December 27, 2012

Times They Are a-Changin'

As we come to the end of yet another year (where did it go?!), I see many blog posts and articles reviewing 2012.  You can find the best of, worst of, most popular search, favorite outfits of the year, best DIY projects, or a round up of pretty much anything else you want to review.  Looking back on the year in my own life, I see how quickly things are changing.  My eleven year old started her last year of elementary school, decided not to trick or treat for the first time, and declared she no longer believed in Santa.  (She did not, however, refuse any present labeled from Santa I noticed.  Hmm.)  My six year old is not a "baby kindergartener" anymore and my actual baby turned four.  Four!! Time is flying by faster every year.

Sometimes looking back can be a little depressing if I focus on all the things I didn't do.  Looking ahead is filled with hope and purpose.  We believe next year can be better or our lives can be better.  We believe we can be better.  I'm choosing to embrace the new year and focus on things that are truly important to me.  I'm aiming to tackle one major area per month.  Otherwise, I will quickly be overwhelmed with the 82 things I need to improve on.  Okay, not 82.  Maybe 57.  One of the first things I am focusing on will be this blog.  Bear with me as I revamp the look and start posting more frequently.  Hope you find some encouragement through the changes I make or entertainment in my huge failures.  Best wishes to you in the New Year!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book review: "Bold as Love" by Bob Roberts, Jr.

I grew up in a pretty homogeneous community. The overwhelming majority of people I knew were white Christians and we all went to the same Christian school or church (usually both). As an adult, I moved to a very diverse community where I became friends with people of varying cultures and religions. It really opened my eyes to how uncomfortable I felt around people of other religious beliefs because I really knew nothing about their views. 

"Bold as Love" explains how Mr. Roberts brought "multifaith" principles to his Christian church by building partnerships with Muslim mosques and Jewish temples. Multifaith (in this book) is not the "we can all believe whatever we want and all go to heaven" ideology I assumed it would encompass.  Instead, Roberts stresses the importance of staying true to your own beliefs, accepting that each religion has fundamental differences but that each faith teaches us to get along.  

I found this book extremely fascinating. The idea of reaching out to other religions and becoming friends was something that was never encouraged in my churches. Fear frequently comes from the unknown and getting to know people on a deep, personal level, can remove a lot of the barriers we put up.  If you really want to be challenged on how you think about working with other faiths, I highly recommend this book. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Handlebar Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine.