Monday, August 26, 2013

Why I said Goodbye

As I was reading the newest post over at Redemption Pictures, I was reminded of why I said good bye to magazines. I'm not sure how many I was getting, but it seemed so easy to spend $12 and get a new magazine every month. Inside their shiny covers told me everything I needed to be fashionable, thin, beautiful, fit and trim, well fed, a better employee, a better friend, and more confident person etc.

In reality their covers promise things that most of us will never actually follow through on and the few of us that do, will not get the results implied in the slippery pages of a magazine. One day when I was feeling particularly confident in who I was I was sorting this pile of magazines that had piled up. As I flipped the pages of makeup and clothing advertisements I realized I no longer bought into the myth that I needed those things to be beautiful.

I suppose I am one of those people who really wants to assert that beauty shines through from deep below the skin and societal expectations are false realities. These are propagated by consumer driven products filling the magazines I used to enjoy.

Beyond the advertisements are articles that add the the need for new, better, and more stuff
  • mixing and matching wardrobes with 5 new key pieces for the season.
  • The best celebrity best hair cut for your face, which by the way never seems to look like the celebrity when I get the hair style.
  • 5 minutes a day to a flat ab. Which for most people, is not the only issue.

Okay, so there are helpful articles in magazine, but most of those topics one can actually get online for free from somewhere. There are magazines that do not fit this, but I certainly am not one who has subscribed to them.

So, I have said goodbye to magazines. For plane trips I drag along light books and pod casts. For fashion, beauty, and hair, I use a mirror. For exercise I find getting off the couch and away from the computer is a pretty good plan. For healthy food, starting in the produce department rather than the boxed food isle is my suggestion.

To my friends who used me as their source of the new color of the season, the trendiest coat style, or the latest new makeup trend, wear what makes you confident and feel comfortable.

I am finished following trends from advertisements desperate for me to spend more money.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In the Margins- A look at Prototype

Last week I've finished Prototype by Johnathan Martin. The book is currently still echoing in my head and heart. Quite honestly I was a little leery from all the hype, but the perseverance of its virtues and transformational effects wore me down until I was actually waiting with bated breath for the book to arrive at my PO Box. Now gleefully I can say it was worth the wait, it was worth the read, and it is a keeper.


Johnathan Martin leads his reader through a bit of nostalgia, a lot of truth, and through the stories of lives who were transformed by the authentic reality of Christ as our prototype for living life. It has the potential of transforming your core understanding of who you are. The other side of transformation is a realization that we are beautiful, and thankfully not perfect, because our brokenness is part of the beauty. 


So then how do explain this book? Someone asked why she should read this book and also requested that we be specific. My first thoughts were, the answer is in the margins.


And so to the margins of my very marked up copy I will go: So below is excerpts from my margins, with annotations and thoughts about what I wrote in blue.And Red are direct quotes from Prototype.

Names have power: Don't let anyone tell you differently. And isn't that the case. It seems that when someone knows my name, they acknowledge my uniqueness. Recently I was overcome by my name being known at my brother's church. One of the things I've always loved about his church is that they gather me in and let me join in the work when I visit. Now I also know that I am known there.  What is my name? It isn't what I do or portray. Its deep down. God knows it and calls me by it. And here it is our identity is from God and not in what we do or accomplish. No matter how big a failure or success I feel I am, I am still a child of God, who is bigger than anything and loves me.

Fear is an action stopper. And I see that when I'm standing at the edge of the metaphorical  cliff. Yet, How then does the Bible tell us to Fear God? A friend and I had a discussion on this idea that would be worthy of its own post. The short answer is awe and reverence cannot be broken down into the term fear. This is if fear is defined as that which pushes one from God, while God draws us to him.

Repetition - the sure way. Because sometimes it takes a few times to get through my thick head.
Whoa! That's a mouthful. The fact that broken people like us seem far too unstable and undependable to bring the futuristic contours of God's Kingdom of love into the world maybe precisely what makes us the most likely candidates. And then I wrote... People on the margins, Resonates and yet... misfits change the world not superheros. And it is such a relief that I don't have to try and be a super hero. Who wants to try and be perfect? Such hard and impossible work.

Scars= road signs of redemption

Who are the people in your neighborhood? One part Mr Rogers, one part John Wesley. As my own pastor meets and draws people to Jesus at the local coffee shop, I totally understood this, but am I living it? More now. Yeah, this could probably be its own post too.

I am not the authority, God is and that is freedom. and a few pages later. Honesty brings the beginnings of relief. I also underlined breathe again on that page. And its that big sigh of relief. I get to just be myself

Magical places. For there are so many, and they are all OUTSIDE. Recently I've rediscovered the joy of being beneath a weeping willow. Preferable the ones with limbs so long they drag the ground.

Oh no, I'm laughing - because I always feel like the author or speaker will follow it up with a one two punch. 
His resurrection power had already changed the world. Past tense: It has been done. Now we are left to accept it. And that is powerfully wonderful. It changes everything. We accept the resurrection and are free to be. Just to be. No pressure to do anything to obtain it. Grace has done the work for us.

Doubting in the direction of Jesus.

The need for human touch: Touch is redeeming, affirming, humanizing. Loneliness in the crowd of people= no real touch. One of my favorite authors Madeleine L'Engle speaks of the importance of authentic touch. One can make contact without it being real touch. I understand that completely. which is probably why my next note says the future is foot washing And yet that is terrifyingly real.

Indigenous: Meeting people where their needs are. Rather than what you perceive is needed, seek out the real needs, and be actually useful. Teach fishing to the hungry. bring flowers to the colorless. Sit with the those who need a listening ear or comforting arm. 

In conclusion why should you read Prototype? How about because the transformational potential might make you leap off the metaphorical cliff tomorrow, or like Peter leap from the boat. Doesn't sound awesome? Trust me I've been leaping for weeks and it is wonderful, marvelous, freeing, and joy filling. And yet still scary, but God... He is faithful. He's tells me I am something beautiful now, and that he had great things in store for my now and my future.

Redemption Pictures The review that made me give in and give it a go.

Pastor Johnathan Martin The Author's website

And if you like it, there are sermons related to each chapter from Renovatus Church.