Every once in a while I like to share the things that are saving my life and making me happy and forming me more deeply into the person I want to be. So that’s what today’s post is all about. Enjoy!
I’ve got two things to share with you today that I think you will like. Both have been meaningful in my own faith formation recently and I’m hoping they will be for you, too.
If you’ve been around my blog for a while you’ve heard me mention University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas (in fact it is mentioned in the Life Saver post I linked to above). It was my church home all through seminary. It’s where I learned to Love God, Embrace Beauty, and Live Life to the Fullest (as the people of UBC say every week as a benediction).
Jameson McGregor, the Worship and Arts pastor, is an incredible musician and theologian. I don’t buy a lot of music (I mostly just use streaming services whenever I have internet access), but I always click purchase when he creates something and lets it loose in the world. (You can listen to the album for free on Spotify if you want to check it out there.) The UBCmusic volumes are extra special to me because they directly flow from the worship that happens week-in and week-out at UBC. Listening to them draws me to worship.
Wayward Ones, track three on this album, is the song Jamie and the band play during communion each month. It was at UBC that my understanding and appreciation for communion deepened and I will be forever grateful for this community giving me that gift. This song is a piece of the communion liturgy I carry with me wherever I partake of the bread and cup.
Additional Wayward Ones fact: Nick and I got married at UBC, and Jamie led us all in worship and performed all of the ceremony music. He played Wayward Ones while Nick and I served communion to everyone who was there to witness our marriage covenant.
I am beyond excited to now be able to listen to it whenever, and wherever I want. (And the rest of the tracks are excellent, too.)
Find UBCmusic Vol. 2 here:
And then search for Jameson McGregor in any of those places to get your ears on his other creations.
Next up is a book:
Sarah Bessey is a masterful storyteller. She draws you in with her scene descriptions and exposition until you are right next to her. I was moved to tears multiple times because her story resonated so deeply with me. It isn’t that I’ve experienced the same things, but because she has wrestled, and continues to wrestle, so deeply with her faith and I can relate to that. She is willing to share the good and the bad. She invited me in and gave me just what I needed to keep walking further and further into her story with her.
I bought this book and I’m so glad I did. (Y’all know how much I love the library!) It is one that I will continue to return to and will lend out as often as possible.
I’m struggling to really do this book justice in my description so I’ll leave you here with the blurb on Amazon which does a much better job than I can (see above for the link to buy this one, or go request it from your local library ASAP):
In the brief instant Sarah Bessey realized that her minivan was, inevitably, going to hit the car on the highway on the bright, clear day of the crash, she knew intuitively that it would have life-changing consequences. But as she navigated the winding path from her life before the accident—as a popular author, preacher, and loving wife and mother—to her new life after, inhabiting a body that no longer felt like her own, she found that the most unexpected result wasn’t the way this shook her body, but how it shook her deeply rooted faith, upending everything she thought she knew and held so dearly.
Weaving together theology and memoir in her trademark narrative style, Sarah tells us the story of the moment that changed her body and how it ultimately changed her life. The road of healing leads to Rome where she met the Pope (it’s complicated) and encountered the Holy Spirit in the last place she expected. She writes about her miraculous healing, learning to live with chronic pain, and the ways God makes us whole in the midst of suffering. She invites us to a path of knowing God that is filled with ordinary miracles, hope in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and other completely reasonable things.
Insightful, profound, and unexpected, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things is a wild, spirit-filled story of what it means to live with both grief and faith, suffering and joy, as we wrestle with God.
So there you have it, two things which are simultaneously my favorite and saving my life right now. I hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear from you in the comments if these resonated with you!
Until next time…