Archives for posts with tag: book club

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Thank you for reading Satisfied with us. I’m hoping that you’ll tackle the first section this week and then come back and share your thoughts with us. (We have much to learn from each other. Amen?)

One of my favorite quotes from this section is:

“Contentment is not achieved through getting everything we want but by training the heart to experience full joy and deep peace even when we don’t have what we want.”

With that in mind, what areas of your life are you content with? Where do you need help?

How do we know we have enough or that we are enough?

The author suggests two projects this week: Counting your shirts and shoes and giving something of value away.

How many shirts and shoes do you have?

What did you give away?

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“Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied…” Psalm 63:4-5

So, maybe you’re interested in this book Satisfied and thinking you’d participate in this Facebook chat with the author — if you only had a clue how to do that.

No worries. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial so you’ll be ready for March 25.

First, you go to the Simply Faithful Facebook page here.

Once you are there, you’ll see a page that looks a lot like this. See that arrow? That’s where you post your questions for the author, Jeff Manion.

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Want to see the answer to your questions — and the questions that other people are asking?

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Remember to refresh your page every few minutes so you are seeing the latest conversations.

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And that, my friends, is just about all there is to this. So, what do you say? Will you join us?

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For the 24-year-old who went and got that four-year degree and now works retail with $46,000 in student loans.

For the 44-year-old whose business is doing better than she ever imagined but still doesn’t feel like her house is big enough, her car is new enough or that she is good enough.

For the 64-year-old with an overstuffed closet, a packed basement, a cramped garage and a nagging sense that there is something missing.

For all of us scrolling through our Facebook feeds and noticing how perfect everyone else’s lives are – for all of us struggling to be content right where we are – I chose “Satisfied” by Jeff Manion for the Simply Faithful book club.

Manion is a pastor at a large church in Michigan called Ada Bible Church. He started to notice that anytime he preached or taught about being content with what we have, he would get an avalanche of responses. It seemed to touch a nerve.

And with the collapse of the housing market, shifts in the manufacturing industry and upheaval in the financial world, that nerve seemed even more sensitive.

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So, he wrote about the dangers of comparison and about finding our identity in the one who created us. He spent a chapter on generosity and another on the power of serving others.

9780310328353_imageThe deeper into the book I got, the more I dog-eared pages and marked up passages with purple highlighter. I can’t wait to discuss it with you and to experience it as a community.

The book is divided into six sections. We’ll read one a week starting Feb. 10. There are questions and projects for each section, so let’s keep in touch at simplyfaithful.com each Monday because this is a conversation worth having.

“If a person believes that more is enough, then more is never enough,” Manion said. “It creates a cycle of repeated disillusionment.”

And feeling like you don’t measure up is easier than ever, he added.

“Twenty years ago I compared my reality to your reality. Now I compare my reality to your image projection.”

People post pictures on social media of themselves at their thinnest, at fabulous dinners and at interesting events.

“It’s really a highlights reel,” he said. “You don’t post pictures of me sitting in my cubicle and then me sitting in my cubicle again the next day.”

Generosity and humble service are powerful antidotes for dissatisfaction and comparison, though – and we all have something to give.

Serving others trains the heart that it is not all about me, Manion said, and giving money and other things away reminds the heart that “this is not my God.”

Still, contentment can be fleeting.

You can enroll in the school of contentment when you are in your 20s and just starting out with your first place, Manion said, and then sometimes, when your circumstances change or your wealth grows, you need to re-enroll in the school of contentment.

Whatever stage you are at, will you enroll with us?

If you host

We’ll have a Facebook chat with Jeff Manion at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, on the Simply Faithful page.

We’re asking people to volunteer their homes, their places of worship or their favorite coffee shops to host friends for the Facebook chat. (The first 10 people to agree to host get some free goodies to share with their friends!)

If you are looking for a group to join that night, stop by Alpha and Omega Parable Christian Store, 1601 Penfield Road in Penfield, NY. (I’ll be there starting around 6:15 p.m.)

More about the book

“Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption” just released in January and is available online and at local bookstores. (Alpha and Omega Parable Christian Store is offering them for $11.97 if you mention you’re reading it as part of the community book club.)

To learn more about Jeff Manion, visit jeffmanion.org. Also, the church where Manion serves is studying the book and has sermons available online at adabible.org.

 

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Don’t forget: We’re chatting with author Jenn Kelly at 7 p.m. EST Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

She is a delight to visit with.

Witty.

Wise.

Caring.

I promise it will be time well spent.

If you have young ones — elementary age — consider letting them join us, too. Even if they haven’t read “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz) they will enjoy learning from her.

A few of us are planning to meet in person at the Greece Public Library, so feel free to join us in person!

Read more about Jenn Kelly and the Simply Faithful book club here…

To hear Jenn Kelly tell it, it was a very fancy wedding where you had to stand through the whole thing. Somewhere amid all the pomp and circumstance her gaze fell upon a woman with hair piled high. (No, think higher than that.)

The woman was maybe 5 feet tall and looked like she usually carried a small dog with her. She was probably mad that the dog couldn’t come to the wedding, Kelly thought. But wait!

Maybe she was carrying her dog… in her massive hair.

That’s how it started, this idea to write about a boy who falls into his great aunt’s hair and discovers a whole new world of elves and bubble-gum chewing crubbies. A book about a boy who – like many of us – doubts himself a little too much and has to be reminded that the Author has a plan and a purpose for him.

“I want readers to know that life can be funny and amusing, and they are indeed loved,” said Kelly, author of “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz).

And somewhere between crazy Chapter 37 “In Which We Learn about the Book, the Author, and Fred the Turtle” and Chapter 38 “A Chapter that Is Not Nearly as Long as the Last One” we find gems like this one, where Jackson has had a glimpse into the future. He has improved at baseball, become a professor and won a prestigious writing award.

“So, what I saw in the mirrors, that was true?” he asked. 

“Unless you see yourself differently from the truth,” she said softly. “Unless you forget.”

Lines worth underlining.

This time all of the books in the Simply Faithful book club touch on purpose, on remembering who we are and whose we are. I hope you’ll join us and encourage the young readers in your life to give these books a try. They’ll also have the chance to ask their own questions and chat live with Kelly at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. We’ll meet online at the Simply Faithful page on Facebook.

“Jackson Jones” is written for elementary students but my almost 14-year-old laughed at some of the chapter titles, and the book practically begs to be read out loud to a classroom.

“That book is me to a T,” Kelly said. “That’s how I talk. Anyone who reads it knows me… ish.”

Jackson’s adventures continue in “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken” and Kelly has more adventures in her head, ready to escape on paper.

I can’t wait.

Meet Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Learn more about author Jenn Kelly at her Website: www.JennKelly.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JennKellyauthor.

Readers have the chance to chat live with her at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

 

About the Simply Faithful book club

For about a year Marketta Gregory, author of the Simply Faithful column, has invited readers throughout the Rochester community to join her in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current selections – all four – were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation. They are:

  • “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zonderkidz).
  • “Replication [The Jason Experiment]” by Jill Williamson ($15.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

 

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