Are you enduring the weakness of living in poverty? The stress of stretching from paycheck-to-paycheck? Discrimination due to race, gender, or other demographic? Suffer from physical or mental health problems? Trauma and triggers from abuse/violence plague you?
I have had and still have most of those concerns, and so does Alia Joy. She gets it about me, about us. I don’t know of any other spiritual memoir than Glorious Weakness where an author currently lives in the overlap zone of all these situations. As I described in an earlier post, she eloquently describes the conditions and the true weight of their personal-familial-social impact, and yet shows how God’s grace both sustains and brings hope. I felt heard by her, as I believe others of us who face any of these factors will. That’s why I recommend it as a book every individual can benefit from reading.
But, there are also multiple reasons why leaders, influencers, and organizers need to HEED Glorious Weakness, so we can all, together, benefit more.
“Blessed are the tenacious, for they will eventually reach the summit,
and be able to turn and see the valleys from whence God has brought them.”
[My personal Beatitude, written in the months our church dove deep into Matthew 5.]
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I’ve long since concluded that Glorious Weakness is a book that (1) all individuals can benefit from reading, and (2) all ministry leaders can benefit from heeding.
I continue to work on writing my review where I will expand on these two notions … but I’m also having to face my own set of weaknesses in the midst of that process. One of which is occasional insomnia, which has plagued me recently.
So, last night, instead of endless cycles of tossing and turning, I got up at 1 a.m. and wrote the first draft of the mountain of material from which I’ll mine my eventual review. (The way my mind works, I write to the big picture first and then gradually sift that mass down to the essentials that will work best for the purpose at hand.) This post shares a first draft of my thoughts on why I believe everyone needs to read Alia Joy’s book.
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There are multiple reasons why everyone needs to READ Glorious Weakness, and all will benefit from it. Continue reading
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3, NIV
We live in a society that despises lack. We don’t value poverty, that’s for sure. So what does it mean to be poor in spirit? How could that possibly be what God desires for us? How is it a blessing to need?
[…] When I first wrote the words ‘bipolar disorder’ on my blog, I was terrified. What would people think? But I knew I had family support and generous readers, and so I began writing about faith and mental illness. About sitting with God in the dark. And the emails started coming in.
I discovered that the lights have gone out for many of us. You know how, when you close your eyes, for a moment you can still see the outline of what you were looking at as faint orbs? That’s how it felt when the light went out for me: I knew the light had mass and form and it was still there, but I couldn’t make out anything. It’s the smallest hope of light. And it’s that hope of light that I want to share. When the whole world goes dark, even the tiniest glimmer shines.
~ @aliajoyH in #GloriousWeakness
From the first two pages in her Introduction, Alia Joy had me thinking about #GloriousWeakness themes on the paradoxes of “need.” Words that came to mind about being “poor in spirit” mostly surrounded the concept of lack — need, neediness, holes, darkness, what’s missing instead of what’s there, unstable, chaotic. Then, a cosmic simile about darkness and light struck me. Continue reading
Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack is a forthcoming book from Alia Joy. I am part of a team dedicated to letting people know about this book and her other writings, so I’ll be posting periodically about this, including eventually a review of her book. But I wanted to do more, give you all the opportunity to join me along the way as I seek to absorb some of the many treasures from her writings. Continue reading
Many people with Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) backgrounds are voicing questions and concerns about abuse, in the wake of the Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News series on “Abuse of Faith” in the SBC. I compiled this article from a series of tweets on February 12, 2019, to offer some basic information and constructive study sources for dealing with problems of systemic abuse, enablement, and concealment. I’ve edited it slightly for publishing here. Continue reading