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Searching for Sunday
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church | Rachel Held Evans
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans embarks on a quest to find out what it really means to be part of the Church. Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didnt want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandalschurch culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. Centered around seven sacraments, Evans quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.
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Kristy_K
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Mehso-so

Anyone who‘s ever doubted their religion or their faith will certainly connect with Evans‘ exploration into Christianity and her own faith.

But I had trouble with her writing. She‘d repeat phrases or groups of words so many times on one page that it began to sound like a scratched record. There is an effective way to use repetitive phrases, but I felt it missed the mark here. It stopped me from enjoying the book as much as I may have otherwise.

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Court7
Pickpick

This book was beautiful, thoughtful, and so very movingly honest (and made devastating in light of the loss of the author).

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Scochrane26
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Pickpick

Before this, I‘ve read only one other RHE book, A Year in Biblical Womanhood, which made me laugh. This is a more serious book, one that has been pulling me to read for a couple of months. I read very few Christian books. This one gave me some things to think about, but I felt an underlying sadness due to her death earlier this yr.
-Book 3 read during #24b4monday and #summersendreadathon. Have 1.5 hrs left. Took this one slow due to content.

23 likes2 comments
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tholmz
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Pickpick

I am not a Christian, in fact, I‘m an atheist and have been since I was 14. But I read Rachel‘s blog from time to time and after her (tragic, abrupt, unfair) passing, a friend gave me a copy of this. Searching for Sunday speaks, I imagine, to any Christian who has questioned their faith in the wake of injustice and inequality. (And this was pre-Trump.) To me, it was a reminder that not all Christians are judgmental and blind. Thank you, Rachel.

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krayoncolorz
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Apparently I want to read/listen to every book every other person wants to enjoy. Library problems.

britt_brooke And then all the holds will become available all at once! Murphy‘s Law for readers. #booknerdproblems 7mo
krayoncolorz @britt_brooke of course they will 😂 7mo
11 likes2 comments
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Christine
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Pickpick

I now get why Rachel Held Evans is so loved, and I‘m sorry I didn‘t follow her work while she was alive. In this book (and I presume everywhere else), her writing about faith and doubt was eloquent but down-to-earth, and uniquely honest. I relatedly strongly to her stories of a church-heavy evangelical upbringing and really admire her determination to confront the darker sides of Christianity in practice.

Scochrane26 Have you read A Year of Biblical womanhood? So funny. That‘s the only one I‘ve read of hers but starting tagged now. 5mo
41 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Blaire
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Pickpick

This was very soothing to listen to while walking. I liked hearing about her spiritual journey and how she confronted the doubts she had and learned to be at peace with doubt. Even though I‘m Jewish, I found her struggles with belief relatable and I learned a lot about the Christian tradition and the similarities it continues to share with Judaism. It is sad to know her voice is no longer with us. #litsywalkers

Kaye Thank you for the tag 💖 8mo
gradcat Where is this? It‘s so beautiful! 8mo
Blaire @gradcat it‘s the view outside my house in Charleston, West Virginia. 💕 8mo
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Hoopiefoot I just finished this too. It was a bittersweet read knowing that she just passed. And I ❤️ WV 😀 8mo
Blaire @Hoopiefoot yes, that‘s what made me pick it up and filled with a different kind of resonance. Don‘t know that I would have read it otherwise. 8mo
Blaire @Hoopiefoot also so glad you are a WV fan...it is a beautiful place to live. Saw from your post you were recently here! Very cool. 8mo
gradcat So lovely...I want to move there! 8mo
Hoopiefoot @Blaire It is! Lived in Elkins until I was 8 & then we moved to PA near the northern panhandle. I love WV & go back every chance I can 😀 8mo
Blaire @Hoopiefoot nice! I have several friends from Elkins. Beautiful part of the state. 8mo
71 likes9 comments
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LWagoner
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Pickpick

This book speaks to my spiritual history, present & future. Finished just 9 days after her unexpected passing. Her courage & vulnerability to speak truth regarding the spiritual journey has legacy.
Take aways: It‘s ok to doubt. We don‘t have to have it all together to be in community. To engage we must be vulnerable. Healing (mending- my word) can‘t happen until pain is acknowledged. Release cynicism to heal.
Prayers for her family

Crazeedi I was saddened to hear of her passing 8mo
Lynnsoprano She had so much to say no matter where you are on the religious spectrum. 8mo
36 likes2 comments
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Hoopiefoot
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I can‘t believe we have to face this so soon. 💔

Putting my complicated relationship with religion aside to reread this book in honor of Rachel Held Evans.

Chrissyreadit Her loss is truly heartbreaking. 8mo
49 likes1 comment
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MatchlessMarie
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I haven't been on here lately but just thought I would check in for those of use who have been struggling this past week with the tragic news of Rachel Held Evans passing. I'm not okay. May is a rough month for me. If anyone has any stories of how RHE has impacted their life, feel free to comment here. Also I wrote this: https://matchlessmarie.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/hoping-for-something-to-hope-for... #BecauseOfRHE

BethM Sweetheart that‘s is a beautifully written piece. All the hugs. 8mo
LiteraryinLititz I‘m so sorry you‘re struggling. ❤️❤️❤️ 8mo
cobwebmoth *hugs* 8mo
See All 6 Comments
MaureenMc 💕 8mo
CarolynM 💕 I wish I had some words for you. Your piece really is beautiful. I firmly believe each individual has to have his or her own relationship with God, no-one else can tell them what that should look like. (edited) 8mo
49 likes6 comments
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BekahPat
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Today I mourn for someone that had a profound impact on my life. A couple of years ago I picked up “Searching for Sunday: loving, leaving, and finding the church” it was exactly what I needed at that time. Rachel Held Evans your impact has been great and will continue on, but for now I sit heart broken for your family. Thank you for your words, your influence, and your assurance that I am not alone in all my questions and doubts

LauraBeth She was a beautiful soul ❤️ 9mo
27 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Heartbroken to hear the news that Rachel Held Evans died this morning. She was a favorite author of mine and her book Searching for Sunday meant so much to me as I was reevaluating my own faith in recent years. She spoke for so many of us who love Jesus but have wrestled with questions of faith. This book was a lifeline for me and I am so sad that she is gone. I know her work will continue to impact people for years to come.

MaureenMc 😔 9mo
jamicuns I am heartbroken by this news. This book was a lifeline to me as well. May her family be surrounded with peace and love during this difficult time. ❤️ 9mo
Reggie @LauraBeth if you‘re out there (we miss you) this is the book you used to mention right? 9mo
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Reviewsbylola Tragic. She was so young. 9mo
Chrissyreadit This is very sad news. 9mo
LauraBeth Aww - thank @Reggie ❤️ That was my first post in almost two months. Hopefully, I‘ll start posting regularly again! 9mo
43 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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VanChocStrawberry
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It was devastating to hear about the death of Rachel Held Evans. She was a powerful, challenging writer, and helped many people like me—people who questioned the faith they were raised with, but also unwilling to let it all go. I will always be grateful for her writing and life, and so sad that she didn‘t have any longer than 37 years.

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jamicuns
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One of my Christian heroes, Rachel Held Evans, passed away this morning. She was my balm time and time again to my hurting heart. May she find rest in her Savior‘s arms and may her family find peace and love through their faith.

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BookInMyHands
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I‘m incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Rachel Held Evans. I met her several years ago, and saw her speak twice. She was a wise person, a much needed voice advocating for acceptance and love.

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fullofquirks
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1 like1 stack add
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Jjohnsen
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As someone who is leaving, I‘m already interested in the book and I‘m only five pages in.

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DivineDiana
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Couldn‘t resist @MatchlessMarie ‘s post with this announcement! #somuchforbookbuyingban #morenonfiction #amazonmakesittooeasy

rachelm This is a great one 💚 2y
DivineDiana @rachelm Good to know! 2y
71 likes2 comments
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MatchlessMarie
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Get on this deal! This is one of my forever recommend books. So good!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PWOH2CI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_FCItAbD719T70

DivineDiana Thank you? There goes the book buying ban! Purchased! 😉 2y
58 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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I‘ve got a guest post up on Book Riot today. If you‘re looking for some progressive-leaning Christian non-fiction, check it out.

https://bookriot.com/2018/01/03/recommended-reading-progressive-christian/

@bookriot

Lcsmcat Thanks for sharing. 2y
CoffeeAndABook I just checked out your post & it's so interesting, I've noted all of your recommendations. Thanks for putting it out there!! 😊 (edited) 2y
tracylovesbooks Fellow progressive Christian and theatre geek here! 👋🏻 2y
See All 9 Comments
HeatherBookNerd @Lcsmcat @CoffeeAndABook Thanks for reading 🙂 2y
britt_brooke @HeatherBookNerd Well-written! Thanks for sharing. So exciting that you‘re doing this now. 2y
Booksnchill Nice work- book riot‘s new contributor!!! 2y
mom2bugnbee Whoop whoop! We know her, @britt_brooke, @Booksnchill, & @LouLouLane! 😉 2y
34 likes1 stack add9 comments
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dreamjmelyn
Pickpick

So thankful that I got to read this book! There are some choppy transitions and a few small sections that could have been left out. But this was far outweighed by some wonderful turns of phrase and Evans' ability to articulate some things I have felt my whole life yet couldn't put into words. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who is doubting or for that doubter to hand to someone who doesn't understand their doubt to help bridge the gap.

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dreamjmelyn
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"We're good at making mountains out of our ideologies, obstructions out of our theologies, and hills out of our screwed-up notions of who's in and who's out, who's worthy and who's unworthy. We're good at getting in the way."

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Daisey
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Pickpick

This book was a more challenging listen than I expected. I enjoyed the author's writing style and appreciated the history and traditions described. There were moments her thoughts resonated with my own, as well as moments when I disagreed with her views. In some aspects I struggle with things she doesn't question at all. My faith is my own, but I appreciate her perspective and the points she made me think about.

#Christian #audiobook #Hoopla

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Daisey
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I've seen a lot of interesting quotes and great reviews for this book so I'm giving it a listen.

#audiobook #Christian #Hoopla

Laura317 It in on my radar after seeing other Litten reviews. 3y
Daisey @Laura317 I just started it, but I'm definitely intrigued. 3y
31 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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BookishJess
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Pickpick

A little disjointed in some parts but a GREAT read. If you've ever had conflicted feelings about church and yet still a longing for it this book is for you. RHE doesn't have the answers, but she offers insight and anecdotes so that we can at least share in these experiences and say "me too".

Main takeaway? No church or denomination is perfect, there is only One who is perfect - and He is who we should keep our focus on.

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BookishJess
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This imagery made me smile. I like the idea that the denominations are all just parts/rooms in the same house.

Laura317 I might have to change denominations based on this. Library vs. kitchen. Hmm which do I choose? 🤔😂 3y
Bks4Wrms That's a good metaphor! 3y
Bks4Wrms @laura317 😂😂😂 3y
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BookishJess @Laura317 @Bks4Wrms 😂 The library is tempting! All the books or setting the table... 3y
mom2bugnbee @laura317 I thought the same! I laughed really hard at this... All so true! 3y
BookishJess @mom2bugnbee The Catholics in charge of family history made me chuckle 😆 3y
42 likes1 stack add7 comments
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BookishJess
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Ever read a passage that is the exact thing you need to hear at the moment?

This quote resonates really deeply with me. I need to memorize that last line.

"Waiting around for right will leave you waiting around forever."

josie281 Me too! Oh this is perfect! 3y
Texreader That suits me well 3y
8little_paws I HAVE TO READ THIS ASAP everything you are posting is hitting me hard 3y
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Kristy_K This book has been on my tbr for a while now. I may need to move it up! 3y
Laura317 Here's the thing: A church or denomination is not what fills that void. It's a relationship. It's THE relationship. I'll leave that there. I hope the author found it. (edited) 3y
BookishJess @8little_paws @Kristy_K Just finished it yesterday and I definitely recommend it! 3y
BookishJess @Laura317 Exactly. She made a good point - that we put our focus on the wrong things when our focus should always be on God. 3y
42 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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BookishJess
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Amen.

44 likes1 stack add
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BookishJess
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This book is exactly what I needed right now.

ReadingEnvy I think you might appreciate this sermon. Maria used to be the associate chaplain where I work, now is co pastor at this church in DC with her wife. http://calvarydc.org/sermons/june-18/ 3y
ReadingEnvy (it's about the church functioning as a true sanctuary and what that would mean) 3y
BookishJess @ReadingEnvy Thank you! I will definitely check that out! 3y
32 likes1 stack add3 comments
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hwestfall
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Pickpick

I identified with much of this book. My faith journey was similar and many of the lessons the Lord has taught me follow the arc of Rachel's walk. I appreciate her willingness to share because I have often felt out of place in my faith. Never before have I read a book where I felt that yes there is someone out there, an earthly person, who understands me. Who could handle my questions and doubt.

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BookishJess
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😔 I never knew that...that's horrible.

SpeculativeFemale Me either 😯 3y
Texreader Oooh. That's awful. What a sad thing to learn. 3y
Debiw781 That's horrible!! 3y
BookishJess @SpeculativeFemale @Texreader @Debiw781 It's a very sobering chapter in this book... The things that humans are capable of can be frightening. 3y
xicanti Oh hell. 3y
25 likes5 comments
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hwestfall
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I can't get enough of this book! #mirrorbook #searchingforsunday

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hwestfall
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Me. This book is me.

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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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I've been reading this for a while now and I'm really struggling. Some chapters have a nice flow and I can relate quite a bit from my own experience, and other chapters are choppy, short, soulful I guess, like a blog entry... Those I don't always enjoy. I feel like the editor left in way too much of what seemed like good writing at the time, but actually wasn't. Maybe I'm just super-critical with a too high opinion of my own editing skills.

MommyWantsToReadHerBook @BarbaraJean did you notice "itinerate lifestyle"? Man, things like that bug me. The Gentle Parent was also spectacularly badly edited. 3y
BarbaraJean I didn't notice that! I wonder if I'm off my game, or if it was corrected in my Kindle version! I felt the same way about the uneven-ness of the chapters. Some were excellent, and others meandering. 3y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook Glad I'm not the only one 😊 3y
4 likes3 comments
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hwestfall
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I am loving this book already only a few pages in! #searchingforsunday #metoo

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stillunfinished
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What I'm reading to start Lent.

9 likes2 stack adds
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hollynations
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3 likes2 stack adds
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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

This quote is a bit of a paraphrase by Evans, reframing a passage considering the bodies we live in--an apt parallel. The church is beautiful and broken and frustrating and rewarding and necessary. Rachel Held Evans articulates so many things I've been thinking about (and frustrated about) when it comes to church, but she also vividly reminds me of why to not give up. This book is a conversation that the church needs to be having. Recommended!

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BarbaraJean
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This book has been so hard for me to read, because it rings so true for me right now. Also, the bit of a quote that didn't make it into the collage above: "So basically my relationship with evangelicalism is like a Taylor Swift song set to repeat." ?
? Rachel Held Evans!

awishman Wow. Looks like something I need to read, and soon. 3y
WordWaller Oh this is definitely on my list. I love Rachel Held Evans! 3y
24 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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BarbaraJean
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This is what I'm currently reading. I want to finish at least two by the end of the week... but I'm the furthest along in the two nonfiction books... and I'm more in the mood for fiction right now. #booknerdproblems

My brain's solution: log into Hoopla and check out a bunch of comics... 😜

Eyelit Your brain is awesome! 👍😂 3y
HeatherBookNerd Searching for Sunday was great. I love RHE. 3y
28 likes2 comments
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BarbaraJean
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"'Grace cannot prevail...until our lifelong certainty that someone is keeping score has run out of steam and collapsed.'
...I need the Eucharist because I need to quit keeping score."
I'm such a scorekeeper. I need to hear this. Over and over. Why is grace so difficult?!

20 likes1 stack add
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BarbaraJean
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I was planning to curl up with a #hotdrinkandabook last night, but wound up curling up in the dark with an audiobook and a migraine instead. Back on track tonight. #belated #seasonsreadings2016

Megabooks Sorry about the migraine! ☹️ Glad you're feeling better! 3y
BarbaraJean @Ebooksandcooks Aw, thank you! I'm glad, too! 😊 3y
Tanzy13 🎄 3y
24 likes3 comments
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BarbaraJean
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Here we have a view of what's currently cued up on Kindle... I have grand illusions about how many Kindle reads I'll finish while at the in-laws' for Christmas. I'll no doubt have better stats on the Serial Reader titles! My other #ereader usage will be more limited starting this week: I use Overdrive (and iBooks very infrequently) for audiobooks on long commutes... which will soon be on hiatus (until spring semester!). #seasonsreadings2016

HeatherBookNerd Searching for Sunday is fantastic. 3y
Lindy I hope you enjoy Flight Behavior as much as I did. 3y
RealLifeReading Oh Invisible Library is supposed to be good 3y
BarbaraJean @HeatherBookNerd It's too good! I had to put it down for a while because it was a little too close for comfort and I couldn't deal. I'm gonna try to finish it over the holidays when I have more mental space. 3y
BarbaraJean @Lindy I hope so, too! I love Kingsolver's fiction. @RealLifeReading That's what I hear! It was an impulse bargain buy... sigh, so much reading to look forward to! (Always.) 3y
21 likes5 comments
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BrittanyLeeB
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"We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.
I explained that when our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends aren't welcome at the table, then we don't feel welcome either, and that not every young adult gets married or has children, so we need to stop building our churches around categories and start building them around people."

1 like1 stack add
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alibrarianslibrary
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If this prologue page is any indication, reading this book is going to be a very long & personal journey for me.

ThatLibrarianLady Annotators FTW! 3y
17 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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RHE really just put my own heart in her book. As a fellow Christian struggling to reevaluate my southern evangelical roots, her stories rang true. She recounts, with candor and skill, both the wonderful and the difficult things she has learned in recent years as she moved away from, and back towards, the church. It comforted me to hear someone else ask hard questions about their faith and grow in it.
#memorablememoirs #booktober @RealLifeReading

rachelm Love me some RHE 3y
32 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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LauraBeth
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As a Christian - I want my LGBT friends to know that if you have ever felt unloved by Christians - I'm sorry. You are loved, worthy, beautiful, wanted, and needed. Your life is beautiful and you are beloved. There have been too many scars, too many suicides, and too many broken families. We all need to be careful with our words, our assumptions, our judgements and our attitudes. The mark of our holiness as a Church is in how well we love others

Varshitha Well said!! 3y
Laura317 Beautifully said! 3y
mrsh62010 My dad is a Baptist pastor, and many of my friend fall somewhere in an LGBTQ category. Thank you so much for speaking out on this. It's SO important. 3y
See All 35 Comments
Bibliogeekery Thank you, as a queer person your words mean a lot to me. 🌈 3y
Libby1 ❤️ 3y
Adam_Z 👍 3y
TrishB Thank you. As Mum to a gay son they are soothing words. 3y
sarielizbeth Well said, this is how I feel as a Christian as well. 3y
MeganAnn Beautifully said! This is how I feel as a Christian also. I've never felt that hate is the Christian thing to do and don't understand those who do. ❤️ 3y
Kitta Thank you ❤️ 3y
[DELETED] 2852984487 This made me cry. I have spent half my life longing to hear these words from my family. 3y
BookishJess ❤️ 3y
kissxxmyxxconverse I wish my family felt this way. My fiancée is still christian, but I just can't do it and be true to myself at the same time. Nothing but love for those of you that are understanding though ??? 3y
Kappadeemom Love ❤️ 3y
BookishFeminist ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3y
Godmotherx5 Your words hit home. My sister had a suicide plan when she was 14. My family was great but she felt her friends wouldn't accept her. Today, she's a wonderful woman of 24. Finishing college & a wedding date set for 2018. 3y
LauraBeth @mrsh62010 I understand- I come from a family of Southern Baptist Pastors 😀 3y
LauraBeth @Bibliogeekery ☺️❤️💛💚💙💜 3y
LauraBeth @TrishB ☺️ 3y
LauraBeth @MeganAnn I don't understand that either 3y
LauraBeth @Kitta ❤️💛💚💙💜 3y
LauraBeth @RStorey I'm sorry you've had to wait to hear that from your family. What's their number - I'll call 'em up and let them know how wonderful you are 😀 3y
LauraBeth @Godmotherx5 I'm so glad to hear that your sister has moved forward from having those thoughts - sounds like she's living an awesome life 😀 3y
LauraBeth @BookishFeminist ❤️💛💚💙💜😀 3y
LauraBeth @jessreadsbooks ❤️💛💚💙💜😀 3y
LauraBeth @BooksTeasAndBookishThings ❤️💛💚💙💜😀 3y
LauraBeth @Libby1 ❤️💛💚💙💜😀 3y
LauraBeth @Adam_Z ☺️ 3y
kspenmoll 💙 3y
147 likes3 stack adds35 comments