The Theory of Everything

the theory of

The Theory of Everything is the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. It is a drama that resonates with the thinker and encourages the curious to keep seeking out the mysterious deep of the unknown. The movie is a bit romantic, which I wasn’t expecting, but not so much that it causes nausea. It was also surprisingly funny and full of wit. If you liked a Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man, you will love The Theory of Everything. It has the same feel. There is the man, the struggle, defeat, the resurgence of hope and the triumph.

Eddie Redmayne did a phenomenal job as Stephen Hawking. I recently read that he won an Academy Award for his performance. The music, the picture and the quality of the movie was simply beautiful.

theory

As a Christian, I believe we shouldn’t check our brain at the door. My faith doesn’t require science to prove itself, but that doesn’t mean that science cannot bring glory to God in its own way. I will confess, that many times I struggled with my faith because Christians were so cruel to me. I battled with belief because the Church was cold and un-engaging in a very dark time of my life. I remember one day thinking, that if this is Jesus, then I want nothing to do with Him. But what kept me from storming off into atheism was atheism itself. Evolution is ridiculous. The belief that everything came from nothing or that non-life gave birth to life – that premise is almost silly and frankly, an impossibility. The Spirit used the reasoning of science to nudge me to understand that there is a Creator, and that He made everything, and that He expects to be obeyed, and that I better listen. I couldn’t embrace evolution, so I embraced Christ and His Word – it just made sense. I soon slowly crept out of my single cell thinking and evolved in my faith. Pun intended. 

This movie was not very clear if Mr. Hawking in the end admitted to the possibility of God, it really feels like he couldn’t come to a conclusion. I am not too worried about his beliefs anyway. I know he had a brilliant mind and the mathematics behind his theories made my head hurt, but God’s Word says that a fool says there is no God (Psalm 53:1). Having such a mind amounts to nothing to God if that mind fails to see the sin within itself. Mr. Hawking’s life is inspiring though, and this movie motivated me to think more. To be more aware of what I do and how I perceive things. A book that came to mind for me to read was Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I am also interested to read his books on time.

I highly recommend this movie to all. It is a beautiful and stirring drama. There is no sex or nudity. There are some insinuations of adultery. There is a scene were Hawking’s nurse helps him open up his Penthouse magazine, but there is no visible nudity in the magazine. There is no cussing. The movie is rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive material. You can watch this movie for free on Netflix.

I have included the trailer here at the bottom of the page, if you are interested in watching it.

 

Hanna More – I love you!

Opie, John, 1761-1807; Hannah More

I remember her name vaguely. She was somebody important during the time when William Wilberforce was fighting for the abolition of the slave trade. That is all I knew of her and I wanted to know more. I help manage a crisis pregnancy clinic, and it is my belief that abortion doctors and clinics are our modern day slaver traders. The people affected by slavery were voiceless, abused, powerless and mistreated. They were seen as less than human and their dignity was not a God-given right, but one exploited by shameless people. The life of a slave was based on the convenience it brought, never on their potential or individuality. They were just hunks of flesh to be used at the pleasure of others and it was wrong. It was Christian abolitionist who lead the charge for the slaves’ freedom and their persistence and passion is admirable. I know that the  more I read on these abolitionists, the more I can learn about leading a cause now to end the murder of those who are also voiceless, powerless and mistreated. I too want to be an abolitionist.

Goodreads recommended this book to me. Oh, I love Goodreads, and if you don’t have it and are an avid reader, get it. The book I read is called Fierce Convictions and it is written by Karen Swallow Prior.

     Christianity in England during the 1700’s was a lot like it is now is the United States, it was nominal. Everyone was a Christian, and so was Hannah. It wasn’t until later in her life that she realized she had to experience her Christianity, in other words, she had to live out her faith, and when she decided to just do that, her actions and obedienced changed the world.
     Hannah More is known for not only being a slave abolitionist. She was also a writer and poet and she, along with her sisters helped cultivate a society that saw the importance in educating all children regardless of social status. Schools were not free then, and she helped champion the cause to teach all children mathematics, geography, reading and writing. Many of her contemporaries looked down on this because they saw no use in educating the poor. I was delightfully surprised also that she was so progressive that she even advocated against animal cruelty. She, along with William Wilberforce, help set up laws that made it against the law to abuse animals. She makes a great point on treating all life with dignity, including animals, the poor and slaves. These social stands were extremely liberal at the time. She made it clear in the tracts she distributed to be “religiously and politically conservative, but socially liberal.” Besides all these extraordinary causes for her time, she also believed that women should not focus so much on dainty hobbies that were done just to pass the time, but actual rigorous learning!  This is what Prior wrote:
           More argued for a rigorous education for women. One that would illicit truth,                          foster precision in thinking and cultivate an exact mind. Female education                      should bring the imagination under dominion and lead women to think, to compare,                        to combine, to methodize. It should confer such a power of discrimination                                 that the student shall learn to reject what was dazzling if it be not solid,                                      and to prefer not what is striking or bright or new, but what is just.

     More also saw the importance of mixing social inequalities with politics. Her and William Wilberforce – a member of parliament – became very close friends. Wilberforce treated her as an equal and many times they spent hours conversing about political and social matters. Wilberforce wrote to her saying: “That in parlimentary measures of importance more is to be done out of the house than in it. In other words, changing the minds of parliament would require changing the mind of the nation.” What true words!
More used her writing and social skills to help others see the sheer inhumanity of the slave trade. Wilberforce used his eloquence in speaking to help his peers to see and then vote his way. Both forces, united, as one is what changed their country for the better.

I read about these two pillars of our faith and tried to learn from them. They were extraordinary Christians that changed their world through media (newspapers, books, tracts, pamphlets, drawings) and politics (voting, town hall meetings, friends in parliament, law making). A lot of times, I want to move away from politics. I want to just live my little Christian life and leave to Ceasar what is his. But like 1700’s Britain had some atrocious laws, so does the present United States. And unlike Hannah, I can vote for these changes, not just speak about them. I want to type out a testimony of a witness that was taken to a slaver traders post. This testimony was given in parliament in 1790 for the abolition of the slave trade. Here it is:
“The witness was taken to a small gathering of slave traders about to put an infant to death. I asked him why they were murdering it, and they answered ‘Because it was of no value.’ I told them, ‘if that’s the case, I hope they made me a present of it.’ They answered that if I had any use for the child then it was worth money. I first offered them some knives, but that would not do. They however sold the child to me for a mug of brandy. It proved to be that of a woman whom the captain of our ship had purchased that very morning. We carried it on board and judged of the mother’s joy when she saw her own child put on board the same ship – her child, whom she concluded was murdered. She fell on her knees and kissed my feet.”

The words “because it was of no value” rung in my head. I stopped what I was doing and just repeated those words in my mind. What is the value of a “useless” infant? Unfortunately, in our society, the answer is relative if the baby happens to be in utero. Foster kids, orphans, babies born alive after a botched abortion, poor kids, don’t we all put a value on them. Some maybe worth more than others? Put action to your passion, don’t just let it fester and dissipate.

atrocious deeds should never be called by gentle names

I admire Hannah More, she never stopped using her God-given talents to bring about justice and kindness to those who bore God’s image. She says this: “It is part of Christianity to convert every natural talent to a religious use.” This is so true. What are your talents, and are you using those talents to glorify your Savior by beings His hands and feet here on earth? Read Matthew 25.

     Hannah More died an old lady with hands upraised to her Lord. She wrote 11 books after the age of 60 and three weeks before her death, the slave trade was abolished! There is much for us to do in our world and it is time that we move from the sidelines and experience our Christianity.

She is grounded in the Bible. She is no clamorous beggar for extortent alms of admiration. She lives on her own stock. She does not wait for the opinion of the world to know she is right, nor the applause of the wor

I recommend Fierce Convictions to all Christians, especially women. Stop reading those darn Amish romances and get into these kinds of books. You can buy the book here. I listened to this book on audible, and you can get that here.

#life #abolition #hannahmore #dosomething #experiencechristianity

 

 

 

Martyrs I didn’t know about

Book Review of:

Jan Hus Ulrich Swingli.jpg

Author: Charles River

I had heard a little of Jan Hus and much less of Ulrich Swingli and I needed to fix this in my life. This book was less than $3 on audible and I wish I would have spent more money on a  better book. The book was okay, but was a bit dry.

I was surprised to read about just how secular they both were. It’s funny how in my mind these men were always holy and didn’t struggle with the sins of “normal” men and women. Zwingli struggled with sexual temptations and had a mistress for a while and Hus wrestled with vanity and materialism. Both these men relied on the grace of God and both these men paid the ultimate price for their convictions. Hus paved the way with his burned flesh for voices like Luther, Knox and Calvin who came a century and a half later and Zwingli is considered the 3rd most important influencer of the Reformation.

It is important for us Believers to read about men like Hus and Zwingli. It helps us revere and appreciate the Bibles we have in our home. It helps us put into perspective the flightiness of my convictions. What am I willing to die for? What is so important to me that it changes the way I live? These books make us reflect on these serious questions.

I often wonder what would I do in the face of martyrdom. Would I stir or negotiate? Would I be betray my conscience and my God? I do not know. These men had their faults, just as I do. These men struggled and wrestled with their faith. Just as I do. But they finished strong, in the faith and trail blazed a path for all of us to comfortably walk in sound doctrine. They are an inspiration, and it is my hope that you read more of these men who changed the world.

The Forgotten Trinity – Book Review

I know that I know nothing!trinty

The Trinity – what a beautiful doctrine, but such a difficult concept! In my ignorance to try and comprehend such a complex truth, I have fallen in and out of heresy. This make me thankful for His grace and gives a deeper appreciation for the profound vastness and mystery of our Creator. I will never completely know Him, but I can know Him.

This book was magnificent and just revealed to me just how much I do not know. That is our God – knowable but also not. This book helped clear out a lot of questions that regularly pop up for me regarding the Trinity. It strengthened my trust in His Word. Mr. White gives plenty of verses in Scripture to make his points and explain as best as humanly possible who the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are. This book also elevated God to another level for me. It made Him bigger somehow. I couldn’t help but just marvel at how awesome (in the old definition of the word kinda way) God is. Full of awe!

All examples previously given to try to explain the Trinity like the egg, or the different states of water fall short of describing His true essence. Nothing on earth can describe Him and frankly, we lack the intelligence to fully understand it. And that is okay! He wouldn’t be God if we could completely understand him. God said in Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The book is a bit academic, but what else would you expect from a book written by James White.  I truly appreciate men like him who devote themselves to reading and researching such deep truths and helping the layman discern such beautiful things. Mr. White has a YouTube channel where he discusses different Biblical topics. You can buy the book here. The book is 224.

The truths in this book bring the Believer to a deeper worship of such an intimidating God.  I leave you with this description of our Lord:

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,  and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today.  Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  – Deut. 10:12-16

Hole In Our Holiness

I believe many Americans, including myself, have a mindset that holiness is basically the quick killing of any joy or anything fun. It is a long list of “don’ts” and I was prepared to feel awful and shameful after reading this book. I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there were times throughout the book that I did feel conviction, but shouldn’t I, if I have loved something that God hates? But overall, the book was truly encouraging. It was though-provoking and Mr. DeYoung poured out Scripture after Scripture and the Word of God did what it does best: it cut me the way a surgeon cuts – to heal, not to hurt.

I was relieved so many times, as I read, that I am not alone in my feelings with my faith. In page 75 Mr. DeYoung writes: “Some Christians are prone to go on lengthy idol hunts and can’t feel good unless they feel bad about something.” This spoke to me so strongly. Holiness is not about feeling bad all the time, it is more about finding joy in the things that God finds joy in. And when we do that, other things really grow dim.

I also appreciated that Mr. DeYoung does allow for the ranking of sin. Clearly, there is a difference between the saint who struggles with lust and doesn’t act on his thoughts and the saint who struggles with lust and then continually commits the actual act of adultery. One saint is more holy than the other, and there is nothing wrong with seeing the difference. One of these saints is more pleasing to God because he is practicing holiness. Mr. DeYoung plainly states that we can please God with our behavior. As many other Christians, I am so quick to cheapen any good deed of mine as a pile of heaping hot dung as I quote Isaiah, but Mr. DeYoung gives a good rebuttal to that type of thinking. In page 69 he writes “We need the imputed righteousness of Christ. More than that, we cannot produce any righteousness in our own strength. But as born-again believers, it is possible to please God by his grace. Those who bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God are fully pleasing to God. (Col. 1:10)” This tells me that there is nothing wrong with trying to please God and to strive to bring my Father pleasure as I work out my sanctification muscles. Let me quote the verse I mention above: “. . .  so that I may please HIM in every way”.

But Mr. DeYoung also warns for those who fail in their walk: “But God does not expect our good works to be flawless in order for them to be good. If God only accepted perfect obedience from His children, the Bible would have nothing good to say about Job or David or Elizabeth or anyone else except for Jesus.” This gives me hope. Yes, I am going to fail in my pursuit of holiness. But, yes, I am going to get up again using the cross to help me up. In page 105 he writes: “Sin may get in some good jabs. It may clean your clock once in a while. It may bring you to your knees. But if you are in Christ, it will never knock you out. You are no longer a slave, but free. Sin has no dominion over you.”

This book did challenge me and pointed out some areas that I need to work on. But it was full of grace and the Gospel.

I do recommend this book to any Christian wanting to grow in holiness, which should be all of us, because all of us need help in this area. This would be a great book to use for a discipleship class. There are study guide questions in the back of the book for each chapter. The book is about 147 pages long. You can buy the book here.

 

 

 

 

Unplanned

I have been following Abby Johnson for some time now. She is a tremendous speaker whose every single word packs a punch of meaning and logic. Her testimony is definitely one of those stories that magnifies the verse:  . . . you meant evil . . . but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. – Genesis 50:20 Through a lot of pain and spiritual growth, Abby gave up her successful career in the abortion industry and is now an advocate for the unborn. She is a champion for the most vulnerable in our society and I pray and encourage her to keep up the outstanding and long-suffering work she currently does.

I first heard of her movie in an interview with Steven Crowder where she promoted it, so I marked the date on my calendar and set myself to see this movie. The movie is very well done and not cheesy (a fear I have when I see Christian flicks). It is rated R for blood and some violence. Please do not let this rating deter you, as Christians we need to understand that this is abortion. It is not pretty, it is shocking and it is violent. Although, I do believe that this rating is more because of it’s political unpopularity- one look at secular critics of the movie and you can see how much it is hated. I watch PG-13 movies all the time and most are way more violent than what was portrayed in the movie. This movie has no nudity,  no sex and no strong cuss words. The movie has about two scenes where it was shocking and uncomfortable to see, but I applaud them for not turning the camera away from an ultrasound guided abortion or another scene of a chemically induced abortion. This reminded me of Wilberforce taking people to see the slave ships in the English trading ports or the naive Germans who were taken to view the concentration camps in their own back yard. These things must be seen and they must be seen by Christians. We can not turn a blind eye to the evil that has penetrated our society and the minds of our young men and women. Abortion kills a baby, and it is wrong. Just like slavery is wrong and genocide is wrong. It doesn’t matter who benefits from it, it is wrong.

So would I take my kids to see this movie? I believe if your kid is old enough to have sex then your kid is old enough to watch this movie. In my family that is my 13, 16 and 20  year old kids. The 12 and two 10 year-olds are staying home. This movie will also provide a wonderful opportunity for a deep and meaningful conversation about so many things. My son and I had such a significant talk afterwards.

Women, take your sons and husbands to see this movie. I work at a crisis pregnancy center and the impact a man has on a woman making a decision about her pregnancy is vital. Most women who abort their babies would not if the men in their lives had encouraged them not to. This is not just a woman’s issue.

I recommend this movie to all Christians and those interested in the pro-life movement.

Spiritual Disciplines

 

boxer

Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Self-control, persistence, long-suffering, restraint all these words and others are words that sometimes feel foreign to me. I cherish my freedom in Christ. I appreciate the 1st amendment that allows me to express myself and not be silenced. I truly revere how Jesus compacted all the law and prophets into two commands. I love simplicity. I love fun. I hate discipline. And because of the erroneous fear of barriers and structure, this book was a necessary read. I was so mistaken on what freedom really is and Mr. Donald Whitney uses great illustrations to maximize what he is trying to say in order to help the Believer understand just what truly is freedom. He explains it best at the end of the book when he quotes John Guest:

           “Discipline” has become a dirty word in our culture . . . I know I am speaking heresy in many circles, but spontaneity is greatly overhauled. The “spontaneous” person who shrugs off the need for discipline is like the farmer who went out to gather the eggs. As he walked across the farmyard toward the hen house, he noticed the pump was leaking. So he stopped to fix it. It needed a new washer, so he set off to the barn to get one. But on the way he saw that the hayloft needed straightening, so he went to fetch the pitchfork . Hanging next to the pitchfork was a broken handle. “I must make a note to myself to buy a broom handle the next time I get to town,” he thought . . .
By now it is clear that the farmer is not going to get his eggs gathered, nor is he likely to accomplish anything else he sets out to do. He is utterly, gloriously spontaneous, but he is hardly free. He is, if anything, a prisoner to his unbridled spontaneity.
The fact of the matter is that discipline is the only way to freedom; it is necessary context for spontaneity.

Whitney then elaborates and says: “I have several friends who can improvise beautiful melodies on a keyboard or a guitar. But the only reason they can play so “spontaneously” is because they have spent years in the disciplines of playing musical scales and other fundamental exercises. . . . if you desire effective spontaneity in the Christian life, it must be the fruit of a spiritually disciplined faith.

This lit a light bulb for me that shone so brightly that it knocked me off my know-it-all horse! I knew about the importance of prayer and Bible reading, but didn’t see that the more I did it, the more freedom I experienced in those areas. Mr. Whitney covers 10 areas of discipline for the Believer:

Bible Intake
Prayer
Worship
Evangelism
Serving
Stewardship
Fasting
Silence and Solitude
Journaling
Learning

All of these chapters were so beneficial to me and I will be implementing – very slowly – some of Mr. Whitney’s Biblical suggestions because I want that kind of freedom. True freedom!

I recommend this book to all Believers. It is not the law or a to do list, it is a heightening of the pleasures of the Christian to a new level that comes with discipline. There is so much to gain by reading this book.

 

 

 

12 Rules for Life – Book Review

I read another self help book – so help me! That is 2 for this year! I will not read another again! Most likely. This one is by Jordan Peterson. Like all self-help books, it has a lot of really good ideas and I will share with you some of the ones I can remember from the top of my head in just a moment. But first I want to say that all of these kinds of books are just things these authors have unintentionally and sometimes intentionally borrowed from Scripture. And that which isn’t borrowed from Scripture is self-exalting and places a huge burden on your own volition and will instead of drawing strength from an outside, eternal, non-crazy source, like GOD!

In regards to the book, Jordan Peterson does do a good job in pointing out obvious things adults should be doing. Like cleaning after themselves, taking their pills, owning their mistakes. He also has a good section on handling suffering and anxiety,  Although, Mr. Peterson does make a good case for believing in God or acting as if there is a god to those who don’t believe, he is not a good theologian. He draws upon the words of Scripture as one would draw from Aesop’s moral stories. He quotes many good practices from many religions and makes a case for getting our morality from a “higher” source. This is what most frustrated me from the book. Why is a Buddhist or a Muslim moral or even an atheist? It is because there is a benefit to that morality – less pain, better spiritual standing with your deity, better quality of life, etc. So when he includes Christianity as a good thing because of the benefits or less consequences or more peace etc, he destroys the Gospel and the true meaning of being a Christian. Yes, we strive for obedience, but not because it is beneficial (although, we will take those crumbs!) but because we have Him already! We have assurance and a hope that transcends this life, so we live like it! Its an overflow of our reality, not a behavioral checklist to get something or win approval.

These are somethings I remember from this book:
1. If you are going to be anxious (i.e. sin), set an allotted time to be anxious and to worry. Yes, you wont gain anything, but make a list during that time of what you can do. Worry for that allotted time and then stop worrying. This prevents you from worrying at night before going to bed and losing sleep because you have already worried during the day. (I’m not a big worrier, but this sounded reasonable)

2. Take your darn pills. Although, he uses the other word, I really liked this. I struggle taking my medicine. For no reason. I just don’t take them. I forget and doing that can cause havoc in my body. In his book, he just plainly states to take them. Americans are the worst in taking their medicine and there is absolutely no reason not to. So whenever I get the thought that I will just take my medicine later, I can hear Mr. Peterson’s words clear, “just take your da*n pills!”. So I do. Simple right?

3. Before you try and clean up the mess of others, clean your own room! In all senses! A good quote, very Biblical.

4. Men and women are different. Women love strong men and men like pretty women. In other words, men should not be afraid to toughen up, to explore and stop whining. And women, should not be afraid to be homemakers, take care of themselves and be sweet.

5. Have one foot in “order” and another in “chaos”. Do not be a complete organizational dictator and also leave room for spontaneity and adventure. The balance of these two is what makes life fun.

6. If you don’t like your children sometimes, others don’t either. Guide your kids to be likeable, it is not fair to them to allow them to act like monsters. Other people will hate them because of their behavior and it is your fault for letting them get away with it. Not acting like a monster will help them make friends and will win praise from adults. This will make them feel awesome about themselves

There were other things in there that were good, but these are just what I could remember at this moment. I think I am going to not recommend this book though because it is just another self-help book and as Christians, there are so many other sources to help in our walk.

If you are needing help in any area of your life, I do want to recommend Rick Thomas’ website.  He has a limitless collection of great articles to help you in any area in your life. All of which are Christ-centered and Gospel-soaked!

 

So I read a book for boys.

In my reading challenge, it was suggested to read a book targeted towards the opposite gender. I looked on line and googled “top ten books for men” and conquering the world, excelling in the work place, and how to be a great leader and have people adore me wasn’t at all interesting to me, so I decided to broaden my search. Towards the end of some other google searches I did see Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. I also noticed that it is a rather short book and this sealed the deal for me. I read it in about an hour and I did find it a bit interesting and, oddly, very applicable to my life!

My husband had to read this book while he was at West Point and one night I decided to share with him what I thought of the book. He was walking about the house and I approached him and told him that I had just read Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. Like never, he was interested in what I had to say.  I shared with him about how nurturing and caring, but firm these generals had to be towards their soldiers and how that benefited the outcome of war and morale. I shared how knowing the strengths and weakness of not only your opponent but also yourself was imperative in success. Finances and budgeting were essential considerations in war and that there was so much pain and hurt that could be prevented if steps were taken before any actual fighting had to take place. I told him that I could really apply a lot of this wisdom to our family and ministries. I went on and on about war strategy and planning. About how courage is most contagious when we are not afraid of death. How to chose and pick fights and discerning what is worth fighting for is key to success in battle. And he listened to every bit and at the end of it all, all he could say was “I love you so much” LOL Was that a tear I saw? Just kidding. But he was struck by my interest in something he is also interested in, and I am grateful that I did stretch my reading genre quiet a bit and learned some things.

This is how I felt after talking battle strategy regarding our 6 kids:

warrior

Here are some quotes from the book I found I could use when dealing with my kids, my home and spiritual warfare. You can easily apply these to most life situations!

“He who makes light of his opponents, he is sure to be captured by them.”

“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive and if submissive, will be practically useless. And if soldiers have grown attached to you and are not punished, they will still be useless.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.

There is no instance from a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

 

I recommend this book to young men or to women who have husbands who are or where in the military or police force. Then I advise you to talk to them about it. They will see you with different eyes and love you at a different level, trust me.

 

Girl Wash Your Face – Book Review

I realize that this is a very popular book especially among women my age, so I did hesitate for a moment about writing this review – but only for a moment.

Overall the book is another self-help book sprinkled with Scripture and some Christianese. Mrs. Hollis is an excellent writer and listening to her read her own book, I can tell she is a great motivator and speaker. There are some things I did get from the book that were helpful, but her slaughter of Scripture left me wanting to throw the book across the room. I didn’t, only because I got the book on audible and would have probably shattered my phone.

In her book, she does provide little small things you can do to start changing bad habits or traits. She has done very well for herself and has a huge following and it is good to take advice from people who have been so successful. She lets the reader know her thought process and provides tidbits of advice and counsel that are helpful. She is also very vivacious and humorous. The book was funny at times, and that made it easier to listen to. She is also very open about her struggles, but I believe this can also lead to a false sense of entitlement or authority. Just because someone is open about their suffering, doesn’t mean they have the authority to tell others how to feel about pain. It can definitely make them more empathetic, but not wiser. So my advice – Girl, you’re a fool and so am I!

Also, Mrs. Hollis unfortunately is not a good theologian. She is your typical American Christian – my way and Jesus on the side. I wouldn’t say this is a religious book, but she does mention her faith and how it helps her in her life often. If I remember correctly, every verse she uses, she uses out of context. She even wrote Philippians 4:13 on her arm as encouragement when she ran her marathon. Ugh! So my advice – Girl, read your Bible!

She also oozes with white guilt. I can’t stand that! There is nothing wrong with being white! Say it with me my white friends “There is nothing wrong with being white!” She mentions in her book how she left her all white church to go to a multi-ethnic church so her children could be exposed to differences. Would she have encouraged me to leave my all Hispanic church in Texas? Or what about a black mom, would she encourage her to leaver her all-black church? I don’t know, but I think she wouldn’t have. Here is where she gets it so wrong. She paints a picture of having friends off all colors and cultures and religions – and that is a good thing! – but she erroneously says that is how Heaven will be. Sorry, but not sorry, there wont be any Muslims in Heaven or Buddhist or unbelievers. Yes, there will be people of all tongues and tribes, but all of them will be believers and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. She does address a problem in the church – we self-segregate. But this isn’t a white problem. It is a human problem. Growing up in El Paso, Texas my church’s name was Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana. In case you didn’t catch that, it translates to: First MEXICAN Baptist Church. We even excluded Hispanics belonging to other countries! So my advice – Girl, grow where you’re planted and you don’t need a tan!

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She also drinks way too much. She admits she drank alcohol to relieve stress and that that wasn’t a good thing, but several times she mentions where she met her best friend at happy hour, where she drinks some wine here or drinks with her friends. It’s just not me. I drink, very occasionally, but for someone who admits they had a problem, I was just a bit concerned at the way she nonchalantly mentions these moments. My advice – Girl, find a happy hour with Jesus.

The book ends up being very human-centered just like all self-help books, especially towards the end. She talks about stepping out and meeting new people not like you, which basically is the Great Commission of every Christian, but she dangerously says you do not need a hero because you are the hero. You do need a hero, I do. we do. She does talk about God giving you strength, but that in the end, it is up to  you to really change. I beg to differ, I only change because of what God does in me. I fail me. My strength fails me. My motives are tainted. My soul is depraved. My ambitions are marred. All throughout Scripture, there is a constant reminder that I am not the hero, but the one who needs rescuing. My advice – Girl, get rescued!

I do not recommend this book, but if  you are a woman who may need a quick pick-me up or just some temporary motivation – this book will provide that. She did motivate me to set goals, to dream and to stop lying to myself. I do that all the time on my own -thanks to Christian friends and THE BIBLE AND JESUS! -, but it was nice for someone else to tell me, and like I said before, she does give some good advice. SOME. I do not recommend this book to white women because she will make you feel bad about your whiteness, and that’s something you can’t do anything about. Most of my friends are white and I don’t want that kind of negativity in their lives. I’m watching out for you my sister! 🙂

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Basically she is the next Joyce Meyer. If you like her, you will like Rachel Hollis.