Monday, January 12, 2015

Wild Flowers Book Club (Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith)

Did you know that A Field of Wild Flowers hosts a private online Book Club?  

You can read more about it HERE.  This past fall 18 people from all across the States (and one from New Zealand!) participated in a six week discussion of Parker Palmer's wise little book, Let Your Life Speak.  

This week I'm excited to announce our second book and offer you a chance to win a free signed copy.  



That's my oldest two posing with Michelle DeRusha's book, Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith.  Michelle's book arrived at my house while we were in the middle of packing up, changing schools and rewiring the house of our dreams.  If anything tells you how good this book is (and how enjoyable to read) it's the fact that I found time to read it and write a review right in the middle of that crazy time in our lives!  

You can read my review of Michelle's book here, where I list three things I liked about the book.  The one thing that excited me most about this book (that I didn't include in my review) is its potential usefulness in starting conversations.  Michelle's writing is so transparent and human that it easily sets the table for talking about our own experiences and struggles with faith.  

I'm excited to explore this book with you - it's suitable for those who lean steadily toward belief and also anyone who struggles in making sense of "Christian-ese" and wonders what this "Jesus thing" is all about.  Another bonus?  Michelle has agreed to join us one week for an "ask the author" session. 

Interested?  Here are the details:

The book has eleven chapters and our book club will run for about eight weeks (depending how things unfold) so there will be some weeks when we read more than one chapter, but never more than about 30 pages.  It will be hosted in a private Facebook group so our conversation will not be public.  Those who want to participate will need to "friend" me on Facebook so I can add you to the group. 

Monday, February 2 will be our official start date, which should give plenty of time to order, win or borrow a copy of the book.  We'll plan finish up by the end of March. 

Every Monday I'll post a quote from the chapters under discussion as a starting point for conversation.  On Wednesdays it'll be your turn to lead by posting a quote you especially liked or any questions you want to raise.  The best part about online book discussion is that you can check in and comment or reply at a time that works for YOU. 

You're free to comment as much as you like or be a "stalker" if you're more shy.  Some weeks you may not get to the reading, but you're still welcome to participate as much as you can.  The main rules will be that we will all show grace and compassion in regard to each other's experiences and opinions.  

You can find the book for sale on Amazon here for around $12.   

Now, (drum roll, please!) I'm grateful that Michelle has agreed to mail a FREE signed copy to one lucky winner.  To be entered into the drawing for the free book, just comment below by 12 midnight on Thursday January 15th indicating your interest in participating.  To have your name entered a second time in the drawing, you can also comment on or like this post on the Wildflowers Facebook page (this will ensure that more followers see the post).  All names will be put into a bowl and the winner will be picked and announced by Friday the 16th. 

I would love your help in spreading the word!  Please share :) and let me know if you have any questions!


This post is linked with Playdates With God and Unforced Rhythms.

5 comments:

  1. Terrific! Please add me to the group. (I don't need a copy - hopefully someone else will sign in here soon and win it!)

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  2. Not sure if I'm allowed to enter twice... but I'm in! :)

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  3. Fraudulent Faith

    By Pastor Ray Stedman


    Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1 RSV)

    As we draw near to the end, before the return of the Lord, there may come an increasing departure from the faith, but I do not think this passage is talking about any one great departure. In fact, other Scriptures suggest that the departure from the faith will occur at the time of the appearance of the man whom Paul, in Second Thessalonians, calls "the man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV), the so-called "antichrist" (1 John 2:18), who will lead this great departure from the faith.

    This verse in First Timothy, however, is more properly understood when it is translated, "in succeeding seasons there will be many departing from the faith" -- i.e., this is something that is going to go on, the apostle is suggesting, throughout the whole course of Christian history, in succeeding seasons of time. Just as there are several seasons in a calendar year, so in the calendar of history God has seasons for human events -- seasons of war, seasons of peace, seasons of unrest in society, when everything seems to be torn apart (we are going through such a season now); seasons of discovery, when the human mind breaks through into new vistas of truth, geographical discoveries, scientific discoveries; seasons of retrenchment, when everything seems to quiet down; and, as the apostle clearly says here, "seasons of deceit," when error breaks forth afresh; like a fountain, it seems to gush out a whole new spectrum of untruth. I have lived long enough to have seen several such seasons.

    These seasons of deceit were predicted by the Holy Spirit, we do not know how. Perhaps Paul learned this in some of those direct visions and visits from Jesus himself. Perhaps it came through the prophetic ministry of some of the New Testament prophets. At any rate, the Spirit had precisely stated that there would be succeeding seasons of deceit.

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  4. In the last part of the 19th century, there was a pronounced season of deceit, when new cults that have occupied the scene ever since emerged here in America. Mormonism was born then; Jehovah's Witnesses came into being during that latter part of the 19th century; Christian Science emerged. All of these claimed to be Christian, yet they distorted biblical Christianity. That period in the 19th century was followed by a period of quiet, when no new cults emerged. Error was being taught but no new organizations were formed.

    Suddenly, in the mid-60's, it all broke loose again. A torrent of error began to flood our churches and the media. The Moonies came into existence under the Korean leader, Sun Myung Moon; the Hare Krishna, those young people in saffron robes with shaved heads, started appearing in airports, passing out literature and pinning flowers to lapels; Scientology, with its strange and cruel doctrines, was born; Transcendental Meditation came into popularity then.

    Here the apostle is explaining that strange phenomenon to us. He says these things will occur in successive seasons of time. During those times, Paul says, many will depart from the truth, depart from the faith as it is presented in the apostolic Scriptures.

    These groups make their appeal in various ways: some appeal to the emotions, some to the intellect, some to the will, to the pride of mankind. But they all have one common characteristic. This characteristic is indicated in this passage by the way the apostle moves from the central truth of Christianity, "the mystery of wholeness" (the person of our Lord and his work) expressed in Chapter 3, Verse 16, to the sharp and stark contrast of this "departure from the faith." Thus Paul seems strongly to suggest that the central focus of all error is to present a different Jesus; that is the key mark of deceit.

    If you want to know whether a group you are listening to, or are in touch with, is preaching and teaching true Christianity, ask yourself: "What do they say about Jesus? Who is he? Is he God appearing as man? Did he come in the flesh? Is he the Savior who has in himself accomplished all that God requires for the redemption of humanity?" Ask yourself, "What part does the blood of Jesus play in this teaching? What is said about his Person?"

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  5. The central deviation of all religious error is a negative testimony to the centrality of Christ in the universe. Even the unseen forces of life know that Jesus is central. Jesus is truly Lord, so the thrust of error is to attack him.

    This is why in a university like Stanford it is possible to teach Buddhism, or some other teaching, and find it widely approved and supported by the faculty and the administration. Someone told me this morning that he took a course at Stanford University on Druids and Druidism and the religion of King Arthur. It became evident through the course that the teacher believed these things and was actively propagating a belief in Druidism -- and nobody objected. But when Jesus, when true Christianity, is presented, there immediately is sharp and subtle opposition against it. This is what the apostle Paul is pointing out.

    Paul reveals the ultimate origin of these cults as coming from "deceitful spirits."

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