Ashley Abercrombie on Language

“Language is a seed that germinates inside the darkness of our hearts and minds. It will bear fruit at some point: rotten, bitter, nourishing, or sweet.” 

Ashley Abercrombie from “Love is the Resistance”

I really enjoy Ashley’s page so when she announced that she had a book coming out I preordered it pretty quickly. Having read through most of it, I really appreciate her message and the larger message of how we are to treat each other especially as Christians!

I think a lot of us are tired of the verbal eviscerations we see not only online but in our own lives. Our discourse has changed from a marketplace of ideas to a battlefield where we are to defeat our enemies by all means possible. Friends and acquaintances battling it out in the comment sections of each and every hot topic of the day, news channels that have picked sides and actively engage in trench warfare, husbands and wives screaming insults at each while scaring the life out of their kids tremble in fear; it’s so exhausting. 

I feel like Ashleys book gives a voice to this exhaustion. I think more and more we could use more empathy and less words. There are a multitude of proverbs that speak to this exact thing; my favorite being:

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

Patrick Linnell Drops a Grace Bomb

“For the Christ follower, there are no racial or cultural reasons to withhold grace from anyone, because everyone is one faith step away from becoming a spiritual brother or sister in Christ – a bond that runs deeper than blood.”

Patrick Linnell from @grace.bomb

I heard Pastor Linnell speak with Blake over on the @crappychristiancopodcast and was immediately drawn to this idea of getting into the habit of extending overwhelming grace to people we don’t even know – without needing anything in return. I immediately ordered the book and tore through it – it’s a quick read and there are some fun illustrations to boot!

I think I had a post earlier this week about being “nice” and really this has nothing to do with being a nicer person and everything to do with showing the love of Jesus to our neighbors. Not the people that live next door to us but our real neighbors – people we don’t even know, and who may not like us very much. 

We should be known as people of grace because we are a people who believe we’ve been given a gift that none of us deserve. 

I’m so into this message. I was going to post this on Monday but I didn’t want it to wait. Check out their account and I highly recommend getting the book! 🙌

Tending the Fire

“Call men to a passionate and sacrificial quest with the odds stacked against us, and you can’t keep us away.” @wolfandiron(Mike Yarbrough) from “Tending the Fire”

This is not a book about hunting or sports or beer or whatever things spring to mind when you think about “manliness” or “being a man.” There is a much higher calling here. It’s a book about taking responsibility and about showing up and being present. It’s a book about courage and discipline and spirituality. It’s a quick read, but I think it works better if you just pick it up, read a section, and then wrestle with it for the day. 

There are a ton of good quotes but this one stood out to me. Mike seems to be a guy with his hand in a lot of different things and I’m thankful that he wrote a book that’s challenging and insightful.

I usually give away the books I read but I’m keeping this one. And that cover illustration is SO GOOD! 🤩 Hat tip to @eyeballfortress

Frankenstein!

Ok, give me a second here. I know this is a Christian account with sermon notes and bible quotes and all that – what in the world is the creature from Frankenstein doing here? I read “Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading & Reflecting” by Dr. @karenswallowprior and it changed the way I think about literature.

This book is a complete reprint of Frankenstein with added details about the version and the author but more importantly it contains reflections on the greater themes of the book and how we should view them as Christians and through a Christian world-view. It’s refreshing and challenging. Although the guide is about Frankenstein, in a larger sense, it’s almost a toolkit in how to read fiction? I found myself actually reading to comprehend because I knew at the end of the section I was going to get a question that I needed to be ready for. It’s amazing to me that authors that are 100% not Christian still explore the themes and messages that point directly to Jesus. Themes that I’ve never considered before were brought to mind and I’m so thankful for that!

So – the book was great! So great that I’d love to let someone else enjoy it! Comment below and I’ll pick someone to receive my copy and a print of this image and I’ll send it to you free of charge (U.S. only.)

Quick note about the art – when it comes to Frankenstein, the illustrated version by Bernie Wright is the gold standard. This is my feeble attempt at re-drawing his excellent take on the creature. 

The More of Less

I have a book problem. I don’t buy a ton of books but I buy enough that there’s no way I could read them all. This one has been sitting around for a while which is a shame because it’s small, easy to read, and instantly actionable. “The More of Less” by @joshua_beckeris a book about how we (“WE” meaning Americans in most contexts) just simply have too much stuff. And ultimately since we filled our lives with stuff there’s less time for important things that have nothing to do with stuff. The part that really appealed to me is not the removal of all of the stuff but the psychology he speaks to that causes us to keep buying more stuff. With all of our experience with toilet paper last year this is a good section of the book to revisit. 😅 As you can tell this isn’t a full book summary but just the key points that stuck out to me! It’s a good book that’ll at least give you something to think about.

Do More Better – Tim Challies

The “true foundation” Tim Challies talking about here is the ability to fulfill God’s plan in our everyday lives. 🙌

I’m into productivity books and when productivity and Christianity collide – I am there! This book is a quick read but holds no punches, helps align the proper purpose to get stuff done, and gives real tactical plans on how to be more productive. It takes a real “purpose-based” approach to productivity and how what you do aligns with God’s purpose and not your own. As a Christian this is really refreshing! 

I know Challies is known more for his theological work but this book deserves a read if you find yourself needing some guidance in the productivity space. I usually give away my books after reading them but this one I’ll be keeping!

Do Over by Jon Acuff

I know, there’s a lot going on today. I keep things pretty apolitical here because I really feel like that ground is covered well by many other people who are way more passionate about these things than I am. If you’re in the U.S. – go vote.

What I do want to convey today is a framework. I’ve sketched @jonacuff ’s latest book “Finish” earlier this year (if you scroll down it’s in that time period when I was setting all my images against wood) and I think I might go backward through his catalog and sketch them all because it’s an overall great message with a great thread. Today I sketched his book “Do Over” and in there he lays out the formula to make things happen in your life. Jon puts this in the realm of your career but if you really want any kind of meaningful change this would definitely be a great place to start. It’s:

(Relationships + Skills + Character) X Hustle

I’m not going to paraphrase the entire book but if you make investments in each of these area’s it’ll assist you in trying to see the change you want to happen in your life.

Want to get a better job?

Build relationships
Develop skills
Demonstrate Character
Display Hustle

Want to increase your instagram following?

Build relationships
Develop skills
Demonstrate Character
Display Hustle

Want to change the world through politics?

Build relationships
Develop skills
Demonstrate Character
Display Hustle

See what I mean? These are all areas that you can personally invest in and will see a positive result on the other side.

This book is great, it’s funny, and the lessons are instantly actionable. There’s a lot of talk of queso and nachos. Is it weird to have queso for breakfast? No it’s not weird at all. Read this book, eat queso. 🙌