Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Skin in the Game

I am not one for political or even current issue posts. However, what we have seen in our nation in the past year is disturbing and scary. To be completely honest, I haven’t said anything because I don’t know what to say. I haven’t said anything for fear of accidentally saying the wrong thing. I haven’t said anything because what difference would it make? Probably none. But racism is still a very real thing. Profiling is a very real thing. I am very lucky to never have to personally be affected by these issues and likely never will be. But I know people who are and will be their whole lives. And it breaks my heart. There are broad generalizations on both sides: not all black men are criminals and not all cops are racist and/or brutal. Again, what do you say?

Recently I have seen and listened to many people discuss these issues and they say it much better than I can. So I thought I’d share. The first is Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. Although there is some fantastic comedic relieve (it is still The Daily Show) he gives a great perspective on police profiling and brutality and comparisons between this and other current “issues”.

“The point is you shouldn’t have to choose between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect” -Trevor Noah-

 

The second discussion came at church, where Andy Stanley scrapped his scheduled sermon last minute in order to address the issue. He had an on-stage, very real discussion with Sam Collier and Joseph Sojourner, two black men affiliated with North Point Ministries. This is something the church should be talking about, this is something the church has dealt with before, and this is something the church and its people can help deal with again. I highly recommend watching this. It’s not a sermon (at least mostly not), it’s a discussion. And honestly it’s one that left me feeling sad – sad that this is an issue and what these men have to face – and hopeless – hopeless that I cannot do anything to help. But I can pray for our nation, leaders, and my community. And at the very least I can say that I am not ok with what has been happening in my country.

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New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating

I posted in the fall about Andy Stanley’s sermon series on Love, Sex, & Dating. Now, years after the sermon, there is a book! I mentioned Singles Series at Buckhead Church – the most recent being Dateable – and Andy was the speaker for Part 3. Andy kicked off 2015 with the release of the book version of The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating and was kind enough to give everyone (we’re talking 2,000+ people) a copy of the book at Singles Series!

The premise is the same as the sermon, with two main messages to keep in mind:

  1. meeting the “right” person will not make everything better or ok
  2. strive to become the person the person you’re looking for is looking for

 

Read #2 a few times. Read it slowly. Got it, now?

You can’t expect someone else to “fix” you or fix certain things in your life – just because there’s another person involved doesn’t mean those problems go away – and actually, adding another person in the mix will make it even more complicated. Andy gives a lot of examples. He gives good reasons for his suggestions and guidelines for relationships. And no, it’s never “because the Bible says so” or “because that what Christians do.” He gives logical, often psychologically-based reasoning and arguments on navigating relationships. And yes, sex is a big part of it – but not the only part of it. There are so many things that go into a successful relationship. And I’m not going to lie, the world of relationships and marriage is a little daunting when you have a 50% divorce rate breathing down your back.

But if you’re confident in who you are and who you’re looking for, then the person you are looking for will be the person who is looking for you and everyone will live happily ever after! Well, yes, that’s a little strong – and that’s my own digression, not Andy’s. It WAS funny to hear him, at Singles Series, praising online dating. If you’ve read my blog for a little while, you’ll know online dating hasn’t really been my cup of tea (parts 1, 2, or 3) – but I agree that if you’re going to have a list you might as well be able to see the other person’s list – it does take some guess work out of it.

Anyway – I could go down all kinds of rabbit holes with this topic, but I enjoyed the book. It did seem to get a little repetitive towards the end, but it’s not very long and it’s an easy read. If you’re single read it. Whether you’re a Christian or not I think you should read it. At least hear what he has to say and consider it. Enjoy!

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Louder than Words

#27 on my 30 before 30 list is complete! 20 books read with almost a whole year to spare. But don’t worry, I’ll keep reading and posting my reads.

I took plenty of reading material along on my recent trip. I read mostly fiction novels but try to switch it up every now and then, so before my trip I popped into the church bookstore. Andy Stanley’s sermons are great, so I figured his books had to be worth reading. I picked one that seemed to be a topic that I could actually use and learn from. I picked Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised LivingThe downside to reading this book on a trip is that I am easily distracted in airports and on planes – I mean, the people watching is great! So, for a nonfiction, personal growth book, I really could have read more carefully.

This book is all about character. Character is probably the most important factor about a person – it impacts relationships, job/career, success/failure, and your character is what people define you as a person on. Stanley defines character as “the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.” That is the basis of the book, in which he discusses how to target specific qualities, evaluate your own character, and how to move towards change. After all, no one is perfect.

I especially liked his reflection on how character affects our relationships. Stanley proposes that there are four relationships that are important to consider: relationship with God, with ourselves, with others, and with our community. He, in my opinion, accurately concludes that “the way we view ourselves determines how we will interact with God, family, friends, loved ones, and even those we consider to be our enemies” and goes on discuss how “it is when we are least happy about the state of our own character that we are quickest to find fault with others.” I could not agree more and can definitely think of instances of this in my own life – even though we don’t always realize how unhappy we are with ourselves. As far as others, the point to take awayis that “character involves loving our neighbors as ourselves – even when they don’t reciprocate.” Much easier said than done, right?

I could continue writing, but it’s getting a little long. Stanley, of course, goes on to reference character discussions and guidance in the Bible, which are important in focusing on the character that God meant for us to have. So if you’re looking for a book to really help you look at yourself and the way you act not only towards yourself, but also towards others and God, this is a great one.

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