Friday, 28 March 2014

So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey ...


Hi there,

 

The group recently read - So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey” by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman.

Although not an ecstatic read, it was quite easy to engage. In this book, the authors made some thought provoking points about the “institution of the church” and how this can stifle our spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus – especially if we lose focus. We must always remember that Christ is the head of the church.

Personally, I found some of the conversations between the main two characters in the book very helpful and this has challenged me to take a closer look at my relationship with God and learn to trust Him in every circumstance.

I would recommend this book for reading, but with caution to new Christians!

Please share your comments and thoughts with us if you have read this book.

 

Kind regards,

Ope
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Synopsis

What would you do if you met someone you thought just might be one of Jesus’ original disciples still living in the 21st Century? That’s Jake’s dilemma as he meets a man who talks of Jesus as if he had known him, and whose way of living challenges everything Jake had previously known.
 
So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore is Jake’s compelling journal that chronicles thirteen conversations with his newfound friend over a four-year period and how those exchanges turn Jake’s world upside-down. With his help, Jake faces his darkest fears, struggles through brutal circumstances and comes out on the other side in the joy and freedom he always dreamed was possible.
 
If you’re tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it really means to live deeply in Christ, you’ll find Jake’s story will give you hope for your own. This book probes the difficult questions and offers some far-reaching answers. It just might turn your world upside-down as well!
 

Monday, 27 January 2014

The joy of reading ..... Happy 2014!!

Hi there,


Happy New Year!!!


Below are Activate's selected reading titles for 2014.


Please feel free and read along with us.


Enjoy ... happy reading! 




So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected journey by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman


 Jan 2014 – Mar 2014










Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick


Mar 2014 – May 2014


 
 
Choosing Extraordinary: Living out the God given dreams you've always wanted to...      by Helen Cottee      



May 2014 – July 2014                                                                                                                      








 

 God on Mute by Pete Greig


July 2014 – Sept 2014



 

 Voice in the Night: The True Story of a Man and the Miracles That Are Changing Africa by Pastor Surprise (with David Wimbish)


Sept 2014 – Nov 2014

 The Divine Conspiracy: "Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God" by Dallas Willard



Nov 2014 – Jan 2015











Love and blessings,

Ope




A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


Synopsis


Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

Choose Joy - Because Happiness Isn't Enough by Kay Warren

Synopsis

 
EVERYONE KNOWS HOW TO BE JOYFUL IN THE PEAKS OF LIFE ..........

When all your fondest hopes and wildest dreams come true, and your heart nearly explodes with happiness, it’s easy to feel joyful.

 But what about the valleys? When nothing seems to go your way? When everything is falling apart? When God is silent, and you feel alone?

 Where does joy fit into those moments?

In “Choose Joy”, acclaimed author and Christian leader Kay Warren shares the path to experiencing soul-satisfying joy no matter what you’re going through. Joy is deeper than happiness, lasts longer than excitement, and is more satisfying than pleasure and thrills. Joy is richer…Fuller…And it’s far more accessible than you’ve thought.
 
Joy comes from God … and it can be yours! Today.

Two great reads ..........


Hello,

I’m so sorry it's been a while. Just lots of "life and doings" happening all at once, however, it doesn’t mean we haven't been reading. We read “Choose Joy – Because Happiness Isn’t Enough” by Kay Warren between September and November 2013, and read “A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini over Christmas.

Two very different and great books; I enjoyed reading both of them!

 “Choose Joy” was very popular with every member of the group. In it, Kay teaches women the difference between Joy and happiness, what joy really is, where to find it, and how to choose it in the good times.  Choose Joy is a brilliant book about choosing to trust God in all the circumstances and situations of life. It is definitely worth reading.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” is novel (fiction). A gripping and thought-provoking read, but unfortunately not to everyone’s liking in the group. I found it both challenging and interesting.

The consensus within the group was that it had increased our understanding of the Afghan culture, if not the religion itself, as they are so intertwined and confusing, and all its tragic history and differences within the country, but mainly it really increased our empathy for Afghan women and what life is like for them, even today.

If you have read either “Choose Joy” or “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, you are welcome to share your views with us. Please leave a comment.
 
God bless.


Ope

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi

The two hearts of Kwasi Boachi by Arthur Japin was chosen for the group to read over summer (2013).

This is a novel based on a true story of two African princes, cousins who are uprooted from their Gold Coast Ashanti village and sent to Amsterdam in 1837 to be educated.

It is a very moving and somewhat sad story that exposes the ethnic injustice, narrow-mindedness, exploitation and betrayal of the Dutch government during the Dutch colonial empire into West-Africa;

A well written book that gives a captivating insight into the journey of the lives of the two African princes.


Definitely worth reading!


Kind regards,

Ope


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Synopsis



“The first ten years of my life I was not black.” Thus begins this startlingly eloquent and beautiful tale based on the true story of Kwasi Boachi, a 19th- century African prince who was sent with his cousin, Kwame, to be raised in Holland as a guest of the royal family. Narrated by Kwasi himself, the story movingly portrays the perplexing dichotomy of the cousins' situation: black men of royal ancestry, they are subject to insidious bigotry even as they enjoy status among Europe’s highest echelons. As their lives wind down different paths–Kwame back to Africa where he enlists in the Dutch army, Kwasi to an Indonesian coffee plantation where success remains mysteriously elusive–they become aware of a terrible truth that lies at the heart of their experiences. Vivid, subtle, poignant and profound, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi is an exquisite masterpiece of story and craft, a heartrending work that places Arthur Japin on a shelf that includes Joseph Conrad, J.M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro and Nadine Gordimer. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chasing the Dragon ...

Hi there,

The group just finished reading “Chasing the Dragon” by Jackie Pullinger. This book tells the true story of the author’s missionary work in Hong Kong and its infamous Walled City as a response to God’s calling.

Jackie, who was truly led by the Holy Spirit to minister to triad gangsters, drug addicts and prostitutes, made a real difference in the transformation of many people’s lives in the slums of the Walled City.

Jackie’s trust in God and love for Jesus was evident in the way she loved people. She had great compassion for the people of the Walled City and never gave up on them. Her complete faith in God's provision and protection was very outstanding. Although a very inspiring and challenging story, I felt the book got repetitive after a while. Nevertheless, I was amazed by how the name of “Jesus” and the power of the Holy Spirit simply delivered addicts from drug addiction.

Very highly recommended!



Love and blessings,

Ope


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Synopsis                       

Until it was pulled down, the Walled City was Hong Kong's most foreboding territory. It was a lawless place, dominated by the Triads, and which the police hesitated to enter. Strangers were unwelcome. Drug smuggling and heroin addiction flourished, as did prostitution and pornography, extortion and fear.

When Jackie Pullinger set sail from England in 1966 she had no idea that God was calling her to the Walled City. Yet, as she spoke of Jesus Christ, brutal Triad gangsters were converted, prostitutes quit, and Jackie discovered a new treatment for drug addiction: baptism in the Holy Spirit.