Internet highlights – w/c 6th February 2022

12 02 2022
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We Need To Talk About Race – by Ben Lindsay

8 02 2022

This was definitely a challenging read, but it felt important to read it.

The book is aimed at all Christians, black and white, congregation member and leader. Each chapter has a question for reflection for each perspective, which helps process what you’ve just read.

It also has two interludes, one of which was women of colour sharing their stories of what they’ve experienced in church, the real-life examples were pretty hard hitting.

As he acknowledges in the book, a lot of white people, myself included, are scared of talking about race for fear of saying the wrong thing, so really what I’ve put below is just a few bits from pages where I turned the corner down, it doesn’t flow, but I think that reflects that I’m still processing what I’ve read. Even now, I’m scared I’ve said something wrong somewhere in this post, my sincere apologies if this is the case.

  • The black majority church has been growing, partly because people of colour have not felt included in white churches, and so we’ve become a much more segregated church overall, which is not how it was meant to be.
  • Early on he listed a load of privileges white people have that they don’t even realise, which was helpful to give something practical to think about.
  • He talks about the differences between churches being diverse, and churches being inclusive – so often the focus is diversity, but this reminded us that this isn’t the ultimate aim.
  • The importance of acknowledging the churches part in the start of the slave trade, and not just the abolitionists.
  • Is the churches approach to social action more about pulling people from the river than seeing why they’re falling in in the first place?
  • Distinguishing between Social Welfare – serving practical needs of the community, and Social Justice – campaigning and advocacy, addressing what left the community in that state to start with.

And then a line that just stood out to me as something to apply far more widely in life: “Forgiveness without progress is hard. This is not to say we should not forgive.”

I definitely feel this book increased my awareness, and I’ll be recommending it to my Pastor. I want to dig out an article it recommends called “100 ways white people can make life less frustrating for people of colour” by Kesiena Boom, as I’m a person who works well off specific examples. As a Christian in a very white church, and has always attended very white churches, I would recommend this to other white Christians too.

Internet highlights – w/c 30th January 2022

5 02 2022
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Internet highlights – w/c 23rd January 2022

29 01 2022
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The Flat Share – by Beth O’Leary

23 01 2022

The premise of this book made me pick it up, plus people seem to say good things about her books, so I thought I’d try one.

It’s rare I read a 400 page book in a week – it either means it’s addictive or easy to read. I’d say this was more on the easy to read side of things, but it was enjoyable!

Leon needs some extra income to pay for his brother’s solicitor; and as he works nights in a care home, decides to advertise for a flatmate who would have the flat evenings and weekends, and he’d have it in the day, so they’d share a bed, but never meet!

Tiffy, who works in publishing hobby books, answers the ad as she looks to get away from from her ex, who she’s starting to realise has been pretty controlling. The only other place she could afford is full of mould and mushrooms, and so she takes the risk to live in this unconventional way with a stranger.

So each has their own stuff going on, but what sort of a book would this be if they didn’t meet? It’s chick-lit after all…

Internet highlights – w/c 16th January 2022

22 01 2022

The King’s Curse – by Philippa Gregory

17 01 2022

A few years ago I read The Constant Princess, and have finally gotten around to reading the next book in the series! This book runs from 1499-1541, covering quite an expanse of time, but following the story of Margaret Pole. She was a Plantagenet, niece of both Edward IV and Richard III, and cousin of Elizabeth of York who was wife of Henry VII, and so while from a family that had been defeated by the Tudors, was highly involved in the family.

Near the start of this book she takes guardianship of Prince Arthur and his wife Katherine of Aragon, and as time goes on, Arthur passes away and Katherine becomes Henry VIII’s first wife, she becomes one of Katherine’s closest ladies in waiting.

Throughout the book are scattered updated pictures of her family tree so you can keep track of what’s going on as time passes – I always appreciate a book with diagrams!

Life is not easy for Margaret Pole; when life is good it’s very good, but when Henry throws her out of court things become much more frightening.

Henry as a child seems to be fairly delightful, but as he gains power, and time passes without him successfully producing an heir, he becomes much more unbearable. The book covers his first four marriages, and as things go on he seems to become more and more delusional, refusing to acknowledge anything bad that happens, it felt a little pertinent to our current leaders, but with a lot more hangings and beheadings, this situation was clearly much worse!

The other part of the book that felt oh so familiar was when The Sweat spread round the country, and people had to shut themselves away to stop the spread….

It was strange to read about things that were seen as awful at the time they happened, but for us are now perfectly normal: Henry declaring himself head of the church, requiring himself to be referred to as Your Majesty instead of Your Grace, and requiring churches to have the Bible in English instead of Latin.

I didn’t read this for ages because I didn’t know who Margaret Pole was, and so didn’t care much to read it, but I found it so interesting! Yes you take it all with a pinch of salt as it’s fiction at the end of the day, but these are supposedly well researched, there’s a long bibliography in the back, and so there’s definitely some things to learn from it! Looking forward to the next one now!

Internet highlights – w/c 9th January 2022

15 01 2022

Excellent signs.

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Internet highlights – w/c 2nd January 2022

8 01 2022

You may notice that this is somewhat shorter than these have been in the past. WordPress has been struggling with the number of embedded links, which means a lot of times the links are just showing as text. So I’m trying to go for something a bit shorter to see if that helps – and it should mean I’ve filtered some of the rubbish out too, win-win!

Dogs with Jobs.

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Internet highlights f/c 19th December 2021

1 01 2022
Non Covid benefits of facemasks.
Times people messed up legally.
Tiny details in sitcoms we missed.
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