Friday, 22 March 2019

#bookreview: Lunching with Lions: Strategies for the Networking-Averse

Lunching with Lions: Strategies for the Networking-AverseLunching with Lions: Strategies for the Networking-Averse by Katherine McGraw Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up because I hate hate hate hate hate networking. You know that feeling where you know you should go to stuff and talk to people and tell them about what you do and all that?
Yeah.
Turns out, according to Patterson I'm doing half of it right but two things are holding me back: my mindset and my lack of purpose.

Lunching with Lions is a pretty breezy read. It's not a textbook that you're going to be struggling over, but a conversational classroom (sorta) with very honest personal anecdotes that make you go yeah, that's me. It's designed to give you both the confidence of "hey, if she can do it, so can I!" plus the kick in the pants of "I really need to get my act together, don't I?"

Patterson breaks things down step-by-step so that it doesn't overwhelm, effectively holding your hand through the process. But then as with all books like this, you've read the materials, now you gotta put it into practice. Which is the hard part, but not as hard now that you've got tips to help you on the way.

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Apologies! Apparently attending a three-day fair and then going to Stratford-Upon-Avon has wreaked havoc on my deadlines so I've been pushing things further and further back. I hope to be back on regular schedule soon.

Uh I have to anyway, because A to Z is coming up.

Friday, 15 March 2019

#bookreview: Written to Be Heard: Recovering the Messages of the Gospels

A couple of days late because I was waylaid by the London Book Fair!

Written to Be Heard: Recovering the Messages of the GospelsWritten to Be Heard: Recovering the Messages of the Gospels by Paul Borgman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This took me longer to finish than expected, mainly because it requires a lot of thought (I tend to speed-read my way through a lot of things, which isn't really optimal, but is what works for me). Written to be Heard, however, is the kind of book that you want to mull over and read with your Bible open at the same time, not because you don't trust what Borgman and Clark are expounding on in the text, but because you want to see with your own eyes the patterns that are being pulled out for you--and maybe read aloud to yourself.

Part Bible exposition, part literary study, the writers cover each of the Gospels in great detail, teasing out the biases, aims and structure of each writer, or in this case, storyteller of the Good News. Rather than cross-referencing the Gospels to each other and arguing about their differences, as we tend to do, they suggest that we consider each Gospel as individual stories, and as a transcription of an oral heritage. Variations, repetitions, and the way each book is structured then becomes understood as less of haphazard and poorly-constructed narrative--they are instead cues for listeners to pick up the points and themes of each Gospel.

Written to Be Heard: Recovering the Messages of the Gospels gives modern Christians a lot to chew on. As society moves from heavy reliance on text and the written word back to a preference for audio-visual forms, maybe the church should also reconsider what it means to read the Bible aloud.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 11 March 2019

#musicmonday: Light / Dust | Josh Yeoh ft Jon Cho


You’re the God who spoke light into darkness
You hold my heart, You remember my frame
You’re the strength in the midst of my weakness
You remember my name
You remember my name 

Saturday, 9 March 2019

I signed up for the #atozchallenge and need your help!

Okay, in line with my facebook fast for Lent, I now need to find *ALL NEW WAYS* to procrastinate on homework, and this idea came to me in the shower. (Shower thoughts are the best.)

I've been doing a module on writing in the community and in education, so what better way to procrastinate than to put into practice all the things I've learnt! HAHAH. At least it's productive! Somewhat.

This April, I will be writing flash fiction based on words suggested by YOU, yes all you people who are reading this post. All you have to do is open this google sheet and give me random words/themes/thoughts that begin with the letter for the day. (Or leave a comment here and I'll add them in.) The only rule is let's keep it kid-friendly, eh? Bonuses if you go the mythological/folktale route.

Yes, that's it.

GIVE ME A WORD


My past A-to-Z Challenge posts/themes:
2011: Fiction, on a now defunct blog. I think it became a single, interconnected story
2012: Unrelated flash fiction, words (mostly) chosen from the last word for each letter in the dictionary.
2013: Unrelated flash fiction, mostly influenced by icebreakers and KOL.
2014: Flash fiction: mythical creatures. This eventually became Coexist.
2015: Worship songs, because I was doing camp nano and couldn't write two things at the same time.
2016: Anna's A to Z of Worship Leading, which was compiled into an ebook.
2017: Princesses, which comes with pretty pictures on ind.elvenstar.net.
2018: Absolution, where I merged campnano with A to Z and ended up blogging about my WIP, which is still my WIP, and an offshoot of which will now be my dissertation. Don't you love it when all your projects become one. massive. *insert swearwordy* thingamabob.
2019: Community writing HA.

p/s If you want to throw in a guest post on any of the letters, let me know! Email me at posts [at] annatsp [dot] com and we'll work something out.

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It's the Blogging from A to Z Challenge's tenth anniversary! This is my ninth year with them, so that's pretty great. A quick summary of what it is: we blog a post a day (except Sundays) following the alphabet! Anything goes--there's a wide range of topics from everyday stuff, photos, music, research, locations, art, fiction, as long as it follows the sequence of the alphabet. Then everyone hops over to other blogs on the list to see what they're writing about!

If you've always wanted to start a blog but didn't know how, this is a quick, easy way to get started. It comes with a guide of posts for the month (A to Z) and it comes with an inbuilt, interactive community (other participants) who will cheer you on the way. 

Friday, 8 March 2019

#fridayflash: Deep Waters

For you cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,


I ran. Of course I ran. What else was I do to? I couldn’t stay—not when staying was certain death. That’s what happens when you disobey a Royal (not quite, but close enough) Decree.

What decree? Do you think I have a death wish? I don’t know you well enough to tell you. I’m far enough away now, but not that far. His reach is pretty long—I shouldn’t even be telling you this. (You’re listening, aren’t you?) I just… don’t have anything else to do on this ship, I guess. By the time I reach shore and you get word back to him, I’ll be long gone anyway. Not that I’m telling you who. Or where. (Not like… never mind.)

I’m not saying anything else.

And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.


What do you mean we’re sinking? You said this ship was unsinkable! The best on the Mediterranean Sea! Was that lie? (I knew you’d catch up.)

Pray? What— (No.)

I— (I’m not talking to you.)

Fine, fine, fine. It’s my fault (Your fault, why are you doing this to me? Just let me go). Throw me in the sea. You’ll be safe. My God’s after me, all right? It wasn’t a Royal Decree. It was a God Decree and YES I KNOW I WAS RUNNING AWAY. (YES, I KNOW I AM A FOOL.)

Just throw me in the sea. You’ll be fine.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?


Good fish. Nice fish. Don’t digest me. If you could just throw me up on a deserted island, that would be great. Wouldn’t that be great?

(OKAY FINE. IT’S MY FAULT. I SHOULDN’T HAVE RUN. I SHOULDN’T HAVE DISOBEYED. I KNOW THAT TARSHISH IS IN THE WRONG DIRECTION BUT I HATE NINEVEH. I’M… I am sorry. This is stupid.)

If I ascend into heaven, You are there
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.


Fine. I’m talking to you. Yes, I’m talking to you again, God. I know I’ve been stupid and childish, but hey, here you are keeping me alive. In a fish. Which is gross, but—alive. Alive is good. (A nice island with nobody around, I’ll survive on fish—no, maybe not fish—Uh, or monkeys. Or something.)

I’ll go. I will (this is coercion) but I will. I—

If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,


Yeah, I know I’ve been stupid. But you still love me, don’t you? And you still love those horrible people so I guess… I guess I’ll go. (DESERTED ISLAND PLEASE!)

After all, who says they’ll listen? (I hope they don’t.)

No, I didn’t say anything. Scout’s honour. (Though I’ve never been a scout.)

Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.


Uh, hey guys. So you’re probably not going to believe me, but God’s angry at you. In forty days, you’re gonna be toast. So you better repent. (Or not—ah yes, repent. Repent!)

(I hate my job.)

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Because I felt my blog needed more crappy fiction and I found this in my archives. lol

No cookies for guessing where it's from.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

#bookreview: A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night: Finding and Following God's Will for You | AW Tozer

A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night: Finding and Following God's Will for YouA Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night: Finding and Following God's Will for You by A.W. Tozer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night is a compilation of A.W. Tozer's sermons around Exodus as compiled and edited by James L. Snyder.

Starting off with seeking God's will in your life, each of the 23 sermons is a compact reminder that as God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Canaan with visible, tangible signs of His presence, God will also lead you through your wilderness into the place that He has prepared for you. He doesn't promise it will be easy, doesn't sugarcoat it with the platitudes common in church nowadays, emphasising instead that the journey will be hard and there will be many things that discourage us and disappoint us on the way, and that obedience often means surrender and sacrifice as well.

It's easy to get distracted and to give up, but remember that God goes before you, and stands behind you, providing the cloud by day and a fire by night to get us to where we're meant to be. If you need affirmation of God's truths and guidance to understanding God's will for your life, this is a good book to pick up.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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