Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Great resources to open our minds!

My last post, Whose side are you on?, posed a challenge for us all...
Personalize, instead of generalize.
In order to do that, I suggested we explore different people, different religions, and different cultures.
Not to change ourselves but to change the way we think about God's children.

I figured I would offer some suggestions and resources to help you get started!

Our America with Lisa Ling - TV show that follows journalist, Lisa Ling, as she explores many different topics such as the foster care system, teenage pregnancy, gun violence, child abuse, racism, transgender lives and many more. She gets all sides of the topic and really shows us the reality of all of these. 
I LOVE this show because it opens my eyes to things that I usually generalize, but now can personalize.

Arranged - A movie that follows the friendship of an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman. This is such a good movie!!!

For the Bible Tells Me So -Documentary that explores how homosexuality and religion often intersect due to certain interpretations, which can cause stigma.
This simply offers another way of thinking.

Saint of 9/11 - Documentary that shares the life of Father Mychal Judge, a fire department chaplain in NYC.
Chely Wright: Wish Me Away - "This documentary profiles country music star Chely Wright, a devout Christian who struggled to succeed in the business while hiding her homosexuality." What a story!

Under Our Skin - A documentary about the Lyme Disease epidemic and the many controversies that go with it.
This is such a well-done documentary that really captures the pain that Lyme Disease causes. I cried my eyes out the first couple times of watching it, because I felt like I wasn't alone finally.


Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne - This book (except for the Bible) was the first book to really challenge me. It follows Shane's journey as he wrestles with poverty, suffering, homelessness, and much more. This is a must read!!

Torn by Justin Lee - If you've ever wondered about the gay debate in church, this is a great starting point. It offers a personal story of a man who struggles with his sexuality in the church and his desire to know the truth.

Strangers at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove - This is a neat compilation of stories about a hospitality house for all. It's an enjoyable, heart wrenching, easy read.

Unfair by John Shore - This book is a compilation of letters from people who have struggled with their sexuality. This is definitely an eye opener. I'm not finished reading this book yet, but every chapter offers a new perspective.

Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong - This book (although I haven't finished yet) offers an in-depth historical and cultural perspective of Muhammad and the Muslim faith. Great insight & unique facts that I've never heard before!

Red Letter Revolution: What if Jesus Really Meant What He Said? by Shane Claiborne & Tony Campolo - I love this book because it covers an array of controversial subjects and challenges us to really think about what Jesus would think/do. Very challenging, but easy read!

I hope you will check out these awesome books/documentaries! Before I was introduced to these, it was hard for me to understand and empathize with these certain topics, because for so long they were generalized. Now they are "personalized".
I went to a Compassionate Communication workshop with my sister awhile back and we did an exercise that really struck me. We were to walk around the room silently and every 30 seconds we would stop in front of a person and look them in the eyes. The instructor would say phrases like, "Realize that the person in front of you has a heart" or "Realize that this person has undergone trials and suffering just like you". It may sound strange but it proved the point that we all have emotions and a story. It reinforced the truth that ALL people deserve respect, dignity, compassion and kindness, despite our beliefs.

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I'm so glad you stopped by! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. Be blessed :)