We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Reading and a Giveaway!

I just finished book #3 for the summer while Cate was napping (and still is or I wouldn't be writing this). The book: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I loved it!
Eric read this book last fall and couldn't stop raving about it. He wanted me to read it, but I was caught up in a few other books and just now got around to it.

Sidenote: Being married to an English teacher can be a challenge for him as usually I'm the one talking about books I think he would enjoy and not the other way around.

Anyway, Velvet Elvis is about the church. I know, scary word for some people. The thing is, I'm friends with Christians and atheists and a whole bunch of people that fall somewhere in between. Bell wants us to rethink our idea of church. I think a lot of us, Christian or not, have been "burned" or "turned off" by church at some point in our lives or another. But when we typically think of church, we think of a physical building...and that's not what the early church was. The early church was simply a community of believers in Christ who shared life with one another (okay, it's not completely that simple, but Bell uses this idea throughout his book).

You see, Bell argues that we can be close to God when we're experiencing things outside of a physical building. Really the "church" is anywhere that believers are to be found. It exists in community where truly both believers and nonbelievers can wrestle with faith and truth, build into one another, and experience life together.

I won't go on and on and on...though I could. You'll just have to read the book. And because Eric and I are both so much in love with this book, we're doing our first blog giveaway. Tonight we'll be heading out to one of our local bookstores and buying another copy of this book (ours is all marked up and highlighted anyway). This copy will be given to one random person who leaves a comment on this post sometime between now and tomorrow evening (we're going to mail the book out on Saturday so you'll have it next week).

According to our stat counter on site meter, a decent amount of people visit our site to make this worth our while. And hey, if only one person participates, then they're the big winner.

So all you have to do is leave a comment in the comment field of this post for a chance to win. Make sure that you include an email address in your comment so that I can get a hold of you to mail you the book. And I know that our blog posts automatically import to both of our Facebook profiles, so if you're reading this on Facebook, you need to actually come to our blog (http://growingupriggs.blogspot.com) and leave a comment (which can be as simple as saying "hi" in the comment field). We'll draw numbers from a hat or use an online random number generator to pick the winner sometime tomorrow night.

Whatever your thoughts on faith or Christianity, I think you should give the book a chance. And even if we know you, you can still win. This giveaway is open to anyone. :-)

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes. Cate is waking up and we're off to the library. She's earned another prize (hopefully she won't pick a third monkey cup) and mommy has finally earned hers too (my coupon for the library book sale...woo hoo!!).

~Melody :-)

"It is possible for music to be labeled Christian and be terrible music. It could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled cliches. That "Christian" band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name because they aren't a great band. It is possible for a movie to be a "Christian" movie and to be a terrible movie. It may actually desecrate the art form in its quality and storytelling and craft. Just because it is a Christian book by a Christian author and it was purchased in a Christian bookstore doesn't mean it is all true or good or beautiful. A Christian political group puts me in an awkward position: What if I disagree with them? Am I less of a Christian? What if I am convinced the "Christian" thing to do is to vote the exact opposite? Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective."

"It is impossible for a Christian to have a secular job. If you follow Jesus and you are doing what you do in his name, then it is no longer secular work; it's sacred. You are there; God is there. The difference is our awareness."

"Jesus is God's way of refusing to give up on his dream for the world."

"The church doesn't exist for itself; it exists to serve the world. It is not ultimately about the church; it's about all the people God wants to bless through the church."

"Time spent around the table with each other is time spent with God."


gabby89 said...

Hi Melody, Eric & Cate! Hope you are having a great summer! Glad to hear you are finally feeling better Melody!! Great Blog, wish I had the time!! Vicki Gabbard

The Silva's said...

I just came over via MckMama's BlogFrog and it looks like that is a great book!!!

Stephanie and Matthew said...

That looks like a wonderful book.

The Palmer Family Blog said...

Looking forward to Gymboree tomorrow. I'm glad you and Cate are joining us!

Jewels Of Hope said...

I found you via MckMama as well :) The book looks very interesting. I'm putting it on my book list, just in case I don't win it here lol :)

Anonymous said...

ooo! i didn't get to finish it! i started it, and it's great! good idea mel! ~Kristin