Rachel Recommends…

This week’s recommendations are brought to you by this view from the restaurant we ate at last night:



– Fortunate Fall by Audrey Assad. This has been my grading, running, waking up, sabbath-ing, praying, sleeping soundtrack since I bought it on iTunes. She sings scripture, she sings true struggles, and she has incredible talent. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Here’s a sample:

– The Gospel of John: Why Believe? sermon series from Trinity Church of Nashville. Of course, this is also the church I am a member of, so I may be a bit biased, but the first two sermons in this series have been encouraging and thought provoking for me.

On the Web:

 26 Reasons You Don’t Need Meat at Your Super Bowl Party. And not a single one of those reasons is you live in Mexico where “football” is a different sport entirely.

Say Anything by Jamie the Very Worst Missionary. An excellent set of rules for the internet.

A Radical Act of Faith by Sarah Bessey.  “I’m not always hopeful. Sometimes I’m downright discouraged and angry, wanting once again to just peace out and leave the crazies behind. Sometimes the idea of starting a commune somewhere sounds pretty good. (We could make our own soap!) But I can’t quite walk away, I can’t bring myself to abandon hope. Hope is subversive. Hope isn’t withdrawal or blind ignorance, it’s not burying our head in the sand and singing about Gospel ships coming to take us away nor is it pretending that it’s fine, we’re fine, everything’s fine. Many things in our world are not fine. Hope dares to admit that.” You really should just read the whole post.

Unstoppable Grace: Thoughts on the Gay Christian Network conference. “After all, movements of the spirit have never started with the “right” people. The gospel has never made as much sense among the powerful and religious as it makes among the marginalized.  As I said in my keynote, what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out but who it lets in.” 

On My Bookshelf:

To Live is Christ To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler. I’ve only just begun, but I very much respect Matt Chandler and am interested to see how the rest of the book goes. And it’s free!


In my free time, I’ve been trying to watch through all the academy award nominees for this year. Here’s where I’m at so far:

– 12 Years a Slave: I loved it, but I never really want to watch it again. It was painful but important.

– Captain Phillips: Watching this with Spanish subtitles meant the Somalian was translated into Spanish, so I may have missed some things, but overall I really liked this as well. Tom Hanks did a fantastic job (what a surprise).

– Gravity: I was exhausted at the end of this movie, and somewhat convinced that the sequel would involve Sandra Bullock being eaten by cannibals on the island she ended on, but she did an impressive job acting essentially by herself for a full length movie.

– Dallas Buyers Club: An interesting look at a slice of the history of AIDS in America and the flawed medical system we have to work with. Lots of language and explicit scenes, however.

– American Hustle: I’ll be honest, I couldn’t finish it. It didn’t interest me. If the ending was great, let me know and I’ll try again.

What about you? What’s on your computer/bookshelf/iPod this week?

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