Natasha’s Study: “Just Mercy” book review

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

The death sentence, and the heartbreak and devastation of this miscarriage of justice had created permanent injuries.

– Bryan Stevenson

Why I picked up this book:

just-mercy-book-cover

I have wanted to read this book for some time now. As conversations about mass incarceration continue to increase—even in the church—I find that ignorance about this topic can lead to a poor choice of words, complacency, and the devaluing of lives of too many innocent people.

While I see human trafficking or modern-day slavery as a sin against humanity that needs confrontation both internationally and domestically. Immigration reform and mass incarceration are injustices that we must address at home.

Who Should Read Just Mercy:

Anyone who has a heart and ear to listen and learn.

What’s in Store for You:

This is a book of stories and with great depth. Bryan Stevenson is executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) (on Twitter) in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University Law School. EJI is a nonprofit law center that is “dedicated to providing free, quality legal services to condemned men and women on death row in Alabama.” I first heard Mr. Stevenson speak a few years ago at the Justice Conference, and have continued to follow his work, interviews, and speeches online.

Just Mercy gives us the motivation behind Stevenson’s passion and his work. He is motivated by the fundamental truth about the value of every human life regardless of skin color or personal wealth. He has been changed by the lives and stories of real people, and compelled that when needed, these broken people didn’t have someone to call on for help.

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Natasha’s Study: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

A Long Obedience in the Same DirectionDiscipleship in an Instant Society

The central reality for Christians is the personal, unalterable, persevering commitment God makes to us. Perseverance is not the result of our determination, it is the result of God’s faithfulness. We survive in the way of faith not because we have extraordinary stamina but because God is righteous, because God sticks with us. Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own.

– Eugene Peterson on perseverance.

Why I picked up this book:

This book is a classic, and it was gifted to me by the women on my leadership team at the end of three plus years of service as the founder and leader of the mentoring ministry.

Who Should Read A Long Obedience in the Same Direction:

This work will be an encouragement to any believer. It is an apt tool for spiritual formation and development.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction book cover

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Book Review: “Prophetic Lament” by @profrah

Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times

To believe that the United States has assumed the mantle of blessing from Israel is a faulty assumption. Israel’s exceptionalism arises from God’s grace. There is no scriptural support that the United States has earned God’s favor as an exceptional nation.

– Soong-Chan Rah

Why I picked up this book:

Prophetic Lament book cover

I have found Soong-Chan Rah to be a thoughtful and honest theologian, prophetic voice, critic and lover of God’s church. I was thrilled to hear him speak on this topic shortly after the book’s release and received a copy of it then.

Who Should Read Prophetic Lament:

I believe this is essential reading for anyone who considers themselves a leader in the church. The subtitle speaks for itself, “Call for Justice in Troubled Times.” I don’t think I have personally observed or experienced as much injustice in my lifetime as we are witnessing and experiencing today. I am troubled by the senseless violence, the growing “wealth” gap between the haves and have nots, the abuses against women and vulnerable children, the complete disrespect and disregard for God and his holy standards, the devaluing of black lives and targeting of black men, the destruction of families, the growing hate speech, rhetoric, and false reporting that has become common place in the age of social media, and that’s just to name a few. The temptation of everyone in this time is to blame or ask God, “Where are you?”

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