deepening the soul for justice {week 1}

Welcome to Week One of our Fall Read-Along! If you need a list of excuses why you can’t join us, I wrote one for you here. Otherwise, LET’S DO THIS!

Our book selection this time is: Deepening the Soul for Justice (by Bethany Hoang, who works for International Justice Mission–love them!–as the Director of the IJM Institute for Biblical Justice).

Here’s the kind of awesomeness you can expect from Bethany:

If you have heard accounts of slavery, human trafficking, rape, police abuse, and other forms of violent injustice in our world today and have felt compelled to act, this book invites you to join others in bringing lifelong sustainability to your convictions. It invites you into a rhythm of daily spiritual disciplines that will not only enable you to be strengthened in the work of doing justice when the going gets tough, but to ground your entire justice passion not in temporary reactive bursts but rather in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the very source of all that you do and give in the name of God’s own character of justice. (p. 8)

Wow, huh?

Between now and Tuesday, September 17th, please read pages 7-10 (Transforming Justice) and be ready to answer some questions–or ask some of your own.

And if you’re joining us, I’d love for you to briefly introduce yourself in the comments section!

Just tell us:

1. Your first name and what state/country you live in.

2. One sentence about why you want to join us for the read-along.

3. One kind of injustice that breaks your heart.

Thanks, friends! So excited to meet all of you and get to know you better over the next few weeks! (and it’s not too late to invite a friend to join us!)

75 thoughts on “deepening the soul for justice {week 1}

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  2. Pingback: deepening the soul for justice {week 3} | Marla Taviano

  3. Amy

    My name is Amy. I live in Swaziland, Africa.
    I NEED this book because after three years in ministry with widows and orphans in Swaziland, I am depleted, empty. Seeking God first is not always easy for me and I am looking forward to the encouragement (and accountability) in this group!!
    Right now, the specific injustice that is really getting to me is the lack of basic medical care and knowledge to the poorest of the poor. Suffering from simple things that could be ‘cured’ so easily before they get out of hand.

  4. Pingback: deepening the soul for justice {week 2} | Marla Taviano

  5. Melanie

    I hope it’s not too late to join.

    1. Melane, Ohio
    2. I want to join because I already read this week’s assignment and love it.
    3. Poverty.

  6. Shelly

    Hi ladies! 1. I’m Shelly from Little Rock, AR. 2. I’m joining the read along because its been on my heart that I need too 🙂 3. Any type of injustice that involves children physically hurts my stomach and breaks my heart.

  7. Pingback: Marla's Read-Along: Deepening the Soul For Justice | AmandaAmanda

  8. Amanda Espinoza

    1. Hi! I’m Amanda Espinoza from San Antonio, Texas.
    2. I want to know more about how I can help injustice where I am at.
    3. Injustice against people without a lot of money. I hate it when companies prey on the poor.

  9. Amanda

    1. Amanda from Ohio!
    2. I have been desiring to engage more deeply in the work of prayer surrounding justice issues. I love this book. I love Marla. 🙂
    3. Racial injustice. Socio-economic injustice. This is 2, but I couldn’t choose just one.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Is it strange that I’m replying to this comment from your living room? And you’re somewhere else? 🙂 Love you too, friend! Thanks so much for introducing me to Bethany and this book!!

  10. Alicia

    1. Alicia, New Jersey
    2. I love Marla’s read-alongs. Also, I’m all about the “temporary reactive bursts” thing and I want to grow in my spiritual walk to where I bring everything before God instead of trying to figure out how I can help fix things within my own power (and make God an afterthought).
    3. Um, I can’t pick one. But maybe issues having to do with children – children in poverty, children in the sex trade, orphans….

    P.S. I realize it’s Wed morning, so sorry I’m late to the party.

  11. Sharon

    1. Sharon, Colorado
    2. Because Marla knows the best books out there and is doing a read-along 😉 Also, because I have a lot of stuff going on right now and would rather focus on something else.
    3. I refuse to choose just one, and you can’t make me! 😉

  12. Pam

    1. Pam, Ohio
    2. I am often at a loss with where to begin and the book intro sold me regarding starting with prayer.
    3. Racial inequality.

  13. Kristin Inkrott

    1. Kristin, Ohio
    2. Hmm…could be honest in a lot of ways that don’t really match many of all of your reasons…got the book free from church and just found it in a pile the other day and thought that I should probably read it, just in time to see Marla was starting a read-a-long on it!….feel like I should have more of a heart for injustice….it burdens me in moments that I hear about it, “temporary reactive bursts”, as Bethany says, but then it seems to slip my mind or I don’t know what to do about it other than just feel bad….and because I’m in-between jobs right now and feel like that qualifies me to have more time to do something like this 😉
    3. …Like I said, I often feel burdened when I hear of any sort of injustice, but also am afraid that I manage to somehow NOT be regularly exposed to it (ignorant?, maybe too harsh of a word…but maybe not)….I do, though, feel that I have a heart for immigrants/refugees/internationals and those with special needs…and I like typing dots…. 🙂

  14. Jen Wright

    1. Jen, part of me lives in WV and the other part in Honduras 🙂
    2. I think Marla is “my people” (therefore her people are probably my people and sometimes when your heart is so overwhelmingly captured by some of these topics you’re sorta looking for some “people” if you know what i mean – i feel a little like a fish out of water some days, and think that perhaps this will be an aquarium for that perhaps), fighting for justice is my passion, and I am yielding to the peer pressure of a dear friend. 🙂
    3. I think kiddo’s in poverty is where my heart gets most tugged – but let’s face it when your heart is burdened for injustice I think that rises up anytime you realize that justice is not prevailing for so many this world over.

      1. Jen Wright

        thanks marla – i’m sure it’ll be good for my soul … let’s be honest just seeing all of these responses and reasons for wanting to do this on here – already fills a little like air to these “gills” 🙂

  15. Shannon

    1. Shannon, MD
    2. Because I believe that God is putting me in places to soften my heart.
    3. No idea because God is trying to soften my heart. But sex slavery terrifies me (I have beautiful twin red headed daughters and nothing ismore frightening than thinking that they could be kidnapped and sold into that type of life…)

  16. Lesley

    1, Lesley, Iowa
    2. Marla’s read-a-longs are always thought provoking and open my eyes to things I need to see.
    3. One is really hard. Orphans, human trafficking, poverty… I think about all I have available to me and my family and am sickened at times how we use our resources when others have so little.

  17. brooke

    1. Brooke from Dollyland, Tennessee
    2. Marla pray-pressured me into it.
    okay not really, but it was just as simple to click ‘buy’ on the book as it was that giraffe print hangbag I was considering impulse purchasing.
    3. ummm…i’m kinda the head-in-the-sand type. you people scare me.

  18. cyndee

    1.) Cyndee, NJ
    2.) I need help with focus. I want to fix ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME! So, instead I just sit spinning my wheels most of the time. I’m hoping this book and discussion will help.
    3.) The orphan crisis. Every kid should have a mom and dad. 🙁

  19. Megan Bradford

    1. Megan, Ohio
    2. I want to join along because anything that gets me thinking more about others and how to pursue justice is where I want to be. Also, I love Marla and her fam and just enjoy doing things with her/them.
    3. I think anything that has to do with injustice toward children is where my heart breaks. They most often don’t have a choice or a voice to speak against what is done to them. We must be that voice. But how…….

  20. Denise Dilley

    1. Denise, Ohio

    2. Joining this read-a-long enables me to read, pursue my passion of justice, and to engage in discussion not only to get better at doing justice but to also get to know new people (all of which I love)!

    3. All injustice breaks my heart, but the one which I think is directly linked to most of the injustice we see in the world is extreme poverty.

  21. Joy

    1. Joy, North Dakota
    2. I have been wanting to do a read along with Marla but haven’t had the energy until now.
    3. I desire to have more of a heart for injustice, in all of it’s forms. I live in a very isolated region but our “small” town is growing and with that comes more of the reality of what larger cities deal with. We have a women’s shelter a couple blocks down the street from us and our church is looking for ways to help host a camp for children with AIDS. Real life is coming to ND and I want to see the needs here, not just read about them in other parts of the country and world.

  22. Melissa

    1. Melissa, Wisconsin
    2. 1) I love to read 2) I have a heart for justice and social change 3) I feel like I’m not doing enough in this area compared to what I see other people doing around me and I want to know how I can do more but still have balance in this area. But sometimes I think I will feel like it is never enough whatever I do.
    3. Hmmm, I have to pick just one? That’s hard!! I think domestic violence is what I will pick. I used to volunteer at a dv shelter and there’s just so much sadness in these women and it effects the children so much as well. It is so hard to leave and to stay gone in so many ways and for so many reasons. And the kids – oh it breaks my heart what these kids went through. And the lack of positive role models in their lives, especially for the little boys. Home should be a safe place, not the place where you are caused the most pain.

  23. Andrea

    1. Andrea, Virginia
    2. One sentence just won’t do! I have participated in the read alongs before and love them, love hearing and being challenged by others’ perspectives, the book is short and not too daunting from that aspect, I need to grow in this area.
    3. Sigh. There are so many but I think especially because the poor little 8 year old girl has been in the news, child brides and sex slavery.

  24. Kelly

    1. Kelly, California
    2. Like Jen mentioned above, I feel like it is so easy to get burnt out on the whole justice/changing the world/making a difference thing. I feel like I am still doing many of the “right” things (giving money away, volunteering with refugee kids in neighborhood, selling our possessions and moving to a foreign country to serve full-time as a missionary), but sometimes the action is happening without my heart being fully there. I can look back on the past few years and see how my emotions and passions have ebbed and flowed. When we did the Radical Read a Long? Passion was at a 10+. When life gets busy and I have a sweet little girl at home and I just want to give her all my love and attention? Passion can get diminished. We are getting ready to move overseas as missionaries next spring, and I want to do all I can to prepare myself to have CHRIST’s heart for His people as we embark on this journey, not just flaky personal emotions that change all the time. 🙂 (Hope that makes sense, and sorry it’s more than one sentence!)

    3. Poverty, especially the inequality I see between people who live in the US and the rest of the world. Realizing that I spend more on a bowl of ice cream from Cold Stone, or a splurge purchase at Target, than some people get all week or all month. Also labor issues (fair trade, trafficking, etc.) and women’s issues (unable to be educated or work, treated as second rate, no opportunities).

  25. Teresa Henry

    1. Teresa….Washington State
    2. I am doing the read along for a few reasons…One, I love read alongs with Marla because the books she chooses always open my eyes and heart to new revelations. Another reason for joining is that I want and need to know more about this topic. And I have to say the size of the book helped because I am in the middle of getting my master’s degree, homeschooling my 9th grader and working full time as a single momma! Plus I also feel out of my league because I really am just a girl who loves Jesus and trying to figure out what God want me to do!

    3. I have to say that the injustice(s) that break my heart is poverty…but not only monetary poverty…but poverty of self worth. I get emails from women from all over that share with me how they are involved with self injury, eating disorders, addiction because they live in shame over their past…and this leads to poverty…a different kind of poverty that steals their very identity. And I see children being talked to and treated as if they are not worth being loved and it breaks my heart. I am not sure if that even qualifies for this study…but that is one of the injustices that just makes my heart beat like crazy! And then I see mommies and daddies who can’t provide for their families and this also breaks my heart. And I hear about people being sold in to slavery and that breaks my heart…….

    1. Kelly

      Teresa, I’m with you on the length thing – it’s nice to have something that doesn’t seem too daunting! 🙂 Good for you for getting your Master’s – wow!

  26. Jill Foley

    1. Jill, Oregon
    2. I love to read, I’m passionate about doing my part to eliminate poverty and it sounds like a good book.
    3. extreme poverty – especially the effects it has on the littlest ones, children. I’m an advocate for Compassion International and love the ministry of child sponsorship and holistic child development. I’m always interested in learning more about what needs to be done to fight injustice.

  27. valerie (in TX)

    1. Valerie, Texas.
    2. I feel way out of my league already, just from reading the comments here so far. :/ But I want to join the read-along because I know there’s so much I can learn from all of you, and I really want to learn more from Jesus about these crazy passions He’s part in my heart that I don’t know what to do with.
    3. I’m with you, Marla – just one?? Um, I think I’d have to go with Jen’s answer….poverty. Because it is one injustice that leads to so many others.

    1. Marla Taviano

      You are NOT out of your league, girl. That’s just the stupid devil talking. The only 2 other commenters are my sister and cousin, so I know this from personal experience. (Don’t get me wrong–they’re awesome, but so are you!) So glad you’re here!

  28. Jen Hanson

    1. Jen, Colorado

    2. I’ve had a heart for fighting poverty for a long time, but the sustainability of grounding that passion on God’s heart for justice is very appealing to me. It’s so easy to get discouraged and burned out.

    3. Poverty.
    The huge gap between the haves and have-nots.
    The mamas who can’t feed their children and kill, abort, sell, or give away their children not because the don’t want them, but because the are so consumed by the culture of poverty around them that they feel they don’t have another choice.
    Kids living in poverty who have no hope of a better future, no education, who don’t have even their basic needs meant and who, because there are no other options available to them, will continue the cycle of poverty when they grow into adulthood.

  29. Bethany

    1. Bethany, Ohio
    2. I want to know what part I can play in fighting injustice that doesn’t involve money or time away from home (I have 3 little ones).
    3. Parents who don’t have money, so they “rent” out their children for sex at night so they can have food on the table.

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