now what?

Ahhh… life after a public apology. I feel like I could sleep for a week.

First off, I need to extend a huge thank-you hug to ALL of you. If you had any negative, grumbling thoughts, you kept them to yourself. Bless you. The kindness wore me out as it was. Meanness might have done me in.

Second, I hope you’ll believe me that this wasn’t just some sort of attention-getting gimmick. I genuinely meant every last word I wrote, and I’ll do my best to show you that I’m dead serious about this and that I want it to set the stage for what I’m committing the rest of my life to.

The details involved in going about that? A little fuzzy.

I do know this: I need to put my money (time, energy, actions) where my mouth is. I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but there comes a time (like right now) to shut up and get up. Start taking steps. Be Jesus in real life, not just on my laptop.

I also know that I need to be more informed. I can’t vote blindly anymore. And while I’d love to just put politics on the proverbial pantry shelf and shut the door, I know I need to be more aware of what’s going on. Especially if there are ways I can be involved in bringing about some of that justice God is always talking about.

I’d also love to continue the dialogue. I’d love to hear more of your opinions. I’d love to give die-hard Republicans and Democrats alike (and everyone in between) a safe place to share from their hearts.

THIRD (and most exciting!), I’m bringing back the READ-ALONG in September! I have a ton of amazing books to choose from, and I was having a whale of a time picking just one when it hit me. I’ve got it. I know what book we’re doing.

AND I’M SO EXCITED.

I’ll give you a small hint. I’ll bet more than 50% of you have already read it. (But it’s totally worth the re-read.)

I’ll give you another hint. Even if you don’t have a copy of the book at home, you can read it online for FREE.

Give up?

Drumroll…

The next Read-Along selection is… The Book of James! (yes, from the New Testament in the Bible)

I’ll have more details next week, but for now, a couple questions:

1. Would you be interested in a 6-week Read-Along on the book of James? (people of all parties/faiths/shoe sizes welcome!)

2. Is Tuesday or Wednesday a better day of the week for you? (or you can vote Independent and choose an entirely different day of the week)

Thanks again, friends, and have a wonderful weekend!

34 thoughts on “now what?

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » what’s a read-along??

  2. Rod Robison

    I really like what Dean said. Government is absolutely horrid with administering justice economically. Inefficient is putting it mildly. In the future, when I vote I’m going to be looking for character, economic common sense, and integrity. That type of leadership can help build an environment in which We the People can then administer justice in our day to day lives. It’s much easier to do that in an environment of economic stability and freedom.

  3. Deirdre

    I’ve been wanting to do a study of James for a while. i was waiting for a certain blode i know to publish hers, but i see no harm in doing a read through while i wait……*wink*

  4. Dean

    James. Dig it.

    I have one concern, or maybe it’s a question. In one paragraph you mention voting, politics and bringing about the justice God is always talking about. I can’t imagine a less efficient or effective way to bring about justice than through politics. I would even dare say it’s the least Biblical way. Yes, God expects politicians to execute justice. But our political system is so far from this ideal and so few politicians even think about it.

    What I like about reading your blog is your spontaneity, the way you seem to go through life with your eyes wide open to God’s work in the world. I believe you should apply this to your desire for justice. What would justice look like in your daily life? What would it look like as a wife and mom? What would it look like in your church? In one year a church full of families like yours could do more to bring about justice than the government could do in 20 years.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Good question, Dean. And I’m not prepared to give you a complete answer yet.

      I would LOVE to just keep going through life helping people and remain clueless about politics (and maybe I will to some extent–I have very little interest in politics).

      But I think of places like Cambodia and the corruption in the government that allows young boys and girls to be trafficked for sex. And I wonder if it’s okay to just let that happen.

      Does that make sense?

      1. Dean

        Yes, that makes sense. When I read “Not For Sale” it opened by eyes to what the Bible means when it speaks of “the world”. The evil and corruption in places like Cambodia is so systemic it’s hard to fathom. It’s in every layer of society and government. And you know it’s not just Cambodia. It’s everywhere. (Thus, “the world”.)

        I guess there’s a godly balance between being clueless about what happens in political realms and believing politics is the answer. I’m not prepared to say what the balance is either. Robertson McQuilken used to talk about trying to stay “in the center of the stream of Biblical tension”. I’m pretty sure I’m only in the center of the stream when I’m swimming from one side to the other!

        When it comes to trafficking, God prepares people to work at both ends and all places in between where the boys and girls get pushed in and where they get pulled out. This note comes with the prayer that our gracious God will give you wisdom to know where you fit in His plan.

        1. Marla Taviano

          THANK YOU for your prayers. And I’m so glad you understood what I was trying to say. When I read your initial comment and clicked “reply,” I just sat here for about 5 minutes with no idea how to say what I meant. And frankly no idea what I even meant.

          I’m definitely feeling the tension. It’s so strong at the moment, I have a physical pang in my gut.

          Thanks for your encouragement. I really appreciate it.

  5. Liz Puffer

    God is so amazing. I think the book of James is a great study. I have been encouraging some of the people I meet with and my son to memorize the book of James. I am doing the same. I hope some of your readers will commit to memorizing with us.

  6. Missy June

    I didn’t get a chance to comment yesterday, but I appreciated your thoughts on political stereotyping…I’ve been guilty of it in my soul, but I’m not as outspoken so it hasn’t ‘shown.’

    I was always accused of being quite socially liberal in my uber-conservative church and family. I still am, I guess.

    For one, I do not think any child should go without healthcare for any reason. I’ve been there through no choice of my own, where we lost our family health coverage (when my husband lost job) and had to go on to goverment aid and SNAP (foodstamps). It was humiliating. It was necessary and I’m so thankful for the safety net. If we choose to do away with such safety nets through government, churches need to be ready to step it up – and perhaps that is the best plan ultimately.

    Anyhoo – I’m thankful I did not have any major medical issues while I was uninsured and that I was eventually able to obtain health coverage.

    Okay, clearly I have more opinions than I thought – enough!

  7. Danielle

    Sounds wonderful. Since our lives may be drastically changing about that time, this might actually be just what God ordered for my spiritual strengthening. Wednesdays are better for me, but anything is workable.

  8. Bethany

    Oh I am so EXCITED! I love the book of James! “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” I am so excited! This was the book we went through when Stew and I were camp counselors at Scioto Hills so I know it very well! Stew is actually going through it in Sunday school right now!

    So in answer to your questions:
    1) YES! YES! YES!
    2) I like Tuesday, but either day would work for me. I guess I need to start a blog so I can link up!

    I love getting together with you today Marla! I am so glad you’re my sister!

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