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Back To Faith: A Challenge From a Super-Nerd

So it’s Tuesday. Did you come back? Last week I made some comments about how smart we’re all getting…sometimes to our own detriment. And I promised to be back here today with some thoughts about faith.

Read on.

I went to a quirky little Christian school until 8th grade. I say quirky because, if you haven’t read my book, you might not realize how sweet it is for students to have their own cubicles. Yessss, that kind of quirky.

Cubicle Schools will be its own reality show scheduled right after 94 Kids and Counting soon enough.

The school had all kinds of impact on the way my spiritual world developed.

First, it was a school based out of a charismatic church. Yep, speaking in tongues and baptizing in the Holy Spirit and the whole sha-bang. And as you might imagine, it was a slightly different take than you got at the Southern Baptist churches my dad pastored.

And if I had to give the people behind said quirky school some credit (and I do), l’d start with this: they believed when they prayed.

Secondly though, the curriculum there (which was self-paced) included a literature track of faith-minded books which usually weighed in somewhere between cheesy and inspiring.

Being the savvy 12 year old on the fast track to popularity, I read every book required all the way through twelfth graduation…by seventh grade. Yep. The other kids pretty much idolized all the super-readers.

The books, though, once you got past the absolutely cheese-packed but moral-laden Sugar Creek Gang and Those Kids in Proverbsville, got pretty hot. Like white-hot-faith hot.

Stuck into the curriculum somewhere between the Narnia series and Pilgrim’s Progress were a bunch of easy-to-read biographies of famous “heroes of the faith.” D.L. Moody, George Muller, William Tyndale…all the greats.

And believe my exaggerative mouth or not, ingesting these books during those developmental years was worth the price of private school curriculum by itself. No kidding. They’ll be required reading for emperors named Justus who plan on growing up in this palace.

Here’s why: Time and time again, these bios spelled out in practical ways what faith–real faith–might look like on a person. Sometimes it looked like wearing holes in the carpet praying on your knees. Sometimes it looked like eating oatmeal for a month because you put all your money into an idea. Sometimes it looked like going up against the whole world because you were sure–soul-sure–that God wanted you to do something the world wasn’t ready for yet.

One shame of the adult world? Other than the saddening lack of cubicles, I mean. The lack of interest we, or at least I, sometimes show in continuing to feed my faith.

Not my mind.

Hear me on that.

Not my mind.

I feed my mind all the freaking time.

I read leadership stuff. Marketplace stuff. Self-help. And a huge laundry list of trade books popped out by this generation of Christian authors.

I even read heavy theology books that turn one verse into a 500 page volume. (See how knowing that doubles my popularity? It’s my super-nerd charm.)

But I’m guessing most people’s adult reading lists, like mine, don’t always present such practical tellings of what faith looks like on other people. I’m suggesting that while valuable, a lot of the titles we take in don’t get inside our definitions of what faith is and push the walls outward.

That’s a bit of a tragedy to me. And it makes me wonder: how would the world be different if every Christian leader made it a point to not only be smart, but to go back and recover that child-like faith and drag it through life with them.

So–can you feel it in your bones? This is all going some place strange. In adulthood, I’ve bought most of the biographies from this faith series in my life. Which is sort of like admitting you still eat cold pizza. Because the books are like 100 pages long and written at an eighth grade reading level. But…raise your eyebrows at my adolescent reading habits if you want.  These books, and others like them, have been a serious ongoing investment in my adult faith too.

So much so that I’m going back to them again this month. And, well… I was wondering if anyone wants to come along on this journey back to child-like faith?

There are two ways you can do so:

1. You can visit the blog every Tuesday for a while and catch the highlights. (Boo. Hiss. Not recommended. There’s a better way…)

2. Better way–> You can buy the book and read with me. Not on a pacing schedule or anything. On your own time. Before you say no, let me just tell you how much the book costs. Used, it costs one penny (plus shipping). Really. And if you’re absolutely offended by a used book touching your elitist hands, you can buy it new for $1.97.

Added bonus: playing along in no way benefits me (money wise), so you also get the benefit of being part of something pure–that isn’t, for this once, about an author peddling her wares.

The point of reading? It’s not to fill out a study guide, or to answer discussion questions. It’s just to remember faith.

Here’s my only ask:  I’m asking everyone who reads the Tuesday Back to Faith blog posts to leave a comment. Tell me what you think about the faith musings on the blog-table. Tell me how faith works for you. Heck, just tell me you’re reading and remembering faith with me. Starting today.

Ever hit wave after wave of frustration as one of your scarily-calculated plans didn’t work out? Those are the moments I’ve learned to look over life–sometimes pick up one of these books–and remind myself that they call this walk after Jesus “faith” for a reason.

The first book is the Life of D.L. Moody. Super simple. One penny to $1.97. You have a week to snag a copy. Order it now.

Interested? Leave me a comment or hit me up on Twitter and Facebook. And if you think anyone in your social networks might like a good remembrance of faith, please spread the word.

My goal is to get one person to read along. If you exceed that, I’ll give all my nerd-reading popularity points to you.

Who is in?



  • comment-avatar
    Shelly Miller November 8, 2011 (9:18 am)

    I am so in! I used to run a bookstore for our mega church in Phoenix and one for a YWAM base in Colorado. I carried this whole series but never read them all. This goes along with what God is doing in me right now. Love your thoughts here and I agree, we have so much to learn from “what faith looks like on other people.” Thrilled to join you on Tuesdays.

  • comment-avatar
    Amy November 8, 2011 (9:23 am)

    I love nerds :) I’m in…just ordered the book. I have a stack of books to read but maybe I can put this at the top?

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah Quezada November 8, 2011 (9:25 am)

    I really appreciate this reminder of faith, Sarah. It’s something that crosses my mind occasionally and then flits away as busyness overtakes it… I am encouraged by your post.

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah November 8, 2011 (9:32 am)

    @Shelly @Amy Glad to have you along. This is going to be fun. And nerdy. And nerdy fun. :) And whoa Shelly, you ran a bookstore? #myretirementplan

    @Sarah Awesome. Thanks for relating. And having the kind of heart that relates.

  • comment-avatar
    Jennifer Baier November 8, 2011 (12:45 pm)

    Count me in. I need a bit of a reboot :)

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah November 8, 2011 (12:49 pm)

    Awesome Jen! Love to have you along.

  • comment-avatar
    Lindsey November 8, 2011 (1:09 pm)

    Nerds – I’m in. What good is all this knowledge if all it does is sit in our heads? Right? :)

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah November 8, 2011 (1:12 pm)

    Exactly @Jen. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Information alone falls short of transformation…

  • comment-avatar
    katie November 8, 2011 (2:15 pm)

    intrigued! i’m in :) i have a sense a “returning to our roots” is happening more than we realize.

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah November 8, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Tell me about it @Katie. Love to read along with you! Next best thing to living closer. :)

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah P November 8, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    I’m in. Just ordered the book.

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah November 8, 2011 (6:46 pm)

    Love it. Thanks @Sarah P. =) Let’s do this!

  • comment-avatar
    david November 9, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    “Those Kids in Proverbsville”
    I remember that one!