Christian agnostic

I am writing for the Christian agnostic, by which I mean a person who is immensely attracted by Christ and who seeks to show his spirit, to meet the challenges, hardships, and sorrows of life in the light of that spirit, but who, though he is sure of many Christian truths, feels that he cannot honestly and conscientiously ‘sign on the dotted line’ that he believes certain theological ideas about what some branches of the Church dogmatize.

–  Leslie D. Weatherhead, The Christian Agnostic

Books read in 2014

  1. The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs
  2. Looking For Alaska by John Green
  3. Have No Shame by Melissa Foster
  4. Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  5. Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
  6. Where We Belong by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  7. Once Upon A Haunted Moor by Harper Fox
  8. Tinsel Fish by Harper Fox
  9. Don’t Let Go by Harper Fox
  10. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
  11. Falling Off The Face of The Earth by JF Smith
  12. The Fence And Then The Trees by JF Smith
  13. The Sticks by JF Smith
  14. The Last Day of Summer by JF Smith
  15. Latakia by JF Smith
  16. The Sticks by JF Smith
  17. Kitto by Harper Fox
  18. Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune
  19. Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune
  20. John & Jackie by TJ Klune
  21. Bear, Otter, and the Kid by TJ Klune
  22. Who We Are by TJ Klune
  23. The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune
  24. Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price
  25. The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price
  26. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
  27. Zombie Boyz by TJ Klune and Eric Arvin
  28. Woke Up In A Strange Place by Eric Arvin
  29. Wonder by RJ Palacio

Simply the best


Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune is the best LGBT novel I have ever read. I liked it so much that I bought a physical copy after reading the electronic edition on my Kindle.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that Klune won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award Winner for Best Gay Romance, even though labeling this book “romance” seems far too limiting. It contains unexpected death, painful mourning, paranormal activity, love, mystery, chill-inducing terror, and some absolutely superb writing.

After finishing the book and going online to research the author, I discovered the heartbreaking events the author and his fiancé, Eric Arvin, have been going through over the past several months. An online support fund has been established to help them through this trying time.

Books read in 2013

  1. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  2. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
  3. The Jew Store by Stella Suberman
  4. Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan
  5. The Other Guy by Cary Attwell
  6. A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
  7. Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson by William B. Van Valin II MD
  8. My Drowning by Jim Grimsley
  9. The Watch by Moonbeam McQueen
  10. Jesus Is Sending You This Message by Jim Grimsley
  11. Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
  12. Joe by Larry Brown
  13. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
  14. The Key Is Love by Marie Osmond
  15. Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
  16. Life After Joe by Harper Fox
  17. Clear Water by Amy Lane
  18. The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B. G. Thomas
  19. Caught Running by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
  20. Denial: My 25 Years Without A Soul by Jonathan Rauch
  21. Driftwood by Harper Fox
  22. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  23. When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  24. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  25. Brothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox
  26. A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox
  27. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  28. I Wrote This For You by pleasefindthis
  29. The Catcher In The Rye by Jeff Marsden
  30. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  31. Fire Birds by Shane Gregory
  32. When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde


In my opinion, no matter what the final cause of Michael’s death, there can be no doubt that Michael Jackson died of a broken heart, of deep and lasting pain, and that the principal twin causes of that pain were a broken relationship with his own father and the fact that innumerable people believed he was a predator who preyed on unsuspecting children.

– Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Honoring The Child Spirit

‘Help Thanks Wow’ by Anne Lamott

I just finished reading Anne Lamott’s book titled Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. It was beautiful. Anne has a unique way of understanding and elaborating on religious doubt. I could see myself in many of the pages, including the prayer in the following excerpt.

My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God. If you say to God, “I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don’t like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You,” that might be the most honest thing you’ve ever said. If you told me you had said to God, “It is all hopeless, and I don’t have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand,” it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real-really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.

I like the idea of being completely honest with God. I tend to completely shut Him/Her out of the equation when I am feeling low spiritually. This has actually been the case for quite some time now. I also completely identify with the idea of recoiling from most people who believe in God. Even so, I still pray. Often in the manner Anne descibes. Short and to the point.

If You are up there, please help this person get better.

If You exist, thanks for my home, my partner, my comfort.

Wow. You really outdid Yourself with these beautiful flowers. I’m in awe!

I’m never sure if anyone is actually listening, but I do it anyway. Since reading this book, I intend to do it more, and in a much more honest manner. If God exists, He/She already knows my thoughts, so there is no point trying to conceal them.

Anne sums up her book and my feelings perfectly with a quote from Matisse:

I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.

Special thanks to We Are Fambly for bringing this book to my attention.

‘The Watch’ by Moonbeam McQueen

mbmq_thewatchOne of my favorite bloggers recently published an ebook. I just devoured it, and you should too.

From the description on Amazon:

It’s Memphis in the 1970’s, it’s sweltering outside, and eleven-year-old Angel is trying to maneuver her increasingly messy childhood. She’s at the mercy of the adults in her world–a mother who’s on the hunt for a rich new husband, a cruel nun named Sister Claudia and a stream of potential step-parents.

There’s also her crazy father, Ray. He’s a dangerous man and an awful parent, but Angel holds out hope that one day, he’ll change. It’s a hope that grows stronger when he hints of buying her a incredible gift–one that could transform her entire life.

Weaving together threads of deception, dysfunction and childhood resilience, “The Watch” is a coming-of-age story you’ll never forget.