Let's get inspired.
It’s Friday, and I have a multitude of things to share with you, inspired reader. However, since I am from San Antonio and not Austin, I speak and think and blog considerably slower than Jennifer Fulwiler, Mother of the 7 Quick Takes.
Therefore, here are my 7 Slow Gives:
1. I have finally done it. I have found someone who sings Adele better than Adele. You think it’s impossible? I give you Sarah Simmons singing “Someone Like You.” Serious. Goosebumps. Sarah, by the way, is currently a contestant on NBC’s The Voice; if you’re not watching the show, her performances are definitely worth looking up on YouTube. (Especially her audition, Joan Osbourne’s “One of Us.”) Off-stage, her humility has seriously inspired me.
2. Someday soon, I will give you three book reviews. Firstly, Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood by the illustrious woman whom I am beyond honored to call a friend, Pat Gohn. Ave Maria Press graciously sent me a review copy of the book before its launch, but since I am a workaholic goober, I have not yet shared with you the utter joy this book has given me. However, I have recommended the book to friends and family, resulting in the purchase of several copies AND in Pat’s booking as a speaker for San Antonio’s Catholic Women’s Conference. I believe in this book’s message! Go buy it!
3. Speaking of the Catholic Women’s Conference, I am also astounded to announce that I’ve been convinced into speaking there, as well. Yes, that’s right, I’m speaking at a major conference. Thanks to the incredibly humbling response from women who attended the Catholic Women’s Luncheon in April — where I spoke about hope and the Eucharist — I will be giving that talk to approximately 2,000 women on September 20, 2013. Registration for the conference should open this week, and you’ll want to go: Dawn Eden, Pat Gohn, Heather King, and Fr. Nathan Cromley (Congregation of St. John) are speaking, as well as the coordinator of the conference, Nan Balfour. Many have praised it as the model for Catholic women’s conferences.
4. If USPS hasn’t lost it (as I suspect), I’ll soon be receiving my new friend Elizabeth Scalia’s book Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. This is a book I’ll happily endorse prior to reading because you’re likely a victim of our superficial culture (like me) and know it’s all-too-easy to become an idolator in the Temple of the Internet, the Temple of Body Image, the Temple of Pleasure, etc. Plus, our lively Catholic Weekend conversation with the author convinced me of Elizabeth’s brilliance and humanity. As part of my continuous search for excellent spiritual reading, I look forward to unmasking Strange Gods.
5. Since it’s been raining so much lately, I’ve re-visited my practice of requesting books from the local library, and a gem has just arrived: From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart : Rekindling My Love for Catholicism by Chris Haw. I’m a sucker for great conversion stories, so I’m looking forward to (finally) reading Chris’ journey. If you haven’t already watched my old pal Brandon Vogt’s interview with the author, do. Chris’ insights — his having participated in the ‘new monastic’ movement — are what I’d definitely call thought-provoking, deep, and inspiring.
6. That reminds me of my non-Catholic friend with a monastic heart, artist Paul Soupiset – whom I truly consider a mentor. As a senior in high school, I interned with USAA’s youth relations magazine, and Paul served as the project’s art director. He co-founded an award-winning branded content marketing firm, Toolbox Studios, in the heart of San Antonio’s downtown. My short time spent at Toolbox was super-formative. Paul inspired the creative parts of my brain and soul. A few days ago, Paul was featured on Patheos for his illustrations in a Christian adult faith formation resource, animate.Faith. Enjoy the Art of Paul Soupiset on Facebook or simply PaulSoupiset.com.
7. Happy Memorial Day to all you inspired U.S. readers. I’ll be remembering my friend 2nd. Lt. Matthew Fenner, U.S. Army, who tragically died at age 25 during officer training in 2010. Matt spent a long time in the seminary before deciding to pursue lay life in the military. During his seminary years, we attended the same university and often hung out in the University Ministry center. Matt had a sharp wit. I could count on him to inspire a smile, or a throughly-fulfilling conversation on topics such as literature, philosophy, theology, and/or Monty Python. I miss him.
Be assured of my prayers this Memorial Day for all who’ve suffered the loss of a loved one serving in the armed forces.