Summer Reading

This week’s post is going to be a little short and sweet — just like our summer has been! After many weeks off due to Covid-19, these last few weeks of “official” summer seem to be going quickly! As usual, we always have bigger plans that never get accomplished… but hey, that’s life, right?! One of the goals was to do more casual reading… which didn’t really happen to the extent that I hoped for, but I thought I would share an update this week anyway! Maybe it will wet my appetite to buckle down for the last few weeks and escape with a good book!

The eldest Mitton is a devote reader and has already devoured the new Hunger Games book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and has others on the go. I am currently finishing A Single Spark (look for my review coming soon!) But now, thanks to Graf-Martin, I have a whackload to explore! Here’s a sneak peak for you:

(Did I mention I have another goal to learn to make better videos? That will be a big process! I am certainly learning in that department! ) What about you, my friends? Have you been devouring literature and setting goals for renewing your minds? Books are a good way to supplement our Bible knowledge, and often seeing or reading about someone else’s perspective helps to enrich our own! In today’s world, I sometimes find it difficult to enrich my mind without contaminating it. There are so many less-than-holy media options these days, it’s hard for one to keep it both entertaining and enriching!

Philippians 4 reminds us to meditate on things that are pure, lovely and praiseworthy! It’s my thought for you this week! It’s a challenging task, for sure. Shall we help each other out? Share your favourite read or video in the comments below or on our socials — we’d love to hear from you!!

Made to Move Mountains

“God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalm 46 (NIV)

I just finished reading Made to Move Mountains by Kristen Welch. She quotes this Bible passage in her book, but in light of the recent events in our world, perspectives have changed everything. This was going to be a simple book review, recommending Welch’s book to you for your small group study — an inspiration to climb your own mountains and encourage one another to follow your dreams. However, the continuing Covid-19 crisis, long term care lockdowns, political turmoil and racial tensions in the US, have overwhelmed me to look at God’s word and the themes in this book with new eyes. Pride month will start today in my neighbourhood. School is closed for the year and I have no work. I feel like I am sitting at the base of my very own mountain.

“Made to Move Mountains” has been provided courtesy of Baker Books, NetGalley and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Welch begins by reminding us that there are two types of mountains we face: some are our dreams, goals, and personal challenges. These are the mountains we choose to climb. The other mountains are our disasters, crises and personal threats that we don’t choose ourselves, but are forced to climb nonetheless. We need Jesus for both. This book is great at balancing between both types of mountains and reminding us of the end goal — the summit. I love how she starts one of her chapters with this Chinese proverb:

“There are many paths up the mountain, but the view from the top is always the same.”

In other words, each time we climb a mountain… be it a forced climb, or one we are willing to take, we can rejoice in the final view. The paths to the top may be different each time, and each trail will shape the view and perspective of the top. However, we are changed by our accomplishments and driven forward by our joys along the path. This too, sometimes requires perspective. We all have taken a different journey and can add our thoughts to the road ahead because of our unique experiences. And no one should climb mountains alone. You prepare, you intentionally plan and gather equipment, and you often have a crew behind you or ahead of you cheering you on. My family recently watched Free Solo, National Geographic’s award winning documentary about Alex Honnold’s climb of mount El Capitan without a safety rope! It’s both gut wrenching and brilliant. And although he climbs alone and “unaided”, the film crew, his friends, and ultimately the viewing audience is drawn in to see Alex make it to the top — alive. Kristen Welch does much the same thing in her book by focusing our thoughts on our faith in Christ, our community, and our neighbours. Each of the chapters have a “mountain top moment” for personal reflection and/or a challenge. These would be a great start off point for small group discussion too.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

And so I muse this week, about passion, perspective and climbing mountains. I am prompted by Made to Move Mountains to question: Who is my neighbour and what am I doing to love them as Christ does? I mean to really love them with passion and action? Is my faith really deep enough to trust that God will move the mountains in front of me? Or that He will see me to the top? God made each one of us different. Different colours, different sizes, with different gifts and talents. Each of us are geared towards our own sense of justice and passion. Each of us have faced our own personal mountains and have been shaped by our own climbs. For Kristen Welch, it is The Mercy House and a child with a scary diagnosis. For protesters in the US, it is another senseless death of a black man. Perhaps mine is this little piece of the internet where I can share my thoughts. Or maybe it is being a part of raising the next generation to be more kind and considerate than I am. For beyond these mountains we move today, there will be more mountains. But God loves bad odds. And Psalm 46 reminds us that He is in charge. He is our ever-present help in trouble and has given us the power to move mountains! He will give us the faith to climb to the summit. This book has some great quotes scattered throughout it, so I’ll end with one Welch quotes from Solon on justice and simply let it speak for itself:

I Still Believe Movie Review

Have you ever thought about the colours of the stars at night? It’s true! Stars can range in colour from deep red to bright blue and pure white! A star’s color indicates its temperature, (red = coolest, white = hottest), composition and relative distance from earth. Its luminosity indicates its size, (the brighter it is, the larger it is). There are many colored stars in the sky and, with a little planning, you can see a rainbow of star colours from your own backyard. I’ve brought the colours of stars to your attention because we’re adding it in to a Bonus Colouring Party Post!! You’ll want to read it, because it includes a giveaway!!

The beloved and I were recently granted a pre-screening of Lionsgate’s newest faith-based movie, I Still Believe, directed by the Erwin Brothers (creators of I Can Only Imagine). It’s based on the inspiring true love story of Christian singer-songwriter, Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss. And let me tell you: Hollywood is making leaps and bounds in Christian themed, wholesome, but still entertaining, movies! Okay, it’s not as epic as Lord of the Rings, but the cinematography is good, the soundtrack is fabulous, and we’ve come a long way from the faith-based, family-friendly films of old. Many of you know that I hate a cheesy, gag-inducing love story — so if I can recommend this one, you gotta know it is worth your ticket. But bring the tissues. It’s one of those. Here’s a sneak peek at the trailer:

The star studded cast of KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, Shania Twain and Gary Sinise portray the story of Jeremy Camp’s early beginnings in Christian music and his marriage to Melissa. It’s a story of young love in the midst of a scary diagnosis — and Still Believing that God has a bigger purpose and plan! If you’ve been following mittonmusings for any length of time, you will know that’s a theme that we muse about often. Our life journeys are not so simple, but if God has a plan… there will be a purpose fulfilled! So, I am excited to be promoting a theme of hope that means so much to us here in our little blip of the internet.

It’s been over eighteen years since Camp wrote the words to his song “I Still Believe” in response to Melissa’s story. Yet his faith and trust in God almighty is still vibrant and clear. His life was changed when he met Melissa, and he hopes the movie will be one more step in sharing her story. If you’d like to see more from the filmmakers and those involved in the movie, I’ve posted “the Heart of the Story” here on my Facebook page. God didn’t design our world to include suffering, pain and crappy diseases like cancer — but the Bible promises that He will work all things to His glory and good. And He uses you and me — single stars in this huge expanse of time and space, to write the stories that point us heavenward. Melissa’s character reminds us of this in the movie when she says her suffering will all be worth it if one person’s life is changed because of her story. And so it is with us.

So why stars? It’s a little side plot that Melissa’s character uses to remind us all that even the most troubled stars often shine the brightest. And supernovas can give us some of the most beautiful images (and colours!) in the galaxy — if only we take the time to Still Believe.

The Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant (pixels)

We’ll get back to our regular “colouring party” posts on Tuesday, but because I Still Believe is opening in Canada on Friday, March 13th we wanted to give you this bonus post today — and Give you a chance to win tickets for the show!!! Valued at $25 Canadian, it’s just in time for March break! Take the kids! Who’s bringing popcorn?! Sorry friends farther away, This Movie ticket Giveaway is only open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are over the age of majority. The contest closes March 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm EST. Items you receive may vary from those shown. Click HERE to enter!