Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our First Posts!

Welcome to our blog! My name is Katy and I am the Ping part of Ping and Pal. I have always loved to read. I remember asking my mom to buy me my own copies of books instead of borrowing from the library because I wanted to highlight and write notes in them. This was in third grade before anyone had taught me to annotate for homework.

Along with my desire to read, I have always felt an urgency to have someone share the experience with me. That's where Ally, my Pal, comes in. We feel that by reading the same things and applying them to our individual lives, and then sharing our thoughts with others, we will be changed by the experience. We will, in some way, complete a journey together but still be able to experience it individually.

Right now, I am finishing a novel by Paul Elie that my friend Karen urged me to read. This novel follows four Catholic writers: Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, and Walker Percy. It is a wonderful novel that follows their individual progress, all the while showing their interactions with each other and their devotion to their religion and how these two things shaped their individual experiences. It talks about how we are all on a pilgrimage that we must experience for ourselves.

"A pilgrimage is a journey undertaken in the light of a story...the pilgrim seeks not only to confirm the experience of others firsthand but to be changed by the experience. Pilgrims often make the journey in company, but each must be changed individually; they must see for themselves, each with his or her own eyes. And as they return to ordinary life the pilgrims must tell others what they saw, recasting the story in their own terms." - Paul Elie from The Life You Save May Be Your Own
 Welcome to our blog! I hope you enjoy reading about what we are reading and are encouraged to go see for yourself!

I’m Ally – the Pal. I haven’t been a big reader until recently. With being on the road the majority of the time for my job, I have found myself reading more and more.

My dear friend of almost 11 years, Katy – the Ping - has encouraged me to start reading with her and have small discussions about what we have read and what we are learning! We have both always loved journaling, so this is a neat experience we can have together.

I just finished “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. This wonderful book has changed my life. It is about falling in love with God and living crazy for God. The author does a great job of characterizing lukewarm Christians “who strive for a life characterized by control, safety and absence of suffering.” This book has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me realize that it doesn’t matter what I buy, how I dress or what I drive. What matters is helping others, serving others, loving people unconditionally – even if they hurt you and living your life to glorify God in all that you do. I have also learned how important it is to rely on God and trust Him. Although living a Christian life is difficult, but truly worth it. After reading this book I am going to strive not to be a ‘lukewarm Christian,’ but rather treat everyone I encounter as if they are Christ.

I hope that as we blog, we encourage you to pick up the same book and comment on our discussions! Happy Reading :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ping and Pal Discuss Books...Sorta

We just want to read good books and comment on them. This isn't to comment on their literary worth..it is simply to say, "Here's this great book we read together. Here's what was going on in our lives when we read it, and here's what this book did or didn't do for me." Welcome and enjoy! Oh, and read with us!