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Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  538 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
"I came late to Christianity," writes Sara Miles, "knocked upside down by a mid-life conversion centered around eating a literal chunk of bread. I hadn't decided to profess an article of doctrine, but discovered a force blowing uncontrollably through the world."

In this new book, Sara Miles tells what happened when she decided to follow the flesh and blood Jesus by doing so

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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published 2009)
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Michael
Dec 27, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
I loved Sara Miles's first book Take This Bread, and I loved this one, too. Let me just say that anytime I read about a person who is gay being Christian, I feel incredibly humbled. For all the good news and power that the Christian faith holds for all people, it is gay people--more than any other group--who have the right to hate Christians and Christianity. I find it remarkable when I read about someone like Bishop Eugene Robinson in New Hampshire, for example, who has put up with incredible w ...more
Leroy Seat
Aug 21, 2010 Leroy Seat rated it really liked it
I am very impressed, again, with Sara Miles and her faith and action. And her theology is compelling because it is reflection on action (praxis), not just thought separated from action.

She closes the Introduction with these words: “All it takes to be a Jesus freak is to follow him” (p. xx).

In the section on healing, she contends that “Jesus specifically heals people even when they aren’t cured. He doesn't stop suffering, but promises to be with us in suffering” (p. 73).

With the story of the ma
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Craig Werner
Jan 25, 2012 Craig Werner rated it really liked it
It Tom Waits were a Christian (and I don't have any real idea whether or not he is), this is the kind of book he'd write. Fiercely committed to taking Jesus--who she refers to through most of this powerful memoir "The Boyfriend"--seriously, Sara Miles presents a vision of committed Christian action organized around the concrete acts of feeding, healing, forgiving and resurrecting. As described in her first book, Take This Bread, the center of her activity is the food pantry at St. Gregory's Epis ...more
Melanie
Kind of a bummer I found the main trope of the book (Jesus as "Boyfriend") so damn annoying and simultaneously creepy. Raises all sorts of consent issues for me that makes my skin crawl (Jesus as the boyfriend who won't back off? Really, really terrible image.) I get how Sara's trying to challenge folks into a fresher conception of intimacy with the divine with an updated take on Jesus as "Bridegroom"--and that it's super-meaningful for her and others in her life--but it doesn't work for me. At ...more
Patricia
Nov 28, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Patricia by: Rev Rachel Gregory Holy Family Church Illinois
The Rev. Sara Miles, the Minister and Director of the Food Pantry of St. Gregory of Nyssa in Los Angeles, writes about her work with residents, rich and poor in LA.
Ms. Miles, her co-workers and volunteers take the local (and some not so local) misfits and turn them into workers and volunteers. She take adults and groups of children brought up in luxury and privilege and places them side by side with the children and adults from the "other side of the tracks" , teaching them the meaning of charit
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Michael
Feb 26, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok
Maybe this would have made a better magazine article. Jesus Freak starts fairly well, but it quickly becomes repetitious, predictable, and dull. Almost every character the author mentions having met after getting involved with a San Francisco church is introduced as unusual and interesting; but there is almost nothing that ever shows the reader what made them so interesting to her. The only one who might have held our attention is the author herself, and she is very reticent on that subject -- o ...more
Molly Krantz
Feb 28, 2010 Molly Krantz rated it really liked it
What the author is talking about in this book is radical Christianity. The really odd thing is that she is only listening to the words of Jesus and acting on them. This should be common Christianity. Sara and her Church are actually feeding the hungry and cooking for them too, instead of the practice of many Churches who have a food pantry open at specified hours. I was attracted to this book because of the title. The book is well named because it harkens back to that time when we were putting t ...more
Frank
Jun 22, 2015 Frank rated it it was amazing
"Every single thing the resurrected Jesus does on earth, he does through our bodies."

Sara Miles received the bread in a communion service at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco and much to the surprise of her sceptical mind, she experienced Jesus. Since that mystical encounter in worship Miles, a veteran war correspondent founded and directs The Food Pantry, and serves as Director of Ministry at the church that gives food to 800 people each week right off the altar in the sanc
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Jamie Howison
Apr 05, 2016 Jamie Howison rated it liked it
Okay, I need to start by saying that as soon as Sara Miles started referring to Jesus as "the Boyfriend" I found myself a bit distanced from the book. Her take on it is that she began to use "Boyfriend" as "a colloquial version of the ancient name of 'Bridegroom' for Jesus, but it felt more personal - and funny, if a little disturbing, because that's how Jesus is." Don't get me wrong; I think that funny and disturbing are not at all bad things in a book of theology (I am a Robert Capon devotee, ...more
Amanda
Nov 28, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
As someone who works in a ministry that focuses on forming relationships with people experiencing homelessness, this book was relatable. The books brought up stories that were very similar to my experiences which was cool. I do have to say though that she sometimes uses overly flowery language to describe her theology that muddles rather than clarifies. She focuses in on "the boyfriend" but doesn't take enough time explaining why she chooses that term instead of the traditional "father" metaphor ...more
Ella
Apr 29, 2014 Ella rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, memoir
Although definitely not as powerful as her first work, Take This Bread, Sara Miles' passionate love of God still leaps off the page, as does her passion for serving him by serving others--for her there is no distinction between handing out groceries to a woman at a food pantry and handing out groceries to Jesus himself (who she lovingly refers to as "the Boyfriend"). The message of these essays is that God has given us the power to feed, heal, forgive, raise the dead, and show compassion and mer ...more
Dianne
Feb 24, 2016 Dianne rated it liked it
I love how in love the author is with Jesus and I totally agree with her about how we are Jesus's hands and feet to the lost, hungry and hurting world. I do believe that Jesus is the only way He is the truth and the life. Healing sometimes happens here on earth but sometimes it happens in heaven. I know we can have assurance that if you ask for forgiveness and believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He is welcomed as your saviour into your life you can have eternal life with him and God i ...more
Sheryl
Jun 17, 2015 Sheryl rated it really liked it
i read books like i eat food (and food is love in this book) like i do everything...too fast. (i apologize for no caps) i just read her first book and started right in on the second. the two are blurred now. FIRST, before i begin rambling...the takeaway from her books is her belief that all creatures need...food. which is love in her mind. it's about the poor, destitute, mentally ill and addicted'...the people who come for food at the pantry and stay to have a home cooked meal AND then volunteer ...more
Breanna
Mar 04, 2010 Breanna rated it liked it
When I started this book I thought "oh great, a preachy preacher who is going to tell me how awesome she is" BUT I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not what this book was about. It is all about trying to live your life according to what you believe and simply doing what you can for others. Most of it is described through her work in a food pantry. The analogies with food are really insightful.

The book itself appeals to a wide audience and not just those who consider themselves relig
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Nikki
My daughter, who is a minister, is leading a group on spiritual memoirs and has chosen Miles's earlier book, Take This Bread as the first selection. That one is a true spiritual memoir and will also give the reader Sara Miles's fascinating "backstory". But it's not strictly necessary to read it first in order to be stirred by Jesus Freak, even though in some ways it's an extended epilogue to Take This Bread.

The subtitle says it all: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead. Lest this last phrase scare
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Robin Groothuis
Jan 13, 2013 Robin Groothuis rated it it was amazing
I'm at a place where I am absolutely skeptical about all the crap we think we have to "have" or "do" or "look like" in order to be a Christian in our culture. The one thing we are SUPPOSED to do is the one thing we just suck at - really love each other. That's what this book is about. It never fails that the best teachers of love are the ones that are the most busted up, oppressed, seeming losers of us. But if we really read the Bible, that's exactly who Jesus came for and he was so good at it b ...more
Martha
Oct 15, 2011 Martha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
I want to start by saying I really loved this book, and going back through it makes me love it more.

I'm a fan of Miles' first book, "Take this Bread," and I adore her experience of an open table and her church's practice of it. For those who haven't read it, she wandered into St. Gregory's Church, took Communion without being baptized first or really knowing much of anything, and in eating that bread, she knew Jesus. Hers is an incredibly powerful witness to the mystery of what happens at the E
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Laura
Mar 25, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
I cried about every 5th page. This lady loves Jesus in a way that is beautiful...this lady serves Jesus in a way that He meant...this lady made me think. The book is short and written conversationally but I read it very slowly because of all the crying and thinking. Shared large passages with my husband and 10-year old to discuss. It is that kind of book. Warning: this book is going to make conservative midwest church people totally uncomfortable...good! :)
Cynthia
Mar 22, 2014 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Sara Miles says it's all about feeding and being fed. This book fed my hungry spirit and called me anew to feed others, not simply symbolically but in hard, real, life-giving ways. Read it.
Matt
Jun 06, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
"Feed my people" isn't just a saying of Jesus found in the New Testament - it's an admonition for us to to ensure all God's people are provided for. Sara Miles has devoted much of her life to this, and this book tells part of her story. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, this book is at all times a look at how to accept the challenge Christ has laid before us and work to care for the afflicted, the ill, the downtrodden, the lonely, the abused. Throughout it all, Miles continually sees the face o ...more
Kristin
Sep 25, 2010 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Sara Miles is an amazing person. She believes strongly in following Jesus' example of love and seeing God in everyone and acts on this belief in everything she does. In this book she tells engaging stories of despair and hope from Saint Gregory's food pantry and honestly reflects on her own life. While I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I read it, I was disappointed because I didn't think it was as good as her first book (Take This Bread.) In MBCC book group we discussed how the book seems like a s ...more
Jamin Bradley
Jan 19, 2016 Jamin Bradley rated it it was ok
Great stories of serving people for Jesus. That would be the major takeaway for me.
Harvey Cottrell
Jul 14, 2015 Harvey Cottrell rated it it was amazing
Simply one of the best books I have ever read on Christian practice in the modern world.
Arhiana Shek
Nov 15, 2014 Arhiana Shek rated it really liked it
Bold, difficult and truthful.
Tad
Mar 25, 2012 Tad rated it it was amazing
While I didn't find this one as compelling as Take This Bread, I still found myself enraptured with Sara Miles and her story. She is such a gifted writer and does a great job of describing the people in her life and the ministry that she does with them. Here, I really liked her thoughts on prayer and her thoughts on the experience of doing pastoral care. She really got to me with those two thoughts. I hope she continues to write about her life in ministry. She really needs to. I will definitely ...more
Patti
Jul 28, 2013 Patti rated it really liked it
"Healing with Jesus isn't New Age-y and gentle. It is frequently about pain: which might explain, I realized, why Jesus often asks the desperate people who come to him, 'Do you want to be well?' Do you want to be well if getting well hurts? Do you want to be well if it separates you from your old identity! Do you want to be well more than you want to stay the same? Real healing means, more than anything, following the truth: and thus a call to change and conversion." This book in a nutshell. Hea ...more
Patty
This book will require a few rereads. Miles has a lot to say about her faith and what she thinks Jesus had to say to his followers. I believe Miles is on the right track - we do need to feed and heal each other without worrying about the"rules". However, that is hard for many of us. We find it easier to follow the rules than to just barge ahead.

Fortunately, Sara Miles is barging ahead of all us - so if we pay attention to here, we should be in better shape.

I will be writing more here after I rer
...more
Deb
Jul 11, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it
Sara Miles IS a Jesus freak who tries VERY hard to live her faith. This short but extremely compelling book shares not only her core theology, but her very human struggle to do what The Boyfriend (her name for Jesus) teaches her to do. This is the second book of hers that I've read, and I continue to appreciate her articulateness around how hard it is to always live the Christian faith. I would love to use this book or her first book, Take this Breadin a study group at church!
James
May 28, 2012 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, justice
After several false starts on her previous memoir, I picked up Jesus Freak and read it in a day. Sara Miles is likable enough (I saw her speak once) and she writes in an engaging way. But this is one of those really preachy memoirs (and I don't agree with her) and is not particularly substantive.

What I did appreciate was the way the homeless and marginalized people she feeds (or more accurately shares table with) image the radical inclusion of the Kingdom of God. It is a lovely image.
Jim
Apr 13, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
The gospel of John says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And that is exactly what this book is about. This inspiring, moving book is about faith that is real, that is powerful, and that truly dwells among us.

Sara Miles may seem unorthodox by many supposed standards of the faith, but her faith is real. If Jesus truly means to measure our faith by what we do unto the least of these, then she has surpassed many of us my miles.
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Sara Miles is the founder and director of The Food Pantry, and serves as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her other books include "Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion," and her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Salon, and on National Public Radio.
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