Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)
Hi! I’m Alexiana Fry, and I am finishing my last semester of my Masters of Divinity here in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I have been married for just over two years to my wonderful husband, James, who runs his own marketing and creative firm here in town. I work at our home church, Crossroads Bible Church, as the Associate Women’s Director, helping with administrative tasks as well as what discipleship looks like as a whole, writing curriculum for studying God’s Word and connecting women to women through small groups and large groups. I really enjoy the little things in life, like a wonderful hot cup of tea with honey and milk, a nice smelling book (and good content in it), my papasan chair, and doing everything and anything with my husband. We both love to travel as well, so that’s a fun bug to have. All in all, I really just care about seeing people come to life, as I once was feeling very much so at the end of mine and met Christ in that pit. The gospel really does transform everything, so in whatever context I find myself in, I hope that continues to translate.
What are you reading right now?
On top of in general seminary semester reading, I am reading Eugene Peterson’s latest called “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” as well as devotionally reading two books, Timothy and Kathy Keller’s “The Songs of Jesus,” and “Hope When it Hurts” by Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton. I am also reading Diane Langberg’s “Suffering and the Heart of God,” and for fun, Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.”
What are some books you regularly re-read and why?
This is somewhat of a hard question as I am right in the thick of finishing my Masters and barely have time for what I read for fun! I pretty regularly go back to two of Elyse Fitzpatrick’s books that go through the gospel day by day, “Comforts from the Cross,” and, “Comforts from Romans.” I have also re-read through “Lament for a Son,” by Nicholas Wolterstorff, as well as “Sensing Jesus,” by Zack Eswine, which I am now told was re-published under a different title, “The Imperfect Pastor.” Those last two mentioned, more particularly Eswine’s book, did a lot of perspective changing for me. I read “Sensing Jesus” on my first trip out to India with a lot of baggage about what ministry would look like as I had just graduated college and about to head off to seminary, and had this book really rock my world.
What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?
Recently, one of my favorites wasn’t necessarily a biography type, but all of the ones I have really enjoyed was one I read for a class called “Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings” which were edited by Timothy F. Lull and William R. Russell. Other than that, not many very recently!
Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?
One I really consumed while in college and think of frequently is “The Hiding Place,” by Corrie Ten Boom. Her many painful experiences interlaced with the themes of forgiveness throughout were incredibly formative for me in my early years as a Christ follower.
If you were sitting down with a fellow believer and they asked for your top five book recommendations on Christian living, what would they be?
- I would be really out of my mind if the top spot wasn’t Scripture.
- “Sensing Jesus,” by Zack Eswine
- “Because He Loves Me,” by Elyse Fitzpatrick
- “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness,” by Timothy Keller
- “Rediscovering the Wonder,” by Mike Cosper (Recently released, and phenomenal)
What books have molded how you to serve and lead others in the gospel?
In my specific context of women’s ministry, I have plenty of suggestions. I love “No Little Women,” by Aimee Byrd, “Is the Bible Good for Women?” by Wendy Alsup, “Word Filled Women’s Ministry,” by Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson, “A Woman’s Place,” by Katelyn Beaty, and not just for women, “Women of the Word,” by Jen Wilkin. On top of these, I have really been blessed by books like “Center Church,” by Tim Keller, “Life Together,” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Mentor For Life,” by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, “Side by Side,” by Ed Welch, “Made for More,” and “Humble Roots,” by Hannah Anderson, and “One to One,” by David Helm. There’s so many more there, but this is getting a little overwhelming.
Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus?
Right now, I’m learning what it looks like to follow Jesus in the “in-between,” where next steps for life aren’t necessarily clear after I graduate, and it’s difficult to trust even with the Lord’s consistent faithfulness. I’m learning to pray, “I believe; help my unbelief.” I’m learning what it looks like to trust when the circumstances don’t seem to lend me any favors. There’s a lot of worry and fear that has risen up within me, but I know that He hears my prayers, which means even these hard things help make me more dependent upon Him.