Friday, March 28, 2008

Current Reading Material

About a month ago I gave a list in one of my posts of the books I was reading:
Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
Culture Shift by Al Mohler
What's So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D'Souza
The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham.

I have finished all of these except The Power of a Praying Parent, which is kind of an ongoing thing. More about these books in a second. My new list looks like this:

Finding God's Path Through Your Trials--Elizabeth George
His Excellency George Washington--Joseph J. Ellis
Lies Women Believe--Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Christian Fiction:
Sommerfeld Trilogy--Kim Vogel Sawyer--currently on book two
The Sword of Lyric Trilogy--Sharon Hinck--currently on book three

I have previously reviewed Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and What's so Great About Christianity?
To those reviews let me add two short reviews:

Culture Shift--Al Mohler
This is a quick read, and an excellent book. In it Mohler explains how Christians must engage the culture, and delineates the areas in which we have dropped the ball as far as understanding the major shifts in our culture throughout the last generation. He addresses politics, education, law, science, morality, world news and Christian character. If you have the chance, read this book.

Family Driven Faith
--Voddie Baucham
I actually finished this one over a month ago. If you have children, please read this book. You may not agree with everything Baucham espouses (he doesn't believe in children's church or youth groups, he does believe in homeschooling, etc.) but he backs up his assertions with both scripture and statistics that will knock your socks off. It is well-written, easy to read, and yet very convicting as he explains clearly that the responsibility for our children's faith and religious beliefs falls not on their Sunday School teacher, Youth Pastor, AWANA leader, or Bible class instructor, but on US--the parents. OUCH! This is such a good book I think it should be given to all new parents in churches.

Okay--that's it for now. I may blog more later tonight about our lives and what we're up to....

Friday, March 14, 2008

In news of the weird... may or may not have seen this story. Now, I enjoy my time in the bathroom as much as the next stay-at-home mom. I even confess to sometimes staying in there a little longer than necessary, avoiding emerging from the peace and quiet to the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, and doing laundry. I freely own up to taking extra-long showers, and sitting for a little too long. But--TWO YEARS!?! Doesn't it seem like this woman's boyfriend should have figured out sooner that something was desperately wrong? I mean, like after a day or two? I mean, my family won't let me stay in there more than about fifteen minutes, much less fifteen days or months. And the guy was bringing her food and water, he says. Well, what about calling in some professional help, buddy? And didn't anybody miss this woman? Why didn't anybody help her sooner? It's just too weird.

I suggested to my husband this morning that he start bringing me food and water, and maybe I could live in our half-bath for the next few weeks. He just laughed. It also shows that bathrooms, and toilets in particular, are just way too comfortable in this country. In India this would never happen--who would want to sit on a squatty potty for two years?

All right, enough of the potty humor...tomorrow I'm going to post about a more normal topic.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Cant' Resist Posting This

This picture is from a link sent to me by my friend Renata. You can tell she knows me very well. "And that's all I got to say about that!"

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sisters in more ways than one...

Two of my sisters commented on my blog yesterday, and I love them both dearly. One is my sister Mary, who lives in Indianapolis. She's my sister in three ways: she is my blood-sister, (older, by the way) born to the same father and mother as I; she is my heart-sister, one of my dearest friends in the world, and she is my sister in Christ. The other is my sister Shannon, who lives in India. She is my sister in only two ways, because we were born of different parents. So she qualifies in the heart-sister way (younger, I might add,) and as a sister-in-Christ. Even though we were only neighbors for a few months, I still miss her and think of her as my younger sister.

This all got me thinking about how blessed I am with true sisters. Not to leave my other blood-sister out, Ruth qualifies in three ways, also, and we IM'd last night for a while, and e-mailed today. And besides these three so far, God has given me many women with whom I truly have unity of spirit, in such a way that we feel like sisters. Isn't God great and amazing? When I have been separated from my "real" sisters by many miles, He has always provided others for me: older sisters to give me advice and words of wisdom, same-age sisters to share related experiences with (like reminiscing about all our terrible hairstyles in the '80s,) and younger sisters that I can encourage and, I hope, help grow. I am always thankful to God for that bond that He gives us with other believers, and especially with other women. Now that I stop to think about this, in Christ, even my mother and daughters are actually my sisters! Strange, huh?

I won't even start listing all my other sisters here, for fear I may leave someone out and hurt someone's feelings. Or perhaps I would list someone and they would think, "Weird...I never thought of her that way." But my sisters know who they are, and I thank God for all of them.

Have you thanked God for your sisters lately?

P.S. I just re-read this and realized I neglected to mention my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who both qualify under two definitions, also. I am just so blessed!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Year Ago....

Today marks one year since we returned from living in India so that our son Bobby could be treated for lymphoma. I can hardly believe it's been that long, and yet on the other hand it seems like it's been forever. I can truthfully say that it has been the hardest year of my life. We have faced the possible death of our son, watched him go through chemo and all that it brings, waited for results of scans to see if he's cancer-free (still waiting...) and had a total change of career and
direction in life. We are still waiting in that regard, also. What I have learned is that I must not give up trusting in the Lord and having faith that He is in control. Even when things seem dark and hopeless, "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still," as Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy said in the concentration camp. In that vein, I've been thinking of these word by Samuel Trevor Francis today:

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

I really like the ocean imagery, and the idea of a restful haven. Also, it reminds me of this passage in Ephesians. So we'll press on, knowing that God knows the plans He has for us, even if we don't. And even if this next year is as hard as the last one has been, or harder, I will still praise Him.

What's So Great About Christianity?

That is the question addressed by Dinesh D'Souza in his recent book of that title. In it, he uses evidence from history, theology, philosophy, and science to show the incredible impact Christianity has had on the world. If you are a Christian, as I am, you may be saying "Well, of course! I've always known this!" But wait--you may not be aware of many of the aspects of history D'Souza addresses in this book: the biased presentation historians give of the crusades while generally ignoring Muslim atrocities, and the numbers of people killed under atheist regimes compared to "Christian" killings i.e the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, etc., D'Souza clearly elucidates these issues. His book is deep and complex, yet readable and understandable. I disagree with his position on reconciling evolution and creation,(At what point would man have been "evolved" enough for God to breathe a spirit into him? Were Adam and Eve not real people but rather archetypes of humanity as expressed in mythological literature? There are some questions here about the truth of the Bible) but in the other areas he addresses, I think he's right on the money. The last chapter becomes much more personal, as he describes what Christianity means to each of us as individuals. He ends the book with "Come quickly, Lord Jesus." D'Souza also has several other books that are worth reading:

The Enemy at Home
Letters to a Young Conservative
What's So Great About America
The Virtue of Prosperity
Ronald Reagan
The End of Racism
Illiberal Education

I especially appreciate the fact that he writes about conservative issues without becoming sarcastic, harsh, and vitriolic as some other conservatives do (Ann Coulter and Bernard Goldberg come mind.) If you want some good intellectual stimulation, D'Souza's books are just the thing.