Thursday, January 28, 2016

Just Show Up! - book review plus 2 more

"Just Show Up" by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn should be in the hands of every Christian. Practical, full of wisdom and advice, this book is most helpful. These two friends wrote of their journey together as Kara suffered from cancer. The book gives advice on helping, receiving help, what to say and what not to say. In one chapter they write about, "comfort In and dump Out." Those who are in the inner circle of the sufferer should only receive comfort. What you are feeling in the midst of your friend or family member's suffering should not be dumped out on them. They write about just showing up and being there in silence, not agonizing over the uncomfortable silence. I had only read the forward and thought that the book was worth buying just for that! I cannot stress enough of the helpfulness of this book. At the end of each chapter there are discussion and reflection questions.  

This is the third book in a series of stories about Spurgeon written for children. All three of these books have been well received by our whole family. This book is informative, creative, and well written.
*It wasn't until we were almost done the book that our five year old voiced his question and on-going thought in his head, "Is Spurgeon a mosquito?!"

I have been reading this book to our eight year old and it's been perfect for his age. This book tells of four men: William Tyndale, John Newton, David Brainerd, and Eric Liddell. The stories are a good length with the perfect amount of detail. Illustrations are included to keep their attention!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


This book was thoughtfully put together. Each chapter had a different theme about Susanna Wesley and then expounded on what we can learn. "The authors provide us with contemporary illustrations and faith-building stories that parallel Susanna's experiences of walking out her faith."
What impressed me was her discipline; with herself and her children. She remained consistent in both areas of her life. Susanna also spent time examining her heart. As a result of her meditations, the letters she wrote to her children are deep and well thought out.

This book shook me to the core. A true story about a rich Texas guy, his wife, and a homeless man and how their paths all crossed. This book talks about modern day slavery, the homeless, Christians following God's calling and serving the poor, and broken hearted. This book is well written; one that I had a hard time putting down. It challenged my thoughts, beliefs, and actions!

This is the second book, written to tell the good that came in the lives of those who read the first book. Part of me liked the book and it made me feel all warm inside; the other part of me wished it wasn't written allowing the "good works" to remain out of the spot light. The authors also quote various people and included their coarse language in the quote. I gave the first book a thumbs up, but was disappointed with the second book.

This book gave me a whole new understanding for those parenting children with special needs. Emily Colson, daughter of Chuck Colson writes in a loving, realistic, and detailed way about her son Max who is autistic. They had to over come many obstacles and learn to lean on God. I love the support her family and church family shows her. 

Eric Metaxas did it again! This book is in a league of its own. He writes about Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa; all remarkable women who deserve to have their story told.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

from the home front

A strange thing has happened: for twelve years I carried around a diaper bag and now that stage of our life is over. It's the oddest feeling not having a heavy strap weigh down on your shoulder. The "freedom- feeling" is not as triumphant as I thought it would be because I have this terrible feeling that I am forgetting something. I feel like I have lost or have forgotten a child. There is another problem: what do you do with all of the stuff that got stuffed into the diaper bag, especially after church now that you don't have a diaper bag. Where do you put the bulletin, magazines, and extra books? I guess that is what its like the first time you go out without a stroller. Where do you put everything?
For the past twelve years we have also had a crib set up and now that crib has been packed away and a toddler bed stands in its place. Our youngest feels all grown up sleeping in a bed. I feel like I would like to freeze this stage and not let anyone get any older!

The mattress became even more destroyed after the rides down the stairs.

Some special memories at a family get-together.

 After a warm bowl of soup and some reading time a rest in between the church services feels terrific.
The Sunday rest makes up for the craziness during the rest of the week. At the end of November I was at a function and our Member of Parliament was there. We have a bit of a connection with him because he lives down the road from us. A few winters ago, he put his car in the ditch right in front of our home so he came inside to warm up while waiting for the tow truck. Now, whenever we see a black car with tinted windows drive past, we give some mighty waves just in case its our MP. In November when I was talking with our MP he told me whenever he drives past our house he smiles to himself imagining the craziness inside. I nodded in agreement and just smiled, not sure what else could be added to that.

Working hard in the kitchen with my two helpers.

We took advantage of the beautiful weather on Christmas day and went for a hike on the escarpment by our house. It was fun to pick out our home from high up.

There is a legend that a German spy hid in this cave during the first World War and spied on the the airbase camp located directly below the escarpment. I have always wanted to find this cave so it was thrilling to be able to crawl through the tunnel. I was also thrilled to be able to make it through it without getting stuck since it was a lot smaller than I expected!

During the fall and throughout December we were able to go on hikes after school. The hiking burned some of the boys' energy, got us out -doors, and helped us have some fun family times together. Exploring God's creation is refreshing!

Monday, January 4, 2016

book #6 and book #7

Author Lynette Clark, a pastor's wife was asked to speak at a Ladies' Day Conference on the subject, 'The profile of a godly woman'. At the suggestion of her husband she began to research and write about the wife of the famous doctor, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
After reading about Bethan Lloyd-Jones you discover that she was a very godly woman. This book is written in themes rather than in chronological order. At first I thought it would bother me but instead it helped me learn about her in a different way. The author gently writes as if she is trying to reach out to her audience and teach by example about the beautiful and attractive characteristics of Bethan.
This book is a real gem. I loved reading about Bethan Lloyd-Jones; I learned by her example and would recommend this book to all especially those who are wives of men who serve in the church. Another bonus: at the end of the book there are discussion questions for each chapter. Even if you are reading the book on your own, I would take the time and challenge yourself to thinking deeper.

As I was reading about Bethan Lloyd-Jones I realized I needed to learn more about her husband. 
This was the perfect book to read in between the chapters of Bethan Lloyd-Jones. This "bitesize biography" gave the readers a deeper insight on the growing up years, convictions, and preaching of Dr. Lloyd-Jones.
After Lloyd-Jones' initial schooling he went on to become a doctor and quickly become well known for his knowledge in medicine.
But God was at work in his life. Helping people medically was what Lloyd-Jones was good at but he wanted to make the amazing love of Christ known to others. He began to be aware of an inward pressure. He had a real concern for people as well as recognition by others that he had the appropriate gifts for the preaching ministry. Lloyd-Jones writes, "a person can no longer remain in the secular work he has so much enjoyed previously, although this is accompanied by a deep sense of unworthiness and inadequacy in being called to such a glorious and onerous task." 
We have a mini-series of these "bitesize biograhphies" in our church library and I look forward to reading more of them.