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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am finishing up a study of the book of Ruth with a sweet group of ladies tonight.  We have met for five weeks now going through Ruth using John Piper's book A Sweet and Bitter Providence as our guide.  If you haven't studied Ruth in a while, it would be worth the time to get this book and take a look at this amazing story of God's sovereignty.

While going over tonight's study, I was reminded of a story Piper shares at the end of the book.  I'd like to share it here:
"This pledge God has made to His people is unbreakable.  No famine or death can break it.  I saw it in a parable.  I was visiting some of our elderly people in a nursing home.  I got on the elevator with a woman in a wheelchair who was old, misshapen, and confused.  Her head wobbled meaninglessly and she uttered senseless sounds.  Her mouth hung open.  Then I noticed that a well-dressed man, perhaps in His mid-sixties, was pushing her chair.  I wondered who he was.  Then as we all got off the elevator, I heard him say, 'Watch your feet, Sweetie-Pie.'  Sweetie-Pie.  As I walked to the car, I thought...if a marriage covenant between a man and a woman produces that kind of fidelity and commitment and affection under those circumstances, then surely under the great and merciful terms of the New Covenant, sealed with the blood of His Son, God has no difficulty calling you and me (sinful and sick as we are) sweet names.  And if He does, there is no truth more unshakable in all the world than this: For them and for us, the best is yet to come. God is at work in the darkest times - for our good and Christ's glory.  He will see to it that the glory of His Son fills the earth and that in Him we find everlasting joy."
Zephaniah 3:17 says,  "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Shhhhhhhhh....listen... I think I hear the most beautiful Voice I've ever heard!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dances and Doctors

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  We had a fairly busy one.

On Friday night Cecily had "Dance Days" at her school.  She also had a couple of pieces of art on display.
Her drawing of Michael Jackson was framed and will be on display at the school for a while.
This was her Line Texture Design.

On Saturday Cecily had her sixth grade field trip.  She went to the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and saw "The Emperor's New Clothes".  

Bentley is having fun making some new friends in our new neighborhood.  We have so many families with children all around us.  Our house is on a side road, so all the kids in the area ride bikes and play ball and kinda hang out.  It's going to be exciting getting to know these families and making connections with them.  Bentley had a couple of new friends teaching him how to ride a "big boy bike" Saturday afternoon.

Today, JennaBeth had her 15 month check-up.  She weighs 23 lbs. and 9 oz. and is 31 inches long.  These measurements put her in the 75 percentile for her height and the 55 percentile for her weight.  Her pediatrician gave me a referral to an early intervention program for an evaluation of her verbal skills and abilities.  He isn't overly concerned, but thought the referral couldn't hurt.  JennaBeth recognizes objects and is hearing well, but just isn't saying many intelligible words at this point.  She can sure carry on a conversation in her own little babble though!
As you can tell, she wasn't in much of a picture taking mood; especially with the doctor and especially since she had four shots!  Although, these were taken BEFORE she had the shots!  

Look how she has grown:

(6 weeks old with the doctor who delivered her)
When we got home, sweet girl was all over the shots and still hanging on to some of her brother's toys:

We will work on our acting lady-like another day!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Chosen: The Lost Diares of Queen Esther

I received a copy of Chosen:  The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett for the purpose of review from the B&B Media Group Inc.

I have read the story of Queen Esther in the Bible many times and have completed Beth Moore's Bible Study on Esther.  Our family even has the Veggie Tale version of the story.  So, I was interested in reading Ms Garrett's take on this familiar Bible story.  To be honest, my thought while waiting on the book to arrive was this:  "There can't be much different or spectacular to expect.  After all, I know this story backward and forward."  Well, I was pleasantly surprised!

I could not put this book down!  I love to read historical biblical fiction books and this one was absolutely riveting from beginning to end.  It was like I was learning about Queen Esther for the first time!!!  Ms Garrett writes the book in first-person diary format.  The chapters are short and the end of each one makes you want to know what happens next; thus the reason I could barely put it down!

The appendix section of the book includes current-time new excerpts, which helps the reader to see how Esther's story is woven into our own present day lives.  As you read the book, you will be directed to these excerpts at different and applicable places in the story.

This is a short portion from the prologue:
"The greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about by men, whether they are praising you or criticizing you.  Our role is clear:  We were to be objects of passion, to receive a man's attention mutely, and to respond only with children for the estate.  Even the most powerful woman of our time, the beautiful Queen Vashti, was powerless.  That was my future as a girl and I dared not lift my eyes above its horizon.  That is how I enter this story.  But give me your hand and let us walk back now, past the crumbling walls of history, to this world forgotten but a time yet remembered.  Let me tell you the story of a girl unspared, plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation.  My name is Esther, and I will be queen."
Whether you are familiar with the story of Esther or not, you have got to read this book!  I was reminded of the Sovereign hand of God plotting and planning for His glory, our good and maybe even the salvation of our families, neighbors, cities, states, and nation!  Just maybe He wants to use you or me to accomplish something great in one or more of these areas!  Oh, I hope and pray so!!!

You can get more information about this book and others from the B&B Media Group Inc.

This book can also be purchased at Amazon.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Availing Much

 "Confess your faults one to another, 
and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16 (KJV)

Yesterday, after our morning worship service, we had a Youth Prayer Sponsor lunch that involved our youth and their families along with the Senior Adults who have pledged to pray for them.  Each one of our youth have been paired with a specific Senior Adult, who will be getting to know them a little better and praying for them regularly.  Prayer is such and important part of our relationship with God; and to think that these youth will be covered on a daily basis by these Senior Adults just encourages me so much!

What other thing beside the powerful and transforming love of God can bridge such gaps as age, race, gender, or economic and cultural differences?
(This one belongs to me!!  She's my 12 year old.  I'm still pretending she is NOT a youth, but she reminds me on a daily basis how delusional I am!)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer Reading List

Part of the fun I've begun to have in blogging is reading and reviewing books.  Living on a very tight budget with my husband as the sole bread winner of the family, there is rarely the extra money for things like books.  This poses a problem, because I LOVE TO READ!  I always have.

I'm currently involved in several blogging for books programs with Thomas Nelson Publishing, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Multnomah, Navpress, and The B&B Media Group, Inc.  I receive books from these publishers at not cost to me in exchange for a review of the book on my blog.  I am having a blast.

Here is the list of books I will be reading and reviewing over the Summer:
  • Radical by David Platt (check yesterday's post for that review)
  • Chosen:  The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett
  • Real World Parents by Mark Matlock
  • The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges
  • Friendship for Grown-Ups by Lisa Whelchel
  • Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson
  • Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson
  • 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney
  • Stumbling Souls by Chris Plekenpol
You might be saying, "I thought you had three kids!  When in the world do you have time to read?"  I do alot of my reading during nap time but mostly after everyone is in bed at night.  It's kinda of the way I take a breather at the end of the day.

So, come back often over the next several months and check out the reviews.  You might find something you want to add to your own reading list!

What's on your current reading list?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream

This review is a little late and I apologize to Waterbrook Multnomah.  Our family has been getting moved into our new home this past week (more on that in a later post this week) and I simply let the deadline slip past me.  I was also without not only time, but internet access for a few days.

Waterbrook Multnomah did provide me a copy of David Platt's latest book Radical along with the mini-book The Radical Question in exchange for my honest review here on the blog.  I'm going to make a very bold statement about this book upfront:  After reading this book, I think EVERY pastor, church leader, church member and person who has taken on the title of Christian should read this book!

I can not simply say I enjoyed this book.  Radical convicted me, challenged me and caused me to evaluate the depth of my love for the Lord in light of what His Word really has to say about following Him.  I squirmed uncomfortably my way through this book. 

Platt said things like this:

"We are afraid of what it might mean for our lives.  So we rationalize these passages away.  'Jesus wouldn't really tell us not to bury our father or say good-bye to our family.  Jesus didn't literally mean to sell all we have and give it to the poor.  What Jesus really meant was...' 
And this:
"We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist Him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.  A nice, middle-class, American Jesus.  A Jesus who doesn't mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have.  A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that He receives all our affection.  A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all He loves us just the way we are...A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream." 
 And this:
"While the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."  He goes on to say, "This is how God works.  He puts his people  in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then he shows his provision in ways that display his greatness."
And finally this:
"Radical obedience to Christ is not easy; it is dangerous.  It is not smooth sailing aboard a luxury liner; it is sacrificial duty aboard a troop carrier.  It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world.  Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things.  But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ.  And He is more than enough for us."
Platt's book is well written.  He peppers the pages with examples from the congregation he pastors of those who have chosen radical obedience to Christ so the reader gets to see what it actually looks like to live a life completely sold out to God.  Platt also draws from his own personal experiences in ministry to places like the underground house churches in Asia from where his idea of the Secret Church emerged.  He explains the concept of "Secret Church" in the book.  He ends the book with a one year challenge to the reader called "The Radical Experiment".

I encourage you to get your hands on a copy of this book if at all possible!  The book can be purchased at WaterBrook Multnohah
You can also get a FREE copy of the mini book, "The Radical Question", which contains a condensed version of the main points of the full length book by going HERE
I would also encourage you to visit