August 21, 2017
Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me
I really enjoyed reading Karen Swallow Prior's book on the 18th century life of Hannah More, a poet, reformer and abolitionist.
Karen is a professor of English at the Liberty University. And when I heard she had written a book on literature, I knew it would be something I'd like to read it.
She says here of her book:
"...for much of my life, I loved books more than God, never discovering for a long, long time that a God who spoke the world into existence with words is, in fact, the source of meaning of all words. My journey toward that discovery is the story of this book.
I thought my love of books was taking me away from God, but as it turns out, books were the backwoods path back to God, bramble-filled and broken, yes, but full of truth and wonder."
And author of Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas, says of this book:
"Ever wished you'd had a teacher who made you want to read the classics? Your wish has come true in this beautifully-told book.
Karen Swallow Prior movingly and honestly tells a compelling story of self-discovery and coming to faith through some of the greatest books ever written."
I've started reading this one and I'm really enjoying it so far. Dickens writing can be drawn out but it's so beautifully descriptive, I find myself completely immersed.
It's going to take me awhile to get through this close-to 1000 page book but I'm getting a little help from an audio-book from the library. I can cook, bake, clean and drive around doing errands while listening!
Dickens says of this novel:
"Like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favorite child, and his name is David Copperfield."
Amazon says of it here:
"Millions of readers have taken young David into their hearts as well, weeping over his misfortunes and exulting in his triumphs. Dickens' seventh novel, David Copperfield, appeared in 1850, by which time he was a British national institution.
Based on the author's own tumultuous journey from boy to man, this epic traces David's progress from his mother's sheltering arms to the miseries of boarding-school and sweatshop, and the rewards of friendship, romance, and self-discovery in his vocation as a writer."
I loved the 'Little House on the Prairie' TV show when I was a child. I've also read a few of the Little House books.
So I'm looking forward to reading this story based on Caroline's point of view of the Ingalls life together.
Goodreads says of it here:
"In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, "Ma" in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books...
...For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past."
I've always been fascinated by British history. My mother is from England and though I've never been there I feel a kinship to it.
Lady Jane Grey is one of my favorite royals. Though she was only queen for 9 days and only 17 years old when she was killed, her strength and determination to not recant her Protestant beliefs in Christ alone, is inspiring.
Goodreads say of it here:
"Crown of Blood is an important and significant retelling of an often-misunderstood tale: set at the time of Jane’s downfall and following her journey through to her trial and execution, each chapter moves between the past and the “present,” using a rich abundance of primary source material (some of which has never been published) in order to paint a vivid picture of Jane’s short and turbulent life.
This dramatic narrative traces the dangerous plots and web of deadly intrigue in which Jane became involuntarily tangled—and which ultimately led to a shocking and catastrophic conclusion."
None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us
I loved Jen Wilkin's last book, 'Women of the Word' and have been interested in reading this new one ever since it came out last year.
Doesn't it have the prettiest cover? : )
Amazon describes the book here:
"This exploration of ten attributes that belong to God alone reminds us of why our limits are a good thing in light of God’s limitlessness―celebrating the freedom that comes from letting God be God."
I love this....'celebrating the freedom that comes from letting God be God'. This takes the stress off from trying to be the perfect Christian, and teaches us to put our trust were it belongs...in Him.
I'm really looking forward to this book!
August 9, 2017
I love Casting Crowns. They have been my favorite band for years. Their songs touch my heart and have such deep biblical meaning. My favorite song right now is one I've shared before on my blog.
It's called Hallelujah.
Here is the link to it...
I don't usually like movies about war, but these two were the exception. Both are clean movies, but do contain some war violence but very few curse words, which was appreciated. I hadn't heard of either of these true war stories before, and thoroughly enjoyed learning about them.
The first was 'Hacksaw Ridge'. This one was about a young man, a seven-day-adventist, who wanted to be a medic during WW2, but refused to bear arms on religious grounds. The story-line was beautiful and amazing. I felt so many emotions. I highly recommend it.
"When the order came to retreat. One man stayed."
The second movie was 'Dunkirk' which takes place in France during WW2. This movie was beautiful to watch. The cinematography, music and even the lack of dialog made it extremely moving. I was emotionally exhausted when I walked out of the theater. Highly recommend as well.
"When 400,000 men couldn't get home, home came to them."
I recently discovered Youtube and have found some great book vlogs, but my favorite vlog right now is a young couple from California. They do all sorts of videos from home decor to recipes to faith related content. They are a beautiful and fun couple who love the Lord. It's so encouraging to see the next generation serving Him and sharing online. They attend Greg Laurie's church, Harvest Christian Fellowship.
Here is a video of them talking about vlogging together...
Here is the link to their vlog channel... Brylan and Lisa
I know we shouldn't really have a favorite verse, but these two have always had a special place in my heart...
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
I love flower gardening and my favorites are peonies. They smell so good and look beautiful in my garden, as well as in a vase on my table. I just wish they lasted longer than a few weeks! : )
Here are some from my garden...
Fixer Upper is one of my favorite shows to watch. I love Chip and Joanna Gaines and their family. I love the respect and love they show each other and the fun they have. They also do some beautiful renos!
If I had to pick an all time favorite book, other than the Bible, it would probably be 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen. No one comes close to her wit and style. But this year I read 'Anne of Green Gables' by Lucy M. Montgomery and loved it so much! It's a close second. : )
My favorite non-fiction books would probably be 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis and 'Knowing God' by J.I. Packer. Both were so insightful and gave me much to think about and ponder on how great and awesome our God is.
I'd love to hear what some of your favorites are. Feel free to leave them in the comments!
July 17, 2017
When you think of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee, you may think of racism in the southern United States during the 1930's, but I found this book to be so much more.
I first read this book in high school many years ago and I've always had fond memories of it. So I finally decided to pick it up again this year, and I'm so glad I did. I just love this book so much!
This book is about family, and about treating others fairly and equally. It's about teaching your children these things and how important the home and family are for children.
It's about a single father (Atticus) in his later years (50 years old) raising two small children after his wife passes away. Atticus is a lawyer and wonderful father, I loved so much about him. The way he talked to his children as fellow human beings, the way he treated others fairly and with grace, and the way he lived a simple, but meaningful life.
This book deals with the serious issue of racism, but like I said earlier, it's so much more than that. Attitudes start in the home and a parents expressed thoughts often become deeply rooted in their children.
I thought I'd share one conversation Atticus has with his young daughter Scout, about racism and name calling.
"'Atticus', I said one evening, 'what exactly is a n_____-lover?'
Atticus's face was grave. 'Has somebody been calling you that?'
'No sir, Mrs. Dubose calls you that. She warms up every afternoon calling you that. Francis called me that last Christmas, that's where I first heard it.'
'Is that the reason you jumped on him?' asked Atticus.
'Then why are you asking me what it means?'
I tried to explain to Atticus that it wasn't so much what Francis said that had infuriated me as the way he had said it. 'It was like he'd said snot-nose or somethin.'
'Scout,' said Atticus, ' n_____-lover is just one of those terms that don't mean anything - like snot-nose. It's hard to explain - ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody's favouring Negros over and above themselves. It's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.'
'You aren't really a n_____-lover, then , are you?'
'I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody...I'm hard put, sometimes - baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you. So don't let Mrs. Dubose get you down. She had enough troubles of her own.'"
This conversation has so much meaning, for so many reasons.
1. Atticus is talking to his daughter as he would talk to any human being. With respect and helpfulness.
2. He doesn't direct his anger towards those who said this, but generalizes the type of person who uses this language.
3.He is clear on what is right and wrong.
4. He explains ignorance.
5. He has no problem being called this because he thinks of all people as equal and are meant to be loved.
6. He thinks of others and their troubles, so advises not to let these words get his daughter down.
This conversation lets his daughter know clearly, that this language is wrong and ignorant, but also teaches her to love all people and remember everyone is going through something.
There were many wonderful conversations between Atticus and his children. It's one of the things I love most about this book.
One of my favorite scenes in the book is when the children's housekeeper Calpurnia, because Atticus is away on business, takes the children to her African American church. At the end of the service the minister asks the congregation to donate to the family of Tom Robinson because he has been falsely accused and is sitting in jail awaiting trial.
"Reverend Sykes closed his sermon. He stood beside a table in front of the pulpit and requested the morning offering, a proceeding that was strange to Jem and me. One by one, the congregation came forward and dropped nickels and dimes into a black enamelled coffee can. Jem and I followed suit, and received a soft, 'Thank you, thank you,' as our dimes clinked.
To our amazement, Reverend Sykes emptied the can on to the table and raked the coins into his hand. He straightened up and said, 'This is not enough, we must have ten dollars.'
The congregation stirred. 'You all know what it's for - Helen can't leave those children to work while Tom's in jail. If everyone gives one more dime, we'll have it -' Reverend Sykes waved his hand and called to someone in the back of the church. 'Alec, shut the doors. Nobody leaves here till we have ten dollars.'
Calpurnia scratched in her handbag and brought forth a battered leather coin purse. 'Naw, Cal,' Jem whispered, when she handed him a shiny quarter, 'we can put ours in. Gimme your dime, Scout.'
The church was becoming stuffy, and it occurred to me that Reverend Sykes intended to sweat the amount due out of his flock. Fans crackled, feet shuffled, tobacco-chewers were in agony.
Reverend Sykes startled me by saying sternly, 'Carlow Richardson, I haven't seen you up this aisle yet.'
A thin man in khaki pants came up the aisle and deposited a coin. The congregation murmured approval.
Reverend Sykes then said, 'I want all of you with no children to make a sacrifice and give one more dime apiece. Then we'll have it.'
Slowly, painfully, the ten dollars were collected. The door was opened, and the gust of warm air revived us. Zeebo lined On Jordan's Stormy Banks, and church was over."
A pastor who encourages his congregation to help a family in need and won't take no for an answer! I so enjoyed reading this and the straightforwardness of this pastor! : )
If you haven't read 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' I highly recommend you do. It had a huge impact on me as a teen and now I've been reminded why. It's a moving and beautiful story everyone should read.
*Warning: There are a few mild curse words and the use of the 'N' word throughout.
Buy it HERE on Amazon