The table beside my bed is filled with books I have just read, I am reading, and I want to read. Some are Bible studies like “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Joanna Weaver. Other books are for training such as “Children’s Ministry Leadership: The You-Can-Do-It Guide” by Jim Wideman. I love to read.
I just finished a book that I cannot help but tell you about. It’s titled “The Unexpected Journey: Converstaions With People Who Turned From Other Beliefs to Jesus” by Thom S. Rainer. Donald passed this book on to me after he read it for a seminary class. It contains interviews with people from various different belief systems that came to a relationship with Jesus. They are amazing testimonies that God is able to change the “unchangeable”…those we would easily give up on.
This little book offers great insight into how to reach people of all different faiths with the message of salvation. One passage that stood out to me…
Nine interviews had taken place. Nellie Jo and I agreed that two powerful truths has emerged. First, the power of Christian love was a story line in most of our interviews. In one way or another, the theme of love was sounded with clarity.
Second, my wife and I had become convicted that we should never assume that any person is too difficult to reach…We were discovering that spiritual hunger for truth was persuasive, even in the lives of people who seemed, on the surface, to have no interest in spiritual matters. (The Unexpected Journey, p. 154)
This book also shows how the acts of unloving Christians hindered earlier searches for truth in many of these people’s lives. It is quite convicting.
Give it a read. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. is a small, but powerful little tale about two mice and two little men who find themselves searching for cheese in a maze. When their cheese is moved, how do each of them deal with the change?
Donald and I discover the book over a year ago and love it. We bought it and so with all the coming change in my life (see last two posts) I decided it was a good time to pick it up and read it again. It’s only 93 pages with large print, so it’s a easy nap time read.
The great thing about this book is that it applies to so many areas of my life. All of us go through change…it is inevitable, but we don’t always deal with it well. If we can put change into perspective and learn to handle it correctly, we would save ourselves a lot of stress and wasted time.
I am still chugging along reading The Message. I am just about to start the book of Job.
My favorite quote from The Message so far comes from 2 Chronicles 22. When describing King Ahaziah it describes him like this…
“After the death of his father, he attended the sin school of Ahab, and graduated with a degree in doom.”
Now that is a pretty vivid picture of a bad king. Sounds like a Lord of the Rings movie character.
I haven’t had a chance to blog for awhile. I took a part-time position as Children’s Director at my church. Adding those extra hours to my week has filled my schedule and I haven’t adjusted yet.
I am really enjoying the job. You can visit the children’s ministry blog and see what we are doing.
In other news…
Emily is driving now and has made 2 trips on the interstate. The DC area is not the easiest place to learn to drive but I figure if she can master this, she ought to be able to drive anywhere.
Peanut butter and jelly. Everyday Daniel and Chloe want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Jessica doesn’t eat sandwiches so she opts for peanut butter crackers. I try to make cool lunches to tempt them to eat new things but it’s always the same. Everyday I have 3 peanut butter faces to clean after lunch. 🙂
Out with the old, in with the new. My parents are moving to a new house soon so they are giving me their couch and 2 twin beds that won’t fit in the new place. I am so excited! We are giving away one of our old couches…I have never liked that couch! I am so happy to see it go.
We needed the 2 twin beds for the girls. Jessica and Chloe have been sharing a full bed for awhile but Jessica is a definite bed hog and Chloe is getting pushed out too often.
Things are going well. I am still reading through The Message but I have to admit that I’ve not had as much time the past week. I am hoping to get back on track.
I don’t have any big thoughts to share so I will share some random thoughts instead.
Power Struggle. Since Joshua has gone off to public school this year, this is the first time that the 3 little ones and I have been home by ourselves on a regular basis. Jessica (the princess you see in the photo) has always been in charge and Daniel and Chloe pretty much just do as told. Now Daniel, being the oldest child home during the day, is suddenly trying to take his place as “man of the house”. If I go to the bathroom, he announces that he is “in charge” until I return. He also keeps reassuring me that when I am gone someday, he will take care of Jessica and Chloe so I don’t have to worry about it. Jessica still hasn’t figured out what is going on and I think she is saving it all for a big showdown soon.
SpotBot. I am cleaning the nursery rug this week. One of my friends from church let me borrow her Bissell SpotBot to clean all the stains on the carpet (thanks Jessica). Now I am totally addicted to the SpotBot. It is easy to use, works virtually by itself, and does a great job! I can see myself spending many happy hours cleaning all the little spots left on my carpet by my kids, cats, and most of all, my husband. It is definitely going on the top of my Christmas Wish List (Donald…hint, hint).
Allergic. I have developed a couple of irritated spots on my skin. The newest one is on my right eye lid so of course, this meant it is time to visit the doctor. Apparently, this is some type of allergic reaction. I have never been allergic to anything, so now I have to try and figure out which of the 7,000+ things I come in contact with daily is suddenly causing this reaction. I haven’t changed any major prducts lately…cleaners, hair products, etc… so it could be anything. I don’t know how I’ll ever figure it out.
Klutz. I am a klutz…no doubt about it. Today, I broke my beloved 9×13 Pampered Chef stoneware baker. I used it to make baked ziti and asked my kids not to clean it because I always try to be careful with my stoneware…it’s not cheap. So when I went back to clean it, I dropped it in the sink and it broke. As my mother-in-law pointed out to me, this is not the first piece of cookware I have broken. Just off the top of my head…two 9x 13 stoneware bakers, one stoneware round pizza pan, a Crockpot, a blender, a George Foreman, and a griddle (maybe two)…all dropped by me. My mother-in-law said at least she knows what to buy me for birthdays and Christmas. I think I am going to start letting my kids wash my stoneware in the future…probably safer.
Day 13. I am just finishing 1 Samuel 22 of The Message. It certainly is taking longer than I expected but I have loved reading through Judges, Ruth, and 1 Samuel. All the great things happening make for an easy read. I’ve read them all many times before but they never get old.
I am about halfway through Numbers. I thought I would be further along at this point, but I’m not.
Things I have learned reading The Message:
- The Message has attitude! Because it is written in contemporary language, the wording comes across with a lot more emotion than other versions. You are reading along and then come across Abraham saying to God, “Are you serious?” or Abimelech saying to Abraham, “Whatever were you thinking of when you did this thing?” I’ve laughed out loud on several occasions already.
- I shouldn’t have picked a extended holiday weekend to start my reading. With Donald and the kids all home, I didn’t get nearly as much reading time in as I would have liked.
- I can’t read The Message in the same room while my husband is watching football. I know this sounds like a no-brain-er but when I am reading fiction, I have no trouble tuning out the TV while I am reading. Can’t do that with The Message…much more brain power required for the truth!
- I am glad I am not a priest in the time of Leviticus! All that blood…how did they ever keep their beautiful robes clean? Then if that isn’t enough, their other main duties involve checking people with sores and skin irritations to decide if they are infectious or not, and checking mold on cloth and in homes. I’ll have to ask Pastor Steve what he thinks of that for a job description.
- Leviticus and Numbers are tedious no matter what version or paraphrase you read. I am coming close to the end of Numbers and I am looking forward to reading actual events again. Of course, Donald reminded me that I still have Chronicles coming up soon. At least Chronicles has stories mixed throughout all of it.
Despite the slow start and reading the measurements of temple curtains and tables multiple times, I’ve really been enjoying my reading. I hope to have read a lot further next time I update you.
I’ve read quite a number of books this summer. I’m a pretty quick reader, usually finishing a book in 2 days or less. The thought occurred to me…what if I read the Bible like I read all the other books???
So, I picked up The Message off the shelf and decided to give it a try….to read the Bible from cover to cover. The Message is a paraphrase and is suppose to read more like a novel.
I’ve read the Bible but never all the way through. I usually read passages or parts here and there and over the years have probably read it all. There was an older gentleman I met in college who would read the Bible all the way through over the weekend every now and then. He could not believe that everyone didn’t do that. But it’s true…we don’t just read the Bible like we read other books.
I don’t know how long it will take me. I’m going to try and update my progress here every now and then. If you don’t hear from me in awhile…you might ought to check on me. 🙂
Okay…you know I love reading. I encourage my children to read. Reading is important. BUT I hate summer reading assignments!
For example, my 14 year old son has 2 summer reading assignments. One was pretty simple. He had to read A Day No Pigs Would Die and write 3 journal entries from the viewpoint of the main character. No problem. He did not like the story but he finished in less than a week.
His second reading assignment was a different story. He had to read Great Expectations…a long and dull book. Then he had to redivide the 59 chapters of the book into 36 episodes (that was the way it was orginally released) and he had to give his reasons for each division. Who comes up with these assignments???
I know WHY they started summer reading. I understand the concept. But in reality, I think it does more to drive parents crazy than it does to teach students. Parents have to constantly remind their kids to work on their projects…frustration! Then to make it worse, sometimes the directions or the format is unclear and there is no teacher available for us to ask. Not to mention trying to work in all this reading around summer vacations and camps.
PRESSURE. Then there is the pressure for the sutdents to do really well on these assignments. They are turned in the first day of school so the teacher will get her first impression of the students abilities based on these summer reading assignments. I’ve got to be honest in that I probably feel that pressure more than my kids.
After proofreading 6 papers, I think we are finally finished with our summer reading at my house. I am so glad it is all behind us now. We have one full week to enjoy our summer without projects hanging over our heads before we start school. Before we know next summer will be here again…UGH!
I LOVE TO READ! I would rather read than watch TV. I would rather read than play a game (even though I love games). And I would definitely rather read than do housework.
The problem is…when I read, I tend to read a LOT! For example, I just finished reading Liz Curtis Higgs Thorn in My Heart. I was reading it for the women’s summer book club at our church. I read this book and the entire series (4 books total) in about 5 days. I didn’t completely neglect my house and children. The chapters are very short so I would read one chapter then do some housework and play with kids. Then I would read another chapter and so on and so on. I also read while my kids napped and late into the night while everyone else slept.
I have no willpower when it comes to a good book. Because of this, I don’t let myself start books very often. The summer book club is always a good excuse for me to allow myself to read.
As much as I love reading this book, I loved studying the Biblical account more. We did a Bible study on the story of Jacob before our book club read the book. I was asked to lead the study and I am so glad I did. I really got so much out of studying the Bible passages in-depth. (see Bless Me? blog below ) I almost felt selfish leading it because I was sure I got so much more out of preparing the study than the participants did.