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July Reads

6 Aug

 

I can’t remember the last time I read this many books in one month!

July has been a month of reading for me!  What a blessing.  We traveled 13 hours to visit family.  Thanks to my sweet hubby for driving almost the entire way!  We enjoyed some great long talks and then when he was talked out I read (and read and read).  😉 

July Reads:

A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh Demoss I’m only about halfway through this one as I have been reading it slowly pondering what I am reading as I watch God use this book to speak to my heart.  This book is all about your relationship with God and offers suggestions on what that may or may not look like.  I have found one of the most challenging aspects of parenting to be making time just to be alone with God.  My son Eli is notorious for waking up whenever I do.  It doesn’t matter how quiet I am in the morning he just knows and will wake up.  It can be very frustrating to me so this book has been so helpful in encouraging me to continue pressing on even if I may be interrupted.  If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of reading Nancy Demoss I highly recommend any of her books!  This one is no different. I have used both her books: Lies Women Believe and Lies Young Women Believe (for teenage girls) in Bible Teaching and have witnessed first-hand the blessings of Miss DeMoss’ ministry.

Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson. This was my first Tracie Peterson book to read and I am sure that I will be reading more of her works in the future.  Touching the Sky is a historical fiction book set during Reconstruction.  This was a delightful book about a woman caught between protecting her sister and the man she is in love with.  My husband’s name is also Brandon so I also appreciated Laura’s beau in the book being named Brandon.  😉  I found this book to be a delightful fiction read perfect for a lazy summer day or long road trip.  (I read most of the book in the car on the way to Arkansas.)  Please note I did receive a free review copy of this book in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

The Amish Cook by Elisabeth Coblentz.  This cookbook packed full of insightful notes about the Amish way of life may just be at the top of Christmas wish-list this year.  I never dreamed that I would enjoy reading a cookbook so much.  I didn’t actually make a single recipe from the book but they all look phenomenal.  The book is a collection of recipes and notes that Elisabeth Coblentz wrote in her weekly article that was published for 10+ years in a variety of newspapers.  Super interesting!

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise BauerAt 700+ pages this book is not for the faint of heart but is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read on education.  As a professional tutor and mother I found this book absolutely fascinating.  I also felt such a sense of accomplishment upon finishing it-almost the same sense you get at the end of a long semester when you read the final chapter of your textbook.  The book details the steps involved in educating your child using the “Trivium” or in ways to supplement what your child is already learning in their school.  I read the older (1999) edition of the book and presume that the new edition is even better.  The book contains numerous resources and recommended books.  Overall I found the book incredibly thought-provoking.  At age 2 Elijah is still a couple of years away from formal schooling but this book encouraged me to keep doing what we are doing: instill a love of books in Elijah and give him plenty of time outside to explore his world.

Living Rich For Less by Ellie Kay.Another great read from Miss Ellie Kay.  This book says many of the same things that I learned from her other books but was still a nice read.  To see my review of 2 of her other books click here.

Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone.  I really enjoyed reading through this contemporary book on canning.  I was really intrigued by the idea of small batch canning.  Canning has quickly become one of my favorite new hobbies.  Since my family is still rather small we can a good number of pints rather than large quarts which would go to waste before we could eat them.  I am hoping to try her recipe for canning cauliflower later this fall if our cauliflower makes it.  🙂  This book is also unique in that she provides several recipes to go with each canned item.  What a wonderful idea especially for relatively new cooks like myself.  The book does include many canning recipes that call for wine.  Since we are a non-alcoholic family I doubt it will be one I add to my collection.  I was also a little disappointed at the lack of variety in her book.  There were absolutely no recipes that used peaches which was what I happened to have 2 bushels of in my kitchen at the time!

Divine Design by Nancy Leigh Demoss and Mary Kassian. This is a brand new Bible Study on what it means to be a woman written by two of my favorite women authors.  One of the authors, Mary Kassian I kind of actually know.  She is a professor at the seminary where I graduated from (Southern Seminary) and I have been so blessed by her teaching there and in this book.  I’m not quite finished yet but this Bible Study is just plain awesome.  Buy it, study it, and watch God radically challenge your thinking of what it means to be a godly woman!

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore. First let me start off by saying that I don’t feel at all like I am in a pit.  I have always heard such wonderful things about this book that I picked up the audiobook from the library to listen to in the car.  Once again Beth Moore is such a blessing.  Throughout this book she will challenge you, motivate you, and bless you in so many ways.  She’s one of those authors that you can feel so close to because God uses her to penetrate right to the heart.  Having done just two of her Bible Studies in the past I feel like I know her but I really don’t.  If you are going through a tough time right now (or have a friend who is) this book would be great.

The Healthcare Survival Guide by Martin B. Rosen and Abbie Leibowitz.  With many possible changes coming to the healthcare system within the next year I have tried to make it a priority to learn all that I can about how the healthcare system works.  This short book is pretty basic but does a good job of explaining how various things in the health care system work.  It also provides different suggestions for discount prescriptions.  I was very unhappy that the book endorses the use of Planned Parenthood for various female well-care something I just cannot agree with.  I think you can also receive female health-care at various county health departments which they failed to mention.  I’m hoping to write a post in the upcoming week or so about some of the things I have learned first hand about healthcare lately.

How to Retire Happy by Stan Hinden.  If you are still reading through my lengthy list of books at this point you are probably laughing but bear with me.  😉  Yes I’m a 20-something year old woman reading a book written about retirement.  This book was actually really good.  When it comes to financial matters retirement stuff is probably the area I know the least about so I set out to see what I could learn this month.  This was really the first book I have read about “retirement” other than the confusing pamphlets that come in the mail with people trying to sell you different things.  This book does a wonderful job of explaining various retirement options in a language that even I could understand.  Brandon and I do not have plans on retiring from ministry one day but do realize that health issues  might not always allow us to work full-time.  We also know that ministry will look very different for us when we are in our 70s and hope to plan accordingly.

From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum. Having recently re-discovered Dr. Tietelbaum’s Fatigued to Fantastic supplements I was very curious to read this book.  I began taking his supplement during seminary and it was a wonderful help.  This book was fascinating.

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Disciple Now 2010

14 Nov

Sweet girls

This past weekend we were blessed to be involved with the youth Disciple Now at our church.  I have such fond memories of a number of retreats and Disciple Nows that I have been blessed to be a part of as both a youth, leader, and speaker.  I had a great time and am pretty sure that everyone else did too!

Not one bit sleepy 🙂

Our fun weekend started at 6:00 with a pizza party at church Friday night.  Then we played some fun games and listened to Bro. Mark talk about our relationship to God.  The theme for the weekend was Best Friends Forever.  We also broke up into small groups to talk further about how we can have a relationship with God and also how we can deepen our relationship with Him. 

Elijah did not know what to think having so many ladies in his house! I think they wore him out.

She's going to kill me for posting this but how sweet is this? By the way she was the hardest girl to wake up!

Then all of the girls headed to our house where they spent the night.  It was so much fun!  When we were looking for a house we specifically looked for one that would lend itself well to having people over.  We talked a lot, sang at the piano, and played some flash light tag. 

It was great fun for me to get to stay up late talking with a bunch of giggly girls.  I’m so glad we were able to open up our home to them.  I even got to introduce about 7 of them to the wonders of hot herbal tea.  Yummy!  The next morning  we all got up and had breakfast (bagels and doughnuts) and headed to church.  The students enjoyed a few more general sessions, some break out sessions, and a service project.  I ended up having to leave a couple of hours early to head to a wedding.  (It was quite a crazy day for me!)

Wondering what this is? It's a basket full of cell phones. 🙂 They were all collected at 2am and charged in our bathroom.

A special thanks to all everyone who helped out with DNOW by donations, cooking food, helping serve meals, chaperoning, clean up, etc.  These kids ate an insane amount of food.  We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.

Eli enjoying his lunch with everybody else. Yummy diced carrots. 🙂

My current centerpiece. I had paint/markers to let the girls decorate a pumpkin and then forgot all about it! The tablerunner I made last year.

Intentional Prayers

8 Nov

Sweet girls who love studying the book of Mark with me!

How many times have you taken down prayer requests during Bible Study or when friends ask you to pray for something but then failed to pray for them?  Do you find yourself scrambling to keep track of a prayer list?   I have been given the awesome privelege and responsibility of teaching at my church.  Each Sunday night I am blessed to spend my evening opening up the Word with a group of middle school girls.  I don’t just want to teach them a bunch of facts about God.  Rather I desire that God would radically transform their lives!  One way that I have seen God radically transform lives is through prayer.  After a couple of weeks teaching these girls I realized that I really didn’t know exactly what they needed me to be praying for them about.  I don’t just want to pray God bless Suzy to have a good day.  Instead I want to pray specifically for her in the areas where she is struggling that God would act in a mighty way in her life.  At the end of our bible study each week I hand each girl a 3X5 index card.  Then I ask her to write down three different prayer requests on the same card.  Most of them usually write down their name as well. 

  1. Spiritual: For the first one I ask her to tell me how I can best be praying for her spiritual life.  Oftentimes this relates to our lesson.  For example maybe she is mad at God, struggling to make time reading her Bible, doubting God’s goodness, confused about what to believe, etc. 
  2. Personal: Then I ask each girl to write down a personal request for herself.  (Anything that isn’t spiritual.)  These would include things like praying for a girl’s relationship with her parents, that she would stop cussing, her brother would stop being mean to her, etc.
  3. Others: Lastly I have the girls write down anything else going on in their life that they want me to pray for.  Things like grandparents, or friend requests go here. 

More sweet ladies

Having the girls write down specific requests not only helps me to pray better for them but also allows me to write more poignant Bible Studies for them.  (If you didn’t know writing Bible Studies for teenage girls is what I love to do!)  We have spent this semester going through a study on the Gospel of Mark that I have written but tonight took a break to talk about spending time with God.  Almost every girl had written  down within the past couple of weeks that she was having trouble reading her bible or praying.  I don’t know that I would have realized this had I not asked them to write down specific prayer requests regarding areas where they were struggling. 

This could also easily be adapted as you pray for your family members and friends.  I have literally handed friends of mine 3X5 index cards and asked them to write down what I could pray for them about.  Sometimes when I am on the phone with a family member or friend I grab an index card and jot down requests.  Index cards work great for me.  I usually keep them in my kitchen as I cook dinner, wash dishes, clean, bake, etc.  At other times I take them on walks with me.  They are small enough that I can place them in my purse and go through them as I am waiting somewhere.