Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jesus Calling for Kids


Jesus Calling For Kids: Enjoying Peace in His PresenceJesus Calling For Kids: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This 365 daily reading devotional is an absolute must read to kids!  I read it to my children every night, and even bought copies to send to the orphans we sponsor in Sierra Leone. I have the adult version, which is great as well - but this book is just beautifully written and shows the loving-kindness of our gracious God.  My kids will NOT let me get away without reading it to them before bed, even if it is a really late night and we are exhausted, they just love hearing about how Jesus wants them to come to him with everything.  The book is written as if from Jesus to the reader, scriptures are included and more are referenced for further study if desired.

Love, Love, Love


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The Secret Garden


The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite books as a child.  I loved reading it (actually I listened to the audiobook) again after so long, I had pretty much forgotten everything so it was nice to rediscover it.  I particularly loved the end, and was so surprised to see the hymn I sing in church every week "The Doxology" play such a significant roll.  And the magic.

Yes, this book is truly magical.


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Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God


Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodCrazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever been Crazy-in-Love?  Oh that feeling of flying, dreaming, being in the moment with that one person who is EVERYTHING to you?  That is how God wants us to love him.  And you know what?

That is how he loves us!

This book reminds us of the intimate, crazy love, relentless pursuit of relationship between ourselves and God.  When I finished this book, I couldn't help but try and find ways to bring back that Crazy-in-Love pursuit of Jesus that I had at the beginning of our relationship 8 years ago.  Reminds me of that old saying - "how do kids spell love?  T-I-M-E."
So, I'm spending lots and lots of time in this crazy love with my Jesus.

*****

From the book cover:

God is love.

Have you ever wondered if we are missing it?

It's crazy, if you think about it.  The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacfificing love.  And what is our typical response?  We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Whether you've verbalized it yet or not… we all know something's wrong.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo?  Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions?  God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself.  Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - it's falling in love with God.  And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.

Because when you are wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

~~~~~~~~~~~

We say things like, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and "Trust in the Lord with all your heart."  Then we live and plan like we don't believe God even exists.  We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn't come through.  But true faith means holding nothing back.  It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His promises.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

God wants us to trust Him with abandon.  he wants to show us how He works and cares for us.  He wants to be our refuge.


www.crazylovebook.com



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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Slave Hunter

Slave Hunter: One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human TraffickingSlave Hunter: One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking by Aaron Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My church hosted an evening with Aaron Cohen last week.  I was so excited to go to his presentation and was blown away by how many people were there.  It turned out that Mr. Cohen was in town to train local FBI and Police Task Forces in how to free victims of child trafficking and exploitation.  Local law enforcement, special interest groups, a prominent politician, concerned citizens and many from my church family attended and were encouraged to demand from our state representatives that more laws be passed in order to facilitate the abolishment of this horrific and evil trafficking of human beings that is quickly becoming more profitable than running drugs or selling guns.

Mr. Cohen gave an intriguing lecture about the history of slavery, the call for a Jubilee, and how he became the Slave Hunter.  I walked away from the evening with a signed copy of his book that I could not wait to read, a new awareness for the estimated thousands of trafficked human beings in MY city, and a broken prayerful heart that our country will follow Aaron Cohen's example of setting the captive free.

This book riveted me, convicted me, and educated me.  I have so many favorite passages of this book, but have decided not to share them.  I really want you to discover this book for yourself.  The Slave Hunter has shared his journey so honestly, eloquently and faithfully that I cannot help but fall on my knees to help cover his life and mission in prayer.

I will end by sharing one of my favorite quotes that has become such an inspiration since God placed in me a heart for missions:

“I am only one,
but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
                       - Helen Keller





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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copy-right! or Copy-wrong?

fairuse.stanford.edu/CopyrightOverview

My conscience is a busy little fella.

I love books.

I like blogs.

I like to blog about books.

I don't know if anybody cares.

It's really just for me and my bad memory, and hopefully your entertainment.

I really try to not offend anyone, especially an author of a REALLY good book I just read.

And am going to blog about.

I did my homework, and I think I'll be okay.

My little excerpts count as "fair use".

Right?

The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

The Romance of Tristan and IseultThe Romance of Tristan and Iseult by Joseph B├ędier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book!  I bought a new app (1.99) called Free Audiobooks for my i-pod touch, yes, I am chuckling at the app called Free Audiobooks that cost me $1.99…. :)  Best two bucks ever!  All the books are public domain and read by volunteers at Librivox, a total of 2,947 classics!  This should keep me entertained and not have to run to the library and download all those cd's to the computer.  I liked the library e-version of books you could rent online and in three weeks when your loan was up they would disappear off your computer, but it messed up my iPod settings EVERY time, so yeah. I'm doing the happy dance over here!

Back to the book.

I've never heard of this book but had seen the movie advertisements a couple of years ago and yes, it is in my Netflix cue so if I ever get to watch movies on a regular basis again and nobody else is begging to see something "cooler" or "funny" or "studly" then I will watch my classic chic flick.

I was in the mood for a classic romance because I have been reading such heavy, heart wrenching stuff lately and this book fit the bill.  Yes, it is a tragedy, but a quick read (listen) and poetic, descriptive, and just plain entertaining.

Oh yeah, I LOVED the narrator's voice, accent, and cadence.  I hope other audiobooks on this app are read by her as well.


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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Breaking Night

Breaking Night: A MemoirBreaking Night: A Memoir by Liz Murray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Liz Murray shares her story with grace, hope and inspires others to take control of their own future by hard work, dedication and love for family and friends.  Please note there are descriptions of heavy drug use (her parents) and some child abuse and neglect but the story would not be complete without understanding what she endured and eventually made the choice to overcome.

Favorite passages:

Had I know when I left that there would be no going back, no returning to a roof over my head, I'm not sure I would have done it.  After all, isn't that what really draws the line between childhood and adulthood, knowing that you are solely responsible for yourself?  If so, then my childhood ended at fifteen.

__________

I was inspired by a question that kept repeating itself in my mind: Could I really change my life?  I'd spent so many days, weeks, months, and years thinking about doing things with my life, and now I wanted to know, if I committed to a goal and woke up every single day working hard at it, could I change my life?

__________

In this way I didn't have to choose to go to high school just once, I had to choose it over and over again, every single time I was tempted not to go.  During these mornings that were full of rare and precious quiet, soft pillows and warmth, I was tempted more than any other time to just pull the blanket back over me.  It took everything I had to choose to walk through the door to go to school instead.  In these moments, I was my biggest obstacle.  Warm blanket or walk through the door?

___________

But it was no easy task to pick out a birthday card from Daddy to Lisa.  What could I possibly pick?  They were all designed for men who had lived up to their responsibilities as a father, cards decorated with shimmering monikers of Dad, Daddy, sayings like, "This card is from your loving Father."  …. I came up with my own solution.  Neither of them knew it, but more than once I found the perfect card from Daddy to Lisa in the sympathy section of the card store:  "Been Thinking About You," …..cards that expressed love but left room for the implication of tragedy and distance.  These were the only greeting cards that captured Daddy's role as a father.

__________

….discussions on character motivation, syntax, and even his bold assertion one afternoon that "grammer saves lives!" "Punctuation changes everything," he proclaimed in white chalk across our blackboard.  "Let's eat, Grandpa! - versus- Let's eat Grandpa! To Grandpa, these are VERY different sentences," he teased making the class erupt into chuckles and groans.

__________

Things turning around for me had been the result of my focusing on the few areas in life I could change, and surrendering to the knowledge that there were many more things I just couldn't make different.


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book and the journey that Lily goes on to try to find her mother.  My favorite part, though is when she realizes that family is not only your blood relatives, but those that love you and surround you just because they want to - not due to familial expectations or social obligation.  This book really challenged me, reminding me of childhood wounds and also making me forever grateful for those who love me unconditionally and without judgement.



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