August 9, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things


Today I thought I'd do a light, fun post, sharing a few of my favorite things that I've been enjoying lately.


Favorite Music

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... 



Favorite Movies

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."



Favorite Vlog

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...  Loveli Channel


Favorite Verses
 
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


Favorite Flower

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...



Favorite TV

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!




Favorite Books  

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

To Kill a Mockingbird


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.

'Yes sir...'
 
'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


July 10, 2017

Taking God at His Word


I think this is an extremely important book for the times we live in. Times where even those who profess Christ are rejecting the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.

Kevin DeYoung says of his book here:

"This is a book unpacking what the Bible says about the Bible. My aim is to be simple, uncluttered, straightforward, and manifestly biblical."

I believe this was accomplished with this book. It was easy to read and understand, as well as encouraging. It's fairly short, but included a lot of great insights.

One of the main points of the book, I found to be, was the importance of realizing God speaks to us through the Scriptures.

The God of the universe speaks to us through the Scriptures.

How privileged are we to hear His voice whenever we pick up His Word.

I've heard and read of many Christians, in this world, who would do anything for a Bible, to hear God speak, and yet many have one and rarely pick it up.

I loved what the author says here:

"There is no calamity like the silence of God. We cannot know the truth or know ourselves or know God's ways or savingly know God himself unless God speaks to us. Every true Christian should feel deep in his bones an utter dependence on God's self-revelation in the Scriptures. 'Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.' (Deut. 8:3;Matt. 4:4)."


Chapter seven stood out to me the most. Titled 'Christ's Unbreakable Bible' it delves into what Jesus believed about the Scriptures.

The author says here:

"...we must conclude that whatever the perfect Son of God believed about the sacred writings, we should believe the same. There should be nothing controversial at all in affirming that Christ's doctrine of Scripture should be our doctrine of Scripture."

I am someone who agrees with what this author teaches about Scripture. So for me reading this book was a bit of a refresher. But I found this particular chapter really encouraged me, as I'd never thought of believing the Bible because Jesus believed it. It gave me a lot to think about.

Quotes like this were eye-opening...

"Our Messiah sees Himself as an expositor of Scripture, but never a corrector of Scripture. He fulfills it, but never falsifies it. He turns away wrong interpretations of Scripture, but insists there is nothing wrong with Scripture, down to the crossing of t's and dotting of i's. "

And here:

"Jesus believed Scripture was the Word of God, and as such, it would be gross impiety to think that any word spoken by God, or committed to writing by God, might be an errant word, a wrong word, or a broken word."

And here:

"In the Gospels we see Jesus reference Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac and Jacob, manna in the wilderness, the serpent in the wilderness, Moses as the lawgiver, David and Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Elijah and Elisha, the widow of Zarephath, Naaman, Zechariah, and even Jonah, never questioning a single event, a single miracle, or a single historical claim. Jesus clearly believed in the historicity of biblical history."

And  here:

"Jesus has no problem referencing human authors of Scripture like Moses, Isaiah, David, and Daniel. But they stand in the background. They are the sub-authors working beneath the principle author of Scripture, namely, God Himself.

So Jesus can quote from Psalm 110, saying, 'David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared' (Mark 12:36), just as Paul in Romans 9:17 and Galatians 3:8 can use 'Scripture' as the subject where God is the Old Testament speaker. Holy Spirit, God, Scripture - they are not three different speakers with three different ranks. They refer to the same divine author with the same divine authority. 

Which is why Jesus can talk down the Devil by saying 'it is written,' and why he can claim, without any hint of controversy or hyperbole, that the Creator of the universe wrote Genesis. For Jesus, Scripture is powerful, decisive, and authoritative because it is nothing less than the voice of God."

And finally here:

The Lord Jesus, God's son and our Savior, believed His Bible was the word of God down to the sentences, to the phrases, to the words, to the smallest letter, to the tiniest specks - and that nothing in all those specks and in all those books in His Holy Bible could ever be broken."

Kevin Deyoung elaborates on all these points and shares Scripture to support them.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and if these points have interested you, I highly recommend reading it.



Buy it HERE on Amazon



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...