Laudable Linkage

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Here are some interesting reads discovered in the past couple of weeks:

It Is Never Right to Be Angry With God, HT to Challies.

What Our Stay-at-Home Mom taught us About Human Dignity, HT to Challies.

What to Do When Your Friend Loses a Baby.

When Mother’s Day Isn’t a Celebration.

Celebrating All Mothers by a Not-Yet Mother.

How to End Sibling Rivalry Like a Christian.

Unity About Modesty Among Differences of Opinion and Practical Considerations About Modesty, 3 and 4 in a series.

What’s Too Violent for Christian Readers?, a discussion with several authors. Pretty much agree with these points.

Animal Expressions, HT to Lisa. These are so cute! Especially the lamb and the baby gorilla with its mom.

And finally, some smiles, found on Pinterest:

I actually do that kind of thing sometimes….

Happy Saturday!

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Laudable Linkage

It’s a busy time of year, but I’ve discovered several thought-provoking reads online the last couple of weeks. Perhaps some of them will pique your interest as well.

Weep, Groan, Wail: The Need to Lament. “How is it possible to grieve, mourn, and wail but still know God is good?”

Even If He Doesn’t. “When the bad things come, when the kind of rescue we think we need just isn’t part of our story, will we be able to testify before a watching world that God can do it, that He will do it, but even if He doesn’t, we won’t turn away.”

Immanuel. From a friend’s whose 25 year old daughter is fighting yet another setback in her cancer battle. God is with us, even in the hard places, even in bad news.

5 Reasons to Read the Bible When You Feel Absolutely Nothing. I kept thinking Yes! all throughout reading this.

Jesus Isn’t Threatened by Your Christmas Gifts. Loved the practicality and balance in this. “The implicit messaging is that Christmas is a kind of either/or proposition in which we can either emphasize Jesus or emphasize gifts. But one always threatens to displace the other. I disagree with this.”

Miracles at Midnight.

5 Ways We Stunt Our Spiritual Growth.

Seekest Thou Great Things For Thyself? HT to Challies.

It’s Time to Take Your Medicine. “As we read the letters of Paul we find he always frames things this way: ‘God has done this for you in Christ, therefore you should respond in the following ways.’ ‘Thus the motivation, energy, and drive for holiness are all found in the reality and power of God’s grace in Christ.'”

Words That Shimmer. “For Christians, isn’t it amazing that our gracious God chose something as powerful as words to communicate to us His glorious truth? Everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). What a gift! What a treasure! Collectors of words take heart:”

Praying Biblical Prayers.

(Re)Remembering What We Mean. “Fairy tales employ the tool of the fantastic to jar us back to a truer vision that sees that all things are fantastic. Wonder is an appropriate response to all things because all things are wonderfully made.”

On parenting:

Should Parents Lay Down The Law Or Give Grace? “Grace is not rejecting authority. Grace is not walking away from the need of my children to have boundaries in their life—grace is about the way that I do that.”

My Changing Thoughts On Being a Mother. I wrestled with many of the same things mentioned here.

On writing:

Why Backstory Is Better Than Flashbacks.

And finally, I loved this video of a deer and rabbit playing. At least the deer is playing – it takes a while for the rabbit. Someone posted this on Facebook with the caption “Bambi and Thumper are real!”

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

I found quite a bit of good reading the last couple of weeks. Hope something here piques your interest:

Grace Incognito. “What if the point isn’t sprinting across the finish line in record time, but knowing God in every halting, baby step along the way?”

Grace-paced Living in a Burnout Culture. The “Mrs. Grace” illustrations were probably the best I’ve seen showing what life lived with an overflow of God’s grace to us is looks like.

What Should Be One of My Chief Aims at Church?

3 Ways Understanding Jesus’s Cultural Context Helps Me.

Here’s How I’m Fighting the Lies of Self-pity.

19 Spurgeon Quotes for Coping With Stress and Anxiety.

When the Doctor Says to Terminate.

Children and Sleep-overs: What Parents Need to Know.

Master Your Time: 5 Daily Scheduling Methods to Bring More Focus to Your Day, HT to Challies.

The Things All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, HT to Lisa. Sad, but true. (Warning: a bit of bad language).

Here’s What Goodwill Actually Does With Your Donated Clothing.

5 Reasons You Need Fiction, HT to Lisa.

Did you know they were making a new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast? With Dan Stevens (Matthew on Downton Abbey) as the Beast? Here are some photos from it, HT to Carrie. This is one of my favorite fairy tales and the Disney film one of my favorite Disney movies. I hope they do this well and don’t toss in anything objectionable. Looks good so far.

And finally, my oldest son posted this video called “Unsatisfying,” and right at first I thought it was frustrating, but before long I was laughing. Some of the little touches, like the squeaky windmill, are great and the soundtrack, though I love the piece (Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings), is perfect.

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

I’ve discovered some great reads around the Web recently. Here are the latest:

Treat Yourself to the Voice of God. “We’re prone to take one of the single greatest gifts available to us and treat it as a life-sucking obligation rather than a life-giving opportunity.”

After my post about Principles For Interpreting the Bible, I was pleased to see “Contending For Old School Hermeneutics” said some of the same things but also said some things I didn’t.

The Whole Sentence Matters. An illustration of the above, how one “popular” verse changes meaning a bit when read with the verse above it.

Kindness Changes Everything, and it’s different from just being “nice.”

Waiting to Die, HT to Challies. Working through the dark thoughts and emotions that come with a terminal diagnosis.

On Empty Nests, Christian Mommy Guilt, and Misplaced Identity by Jen Wilkin. “It’s as if our love is a cosmic batch of heart-shaped cookies we must divvy up. Give anyone more cookies than Jesus and your identity is misplaced. But shouldn’t there be a way to give Jesus all the cookies without depriving our families as well?”

A Prayer For Kindred Spirits. “The nurturing of just one kindred spirit can be enough to keep the voices at bay. It’s as if this secret I’ve been carrying around, afraid to share, has been loosed into the world, and it’s okay. There’s nothing like the deep, soul hug which takes place when realizing you’re amongst those who know the kind of person you really are. And it’s okay.”

3 Reasons Your Small Group Is Not the Church.

4 Practical Guidelines For Reading Old Testament Stories.

Do’s and Don’ts For Visiting Someone With Alzheimer’s.

Everyone Can Do Something.

9 Things You Should Know About Mother Teresa.

[Food and the Bible] When Eating Is Sinful.

Spelling Out Unconditional Love.

The High Calling of Bringing Order From Chaos. Sometimes I feel frustrated that this is such a constant battle, but this helps give it perspective.

Old Books, Disagreements, Loving People, HT to Worthwhile Books. Reasons to read books that contain things you disagree with.

Permission Not To Change a Thing. With all the nice photos on Pinterest and plethora of decorating and house-flipping shows, sometimes we feel a constant urge to do something to our homes. It’s certainly not wrong to redecorate or freshen things up or even do a grand remodeling. But it’s also ok not to.

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow, there are a lot of articles about it. I’ve only read a couple in depth so far: “We’re the only plane in the sky” about the president and those with him the first 8 or so hours (warning: a bit of bad language) and The Story Behind the Haunting 9/11 Photo of a Man Falling From the Twin Towers.

That’s it for today – hope you have a good Saturday.

Laudable Linkage

I wasn’t able to get time for sharing interesting links last week, so I’ve got a lengthy list here. But perhaps you’ll find something of interest among them.

Ambushed by Beauty and Chicken Nuggets. Loved this. “It is humbling to work here, but not in the way that implies shame. Who am I to so readily dismiss a job where I witness the entire spectrum of human emotion during the course of a single shift? Who am I to think ill of this chance to observe – over and over again – the miracle of childhood and the poignancy of prayer? Who am I to think that the transcendent things that happen every night in a southern Virginia fast food joint are in any way of lesser importance than those that happen elsewhere?”

What If You’re Not as Awesome as You Think You Are? “An untroubled conscience might say less about our real character than it does about our lack of self-awareness.” We all have blind spots.

10 Marks of an Immature Believer.

Who’s Your Daddy? Quite interesting article about the Fatherhood of God and how fathers are often represented in literature. “But there’s a deeper reason for the absent/adversarial-dad theme, I think: the central conflict of humanity is that we’ve lost our Father.”

About church:

7 Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About the Church.

5 Tips for Enjoying the Church Prayer Meeting.

About marriage:

The REAL List For the Guy You Should Marry by my friend Ann.

Marriage Is More Than Feeling In Love. “Don’t sit around and wonder if you’re still in love with your spouse or if your spouse is still in love with you. Just love him.”

Six Things Submission Is Not.

About motherhood:

Better Than a Birth Plan. Despite our best plans, things don’t always work accordingly, especially when giving birth. We need to be careful not to make other women feel “less than” if they didn’t have the type of delivery we idealize.

How to Love Being a Mom. Because some days, it’s really hard.

Is Your Child In Charge of Your Home?

Mom and Dad, Your Job Is Not Over. “There are very few griefs for a parent greater than a child who turns away from the gospel faith in which they were raised.”

7 Rules For Online Engagement. Yes.

Dear World: Let’s Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor. Though I hate the word “crap,” I do appreciate the points she makes.

In Praise of Administration. As someone who prefers “behind the scenes” ministry, I appreciated this affirmation that it is just as needed as the “out-front” kinds.

An Introvert’s Guide to Having People Over.

101 Generation-Bridging, Boredom-Busting Activities For Grandparents And Grandchildren. In case you can’t think of anything to do. 🙂

Fatal Illusions by my friend Adam Blumer is on sale for the Kindle for 99 cents for a time. My review is here. Also The Tenth Plague, which was originally only published in an e-format, is coming out in paperback in April. My review of that and an interview with Adam is here. I enjoyed both books quite a lot. If you like mysteries, give them a try!

47 Photos That Capture How Much Nancy Reagan Loved Ron. I always loved how she looked at him when he spoke. Near the end there is a neat video of a time when he surprised her on her birthday when she was speaking somewhere. I miss them.

And to end with a smile:

In the book

Treadmill

Happy Saturday!

(Updated to add: please don’t take any link here as an endorsement of the whole site it comes from. Some of these are from blogs I read regularly, some are from links I saw elsewhere. I try to give a “hat tip” to the source but I don’t always remember to note it. I wouldn’t knowingly send readers to a site where there was a problem without mentioning it, but in many of these cases I have just read and liked the one article without having the time to check out all the rest.)

Bookish Questions

I just rediscovered a link I had kept on file where someone tagged me in a book-related meme. Thanks to Dancing Books for tagging me, and I apologize for taking so long to respond. I’m afraid I had totally forgotten about it.

According to her post, these are in conjunction with a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award, and the rules for it are as follows:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  2. Put the award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Nominate ten blogs

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I don’t usually do blog awards here any more, for various reasons, but I am doing these mainly for the bookish questions. Dancing Books’ questions for me were:

1. If you were stranded on a desert island with no hope of ever returning, which male or female character would you want to be stranded with?

That would be very hard to say, but off the top of my head, Elinor Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility comes to mind. She’s resourceful, knows how to economize, isn’t flighty, and we’re similar in personality.

2. Who is your favourite villain?

Inspector Javert from Les Miserables. He thinks he’s on the side of right. He stands for the good causes of righteousness and justice but forgets forgiveness and mercy and compassion. He reminds me somewhat of the apostle Paul who persecutes Christians because he thinks they are sinning against the God he thinks he is serving, yet unlike Paul, who is brought prostrate and converted when he is brought face to face with the truth, Javert can’t face it, can’t comprehend it, and sadly destroys himself.

3. Would you prefer to watch the TV show/movie or read the book?

Read the book. Most books take many more hours to complete than a movie, so there’s more time for plot and character development and nuance. The exception would be long classics. Sometimes they’re too daunting to read, or too wordy (by today’s standards), so sometimes a film can give you the essence of it and then help you know whether you’d want to explore the book further.

What’s your preference, eReader or physical books? Why?

Physical books – there’s so much more to the reading experience than just dragging eyes across words. However, now that I have gotten used to an eReader, I do like it a lot. I like the sheer number of books I can put on it, the free or cheap deals I can find for it, and the fact that I can search for a word or phrase. I also like that I can pull up a list of all the places I highlighted – nice for reviewing or reminding myself of them.

What is your all time favourite book? Why?

Oh, that’s such a hard question. As a Christian, naturally the Bible is my ultimate favorite – not just because it’s “supposed” to be. I love reading it and I love its effect in my life. But other than that, probably A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens or Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Though books set in France or around the French Revolution aren’t my favorites, both of these have a beautiful story line overall plus wonderful individual scenes.

Thinking about your all time favourite book, what would be good songs to listen to while reading it?

I can’t listen to music while reading, but music from the Les Miserables musical would go with either one.

Think about your favourite book again, if it was made into a movie, what character would you want to play?

I’d probably like to play Lucie Manette from Two Cities, but I’d “fit” Miss Pross better. 🙂

If you woke up and found an elephant in your back yard, what would you do?

OK, this is pretty random. 🙂 I’d call animal control and stay inside. Maybe fill up the kiddie pool with water so it would have something to drink.

What’s a funny joke related to books or reading?

Here are a few from Pinterest:

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Aside from reading, what else do you like to do in your spare time?

Write, make cards, cross stitch, organize, decorate, sew…there are too few hours in the day!

Here are my ten questions for others:

  1. Do you remember the first book you read or really liked?
  2. How did your love for reading come about (grew up in a reading family, a certain book captivated you, etc.)?
  3. What is your favorite genre to read?
  4. What genre do you avoid reading?
  5. What is your favorite movie based on a book?
  6. What’s your least favorite movie based on a book?
  7. What is your favorite time and place to read?
  8. Are you in any “real life” book clubs or discussion groups?
  9. How many bookcases do you have?
  10. What is a favorite quote about books or from a book?

My nominees are:

  1. Carrie at Reading to Know
  2. Monica at Adventures in Everyday Life
  3. Melanie at Simply Amazing Grace
  4. Lou Ann at In the Way
  5. Bekah at bekahcubed
  6. Susan at Girls in White Dresses
  7. Rbclibrary at By the Book
  8. Lisa at LisaNotes
  9. Susanne at Living to Tell the Story
  10. Tori at My Home Away From Home

If you don’t like to do these things, my feelings won’t be hurt. Some love them and some don’t. And if you’d like to and, due to the limit of ten, I didn’t name you, please feel free to do them anyway or answer them in the comments if you’d rather not on your blog. Hope you have fun with them. Let me know when and if you do these and I’ll be happy to come read your answers.

Book Review: Child of Mine

Child of MineIn Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis, Jack Livingston is a flight instructor raising his niece. His brother and sister-in-law had adopted Natalie, called Nattie, but they died in an accident when she was young. Nattie has had an Amish nanny, Laura Mast, all her eight years of life. Jack’s sister, San (short for Sandra) helps as well.

Kelly Maines has spent eight years looking for her baby, who had been kidnapped and then sold. Sympathetic interest and funding has begun to drop off. She’s not sleeping well, she’s lost weight, and her life has been consumed with following one lead after another.

Readers will guess that these lives will intersect at some point, and they do, but the plot doesn’t end up anything like I expected it would due to some twists and turns.

I can’t say too much more about it because I don’t want to give anything away, but I very much enjoyed the book. It’s different from Beverly’s usual style in that it’s not set among the Amish though an Amish woman is a main character. It’s not the first book collaboration for husband and wife, David and Beverly, but it is the first I’ve read of their work together, though I have read many of Beverly’s before. Now I need to go look up their first one.

(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)