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Showing posts from June, 2010

Sacred Dance of Grief & Joy

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When staff member Linda first told me about this book, I couldn't help noticing how passionate she was. I believe you will understand why after you read both her review as well as the book itself. And don't forget to click on the youtube link at the end of her post. "After watching an interview with Angie and Todd Smith (Todd is the lead singer of the group Selah), I knew that I needed to read the book I Will Carry You . I needed to be able to understand such grace and faith in the face of such a tragedy. With beautiful honesty, Angie tells their story, of being 18 weeks pregnant, of learning that their beautiful baby girl had conditions leaving her "incompatible with life", and of being strongly advised to terminate the pregnancy. Together they decided to carry baby Audrey as long as God chose to give her life. They spent the next 3 months loving a little girl not expected to draw a breath. Audrey Caroline defied the odds, and lived over two hour

Why We Love the Church

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Central Heights Church has the dubious distinction of being the church where the floor collapsed during a Starfield concert almost 2 and 1/2 years ago. It happens to also be the place that I have called my "home church" for the past 34 years. Yesterday was a banner day for us as we celebrated together in the repaired Worship Center for the first time since April 2008. I was not an official "greeter", but I chose to stand at one of the entrances and welcome folks. We have not all been together in one place at one time for so many months that I felt a great longing to re-connect with fellow worshippers and to celebrate with as many people as possible. Handshakes and hugs marked our mutual sense of thanksgiving and joy. Very appropriately, Why We Love the Church by Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck has been my current non-fiction favourite for the past few weeks. These are the same two guys that wrote Why We're Not Emergent a couple of years ago. On the back of

Grandmothers Rock

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I began to realize that grandparents were a breed apart when my mother wouldn't use the present I bought her. “My grandkids are smarter than your grandkids!” read the cute bumper sticker I thought she would affix with alacrity onto the rear bumper of her van. Apparently this was just asking for trouble on California's freeways. “People shoot for less than that!” Now that I am a grandmother, I understand. Even my theology has shifted. That whole sin nature business was a big question mark until the 2nd birthday. I would explain behavioral glitches as environmental, not organic. But one thing was a given from day one. These children would LOVE TO READ. Other loving relations bought cute furry crib dwellers, flashy rattles or cozy sleepers. This grammy prepared for the imminent arrival by laying in a selection of reading material. As the tummy extended, the stack in my bedroom grew taller. Bible stories, animal alphabets, glossy paged tales, pop-ups, fold-outs, 3 dimen

New Fiction - Rick's Picks

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At lunch today, a colleague and I discussed what we were reading. Rick waxed so eloquent about two new fiction books he had just finished that I immediately asked him to send me reviews for today's post. His comments certainly piqued my interest. Title: The Galilean Secret Author: Evan Drake Howard "This is a book that combines historical fiction with Biblical history, mixed with a contemporary suspense and romance thriller. That may sound confusing, but it's a fairly straight forward plot, so a serious reader will have no problem keeping everything straight. It also carries a specific theological viewpoint that I found fascinating. It is paced evenly enough so that you are not bogged down in historical detail, nor reeling from the shifts between the first and twenty-first century. I expected to find some aspects of the story that were suspect from a biblical perspective, but Howard steers away from this and gives us the history from a very solid, evangelical

Could It Happen?

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Friday morning found me in the waiting room of the eye doctor. Diagnosis? Corneal abrasion. Ugh. And even further ugh was the conclusion that the surface of my eyes is eroding. I shrieked when I heard that ominous word "erode". "Please don't use those two words (eye and erode) in the same sentence!" But my doctor was quite firm. After decades of wearing rigid contact lenses, we needed to make some changes. After my appointment, I charged right back to the store and grabbed a handful of books that I had been meaning to read. If my reading days were numbered, I was going to go down reading! So many good books to read, and so little time! But at least I got to read this one. The Last Christian by David Gregory took only part of this weekend to read and that's because I read faster and faster to find out what on earth was going to happen. Gregory is the author of other books I have often recommended, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger , A Day with a Perfe

Plan B (by guest blogger Gary)

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Gary loves reading books that challenge him and that make him change the way he thinks. He and his family relish discussions together about the books they are reading. And he loves visiting the House of James bookstore! "My son Aaron (22) read Plan B by Pete Wilson. When I asked him what he thought of it, his response was "Dad, you have to read this book". So I did and I loved it. More than that, it has changed the way I think. We have an idea of what we want or expect our lives to be but when curves balls come (and they always do), we get frustrated, maybe mad at God, paralyzed and wonder what to do. We have a high expectation of being "in control" of our lives but, as Pete says, "the greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control". No matter what the circumstances of our lives are, God is in control and there are often greater purposes at work. Another pre-conceived idea is that we expect "success" if Go

The Beginning

I am innately distrustful of advancements in technology. I used a typewriter long after my husband & colleagues were embracing DOS in the mid-80's. When Powerpoint arrived I wanted to chain myself to the slide projector that I used to show the worship songs on Sunday mornings. But even I got annoyed with my inability to correct spelling errors. The only reason I reluctantly learned how to email was because my husband traveled overseas for several weeks in '96. If I wanted to communicate with him it had to be via Outlook. Several years ago, in a small, passive sort of protest against blogging, I wrote an “Unblog” (aka family newsletter) via email to huge acclaim and affirmation. A small shaft of light began to shine into my Luddite brain. Facebook was a big time-waster in my considered opinion until my friend introduced me to “creeping” which apparently is what mothers do to keep track of their off-spring and their off-springs' friends. Bingo. Now I even have my