Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Praying the Scriptures for your Adult Children: Trusting God with the Ones You Love is written by Jodie Berndt and is published by Zondervan.
The title of this book says it all. Sometimes it is simply hard to trust God with those you love. When I was younger, I prayed a lot for my children. They were little then and their physical welfare was at the top of my mind. Four out of my five kids are boys, so you can understand why I was worried they would get hurt. Sometimes they did get hurt, in spite of my careful planning, worry, and half-hearted prayer - usually prayer when all else failed.
My youngest, a girl, is now sixteen and pretty much grown up. I am finding that I am praying more and more for my children now than I did when they were little. The thing is, I am praying, but I am not always confident that God has all things under control. I know! Shocking, right? Aren't we supposed to trust God with everything because, after all, He's God and we aren't?
This book, Praying the Scriptures for your Adult Children, is written by somebody who understands what I've gone through with this whole scenario. The book is filled with Scriptures that help and guide the parent to pray, really pray, for his/her children. Other parents who have been there and done that give their own personal insights on praying for - and trusting God for - their adult children.
Face it, children don't always grow up to reflect their parents' spiritual and moral beliefs. It is always heartbreaking when this happens. I have a child who is rebelling against the Lord and I have to wonder how long he will do this before the Holy Spirit says that one word to my son's spirit that will turn him completely around. At the end of the chapter, "Praying for Your Prodigal", I have found some amazing prayers that really give me confidence that God is not finished with my boy yet. It matters not that this child is soon turning 27. My faith is strengthened when I pray, and when I pray the Scriptures, it is somehow strengthened more.
I have to say that this is a very practical book for me, and I suspect it will be for many others. The writing style is great and easy to read. The insights from other parents, and especially from the Bible itself, is invaluable. Absolutely love it!
Monday, December 11, 2017
Is it snowing where you are? I am told that even in the south where it rarely snows, there is the fluffy, white stuff. We, of course, have a lot of it. It wouldn't be northern Michigan's snow belt if we didn't. With the cold and snow, out comes the slow cooker a little more often. Tonight's chicken is done that way, with lots of lemon pepper sprinkled on.
Here's the plan:
Crock-pot Lemon Pepper Chicken
Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Pizza & Pop
On Your Own
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The Sacred Slow is written by Alicia Britt Chole and is published by W Publishing Group (Thomas Nelson).
We do live in a busy, fast paced world, don't we? Even up here in a small northern village, I have found that life wants to rush right past you. And in that busyness, faith gets sort of swept up in a whirlwind. Our church has program after program to keep us busy and occupied during the holiday season. I'm not knocking that, but I do think that sometimes we just have to stop - and breathe.
The Sacred Slow: A Holy Departure from Fast Faith is a book that is written in a devotional style - 52 daily readings with "exercises" to help us slow down and focus on the giver and sustainer of faith, God Himself. The daily chapters are practical and they are written in a manner that makes us feel at ease with the whole process. And it gives us time to pause and to breathe.
I haven't really gotten into the life scroll at the back of the book yet, but I'm going to really start doing the exercises on January 1. I have read some of the devotional readings at the beginning of the chapters and am eagerly looking forward to just doing the whole shebang.
I find that Chole is an engaging writer who makes me comfortable yet not so comfortable. It's hard to explain. It all works together to give me a feeling that what she's saying is right and it is good. It's going to help me to slow down and enjoy life for what it is - good - when I am living in the center of God's will.
*I received a copy of The Sacred Slow in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are my own.*
It seems like we just had Thanksgiving, but here it is again already. Time is really flying by fast. Things that have blessed me this year and for which I am truly thankful are:
- Our bills continue to get paid, sometimes only by God's grace.
- Our son married a beautiful girl (inside and out) this year.
- Though some of us might still battle some physical ailments, we are all relatively healthy. As the saying goes, things could be worse.
- One of my best friends, because of countless prayers on her behalf, has learned that although people might forsake us, God never does.
- And many, many other blessings
This year I have planned for tomorrow's feast:
Cornbread Stuffing (for those who hate rice)
Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie
Crustless Strawberry Cheesecake
Friday, November 17, 2017
A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory, and The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life are written by Frederick Buechner and are published by Zondervan.
A Crazy, Holy Grace resonates with me. For the past year, I have been haunted by some memories that I try to squash every moment I can. It is a memory of which I struggle with, "Did I do enough to help this person? Did I witness to her enough? Was it all enough and is she in heaven or somewhere else?"
Buechner has struggled with the past, repressing memories and trying to move ahead anyway.
In this book, he reveals some of those memories and how he dealt with them, allowed them to surface, and found healing within. By his own admission, many of them were painful. But with the power of God's grace, he found healing.
Some have said that Buechner is somewhat of an American C. S. Lewis. When I read that, I became intrigued. I love C. S. Lewis. Let me say that I, too, can compare Buechner to Lewis. It's not so much the writing style but the depth and wisdom of the writer that makes the writing great.
The Remarkable Ordinary is another book that I have devoured. In today's busy world, it is easy to get bogged down in just the, well, busyness of it. Buechner, through personal stories and lessons learned, teaches us the importance of just stopping and taking the time to listen to what each experience - and God - is teaching us.
If you are not familiar with Frederick Buechner, you should acquaint yourself with some of his books. The two above are small, barely over 100 page reads. But don't let that fool you. What is contained in those 100 or so pages is worth a lot, especially if you know you are on a spiritual journey (and we all are, whether we acknowledge it or not) and want to make the most of it.
*I received copies of A Crazy, Holy Grace and The Remarkable Ordinary in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.
Monday, October 30, 2017
We are to get our first accumulating snow tonight. I am not looking forward to that, but I can be thankful that the snow was held off for this long. This is a week for comforting, warm foods. Here is the plan:
Slow-cooker Barbecued Pork Chops
Pizza & Pop
Chips & Salsa
On Your Own
Monday, October 23, 2017
I have finally finished my menu plan for the week and it's only 1:32 in the afternoon on Monday. Recently, I haven't even bothered doing one. That is a mistake. Making a menu plan keeps me on track for the week and saves me time. I don't have to look around trying to decide what to have at the last minute. Plus, if I am gone, my kids or husband can get around supper. I keep my plan posted on the refrigerator.
Cake and ice-cream
Chicken and Gravy over Mashed Potatoes
Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream
Pizza & Pop
On Your Own
Saturday, October 21, 2017
The Beautiful Word for Christmas is an illustrated hardcover devotional book that makes a great gift book. It is truly beautifully illustrated as well as contains beautiful Scriptures that speak to the heart. Everything in it pertains to the first coming of Christ. There are 31 days of devotionals, so it's great to use with the family for Advent. That is what I plan to use it for. It's always good to remind everyone what Christmas was intended to be - what it still can be.
I think it's a great book and I know that I will enjoy using it.
*I received a copy of The Beautiful Word for Christmas in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*