Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good quotes for today - on perseverance, and being thrifty.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. 
-Edmund Burke

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. 
- Theodore Roosevelt

Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern - it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that... one stitch at a time, taken patiently. 
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Okay, I know. I'm a girl. Wild at Heart is perhaps one of the best-known books for guys.
But, it's a good book for women to read to help understand their guys. And, since I'm happily married and have two sons, I decided I'd read through this - the Revised and Expanded Edition of Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul.

I was apprehensive at first, although I've always believed this book has done a lot of good for Christian men. I believe in the wildness of a man's soul. But, I also believe that men and women are more alike than not alike, and I'm concerned about things that place great divides between them.  I was afraid that Wild at Heart would spread generalities such as "men like to be outdoors" and therefore, "women like to be indoors" (not necessarily true), "men want adventure" and therefore, "women want security" (not necessarily true) etc.

What about women who love adventure? What about women who don't mind picking up a sword? What about women who want to experience the wilderness of the soul? What about women who are strong and passionate and tough?

Don't get me wrong - I believe in a distinction between genders. I believe in being a loving wife, a nurturing Mom, and that kindness and sweetness are admirable qualities for a woman. But what about being an ezer? What about men and women working together in the Kingdom, both with dominion, both with the assignment to subdue the earth? Where would Eldredge put women in the plan of God? Can we fight alongside men, or can we only be fought for?

To my delight, Eldredge does recognize woman's call as an ezer. He writes: "Eve is given to Adam as his ezer kenegdo... it means something far more powerful than just "helper"; it means "lifesaver." Eve is a life giver; she is Adam's ally. It is to both of them that the charter for adventure is given. It will take both of them to sustain life. And they will both need to fight together."

Yes! Now I'm a big Wild at Heart fan. I believe it should be read by every Christian man and every married woman and every one who has a son. There are a few statements I didn't necessarily agree with, but, all in all, the book is all that I've heard it is - life-changing on a personal level and revolutionary for the body of Christ.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

John G. Fee's definition of the Gospel - in his own words.

From The Autobiography of John G. Fee:

"We begin with and build upon a person - the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour from sin; and 'other foundations can no man lay.'

That Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, came into the world to save sinners, is the creed of the gospel.

Manifested faith in Him, as the Saviour from sin, is the reason for fellowship and cooperation.

This faith in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, induced as it is by the truth and Spirit of God, carries with it a radical change in the believer; and entire conformity of will, of affection, of life to the Lord Jesus.

This is seen from the very import of the original word (pisteuo), translated 'believe.' This word implies not mere intellectual assent to a fact, even the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, but the word, when used to designate faith in, or belief on a person, implies more; it implies committal.

The soul that thus believes on, commits itself to the Lord Jesus, opens the door of the heart to Christ, and in so doing becomes 'a new creature.' Pertinent are the words of the apostle, 'He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ (commits himself to Christ) is born of God.'

Such a believer  is more than a mere moralist, more than a mere humanitarian; more than a mere professor; he is a 'new creature.'"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Duggars : 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

Okay, so curiosity got the better of me and I brought this one home from the library and finished it while we are on vacation.

The Duggars have become famous because of their Discovery Channel reality show, "17 and Counting", which after several years of broadcasting eventually was retitled "20 and Counting" for obvious reasons - they had three more kids. For a total of 18 kids. And then they had another one after publishing this book. 19 kids total. Or did I miscount?

Actually, I like the way this family operates. They are Christians, homeschoolers, live completely debt-free, built their own house, and taught all their kids to play the violin. I like that.

I also don't criticize their conviction to never use birth control. I don't like birth control pills either, and when the Duggars were first married, a miscarriage was caused by a pregnancy that occurred while Michelle was on birth control (yes, it really can happen). Hence their conviction.

I gained a few ideas from this book, as I do from others about large families, that are helpful for our family. We only have three kids, but we also have an extremely busy lifestyle. All the advice I can get about organization, scheduling, time-saving, and money-saving, can be put into practice for my family.

One of the best things I have learned from books like this is that I need to really rely more on my dishwasher, crock pot and other devices. In fact, I have gone so far as to say that I have three maids: One is named Dish Washer, the other is named Crock Pot, and I also have a set of twins that works for me, and their names are Clothes Washer and Clothes Dryer. If you put your 'maids' to work first thing in the morning, they will work for you all day!"  This seems simple, but laundry and cooking and dishes are big deals and can consume your time. If you really concentrate on keeping the maids going, instead of getting distracted with other things, you will have time to do stuff while they're working.

The only issue I have with the Duggars is that they seem to lean towards a legalistic lifestyle. They are very concerned with being obedient to the teachings they find in the Bible. That's a good thing, but it needs to be in the proper context. It can be dangerous to read a few OT verses and make a rigid lifestyle from them without considering the Bible as a whole, without reading it in the context of the New Covenant, or without being willing to view all of life (apart from sin) as spiritual.

Friday, August 5, 2011

David Quote of the Day

David climbs up on the bed and starts inspecting my head.
"I'm checking for leeches," he said.

"Leeches?" I asked. "On my head? Were you downstairs reading the gross-out science book?"


"I think you probably mean lice. Lice sometimes live in hair."

"Are lice long and black?" he asked.


"Are leeches long and black?"


"Well," he said. "Then I definitely mean leeches. I'm checking you for leeches."