December 22, 2011

Paula the Waldensian

This is one of my favorite books. It is a true story, that was originally written in French and then later translated into many other languages including English.  If you are looking for a good read that is not all fluff but is not difficult to understand, I would encourage you to check this little book out!

(Back cover)"In dark times, the Waldenses protected the truths of the Bible from corrupt kings and evil popes who sought to banish God's Word from the earth, while lighting their world with God's love. Raised with this legacy, young Paula finds herself in an unfamiliar world following her father's untimely death. Placed in the home of her uncle where the discussion of religion forbidden, she is soon prohibited from reading her own cherished Bible. The foundations of her faith challenged, Paula must choose whether she will make the Waldensian legacy her own. For generations, Paula's story has enriched and encouraged children and adults alike to be imitators of God, standing for truth and walking in love. Paula the Waldensian is an epic of faith and character that must be read by children and adults alike."

December 14, 2011

100 Years Ago Today: Amundson Reaches the South Pole

We are in a season of historic anniversaries for great acts of discovery and exploration. Next year marks the anniversary of both the Sinking of the Titanic and the demise of the Scott expedition to the South Pole. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu. In a few years we will remember the great story of Shackleton and The Endurance. Today, however, is enormously important in the great history of man’s dominion over the planet. One hundred years ago, Roald Amundson won the race to the South Pole.

“Nineteen men, ninety-seven dogs, four pigs, six carrier pigeons, and one canary.”

From the New York Times
When Roald Amundsen’s ship, the Fram, left Norway on Aug. 9, 1910, it carried, in Amundsen’s words, “nineteen men, ninety-seven dogs, four pigs, six carrier pigeons, and one canary.” The ship was nearly 20 years old, and the expedition leader, Amundsen, was 38. He was already a formidable polar explorer, but this voyage to Antarctica and the South Pole made him one of the greatest explorers who ever lived. Related News
On Dec. 14, a century ago, Amundsen and the four members of his team reached the South Pole. “That day,” he wrote, “was a beautiful one,” and at 3 o’clock in the afternoon they planted the flag of Norway, each man with one hand on the flagpole. Like so many other days on that polar journey, that day was “like a pleasure trip,” as Amundsen later reported. The weather was good, but even better was the planning. The Norwegians were born skiers, excellent dog handlers and skilled navigators. They proceeded across the ice exactly as they had done across the ocean, fixing their location again and again by dead reckoning and with sextants. They also left innumerable cairns and markers to guide them on their return.
In his book, “The South Pole,” Amundsen makes none of this sound heroic. He admired the English for their “pluck and grit,” but what you feel in reading his account is joy and adventure. Even now, Amundsen is too little admired, mainly because his straightforward success was eclipsed by what a member of Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition called the “first-rate tragedy” of Scott’s polar push, which ended in the deaths of Scott and his four-man team.
On Dec. 14, Amundsen was at the pole, writing a letter to Scott wishing him a safe return. Scott was 34 days behind him, on a different route. Scott’s journal for that day reads, “We are just starting our march with no very hopeful outlook.”

December 08, 2011

Fierce Beauty

In her newest book "Fierce Beauty", Kim Meeder seeks to address a old problem especially evident among Christian young women. Everyday the world bombards us with lies. We are told by movies, music, and pictures that if we want to be truly beautiful we must have a flawless complexion, unique talent of some-sort, and only ware the 'newest' fashions.
Meeder's message is that real beauty isn't 'looks', it comes from the heart. (1 Peter 3:4) "God's definition of beauty is not from the outside in... but from the inside out."
Through out the book Meeder uses the image of a self-absorbed Princess who so totally consumed in making sure her hands are spotless, hair is shining, and jewels in order, that she has not even thought about lending a hand to the people around her. She contrasts this princess with an attentive warrior woman who carries the "sward of encouragement" and "fights for those who are losing their battle for hope".
"Ultimately, life comes down to one question: will you serve yourself or your King?"

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
It was fascinating to read about Meeder's diverse experiences whether it was clinging to the sheer rock face, competing in the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team Trials, or trying to gain the trust of a seemingly emotionless 16 year-old girl.
I found her writing style very engaging, but more than that, she had something worth while to say!
Everything has pro's and con's and Kim Meeder's book is no exception.
For some people her frequent trips down memory lane might seem unnecessary and for the most part difficult to identify with. For me, it helped me see her as an individual, not just an author, adding an element of personableness that would not have been there otherwise.
As I finished the book several questions seriously challenged me to re-evaluate my heart.
"Which do I truly love more- my freedom in Christ, or my bondage to sin?" "Within the territory of my heart, am I choosing to tolerate sin, or am I fiercely defending the heart that Jesus Christ gave His life to set free?"
(Disclaimer:I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, every opinion expressed here in is my own.)

About the Author

Kim Meeder is the author of Hope Rising, Bridge Called Hope, and Blind Hope. Along with her husband, Troy, she owns and operates Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in central Organ, a nonprofit organization that rescues abused and neglected horses and pairs them with disadvantaged children, offering them a place of safety, peace, and hope. She has been a popular guest on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast, Dr. Dobson's Family Talk, and featured on the CBS Early Show.

December 05, 2011

December's FREE Audio

Hurray for FREEBIES!  Back at  you can get your free audio of the month and this month there are two audio's. 

(Click on the titles to download)

From Pearl Harbor to Calvary

Mitsuo Fuchida was a Captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service who is perhaps best known for leading the first air wave attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Fuchida was responsible for the coordination of the entire aerial attack working under the overall fleet commander Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo.
After World War II ended, Fuchida became an evangelist, Christian preacher and frequently traveled to the United States to minister to the Japanese expatriate community. He became a United States citizen in 1966. His autobiography was originally released in 1953, and this edition will be published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2011.
Bonus! Includes interviews with Florence DeShazer and Jacob DeShazer.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman and Hall and first released on 19 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim.
The book was written and published at a time when Britain was experiencing a nostalgic interest in its forgotten Christmas traditions, and at the time when new customs such as the Christmas tree and greeting cards were being introduced. Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied but are principally the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and the Christmas stories of Washington Irving.
The tale was pirated immediately, was adapted several times to the stage, and has been credited with restoring the holiday to one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety and somberness. A Christmas Carol remains popular, has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.

December 01, 2011

Radio Interview : Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

This is a radio broadcast featuring Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin as they talk about thier book (It's Not That Complicated) and boy/girl relationships.