February 29, 2012

Reading.... What does it Profit?

Disclaimer- I just want to make sure you understand that even though I quotes these men, I am not  necessarily approving of what they have done,  other things they have said etc. 

“Reading is not an end to itself, but a means to an end.”
― Adolf Hitler

“Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted ...but to weigh and consider.”
― Francis Bacon

“Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches.”
― Gary D. Schmidt

“Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.”
― Jesse Lee Bennett

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami

Give yourself unto reading.”
The man who never reads will never be read;
he who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own.
You need to read.
We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time,
is to be either reading or praying.
You may get much instruction from books
which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service.
Paul cries, “Bring the books” — join in the cry.

― Charles H. Spurgeon

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
C.S. Lewis

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
― George R.R. Martin

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“My life - my personality, my habits, even my speech - is a combination of the books I choose to read, the people I choose to listen to, and the thoughts I choose to tolerate in my mind”
― Andy Andrews

“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematics and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Music, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. (May 12, 1780)”
John Adams

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” 
― Richard Steele

The best books of men are soon exhausted--
they are cisterns, and not springing fountains.
You enjoy them very much at the first acquaintance,
and you think you could hear them a hundred times over-
but you could not- you soon find them wearisome.
Very speedily a man eats too much honey:
even children at length are cloyed with sweets.

All human books grow stale after a time-
but with the Word of God the desire to study it increases,
while the more you know of it the less you think you know.

The Book grows upon you: as you dive into its depths
you have a fuller perception of the infinity which remains
to be explored. You are still sighing to enjoy more of that
which it is your bliss to taste.

― Charles H. Spurgeon

February 16, 2012

Written In Tears

After spending years on the mission field telling others about the love of God the Veldt family suddenly felt like everything was caving in.  Luke and his wife couldn't understand why God would allow their thirteen-year-old daughter, Allison, to  died of a massive brain hemorrhage. 
Despite his doubts, Luke turned to the Bible for answers to his questions and comfort for his grief. In Psalm 103 Luke discovered a kindred spirit in King David, who knew what it was like to suffer. 

"This book is not about how I got through grief, or how I got over the loss of Allison and went on leading a normal life. Sorrow is my normal life now. We still grieve; two years after Allison’s death, we still don't sleep well. You don't get over the lose of a child- ever! Nor would I want to. My grief reminds me that Allison was important, and losing her and irreplaceable loss.
This book is about how I came to know God better, not just despite my loss, but because of it. It's written in the hope that the things I learned and the comfort I experienced will be of help in your life as well.”

This book has taken me almost 3 months of off and on reading to finnish, but it was not because of dryness, it was because every time I picked it up my eyes immediately started to 'water'. As child number five of thirteen I know what it is like to anticipate the birth of another sibling. I can remember holding their chubby fingers and cooing to them. I just about cried a few days ago when my 2 year old sister out of the blue said "I love you Becca." It was so precious!
I love seeing my siblings faces light up when I throw them in the air or dance with them across the room. Every day is full of my little sister's giggles and funny saying, and my brothers loud romping. 

This book made me think about what life might be like if God chose to take one of my siblings home to Him. I can only start to imagine how much it would hurt. The pain of seeing their favorite toy, or the lack of their voice around the diner table. But to be a parent must intensify that pain a hundred fold. 
This is a quote from Page 109.

"Tragedy sharpens our thinking about God; it demants that we think things through it forcese us to evaluate what we had previously accepted withour examination. Its a refinging fire that burns away the dross, a time of drought that obliges us to extend our roots deeper and in new directions. It can become a rich time as we find and confirm truths and jetsam erronious assumptions Allision's death forced me into fresh thinking about life, about suffering, about God.
I would'nt go so far as to say that because of allison's death I know more about God than you do, but I won't hesitate to afferm that because of her death I know more about God that I did."

I would recommend this book to anyone. 

February 08, 2012

Desert Gift

I picked up this book and I didn't put it down until I turned the last page a few minutes ago.
What your reading a is 'fresh off the press' jumble of thought.
How is that for and introduction?  :)

Jillian Galloway is a nationally known marriage expert. She lives in Chicago with her picture perfect easy going husband of twenty-four years.
A bomb suddenly drops out of nowhere when her husband Jack tells her the he wants out. He was filing for a divorce.
Jill's world was shattered. Her goals, dreams, and a lifetime of work crummbled beneath her feet.
How... What... WHY? All she knew was that she had to get away. So she turned to the only haven left, home.
Through the seclusion of this desert haven God works a miricle, which I wont tell you about because I don't want to spoil the rest book for you. :)

Though it dragged at some parts, as a whole I would say that Desert Gift is very well written. The setting is modern and familiar. The characters were so real that I cried twice. Jack and Jill are not perfect and the book did not end with happily ever after. (Though it was pretty close :)

After getting about one-third of the way through the 378 pages I was struck with a horrifying thought. I am just like this woman! I am willful, obnoxiously talkative, judgmental, and... o shame... The list went on.
I feel my face getting hot even now. Jill is married, I am not. Jill has a carrier, I do not. There aren't any outward resemblances between us to speak of, but I felt like her non the less.
One of the things that drove her husband crazy was Jill's knack of having the 'right' answer to every equation and problem.  This hit me square between the eyes.

It is hard for me to put my thoughts into words. Throughout this post I have relied heavily on slang phrases which I hope you will pardon. I can just see the wince on my sister's face as she reads them. But I cant really help them now... to end I want to tell you that I am not really sure I recommend this book.
I hope that is not totally confusing. I know that I was challenged in many areas of my attitude, (if that makes sense) but... I not really sure what it is... I just have some reservations to totally throwing my heart into recommending this book.
I think it is a great book for those who are married, and for those who are ready to get married, but as far as younger teens, this probably wouldn't be the best read.

February 06, 2012

February's FREE Audio

Trusting God: By Jerry Bridges 

Because obeying God makes sense to us. In most cases, His laws appear reasonable and wise, and even when we don’t want to obey them, we usually concede that they are good for us. But the circumstances we find ourselves in often defy explanation.
When unexpected situations arise that appear unjust, irrational, or even dreadful, we feel confused and frustrated. And before long, we begin to doubt God’s concern for us or His control over our lives. Adversity is hard to endure and can even be harder to understand. If God were really in control, why would He allow the tragic auto accident or crucial job loss? How could He permit cancer in a loved one or the death of a child?
Grappling with His concern for us we ask, “Why is God allowing this?” or “What have I done wrong?” In an effort to strengthen his own trust in God during a time of adversity, Jerry Bridges began a lengthy Bible study on the topic of God’s sovereignty. What he learned changed his life, and he now shares the fruit of that study with you in Trusting God.
As you begin to explore the scope of God’s power over nations, nature, and the detailed lives of individuals, you’ll begin to acknowledge His loving control. And as you come to know Him better, you’ll find yourself trusting Him more completely—even when life hurts.

February 03, 2012

Secular vs. Sacred

Dear Brethren, it is to be feared that many of us are not separated enough from the world. God intends the difference to be very marked; he would have the line between the church and the world drawn very clearly. I could wish to obliterate for ever the unhappy and artificial distinction which is constantly made between sacred and secular, for a world of mischief has come out of it. The truth is that a real Christian may be known by this, that to him everything secular is sacred, and the commonest matters are holiness unto the Lord. I do not believe in the religion which only lifts its head above water on Sunday, and confines itself to praying and preaching and carrying hymn books about: we must have a religion which gives a true yard when it is measuring its calicoes, a religion which weighs a true pound when it is dealing out shop goods, a religion which scorns to puff and lie, and take advantage of a gullible public, a religion which is true, upright, chaste, kind, and unselfish.

Give me a man who would not lie if all the whole earth or heaven itself were to be won thereby. We need among professed Christians a high morality; nay, far more, we need unsullied holiness. O, Holy Spirit, work it in us all! As we have often said, holiness means wholeness of character in contradistinction to the cultivation of some few virtues and the neglect of others. Oh that we were like the Lord in this, that we loved only that which is right, and abhorred that which is evil; that we kept along the straight and narrow path, and could not be decoyed from it, fearing not the frown of man nor courting his smile, but resolved as God lives in us that we will live in our daily actions according to his will. This would make Christians to be indeed a separated people, and this is precisely what their God would have them to be.From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Solomon's Plea," delivered May 2, 1875.