Thursday, March 30, 2006

Here I am . . .

We are still in Texas and are having a wonderful time. We are working on a church campaign to get the Gospel of Christ out into the community and so far 21 souls have obeyed the gospel. This has been a growing experience for our family, one that we won't forget any time in the near future. During this time we have met so many wonderful people from the local congregation and from all over the country. We also got to know a sweet elderly lady from Sweden who is currently homeless. She taught us much about serving others. I am so glad we took the time to come down here to work and learn. We will be here for a few more days and then head home again.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Leaving On a jet plane . . .

On Wednesday morning we will be leaving for a family working vacation in a town near Austin, Texas. We will be working with a church there and are very excited. Along with getting to work with the church, we will also be meeting up with some dear friends that we haven't seen in a very long time. It is unlikely that I will have internet access while we are gone - so there won't be any blogging. I hope you all will check back the first week in April to see what is new in our home.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fun Fluff Reading

Well, I took a break from my heavier reading to enjoy some fluff. I thought I would share a mystery series that I enjoy reading. The series is about Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman. The books are all mysteries about a 60+ year old woman who ends up being a spy for the CIA. The first book is titled The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. This book tells the story of how she becomes involved with the CIA and her first mission. The books are adventure mysteries. I enjoy them because you learn a bit about the geography of the places she visits, they are pretty clean and they are suspenseful. Objections may be an occasional curse word and some violence.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Books on Courtship

As I said in my post on Courtship and Romance, there are many books on this topics from many different perspectives. I thought I should share a bit of what I found in the books that I have read.

Her Hand in Marriage, by Doug Wilson
It has been a long time since I read this one and my memory tends to be hazy at times. I believe this book is especially good for fathers and daughters. It details the responsibility of the father to protect their daughters and the author uses scripture to prove his points.

Of Knights and Fair Maidens, by Jeff and Daniel Myers
This books is a small, easy to read book. In it the authors detail their courtship and ways to initiate this as a young adult on your own. They had some good ideas but wasn't quite what I was looking for. Again, it was a long time ago that I read this one - so my memory is a bit hazy.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Josh Harris
I shared about this one in my previous post. I believe this book could be used with high school aged children and I may have my son read this one after reading Best Friends for Life.

Best Friends for Life, by Michael and Judy Phillips
I also shared about this one in my previous post. This book, in my opinion, is very well suited for use with young high school aged children.

When God Writes Your Love Story, by Eric and Leslie Ludy
This book is a very candid sharing of the lives of its authors and I feel that it is a great book for mature high schoolers and college aged young people. I believe the content to be too mature for my 9th grade son.

The book is divided into sections:
-Desiring a Love story (submitting to God)
-Preparing for a Love Story (Purity - inward excellence)
-Waiting for a Love Story (singleness & high standards)
- Sweetening a Love Story (training to be tender within your own family and partnering)
-Discovering a God Written Love Story (too late?, Against the tide)

I hope these brief reviews will help those in search of resources on this topic.

Pride and Prejudice - once again

I can now count myself among the many that have actually read, Pride and Prejudice! I found the book absolutely delightful. I really enjoy Jane Austin's writing style. The characters really come to life. The only unfortunate thing for me was that I had trouble picturing the characters in my own imagination because I had watched the movies and so I picture them as the actors that portrayed them. While the A&E adaptation of the book stayed very close to the story line, it was still nice to read everything that went on during Lizzy's visit with the Collins family and again during her visit to Pemberly. I am so glad that I took the time to read this wonderful story.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Courtship, dating, romance etc. etc.

This is a topic that can push people's buttons - oh my! It is also a topic that, as Christian parents, we need to be educated on. Coming from a non-christian home, it was never a concern as I was growing up. My parents liked to meet the boys that I dated, but that was pretty much it. Everyone dated, after all that was how you got to know someone and have fun. How else were you supposed to find your future husband or wife? It wasn't until our oldest child was of school age that we were made aware that there were "other" options. I was told that there was courtship, although I really didn't have a good grasp on what that was, my curiousity was triggered. Then someone told me about Josh Harris' book entitled I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This book got me to think a bit differently about the whole relationship thing, especially where teens are concerned. I was convinced by my experiences in my young life that dating was not the way to go for our children . . but how to proceed? I must admit that this is still a concern in the back of my mind. We have a grown daughter who read Josh's book and then went to a class at a homeschool convention and heard Leslie and Eric Ludy speak on letting God Write Your Love Story. She got their book and really enjoyed it - she is completely convinced that she wants to let God write her love story. Well, now we have a 15 year old son and he has asked questions like, "If you don't date, how will you ever get a wife/husband?" This has caused me to revisit this whole subject - I wanted to find an appropriate book for him to read this year. I had hoped to wait until he got a bit older because I didn't want to put thoughts of romance into his head. Unfortunately, he has had friends around him who have been allowed to have girlfriends and even go on "unofficial" dates. Thus my feeling the need to deal with this topic soon.

There are so many books out there on the topic of courtship, written by different kinds of people from different perspectives. Some that I have read in the past include: Her Hand in Marriage, by Douglas Wilson; Of Knights and Fair Maidens, by Jeff and Daniel Myers, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Josh Harris; When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy; and most recently, Best Friends for Life, by Michael and Judy Phillips.

In my quest to find the right book for my son, I reread I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris. I think Josh did a good job on this book even though he was young when he wrote it. He shared from the heart and from his experiences and those of people around him. It is a good book for young people trying to sort out this topic and I think they can relate to him because of his young perspective. I had pretty much decided on using this book until I found Best Friends for Life. Of all of the books I have read on this topic, this one seems to be the most mature - but yet the least likely to make your teen curious about things they aren't ready for. The authors wrote the book to both parents and teens. They emphasize parent/teen partnering and trust. Some of the topics included in the book are Teen Romance Mentality, choosing Friends of Character, Many Methods - From Dating to Arranged marriages and blendings of any of them, Prayer and Pre-marriage Apprenticeships. They talk about the practical aspect of these methods and that there is not a one size fits all families method. They also emphasize that no method of itself is fool proof. They include case studies of real people that they know who handled things in different ways and what went wrong and what went right with each. I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Count your Blessings - A Tribute to Missey

I just found out this morning that Missey, a member on several of my email lists passed away. She had an emergency c-section and didn't make it through the surgery. My understanding is that her baby is doing well. I didn't know Missey personally but she was a big part of the Ambleside lists, she came across as a very positive and encouraging person. Her death will be felt by many. Missey's sudden death also reminds me that we don't know when our time will come and that we better cherish each moment that we have with our families. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family.