Lovin’ this, big time.
found at slide sideways
If you grow up in a church that believes Sandi Patti’s music is evil, you are more than likely going to end up with enough fodder for a book.
Matthew Paul Turner did, and his results are hilarious. In Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost, Matthew shares his passion for music actually pokes a bit of fun at Christian subculture, although his love for Jesus is definitely evident. It might be cringeworthy in a few places but his honesty and humor is refreshing, and it makes you think…I love books that make you dig a little deeper into your own thoughts and and actions. One of my favorite lines is toward the end of the book; it’s a bit like the journey that I’ve been on over the past few years:
“But by that time I was beginning to rethink what it meant to be Christian. My faith was becoming less of a get-out-of-hell-free card and leaning more toward a way to live. Because of Jesus, I wanted to love people, which meant I didn’t want to engage in relationships with an agenda.”
Any book that encourages me in that pursuit is absolutely a book I would recommend. He also authored Churched: One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess, which is now on my “to be read” list!
Matthew’s book can be purchased here and this book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
If you are reading this, there is a reason. I don’t care if you are a regular, or happened upon this post by accident…there is a reason. And I believe the reason is this: you need to read this book. I can hardly put into words how extraordinarily excited I am about Primal by Mark Batterson. It’s the latest book I have received from Water Brook Multnomah, and although this sounds rather silly, I definitely judged it by it’s cover.
Not to go all girly on you, but it looked rather, er…manly to me. So it sat around for a few days, until I picked it up one evening and decided to read a couple of chapters. It was around 8:00 pm…and I didn’t set it down until I finished at 11:30pm. About 1/2 way through the book I finally got smart and asked Erick for a highlighter from his stash, so I could mark all of the profound things I kept coming across. And the NEXT night I read it through again…so I could mark some more. Hardly a page goes by without some garish orange going on, and even some maroon crayon (from whence I misplaced the highlighter. Oh man. Just realized I doubt I misplaced it-I bet one of the boys took it. This could be bad).
I am so nuts about this book that I’m actually having a hard time letting it out of my sight. I keep referring back to it. Keep cracking it open and rereading passages. And highlighting more. YES, it concerns Christianity. But I am positive that you do NOT have to consider yourself a Christian to enjoy this book. To me, it was about changing the world. Acting on those God Ideas that pop in your head. An incredibly honest, convicting, and compelling book to read no matter who you are, or what you believe; if we all took some of the suggestions in this book and ran with them, incredible things could happen. I have no doubt.
I know I’ve been rather vague in what the book is exactly about, but I’ll give you a hint:
That just scratches the surface of the awesomeness of this book. Please, please do me a favor and make this either the last book you read this year, or the first book of 2010 on your agenda. And then get back to me. And we’ll discuss. And perhaps, we’ll change the world together.
It’s snowy outside. We had a humdinger of a storm today! It’s 10:30pm, and I just heard a snowplow drive by. Will there be school tomorrow? Here I sit (or lay, tucked under the covers) tempting fate by staying up late thinking there might be a delay tomorrow. And that Erick might be around to help me take care of boys who don’t care that there might be a delay tomorrow, they’ll be up at the crack of dawn anyway. Sigh. We even put them to bed early tonight, which doesn’t bode well. Heck, it doesn’t matter if they go to bed 3 hours late; they are still up with the sun! But this is about a book review, right? I’m getting off track.
The latest package to grace my doorstep actually made me laugh right out loud. WaterBrook Multnomah’s offering this time around was in the form of a “grab bag” of sorts…you say “yes, I’ll take it!” not really knowing for sure what you are going to get. And the first book I took a peek at was this:
How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong. Ha! First thought? “I have to explain to Erick right away that I didn’t request this book. It was simply luck of the draw, honey, I promise!!”
And honestly, I wasn’t really looking forward to delving into it, because Erick and I are at a very, very good place in our marriage. We always really have been, and even though he isn’t a saint (nor am I) Erick is honestly my dream come true. If I ever passed this book at the store, I would think “I’m glad I’m not in need of that book!”
And I like to read books that I want to read…but I’d said yes to the grab bag deal, so there you go. I started to flip through the book…and was captivated! Honestly! From the title I was hoping it wasn’t going to be about “turning the other cheek no matter what”, and it wasn’t. It definitely was about doing the right thing when you really didn’t feel like it, but that absolutely included giving tough love when the spouse was really out of line.
Not being a doormat. That’s good.
It actually made *me* want to be a better spouse. It was full of examples of real life couples (we all like those, right?) and I think that was one of my personal draws. I do love me some examples. And y’all, relationships can be salvaged even when they have gotten very, very messy. There IS hope, even when it feels like there isn’t.
Erick and I help to facilitate a Marriage Course at our church, and I will absolutely be adding this to the collection of books that we loan out to couples.
The second book I received was this:
What better book to receive than at a time like this, right? It was a very quick read; just sat down on my bed one afternoon and breezed right through it. It did have good examples…and one of the areas that I appreciated most about it was the beginning of the book, where Mr. Martin stressed having a budget, paying down debt, starting an emergency fund-he even gave Dave Ramsey some kudos which was excellent, because I’m a Ramsey fan myself. No better way than to find extra income than to start by really taking stock of where your money goes. But he did throw in some good ideas in regards to second jobs, and jobs from home. Many I’d heard of, a few I’d never considered before. I’d say it’s well worth the read, especially if you’ve never really taken stock of your finances-it gives some bite-sized advice to get you started on the right path.
Time to turn this computer off and tuck in for the night. And pray for a delay in the morning. 🙂
I’ve had fun lately…receiving wonderful little packages in the mail! Packages containing books. I just received a new one a few minutes ago-what a delight to see this particular manila envelope arrive in my mail slot!
A bit ago I signed up to start reviewing books for WaterBrook Multnomah, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the first round of books I received, so I am more than delighted to give my opinion of them.
The first book is called Treasured and is authored by Leigh McLeroy:
Leigh, will you be my friend? Can you just hop on a plane and come visit me? Or vice versa? I could come visit you!
I adored this book. I have to say that I probably wouldn’t of chosen this book of my own accord, because I very often read fiction. Oh, but I enjoyed this book so much! Leigh picked out a few things that God, if He had a “treasure box”, might keep around. You know the things that you have collected all of your life, that are meaningful and have wonderful little stories attached to them? It’s the same idea, but of course God’s treasures are found in his Word, and tell of the most precious things to Him…which are his children. You and me. What I very much enjoyed about this book was the love I felt; that of God for me, but also snippets of Leigh’s personal stories. Of her life, and love, and struggles. She is so completely open and genuine and real that I immediately felt as though I’d love to get to know her in person. I wouldn’t hesitate one iota in recommending this book to anyone at all.
I also, as a HUGE bonus, received these two books:
God Gave Us Christmas and God Gave Us Love, by Lisa Tawn Bergren, are just what I didn’t know that I needed for the boys. I’ve wanted so very much to impress upon them the ultimate story of Christmas-that it isn’t all about Santa and presents (although those ARE fun aspects!!) but that it is about Jesus. In God Gave Us Christmas, Little Cub’s mom takes her on a journey looking for God, and they find him exactly where I find Him; in His glorious nature. There is evidence of God’s love for us everywhere if you just look around! Santa absolutely symbolizes generosity, but the greatest gift of all is Jesus. The story is very easy to understand, and Jack especially enjoys it-asks for it every night!
God Gave Us Love is a spectacular description of “love”. All kinds of love-the kind that parents share, the kind between siblings, the kind you share for your friends, and the kind that God has for us. The unfailing kind-He loves us no matter what (and I personally can’t hear, or read, that enough!) While the books are certainly geared towards the younger crowd, I appreciated their messages immensely and am truly delighted that we now have them on our bookshelf (or more often than not, right by the bed because they have been read so many nights in a row!)
One blog tour down, many to go! What a job, huh?
I’m hooked. This is really ridiculous. I let my children eat them before breakfast, just so I could have some too. Ack. I’m such a good mother!
Good news is, we just shared two packages, making that 2 Little Bites a piece. Now I do believe they are all gone, and I’m going to have to practice some serious self control not to make a mad dash to Shop n Save to purchase more. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Erick’s last day of summer school is today, so tomorrow we are finally going to treat the boys to a well deserved vacation. We are taking them to see Thomas the Train near Boothbay at the Railway Village, then we are camping out at Hermit Island, fitting in some time at Popham Beach. I’m so thrilled. Monday, E and I will head out for a couple of nights, and we plan to spend a day in Boston. It’s a pre-10 year anniversary trip; our anny is in October, but it’s hard to find the time for a vacation during the school year. Anyone have any suggestions for must-see’s around Beantown? Even though we are only about 3 hours away, I haven’t been there since vacation when we lived in New Mexico. That was eons ago!
And here is a little sneak peak of the New House. Be still, my heart…I’m so happy I could burst. I finally feel “at home”, as much as I can before I reach my true Home. I can’t wait to share “afters”. I can’t wait to put my own spin on the place. I’ll follow up with a few more pics and stories in the next post!
Have a great weekend, ya’ll!
more to come soon. 🙂
Alan Claude’s 2010 Calendar…it’s so nice to already know what I’m going to have! Isn’t it fun?
Today is Erick’s first official day of summer vacation. And my dad’s birthday…happy birthday dad! We’re going to celebrate tonight with homemade pizza and strawberry shortcake-gotta use up last year’s strawberrys; berry pickin’ season is a little over a week away! So excited to see what adventures this season will bring. 🙂 Happy Weekend, everyone!
This blog will definitely be here and there…I’ve much saved up to say!
First off all, we have spent the last few days in bed, feeling pretty cruddy. Jack wanted to me to mark the occasion-silly picture but goes to show what we’ve been up to!
I can only pray we are turning a corner for the better, though…because the sun came out today and it’s been BEAUTIFUL! We actually put regular clothes on and walked to the mailbox; it was so pretty that it’s hours later and the boys are still outside. They were eager to bust their summertime toys out of the garage.
Yep, snow is still on the ground, but can you see the green grass below? I love how on the east coast, green grass is there to greet you as the snow melts away!
(And yes, those are our leaves; we didn’t do a thing with the yard last year, so are seriously going to reap the consequences this spring…)
Anyway, it’s so pretty out there that I have the windows open in the kitchen, and Erick is staining the treads for our staircase outside. Soon as this blog is done I’m out there until dusk!
Off the subject, but I just adore Candice Olsen. Had to throw that out there. I wish she would come decorate my house, top to bottom, for free… I don’t know if you have seen her “kitchen for moms and tots” episode, but I love it. I can’t get any great “after” pictures online, which is a shame.
This doesn’t even begin to show the beauty. She had some amazing built in seating and lovely windows installed…oh it was gorgeous. The thing I love about Divine Design is that even if I wouldn’t go for the style, I always appreciate the artistry. She’s one talented lady!
Onto another subject; did I mention that Jack seemed to be the news-maker lately? Well, Ryan made tears well up in his parents’ eyes the other night. He has a special blue blanket that he has had since birth; he doesn’t need it all the time, but he loves to sleep with it, and if I put it in the laundry then surprise him with it when it’s clean, there are great “There you are, my blue blanket!” exclamations to be heard. Jack knows that it is off limits for him, and he is really good about it.
Then an evening or two ago, while we were all in the living room together, Ryan just pops out with “So Jack can sleep better, he can borrow my blue blanket tonight!” Shocker, ya’ll. Shocker. He gladly gave it up at bedtime. Sob!
One more thing, I promise! I feel silly asking for prayer for this, but I also believe that God desires for us to go to Him for every little thing. It’s about the teenager in the family. Her name is Camry (of the Toyota breed), and she was born in 1996. She’s given us 208,000 good miles, but she’s been quite a rebel lately, and I think she would like to retire. (Her cousin, my parent’s Camry, is pushing 310,000!) Lately, she has decided to play tricks on us like cutting off at stop signs, or traffic lights, or just plain right after we’ve turned her on. We’ve put alot of love (and money) into her in recent years, and desperately want to hold on to her, because we can’t afford another car. We are a one vehicle family, not necessarily by choice, but because of the ol’ budget! And we certainly can’t go out and make another purchase anytime soon. So if ya’ll could just keep us in mind-we really need Ms. Camry to either last until a sizeable chunk of money or an extraordinarily affordable vehicle pops on the scene. 😉
I’ll never forget a couple I once knew; when they were poor newlyweds, the block in their engine cracked and they had no other recourse, so they prayed, and prayed hard. One day that truck started right up, and guess what? No more crack! I know God doesn’t always work in that particular way, but it sure would be a miracle if we could coax another year or so out of our car.
Well, outside I go. Gotta soak up that warm weather. Thanks for stickin’ in till the end!
I’m suffering from time poverty today! As soon as I wrap this up I’m off to scrape wallpaper in the boys’ room. But I do have some good stuff for you today…
This video is a must see, people. It’ll knock your socks off. IL Divo’s rendition of Amazing Grace at, of all places, the Colosseum in Rome. WOW!!!! I promise you that it is worth watching; it gets better as you go.
Tell me that didn’t start your Friday off well!
Mom and I made a visit to Simply Divine Brownies in Freeport this week.
If you live in Maine, hello…make a trip! If not, they mail, and they certainly are divine. It’s a new favorite stop.
While we were in Freeport, we stopped at our second home, LL Bean. And I discovered a new-to-me photographer, Ron Schmidt, owner of Loose Leashes. Even if you aren’t a dog lover, these will no doubt make you smile. Go visit his site to see more!
Adorable! What a talent! And speaking of art, I had my second landscape painting class last night, which I am loving. Yesterday I had my art supplies in the car, and Jack, my little artist, was determined to paint. He would not stop saying “I be a painter! I want to paint!” On and on he goes while we are toodling around Bangor, browsing through shops. Finally out of frustration, he tells my mom “I just can’t handle it. I have to paint.” Ha!
Alright, to wrap up, I believe the last number I heard was that over 1.6 million dollars was raised during Global Food Crises Day sponsored by Compassion International on the 11th. Wow! On that note, I found another cause that is very worthy; click on the picture to learn more.
Living Water International canvases the globe, supplying wells for clean drinking water to those who don’t have it. I can’t imagine being there to see the joy that clean water would bring.
Happy Friday, everyone!