It started out sunny...
Friday, August 15, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
So have you seen all of the brilliant ideas on Pinterest to trick out your Kitchenaid Mixer? I have long drooled over them myself.
This weekend I had a few girlfriends over for potluck lunch hen party. We brought our Kitchenaids and two if the brilliant, crafty ones brought a laptop and Cricket with sheets of vinyl in various colors.
Here's what we accomplished together:
Bethany chose a bird and scripture- super cute!
Cyndie chose crowns and some Hebrew.
Here's her partially done:
Excuse the mess on my counters please. With 13 of us eating we had a fair bit of clutter around. Much fun though.
Here's mine and I absolutely love it!
Friday, August 1, 2014
I had a revelation that shook me. When I was a kid, I had such a great opportunity to show love to the Vietnamese "boat people" and I missed it! I only had my own little bitty love, not the never-failing love of Jesus. Not yet. I grew up in a series of very poor neighborhoods and I remember the new surge of refugees coming to live among us. There is either love, or fear. We all chose fear. We were warned by the adults to keep our pets close, the Vietnamese would eat them! We had to stay away, so we didn't catch any diseases they might have brought. Foolish. Senseless. It grieves me now, and what I wouldn't give to go back to 5th and 6th grade and befriend the sweet, skinny, befuddled new kid at school. That young Vietnamese boy had not a friend in the world that I could see.
It shames me now. What I wouldn't give to go back and be kind. Love them and help ease their transition into American life.
They were poorer than us, and that made a mark. Their houses smelled funny, and were crammed to the rafters with their relatives. They were so different from us. If only I'd have known the dangers that kid survived to get to Mr. Deacon's classroom. The deprivation he had experienced that put our poverty into the "living in luxury" category.
To think what I missed; could have learned and turned from. To think what I could have given!
There's a line on page 234 in the first paragraph that says" Prejudice begins with ignorance, and whenever one culture first meets another, there is ignorance."
This book; it's a memoir and it hits home to me because I lived among these people and didn't know a thing about them. They were strong because they had to be. They were sharing and they were a people who thrived in community.
Part of their community- the biggest piece really, was Church. They came to know Jesus on the journey through some supernatural events, even though they didn't know who Jesus is.
On page 247-248 are these words:
"For us, the Vietnamese church in Fort Smith was a community where people with similar problems and needs could come together and help one another; it was a place of learning and spiritual growth; and it was where we learned to serve others and to give back. We were a poor refugee family "fresh off the boat" in America, but we felt blessed to be here and believed we had a responsibility to give back, and the more we gave the more we received. That's a mistake often made in America: we spend our lives seeking to be served, instead of seeking to serve others, and the more we receive, the less we seem to have."
I'm letting you know this book is worth reading because these people's story is worth being told. I had a hard time putting it down. Vinh Chung and Tim Downs did a fabulous job of telling this story. You will be richer for reading it, and maybe more compassionate and generous?I really want to mention what's on the book covers:
My name is Vinh Chung.
This is a story that spans two continents, ten decades, and eleven thousand miles.
When I was three and a half years old, my family was forced to flee Vietnam in June 1979, a place we had never heard of somewhere in the heartland of America.
Several weeks later my family lay half-dead from dehydration in a derelict fishing boat jammed with ninety-three refugees lost in the middle of the South China Sea. We arrived in the United States with nothing but the clothes on our backs and unable to speak a single word of English.
Today my family holds twenty-one university degrees.
How we got from there to here is quite a story.
Where the Wind Leads is the remarkable account of Vinh Chung and his refugee family’s daring escape from communist oppression for the chance of a better life in America. It’s a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American.
All author royalties from the sale of this book will go to benefit World Vision.Flap Copy:
Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty.
Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary “boat people” and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas.
Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam, through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. There Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier—yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School.
Where the Wind Leads is Vinh’s tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents, a testimony to his family’s faith, and a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a greater responsibility.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Lois pulled me in by stating she's into artisanal Bible study.
So am I! She compares the common, quick, microwave-style pre-packaged devotional with an aromatic, spicy, savory meal- feasting on the Word instead of a vending machine style portion. She asks us to imagine a bag of bagel chips from the store compared to fresh, hot, chewy pita bread made by a bedouin over a fire. That's the difference in our translated word- still nourishing and good of course, but with a Hebrew context: oh-so-delicious!
She's right. I have since studied (as I have time- and it's not much) the Bible differently. I have a Strong's Bible app on my iPhone and iPad, a Hebrew Greek Study Bible, and I have read Lois' books as well as others on middle eastern culture and Bible times. Things like that, and they make a difference in how I understand the scriptures, which is Lois' point and ministry- helping us to get so much more out of our time in the Word.
Miss Tverberg explains the basic difference in Hebrew language vs. our English and why knowing the meanings of some key Hebrew words can make such a difference in broadening our understanding. Bringing some clarity to passages that don't quite translate clearly in our language and culture.
This ebook is a unique online study with live links to Gateway Bible so you can see 3 different hand picked English translations side-by-side to help you see what the Hebrew is trying to transmit to our greek thinking brains. She also has other links for further reading on topics. I enjoyed this study so much! I spent my whole Saturday doing it on my iPad but I also had printed out a copy because I really like to mark up and journal all over my studies. She's right though, the access and use of the links makes a big difference.
There are 5 fairly short studies. Words that you will learn and likely never forget. I'm pretty excited for her new book to come out, because I'm hungry to study more, and she makes it so easy and interesting. The insight I gain into my beloved Bible is enriching to my faith. I believe you would love this ebook too. It really is bite sized and I'm sure it will whet your appetite for tastier study as it did mine, if you're at all a Bible study lover like me. If you aren't yet, let this be your introduction to a rich and wonderful journey into the context and culture of the Bible's native language. Hebrew is a simple, yet beautiful language full of shades and layers of meanings. When my little people are more independent I plan on getting back to my Hebrew studies. This fall as part of my 15 year old son's homeschool studies I will incorporate Lois' books, including this one, into our Hebrew language course.
If you enjoy this book as much as me, I'd be glad to hear about it.
You can also get a sample of the book here
I have read this blog for a couple of years, always enjoying her articles. They shed light on biblical passages, culture, and always make me think.
Lois captured my interest with her approach to Bible study years ago with a small devotional type book Listening to The Language of the Bible. I have been interested in Hebrew word studies and culture since. Her other two books are both on my nightstand as well, and I highly recommend them: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, and Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus. I have both in book and kindle form.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
There are a lot of homesteady-type books out there but this one was a bit different. More modern. There are so artisan recipes that look more appealing than some of the more standard self-reliance type books. The volume itself is very well organized and easy to use with step-by-step directions, many of them including nice, glossy photography.
I definitely recommend this book to newbies as well as old hats like me who like something fresh now and again. This book covers the basics and is pleasing to the eye. I could only wish it covered raising animals but it doesn't. Gardening, food, crafts, everything an urban farm girl could wish for and then some. For us agrarian dwellers who keep critters it still has offerings. The recipes especially.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased written online review.
Labels: Book Review: Blogging for Books
Monday, June 9, 2014
Face to Face with Jesus
A Former Muslim’s Extraordinary Journey to Heaven and Encounter with the God of Love
Samaa's story reads like a chapter of the Book of Acts in the New Testament.
What she has to say, what her testimony cries out, is a wake-up call for Christians. God is alive- He is very active in our lives. He is loving, powerful and wants a super-natural lifestyle for His children.
I was enthralled and challenged by this book. Wake-up call indeed.
Growing up a devout muslim in a 3rd world Islamic country, Samaa wanted desperately to have a relationship with Allah. He wouldn't answer. In the midst of a civil war, near starvation, where just waiting for bread in the breadline could mean a chilling death, and going from wealth to poverty began to disillusion her. Muslim against muslim, doing unspeakable violence to each other, and as she battled to survive each day amidst the danger and fear, God intervened. He used a missionary living among the muslims of her country, teaching Tae Kwon Do classes for free to the public. An amazingly courageous man, he spoke openly about Jesus and shared the gospel at every class. He had a worship and prayer time, for which any muslim in that country could have killed him with the approval of the community. He gave Samaa a children's Bible, and then Jesus came to her in a dream. He loves the muslim people! And she reminds us of this.
Her life, completely, simply, profoundly given over to Christ, is an adventure. She survived persecution, even from her own family, who by the way did come to Christ. She never stopped sharing the gospel no matter the cost, which was frequently high.
She survived death.
Terrorists bombed her church. She was standing right next to a bomb that detonated and killed and injured many. She had a death experience, saw Jesus face to face, and came back to continue to share the gospel and encourage the church. Her recovery was long and painful, and she experienced persecution even from the muslim doctors and nurses while she lay near death. Still, she lovingly shared the gospel with them. Prayed for them. Such a contrast between her actions and what mine might be. Getting to know Samaa through the pages of her extremely well-written story has changed me.
The fact that my favorite author, Bodie Theone was the American writer who helped tell the tale is the cherry on top. I love this woman's writing and have had my faith increased over and over in her own books.
I don't want to give the story away here, there's too much to tell anyway, it's a book you read on the edge of your seat, turning page after page, long after you should be doing something else or sleeping.
Face To Face With Jesus is an education in the muslim culture, and in a simple, profound faith that walks in obedience. Seeing what it looks like close-up. Being refined by persecution and poverty is a blessing in disguise sometimes. This powerful testimony caused me to reevaluate everything. To a person who likes her comfort a tad too much, that could be hard. Except it wasn't. I am so excited to read about the reality of God's work in the present day that I find myself longing and praying for more Jesus. More of the Holy Spirit and so, so much less of me. I have read chapters of this book over and over.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an unbiased written review.
AboutIt starts as a story ripped from the headlines of the war-torn Middle East. An extremist faction of Islam bombs a church during a service. The one door in the back isn't big enough for five hundred people trying to escape.
Some are killed.
But after the chaos and fire and smoke, one young woman comes back to life.
In this thrilling true tale, death does not have the final word. From the first time Samaa heard the Lord Jesus calling her out of Islam into faith in Him, till she met Him face to face in heaven, her life is marked by God's supernatural love and power. Full of hope and encouragement, and overflowing with Jesus' love, her riveting account reveals the power of God to break through any circumstance--and is a moving reminder that, in a place beyond what we can imagine, we have a Savior waiting to welcome us face to face.