Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bible Reading Update

My first Bible reading update for 2017!
The Bible I am reading through the Bible this year for daily readings is the NKJV Chronological Study Bible.

This link will give you the ability to see several pages.

Since January 1, I've read:
Genesis chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.

Links of interest:
9 Tips for Studying the Bible, from Lifeway Women
References for Scripture Engagement, from Bible Gateway
Daily Bible Reading Plans, from Bible Gateway
One Year Bible Online
My Favorite Bible Reading Plan by Tim Challies
Olive Tree Blog, Bible Reading Plans
Ligonier, Bible Reading Plans---This link shows a long list of various choices in plans
Resolutions for the New Year, from Blue Letter Bible

Are you interested in a new journaling Bible. I hear good things about this one.
The One Year Chronological Bible Expressions

A free Bible study on The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp is on Facebook. The Bible study group, Faith Gateway, is offering the study series. The ability to watch the video sessions is free. You will need to purchase the work book. The Amazon price is cheaper than what the study group offers. The study group provides a link and code for $4.00 off, but the price on Amazon is cheaper at $7.39.

Bible links courtesy of Bible Gateway.

Are you reading your Bible?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:14 ESV

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

(Review) Life Lessons from the Hiding Place: Discovering the Heart of Corrie ten Boom by Pam Rosewell Moore

Publication Date: 2004
Publisher: Chosen Books
Genre: Biography
Pages: 232
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 5 stars for excellent


Life Lessons from the Hiding Place was written by the last companion and caregiver of Corrie ten Boom. During the years Pam Rosewell Moore was with Corrie, she observed Corrie's faithfulness to mission work and her declining health.
In Life Lessons from the Hiding Place, an examination of the ten Boom family members is shown; and through Corrie's experiences we are given a strong testimony of her faith in action.

My Thoughts:
The Hiding Place was published in 1971. It was written with an emphasis on the ten Boom family's experience of hiding the Jews during World War II. And it was written with an emphasis on a willingness to sacrifice their lives for what they believed in.
In The Hiding Place, Corrie comes across as stoic; however, this is not the case. She grieved over the deaths of family members. She had a difficult time forgiving her perpetrators.
In Life Lessons from the Hiding Place, several strong points help to fill the gap on Corrie ten Boom.
  • A dimensional Corrie.
  • An examination of the ten Boom family. This includes a brief sketch of the positive and negative aspects of the family.  
  • Corrie's life after the war: mission work, books written, and speaking engagements.
  • The difficult progress of forgiveness.
  • Corrie's developing trust and dependence on God.
  • The strong teachable spirit of Corrie.
  • A closer look at Betsie ten Boom.
If you have read The Hiding Place, I encourage you to read Life Lessons from the Hiding Place.
It is a second look at Corrie's story, and it fills the gap on so much of her life and the ten Boom family.

A favorite quote:
It is going to be a harder winter than we have ever had before. We must show through our joy the worth of being a Christian. We should already be doing this, because seeing the dark clouds approaching is often harder than being covered by them. Betsie ten Boom. Page 91.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

(Review) The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Biography
Pages: 208
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 4 stars for very good


Fixer Upper episodes began in April 2014. The show and the couple were an immediate hit with the public. Their infectious smiles and cheerful demeanor resonated with people.
A brief bio:
Chip and Joanna were both Baylor graduates.
They married in 2003.
Joanna opened her first shop on Bosque Blvd. in Waco, Texas 2005.
They began by restoring old houses. Their work at this time was cosmetic work.
They have four children.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading The Magnolia Story. It gave me a chance to understand the personal life of the couple, and how their experience with renovating began.
I loved reading about their years of starting small with cosmetic renovations, and later branching out to extensive construction work and decorating.
They are a couple who draw immediate attention for several reasons:
  • They glow with joy.
  • Their positive natures shine.
  • They enjoy being with each other.
  • They have an attitude of praise and gratitude to God.
I feel the couple has been transparent about their hardships in life. They didn't stay in the hardship (or sadness) but pulled themselves out by hard work, endurance, and faithfulness.
I love the priority they place on family. For a while, Joanna set aside her personal ambitions to raise small children.
Throughout the book they emphasis God's guidance and blessings.
The book is a quick read.
I feel the book is appropriate for a young adult.
The Magnolia Story is a charming book with an uplifting message.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

(Review) The Hiding Place, 35th Anniversary Edition by Corrie ten Boom with Elizabeth and John Sherrill

Publication Date: 2006, 1971
Publisher: Chosen Books
Genre: Biography
Pages: 271
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 5 stars for excellent


Links of interest on Corrie ten Boom:
PBS, The Question of God, Other Voices
Corrie ten Boom History
Ten Boom Museum

Cornelia (Corrie) ten Boom was born in 1892. Her father owned a shop that repaired watches and clocks. The family shop opened in 1837, and had originally been owned by her paternal grandfather. Her father was a well-known watchmaker. They lived in Haarlem, Holland. The watch shop and home was in the same building. Corrie was the youngest of four children: Betsie, Nollie, Willem, and Corrie. Their mother died in 1921. After their mother's death, Corrie began working in the shop full-time. Betsie and Corrie never married. After Nazi Germany invaded Holland, the family began work to help hide Jews. The family was arrested by the Gestapo. Betsie and Corrie are later sent to Ravensbruck, the women's concentration camp in Germany. The horrific experiences during imprisonment is described. Corrie's later years of dedicated mission work is portrayed.

My Thoughts:
It's been several years ago, but I had the privilege of hearing and meeting Pam Rosewell Moore. She was the last companion and caregiver of Corrie.
I had already read The Hiding Place once, and felt familiar with Corrie's life. It was a wonderful experience to meet and hear first hand stories from Pam.
Yesterday, I finished reading a book she wrote about Corrie ten Boom. The book fills the gaps on Corrie's life and personality. The title is Life Lessons from the Hiding Place. This review will be posted soon.
One of the negative responses in reviews of The Hiding Place, is Corrie's supposed downplay of imprisonment in a concentration camp, as compared to other books on this subject. Another words, the reviewers wanted to read more graphic details of the events. More graphic details equals a more powerful story.
I have several responses: all authors have at least one (or more) reasons for writing a book, it does not matter if the book is fiction or nonfiction.
Three reasons are explained in the foreword, preface, and introduction.
1. God's grace is sufficient.
2. Experiences of the past prepare us for the future.
3. Corrie placed her life on the line for what she believed.
Corrie did write of the horrors of imprisonment. Her grief and pain over the deaths of her father and sister were crushing. But, Corrie chose to make Christ bigger. There is a verse in John that I thought about while reading this book.
"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Corrie ten boom wrestled with sickness, betrayal, physical pain, isolation, violence, and unforgiveness. She does not shy away from these struggles. But, she also shows the process to forgiving.
I feel, Corrie ten Boom agreed to have her life story told, but wanted God to have the larger story.
She was His servant.
Final thoughts:
The faithful love between Corrie and her sister, other siblings, and their father is beautiful.
Their work to help the Jews, and to be willing to sacrifice their own lives, shows the ultimate act of love: To love, no matter the cost.
Corrie was a trooper. Her senior years were not spent in a rocking chair crocheting. She made the most of every opportunity to serve the Lord...even to the ends of the earth.
Corrie's life speaks of most of us, because she loved the Lord, yet she had many moments of falling short. Her heart remained teachable, and she displayed transparency and humility.

Monday, November 28, 2016

(Review) The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey Through Pearl Harbor and the World of War by Jim Downing with James Lund

Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: NavPress
Genre: Nonfiction, autobiography, Pearl Harbor, World War II
Pages: 224
Source: I received this book free of charge from the publisher.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

For more information at Tyndale.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation the day after the Pearl Harbor attack stating it was, "a date which will live in infamy."

16.1 million Americans served in World War II. Jim Downing's story is one story among so many stories. However, his story represents those who both gave their lives, and were willing to give their lives in service, honor, and duty.
The Other Side of Infamy is the story of Jim Downing's life, with an focal point on his experience at Pearl Harbor.

My Thoughts:
The focus of the book is on Jim Downing's experience during Pearl Harbor. However, the book tells the story of Downing's life, from his childhood through to current life.
I enjoyed reading about Downing's beginnings in small town mid-America. His family life, schooling, activities, and character set in motion a man of determination.
Downing became a Christian as a young man, after he joined the Navy.
His transition from a lone young man who did not know the Lord, to a young man who loved the Lord and dedicated his life to serving God, showed me a strong testimony of faith. I loved reading about his transformation from "little depth" to a growing Christian.
I'm amazed at the courage Downing displayed at Pearl Harbor. He is a hero, an inspiration. I'm proud to have read his biography.
The feelings, thoughts, and responses of Downing and other survivors are described.
December 7, 1941 was a horror filled day. It was a day of peril and death. It was also a day when people displayed great strength and heroic acts.
Downing's marriage was a testimony. They were newlyweds when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. This experience was a testing point in their early years. Downing traveled and was often absent from the family home. The couple relied on God as their anchor.
Downing had a successful career in the Navy, and other government branches. After retirement he became involved fulltime in the Navigators. He felt his career in the Navigators, "was probably the most rewarding time of a life filled with adventures and unexpected blessings."

My favorite quote:
What I've learned from that experience and others since is that God does not respond to false alarms. If I feel he's not paying attention, it's because I'm not in any real trouble. And if I am in real trouble, I don't have to worry about it. I know he's there. He may not handle things the way I would prefer, but I recognized he's got things under control. Pg. 189.