Friday, March 10, 2017

9. The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond

I found this in a "Files" app on my iPhone. I have no idea where I got it from. It was lovely for a walk to the gym and workout in the morning. I actually own this little book.

Update: I found that I had downloaded it from as their free book of the month in February 2012, but I have no idea how it got in a "files" app instead of in my iTunes. I had even already listened to it and wrote a review. So, I had read it before! Call it a "Post Menopause Moment"!

Here is my previous detailed review:

It is an analysis of 1 Corinthians 13.

Please Sign the Raymond Koh Abducted Pastor Petition

We went to this wonderful Pastor's church when we lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the late 90's. He is a gentle man who was just helping the poor. Some people did not like him doing that and have threatened his life over the past 13 years. They finally took action and abducted him on February 13. PLEASE SIGN THIS! There is also a White House Petition that I will post soon. Let's get him home to his family!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

8. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

What a great story! I am finishing it about 15 minutes before I am going off to see the movie. My girlfriend and I have been trying to go together for about six weeks, but I am so glad we did not go because I was waiting for it from the library and got it in time to read it before I went.

The narrator is very good in this. I enjoyed the history so much!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

7. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

According to my records, I have read this five times since 2009. It took me four months to read it the first time. Now, I seem to fly through it.

It is interesting to read what I wrote about this book while reviewing Summa Theologica in 2012:

"I am not big on theology. As I told my friends who were gathered around a picnic table hotly debating theology one summer afternoon in 2001, "I just don't 'think' about God." This was followed by uproarious laughter because they all knew I had been studying and leading Bible studies  for over 30 years ( I don't think about God just as I don't "think" about my husband, I LOVE him. I ADORE him. I want to KNOW him. I don't want to THINK ABOUT him!  So that is where I get hung up on theology.
BUT I believe this is how some people's brains work. So, I have slowly and painfully tried to read theology in order to become "all things to all men." I like Piper and Tozer, but they make it so practical. I still struggle with Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy because it is too philosophical and just not practical. But others gobble it up. Therefore, I muddled my way through it, twice. (Part of my reason for not thinking that book is too earth-shattering is that I say, "Duh, isn't this how all believers should live? Isn't it obvious? Don't people already know this stuff about the Kingdom of God?" But apparently not for those raised in a traditional church culture. I was nurtured in the Navigators which was radically different and more like what Willard describes. The Navigators were more practical than Willard though. I do like Willard's Spirit of the Disciplines though. But I digress. . .)" 
After reading this quote, I feel like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1995 mini-series version) in this memorable scene with Mr. Darcy:

Darcy: "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April (when she hatefully rejected his marriage proposal), tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever."
Elizabeth: "Oh my feelings. My feelings - I'm ashamed to remember what I said then. My feelings are so different. In fact, they are quite the opposite."

So this is sort of how I feel about this book. I sort of grows on you or maybe I have grown. I have an easier time reading this (which on reflecting on my previous quote above is really not "theology" at all). Maybe my head is bigger because C.S. Lewis is also easier for me to read these days too.

It wasn't that I didn't "get" what he was trying to say, but it seemed too long-winded and I figured everyone believed this, and it was obvious. Now I see that this is not the case, and it is why I like it so much now.

 I was so surprised to see every person in this year's kingdom community EAT IT UP with their first try. They all bought their own copies! So, that was nice.

So, I recommend you read it. It will be good for your soul.

Here are my previous reviews with quotes:

2014: The ultimate goal of this book is that you will “join God in a divine conspiracy to advance the invisible kingdom of God here on earth,” and you do that by “choosing to be an apprentice to Jesus, who stands at the center of everything – having died on a cross ‘to undermine the structures of evil’” (Study Guide, p. 5, DC, p. 188).

Willard writes:

Whatever the ultimate explanation of it, the most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she simply has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teachings of Christ is of any vital importance to his or her life, and certainly not that it is in any way essential. … More than any other single thing, in any case, the practical irrelevance of actual obedience to Christ accounts for the weakened effect of Christianity in the world today. . . . It also accounts for the practical irrelevance of Christian faith to individual character development and overall personal sanity and well-being. (introduction, p. xv)

This book . . . 
. . . presents discipleship to Jesus as the very heart of the gospel. The really good news for humanity is that Jesus is now taking students in the master class of life. The eternal life that begins with confidence in Jesus is a life in this present kingdom, now on earth and available to all. So the message of and about him is specifically a gospel for our life now, not just for dying. It is about living now as his apprentice in kingdom living, not just as a consumer of his merits.

2013 Review (I mention that this is my third time, and that is when the book clicked for me):

What I REALLY like are his two others book: The Spirit of the Disciplines and Hearing God. I also love his DVD series with John Ortberg: Living in Christ's Presence. Actually the DVD series is my favorite of all!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6. No Knives in the Kitchens of This City by Khaled Khalifa

This book was not an easy book to read because the disintegration of a society is hard to read about. It is a very sad book, but it is beautifully written and helped me get a glimpse into the city of Aleppo after Assad rose to power. I am glad I read it. It is my first book of Arabic fiction. I love expanding my horizons.

Good review:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Freewrite on Tuesday Afternoon

It has been a while so here goes. I am a little "low ebb" this afternoon. I am too tuckered out to go and work out. Plus, it can be a rest day as I have exercised many days in a row, and I think I am due a rest day. I am frustrated because other than Thursday at my mother in laws, I have been SO GOOD with my eating, but the scale does not show it. I am 2.2 pounds away from my goal, and I am STUCK and have been stuck since February 13. Even on the Thursday at my mother-in-law's house, I did OVEREAT. I just ate more than I have on previous days that week. Sigh.

Am I getting sick? Maybe so. I hope not though. I have a full day tomorrow. SO, it is probably best to rest right now.

I am putting the final touches on our Kingdom Community Curriculum today, and we had a lovely group meeting this morning. I am going to miss these women. We are over the halfway point of our journey, and it has been a very good year. They have been an excellent group. The last two weeks, I have really reworked my stories so that next time it won't be as much work for me, and I can just practice them myself. They have all learned that it really helps if they record them.

I know this group will take things away that they will do for the rest of their life. Still praying for real breakthrough though.

Oh, now I said I was going to do a fifteen minute freewrite, and I am only five minutes in and am too tired to even finish this. Fickle as I am, it is my FREEwrite and I have the FREEdom to do anything I would like to do.

Five minutes is all I got.

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