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Book Review - Forever

"Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It" by Paul Tripp

I bought this book at the Liberate Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.  (the bookstore at the conference had me drooling all over the place!)  Having gone through loss, Heaven and forever is suddenly a big topic of interest for me so the book and it's description really grabbed my attention.

The book is about forever - eternity - and how our view of it impacts our lives.  Most notably that we don't even think about it at all in our day to day existence.  We have, as the author frequently states, "eternity amnesia".  The book describes our neglect of eternity and how that neglect shapes the way we think and how we live.  It was very eye-opening for me.  I had no idea how vast and deep a difference having and living with a right perspective of eternity makes on your everyday life.  We generally acknowledge that our understanding of forever affects our view of death and loss, but how many of us really think…

Liberate - the Conference

A week and a half ago we went to the inaugural "Liberate" Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was an absolutely amazing event! As part of my "processing process" (ie. I'm a slow thinker and it takes me awhile to process things ;)) I thought I would share about the conference here. I haven't quite decided *how* I will do that yet - whether just general remarks about the whole conference or sharing my notes and thoughts on most of the sessions... But something will be coming in the near future! (if you have a preference as to which would be most encouraging, let me know)

Book Review - Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery" by Eric Metaxas
I recently saw a video of Mr. Metaxas' speech at the national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. I really enjoyed what he had to say - how he was able to mix humor and truth. When I heard that he had written some books, I knew I had to check them out. This book on Wilberforce happened to be a much more manageable size than his one on Bonhoeffer so I chose to start here.
I found this book to be very well written and gripping. I read good chunks of it on a flight recently and had a hard time putting it down to step off the plane! Unlike the title may suggest, the material covers more than just Wilberforce's work on slavery. It's really a comprehensive biography of his life, his faith, and his two "great objects". I found it fascinating to see how people's lives intertwined during that era. William Carey met William Wilberforce and Wilberforce later led t…

Book Review - First Family

"First Family: Abigail and John Adams" by Joseph J. Ellis
This book offers a fascinating look into the lives, ambitions, and marriage of one of the foremost families of the Revolution era. I found it to be particularly fascinating because it isn't just a re-telling of their life - it offered a sort of "behind-the-scenes" look into their thoughts, attitudes, and motives through use of their copious amounts of letters and journals. As the reader, you aren't just walking through the events of their life, you're journeying into their heart. I also found the book to be very well-written - the words and thoughts flow so nicely together that it made reading both easy and very stimulating.
The book is about 250 pages with only seven chapters - so needless to say, the chapters can be lengthy. There are quite a few sub-headings in each chapter though so it's fairly easy to find a good stopping point. I haven't done much reading or studying on this fam…

Book Review - William Carey

"William Carey: Father of Modern Missions" by Sam Wellman (part of the Heroes of the Faith series)
I picked this up to read even though it's a pre-teen/teen level biography. I've seen this series at homeschool bookfairs for years so I thought I'd give it a try.
I enjoyed this book for what it was. It is pretty well written and easy to read. It was a nice broad overview of William Carey's life, but being a pre-teen book, didn't stay too heavily on the details. I enjoy a lot of in depth details about people's lives, so this book felt more like an appetizer rather than an entree. Also because it's geared toward a younger crowd, I thought some things were over simplified and over-interpreted. (for example, there are lots of made-up/hypothetical conversations) The author was able to keep my interest throughout the book and I really enjoyed getting a look at this great man of faith. My interest in Carey's life has been piqued. I will be on…

Book Review - Dual Citizens

"Dual Citizens" - by Jason Stellman
This book has the subtitle "Worship and Life between the Already and the Not Yet" which I found to be very intriguing. From the title, subtitle, and brief description of the book I found I thought the book would be about the seeming push-pull relationship between living on earth but living for Heaven. I was fairly wrong and disappointed.
The book is divided into two sections. The first 7 chapters cover the worship aspect of Christianity and the last 7 chapters deal, somewhat generally, with life. I felt that seven chapters on church was a little much, partly stemming from some issues I had with his theology of church. The second half is definitely the best half, with chapters 9 and 11 being my favorites. The book doesn't always make sense in it's flow from chapter to chapter. I especially found it odd to end a book for Christians on a chapter detailing the assurance of salvation provided by the Holy Spirit. I thin…

Book Review - Dick van Dyke

"Dick van Dyke - My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business" by Dick van Dyke
I was randomly typing names into the search engine at my library when I came across this book. I immediately requested it and picked it up a few days later. I love the Dick van Dyke Show - it's hilarious and such a classic. His sense of humor and his expressions of it are just fabulous. So I was eager to read this book.
He gives some of his background and experiences growing up. One of my favorite parts was the mention of his time in the Air Force. The way he talked about his experiences made me think of Gomer Pyle - it was pretty amusing! He also documented his entry into stardom. He spent many years working from paycheck to paycheck and traveling the country before his talents were finally discovered and utilized. I really loved reading the parts about the filming of the Dick van Dyke Show. He talked about how everyone genuinely had a fabulous time working on the show together, and I t…

Book Review - Ginger Rogers

One of my goals for the new year is to read at least 2 books per month. Along with that, I thought it'd be nice for both my writing and analyzing/critical thinking skills to post a review of most of the books I read. So - here goes!
"Ginger, My Story" by Ginger Rogers
This book combines two things I've long been fascinated with - biographies and movie stars. One of my favorite things as a youth was to randomly wander the biography aisle at the library looking for new and interesting people to read about. Even today I often gravitate towards the biography sections in the bookstores. I found a sad thing though as I grew up. Biographies were no longer guaranteed to be wholesome and compelling. I started to realize that many people's lives weren't as "clean" as children's literature made them seem. After taking home books only to give them up in disgust a little ways into them, I started scanning books while still in the library. That led to…