David’s #1 A Voice In The Wind By Francine Rivers

October 7, 2013 // 0 Comments

Normally I don’t read books that are made u……. um, fiction, but occasionally I make an exception. It takes Ms. Rivers the first 100 pages or so to start developing the plot. I probably would have bedside tabled it but the sweet young lady that gave me the book warned me that it took a while to get good. So be forewarned. This is the story of a barbaric, Germanic warrior turned gladiator, a wealthy Roman citizen, his young, selfish, reckless sister, and how God uses a Jewish Christian slave girl to change their lives. It has a little something for everyone. History, Romance, and a healthy dose of Braveheart and Gladiator-esq violence woven into an entertaining, God centered story that makes you want to serve Him with more devotion and love Him with your whole being. Share on Facebook

Ally’s #3: “Baby Wise” by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam

January 18, 2013 // 0 Comments

I’ve heard the spectrum of opinions on this book and decided to check it out for myself after meeting the super happy baby of friends who adhere (for the most part) to the advice provided in this book. As a woman who values structure with a reasonable level of flexibility, the first six chapters made a lot of sense to me and had me feeling more at ease as to what kind of routine we may be able to get into as our baby transitions through the various sleeping/feeding stages of the first 12 months. All that to say, this book is not perfect, nor will I treat it like the end-all be-all of how I care for our daughter. Here are a few of the downsides: some of the material is very repetitive, the author occasionally has a condescending tone towards his audience, at times I felt like I was reading an infomercial that was supposed to convince me that all other methods were hogwash, and the author interjected advice in various places that felt inappropriate. For example, here is what the author warns regarding breast-feeding consultants: “If you are receiving more parenting philosophy from the consultant than breastfeeding […]

Ally’s #2: “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim & Kathy Keller

January 12, 2013 // 0 Comments

As Jim and I are off to marriage retreat this weekend, I read this in preparation for our time together. I have to say that this is one of the better–if not the best–books on marriage that I’ve read in a while. Keller begins by giving a brief overview of the history of marriage and how our society has morphed into a view of marriage called “pessimistic idealism.” This particular view point holds high and lofty expectations for a future “soul mate” on a variety of levels, while holding fast to the idea that there is nothing and should be nothing that we are asked to change about ourselves in a relationship. Keller says this is because we have a flawed understanding of the purpose of marriage itself and that we never marry the right person. Because marriage has the power to transform us like no other human relationship, our spouse can and should be different than the one we walked down the aisle with after months, years, and decades of being together and pushing one another towards Christ-likeness. Keller then moves on to discuss the power for marriage and the essence of marriage. Rather than give my own summary […]

Ally’s #1: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

January 4, 2013 // 0 Comments

I’m having trouble letting go of Christmas this year since I felt like it came and went too quickly. So, I opted to read this story and to see how it differed from the two movies I’ve seen (Scrooged and A Muppet Christmas Carol) based on Charles Dickens tale from the 1800s. Hollywood, dancing puppets, and Bill Murray definitely give the story a different feeling, and while I enjoy watching these films, I prefer the original. I think the darkness of Ebenezer Scrooges heart appears darker when described in words; similarly, the softening of his heart during his visits with the three Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future seems all the more tender when you’re not thinking about how cute Kermit the Frog is. I like how the author progresses through the visitation of the Spirits and their impact on Scrooge. First, Scrooge sees that loneliness and isolation began in his childhood, and that being lifted out of poverty as a young adult quickly trumped all other aspects of life that were once precious, especially relationships. Second, Scrooge is given a glimpse of what he is missing out on by being such a humbug this Christmas. He also is […]

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