Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jeffrey's 22nd birthday, July 14

 For Jeffrey's birthday, we went to Colorado Springs and got in on the Tent Meeting there.  We spent time with Rowen's cousin and uncle, and we enjoyed a walk in the Garden of the Gods.

Jeffrey with Uncle Alvin and Katie's beautiful clematis.
More pictures of Jeffrey being 22.  We have enjoyed having him home for the summer.

 On our walk in the Garden of the Gods, Jeffrey was interviewing Jason, as a "geologist" about the formations found in the park.  It was absolutely crazy listening to the nonsense Jason was making up on the spot.

Between the next two pictures, you can see all of us.  Both Emily and Rowen, as photographers, don't get in very many pictures.

 It was a beautiful day to spend together with those we love.

One thing Jeffrey did this summer

Jeffrey was privileged to work at his old job at Ace Hardware this summer.  The boss decided to rent this building next door to Ace, and Jeffrey painted it, inside and out!  One evening on our walk we inspected his painting.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: The Living Room by Robert Whitlow

The Living Room by Robert Whitlow
I read a lot of Robert Whitlow books in 2011 while I was having chemo.  I discovered then that he is an author who makes me think!  There is always a Christian theme running throughout, but also conflicts and mysteries on many levels.  I was excited to find this book up for review on Book Sneeze.
Amy Clarke is the main character.  She is married with two children, ages ten and fourteen.  The ten-year-old is delightfully all boy and the fourteen-year-old girl is at the stage of pulling away from her parents as they try to protect her from dangers she does not realize are there.  Amy has a special relationship with the Lord that carries over into her dreams, where she feels the peace and restoration of God.  She also receives inspiration for her books, and most recently, it seems God is warning her about future events in these dreams.  Amy has finished two inspirational novels and is working on a third book, which is dealing with darker conflicts.  She gets called back to the law office where she previously worked, to fill in for a maternity leave.  When she has insights about the cases the lawyers are working on, she has to decide whether to talk about her dreams, and the lawyers have to decide whether to act on her dreams.
Meanwhile her daughter seems to be getting too close to one of her single male teachers, and has several episodes of unexplained loss of consciousness.  Amy and her husband, Jeff, were interesting to watch in their parenting techniques, communication, and affirmations through the trials of life. I enjoyed Mr. Whitlow having his character Amy contrast her marriage communication with the communication of Amy’s fictional characters in her books!
All Mr. Whitlow’s books that I have read have had lawyers and law matters central in the plot.  My understanding is broadened by all the information in the storyline. 
I highly recommend and appreciate the clean, intellectual mystery writing and look forward to more books by Robert Whitlow.
Book Sneeze provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Encouragement for the Weary Saint

"He has made everything beautiful in His time." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

"My times are in Your hand..." David writes to God in Psalm 31.
     Our times, that includes: when our times are, how long they last, and what they consist of... the Christian, the Child of God, can rest assured that his/her times are in the hand of God.  God, the Faithful Father, God the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-wise.

Just as our God is faithful in all times, we must be faithful too... faithful in joyful gratitude and obedience and faith.   David also wrote (with determination), "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth." - Psalm 34:1

"Trust in Him at all times, you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." - Psalm 62:8.

(I think that these 3 chapters of Psalms would be a great encouragement to you, dear weary saint, at this time.)

I pray that you will experience heart delight and rest in knowing your Father and His care for you, in knowing that He is directing your steps and preparing the path for your feet.  I tell you what, our God is a great Father!  (I'm getting blessed, just writing this!)

~ Beth

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

The Winnowing Season is book two in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.  It starts out with a recap of A Season for Tending, which I appreciated since I would not have known what was going on without that help.  The main characters are Rhoda Byler and the two brothers who love her, Samuel and Jacob King.  In book one, the Kings’ apple orchard and their community was devastated by a tornado.  Rhoda, her brother’s family, and the Kings are moving to Maine from Pennsylvania to start over in an abandoned orchard and begin a new Amish community as other relatives join them.  Rhoda is in partnership with the Kings because of her horticulture experience and canning expertise.  Jacob has many secrets from his past, which still have a grip on his life, causing him to be absent from the workload and his relationship with Rhoda every time she needs him.  Samuel is always there, steady, interfering, and usually in conflict with Rhoda.
Rhoda has several issues in her life that cause her pain; she feels guilty that her sister was murdered and she had not kept it from happening.  She has insights into people’s lives that have caused the Amish leaders to be suspicious of her.  She is anxious to move far away from her church family because the treatment she has received has been painful.  She is misunderstood and taken advantage of by non-Amish, as Jacob is, because of the naiveté of the sheltered lives they have lived.
The very sad part of this book to me is that the characters want to please God, but think pleasing God is all wrapped up in obeying the church leaders and the written and unwritten code of the Amish.  I don’t get the sense that anyone has a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior. 
At the end of the book, none of the conflicts have been resolved.  Obviously, at least one more book is upcoming.  I am a fan of Cindy Woodsmall on Facebook and this week, she asked what color of wedding dress Rhoda should have; so I assume the next book will resolve the triangle love situation in this one.
I received this e-book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.

Book Review: Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story

I have always been a fan of Joni since her first book.  I was aware of her bout with breast cancer in 2010 and prayed for her as she went through that deep trial.  As I read this book, I appreciated how she and Ken are so transparent about the joys and struggles of their marriage, and their deepening relationship with the Lord and each other through the gift of cancer.  I could relate to her cancer story so much, because in 2011, I was also given the gift of breast cancer.  Our diagnosis and treatments matched, even down to the names of the chemo drugs!  I don’t know that I have as dramatic a story to tell as they do, but I completely agree that God can be glorified and bring good out of a journey through cancer.  I cried several times while reading this book.  It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
The only problem I had with the book is that I purchased it as an e-copy, and it was not formatted for my Kindle.  I had to read it on my computer.  If I had known it was not compatible with my Kindle, I would have purchased the print book.