So, as with so many good intentions, I got way behind on my reading and posting book reviews. It just occurred to me that there is no better re-entry point than the Book I am currently reading. Every January I try to choose a new Bible reading plan that will take me through the Bible in one year. I have accomplished this feat several times, but the last few years have been slightly overwhelming. This year, I found the Archaeological Study Bible. I already know that I will not likely make it through its entirety before December 31 makes its cold appearance. The reason, however, is not that I am losing interest or “getting behind.” I am thoroughly absorbed in The Story. The historical footnotes and the archaeological articles on almost every page are utterly fascinating, and instead of reading for “the check mark” on the day’s reading assignment, I am slowly digesting the portions I can fit in to my daily schedule. For the first time ever, I was disappointed that I had come to the end of Deuteronomy- sad that there were no more Moses stories to look forward to, yet excited to see what Joshua had in store for me. This is no small thing for someone who knows the stories inside and out and gets bored easily with the re-telling. I am LOVING the fresh excitement I have found as the Scripture comes to life with the customs of the time and the historical comparisons to other cultures of the era.
The Archaeological Study Bible is available in several translations. If you want to revitalize your devotion or study time and you enjoy history and cultures, this just may be your solution!
Mother’s Day. Two words. A myriad of emotions.
For some, it’s a fond memory of a mother on her knees in prayer, the smell of chocolate chip cookies cooling on the kitchen counter when you walked in the door from school, a compassionate kiss on the forehead feeling for a fever. For some, it’s the memory of a hard-working mother who did her best even though her best wasn’t quite good enough. For some, it’s the memory of nights lying awake in bed wondering why other kids had a mom and you didn’t.
For some, it’s a day of regrets as you look back at the ways you hurt the one who gave you life. For some, it’s a day of hope as you look at the promise of a future in your own children. For some, it’s a day of pain as you bravely endure another reminder of your empty arms. For some it’s a day of mourning as you face your first, or second, or twentieth, Mother’s Day without your mother.
The truth is, Mother’s Day is more than just one of these emotions for each of us. We all have fond and not-so-fond memories; we all have regrets, pain, and hope. We all know there are things we want to say to our mothers but never will. The truth is, we need this very special day. We need to remember. We need to laugh. We need to cry. We need to face our regrets. We need to mourn. We need to hope.
I believe EVERY woman is called to be a mother. Some are called to be biological mothers; some are gifted to be adoptive mothers. Some are chosen as adopt-ED mothers- the favorite aunt, the Sunday school teacher, the next-door neighbor. Some are spiritual mothers- the ones that cover us in prayer and are the Titus 2 women in our lives. Whatever kind of mother God has purposed you to be, do it with purpose. Do it because the future generations need you. Do it because there is hope. Do it because there is the promise of a future for someone in your life. Be a grandmother to a child who doesn’t have one nearby. Be a spiritual mother to a younger woman who needs help with the busyness of this fast-paced life. Be an adopted mother to a teenager struggling to find his way. Make a difference in someone’s life. They will be a better person because of you, and you will be a better person for having influenced someone for eternity. And who knows, if you’ve done your job exceptionally well, they may just roll their eyes at you and say, “Thanks, mom.”
Okay, I have to admit I was skeptical about this one, but really…who doesn’t want a happy husband? So, I jumped on the Bullet Train for a fast-forward ride through 31 Days to a Happy Husband. Let’s face it, sometimes we wives need to be reminded of our role in God’s divine order. Sometimes we need to be reminded of why we fell in love with our husband. Sometimes we need to be reminded of why he was the perfect one. Thank you, Arlene Pellicane, for your transparency and your humor as you approached some delicate topics.
The introduction is titled, “Are You Still Dreaming?” The author then approaches five key areas of marriage through the acrostic DREAM- Domestic tranquility, Respect, Eros, Attraction, Mutual activities. With real-life experiences from such well-known individuals as Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Cliff and Joyce Penner, Tim Hawkins, Bob Meissner, and Bob Lepine, this was not a hard read. The points are clearly made, and it truly is an enjoyable look into what makes a good marriage. Although there are many, many noteworthy quotes from the book, perhaps my favorite is this one:
“I asked a group of professional men, ‘You are leaders at work making tough decisions and saying hard things to other coworkers and subordinates. Why don’t you just tell your wife when you have an unmet need in your life?’ The answer was so funny. ‘We can get another job.'”
Daily challenges and chapter discussion guides make this a perfect book for a ladies Bible study, Sunday school class, or a neighborhood book club.
Although the title of this book is 31 Days to a Happy Husband, the end result is more likely to be a Happier Wife!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
“Don’t throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard;
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard’s full!”
In the car, on the way home from school a number of years ago, my third grader was singing this song. She had learned it in choir as part of an exercise to teach harmony. A catchy tune, I find myself humming it or singing it on a regular basis as I go throughout my day. One day, as I encountered yet another person sharing the latest complaints and “concerns” with me, I found this song going through my mind. As I paused to reflect on it, I realized what a wonderful motto it makes.
As a pastor’s wife, I hear my fair share of grumbling and “I can’t believe they did that!” type conversations. I think ladies are more vulnerable than men are to these well-meaning people, mostly other ladies. Maybe it’s because we are good listeners; maybe it’s because we haven’t mastered the male far away look in the eye along with the distracted “I’m sorry, what did you say?” Maybe it’s because we girls feel a certain responsibility to share our feelings with our friends. Whatever the reason, I have come to the conclusion that I have enough of my own “junk;” I don’t need yours cluttering up my mind, too. See, as a woman, I have plenty of my own opinions. I come by it honestly – just don’t tell my mother I said as much! Everyday, I have to diligently work to keep my attitude in check and the “backyard” of my mind free from clutter and distractions. I cannot hear the Lord speaking to me if I am too busy shutting out the preacher’s voice because I do not agree with something he did or said. I cannot receive loving correction from the authority in my life when my attitude is not right or I am mortified that my faults have been exposed.
I can’t let a day go by without cleaning up my “junk;” because if I do, it will multiply; and before long, I will not be able to contain it all in the limited storage space of my own mind. Then, I will find myself throwing my junk in your backyard, and if you are at all like me, you don’t need any extra junk. So please, “Don’t throw your junk in my backyard; my backyard’s full!”