This and That

I’ve been doing a whole lot of housekeeping at home and here at the blog.  This has been a month of stepping back, catching my breath and planning for the future.

I’ve updated my list of books read in 2018.  I also started a page for books read in 2019.  I’ve never been one to share a list like this on my blog.  I get many of my recommendations of books to read from other bloggers, so thought I would share in case you may looking for recommendations yourself.  If you look at the list for 2019, you will notice that they are all fiction at the moment.  I am currently reading four non-fiction books.  I am almost done with a couple of them.  It takes me a little longer to get through those as I meditate on what I am reading.  I am also taking notes on two of them.  They are so good, I don’t want to forget as I am prone to do.  I will share them with you when finished.

Do Not Depart is starting a new Bible memory project.  I encourage you to join in.  They also have a Facebook group that is great for encouragement.  Our church has taken on a rather ambitious Bible memory project this year, so I won’t be joining in on this one.  I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the church project and continuing with reviewing some of my other projects.  I keep repeating to myself that “something is better than nothing.”

Have a blessed day.  Until the next time…




Material for Sacrifice

Elisabeth Elliott in her devotional A Lamp unto My Feet says that our unfulfilled longings can be material for sacrifice.  This has provided much food for thought for me today.


“I had been praying for something I wanted very badly. It seemed a good thing to have, a thing that would make life even more pleasant than it is, and would not in any way hinder my work. God did not give it to me. Why? I do not know all of His reasons, of course. The God who orchestrates the universe has a good many things to consider that have not occurred to me, and it is well that I leave them to Him. But one thing I do understand: He offers me holiness at the price of relinquishing my own will. 

“Do you honestly want to know Me?” He asks. I answer yes. “Then do what I say,” He replies. “Do it when you understand it; do it when you don’t understand it. Take what I give you; be willing not to have what I do not give you. The very relinquishment of this thing that you so urgently desire is a true demonstration of the sincerity of your lifelong prayer: ‘Thy will be done.’” 

So instead of hammering on heaven’s door for something which it is now quite clear God does not want me to have, I make my desire an offering. The longed-for thing is material for sacrifice. Here, Lord, it’s yours. He will, I believe, accept the offering. He will transform it into something redemptive. He may perhaps give it back as He did Isaac to Abraham, but He will know that I fully intend to obey Him.”

books, books and more books…

It’s been busy in my part of the world.  I am on a cleaning, organizing and purging binge.  I’m actually enjoying paring down.  I need to eliminate some clutter.  We had a fire a couple years ago.  The books that were salvageable were packed away with charcoal to remove the smell.  The charcoal did the trick, but it made them a little dirty.  :-/  So today, I got them out and cleaned them all up and sorted them.  Now I just have to figure out where to put them since we decided not to replace the bookshelf.

I love books.  Books have been my friends.  It’s hard to part with them.  We live in a 900 square foot two-story house.  There isn’t a lot of room for books.  I have some favorites that have a reserved spot on my very limited bookshelves.  I have reread many of them.    There is one in particular that I am thinking I may need to read again soon.

I never wanted to start using digital books, but with the travel that we have to do and luggage limits, I have certainly enjoyed my kindle.  It’s a wonderful tool.  I have resisted Audible for years.  To me, listening isn’t reading.  My life has changed so much.  So much of my “free” time is now spend reviewing vocabulary and Japanese study.  When I do have time to read, I don’t always feel like doing it.  So I did a free trial of Audible.  It’s wonderful to listen to a book while I am working around the house, in the kitchen, or going for a walk. If you have been one to resist this technology,  I recommend that you give it a try.  I received two free books with my trial.  After finishing  them, I was hooked!!

The book that I finished today is Respectable Sins:  Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges.   I also have it in hard copy, so I can reference it.  It was so convicting.  I want to listen again and spend some time with my hard copy working through many of “respectable” sins.  If you would like to read a review, click here.

until the next time…


Weekend Reads

When You Don’t Want to Read the Bible-“Has the idea of reading your Bible ever seemed like too much work?  Like you’re investing in something that doesn’t have a very good return?”

Even On Your Best Day-“Indeed- grace is a wonderful enabler to do God’s will. But it’s also a gentle exfoliator along the process of sanctification, opening and revealing the places where we are not depending on God. It’s no wonder that, as we get older and grow in our faith, those openings become more apparent and the needs seem to increase and to feel more out of control.”

Amy Carmichael’s Secret to Fighting Discouragement-“I’ve often wondered how Amy could maintain such supernatural joy in the face of ‘griefs which can come down like an avalanche over the soul.’ Reading her writings has taught me that there were four main things that bolstered her spirit and her faith—saturation in Scripture, delight in the presence of God, the support of a Christian community, and the glorious beauty of the natural world.”

Register Now to Memorize Matthew 5:1-19-“We invite you to slow down with us for a new Bible memorization challenge.”

Compass Book Ratings-I was happy to find this website.  Sometimes I see a book that I think I might like to read and then I am disappointed with the content and often stop reading.  This site rates books as others rate movies to help you make an educated decision.

youth pastor sleep

*posted on Facebook by Christian Funny Pictures

Spring Tea

I love anything tea!  One of my greatest pleasures is attending or giving a tea party.  This Saturday, we are having a ladies’ tea at our church and I can’t wait!  Some mothers are bringing  their young daughters for the first time.  Some ladies have never experienced an English style tea party.  I learned from one the most gracious of English ladies.  She is now with the Lord and I feel as if I am honoring her memory when I serve in this way.

Here are a few of my tea books.
They are old friends and time spent with them is bliss.

Tea Books

Tidying Up

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 1.38.24 PMThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo piqued my interest recently.  I am working on purging things and it was written by a Japanese in Japanese and translated into English.  I thought I should take the time to read it. I purchased the book from Audible when it was on sale, so it seemed like the time was right.

I didn’t really care for this book.  The narrator was not my favorite.  The underlying philosophy of the book was bothersome to me, but I learned a lot about how Japanese people think.  This was helpful since I live among them.

I was taken off guard by the New Age buddhist and shinto philosophies that are in the book.  I was not expecting that in a book on tidying.  For example,  the author often mentions touching an inanimate object, even stroking it, as you thank it for the service that it gave you before throwing it away.  If it was a large purchase such as an appliance or a piece of exercise equipment that was never used, one could thank it for the pleasure it brought when purchasing it before throwing it out.  In the chapter on storage, there were some interesting points that she brought out.  At one point, however, she said if you don’t know where or how to store something, ask your house and it will tell you.  These kinds of statements were throughout the book.

While I have a difficult time recommending this book, I am glad that I took the time for it.  As I said before, it really opened my eyes to how Japanese people think.  I pray that this insight will help me as I minister among them.