Beauty and Wonder: Places in the Heart

Every Friday I join the challenge to write for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Visit this inspiring community by clicking here. Today’s prompt is: BEAUTY

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 111: 2-3

The beauty of God’s creation can be seen all around the world. I have been fortunate to travel across the United States and to foreign countries. Taiwan, Guatemala, Israel and Finland have unique and wondrous features that point to our Creator.

I have traveled to many places, but one place still holds a special place in my heart. The raw beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula draws me back year after year. My grandparents lived there, and every summer my family spent a couple weeks or more in this place  bordered  by  Lake   Superior.

Lake Superior

After I married, I took my children to the Keweenaw Peninsula, almost every summer. I love to be on the shore of Lake Superior with the waves making a rhythm of sound that fills the air. I have a heartfelt attachment to this place.

The cross of Christ has a raw beauty.   Jesus  completed  the work of salvation on the cross and redeemed me. This emblem of Jesus’  sacrifice  reminds me of his great love.

New Covenant

Book Review: Updated and Expanded LIES WOMEN BELIEVE

Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free stimulated discussion among Christian women when it came out in 2001. I read the first edition many years ago. I looked through it again as I read the new and revised edition.

Lies Women Believe

I am so pleased with the new and revised edition. It has been updated and expanded. Running through both editions is this theme: When we believe lies about God, ourselves, sex, marriage, etc., we are in bondage. The truth of God’s word has the power to set us free.

The recently released edition displays a deep understanding of the complex issues that women face in the current culture. I have truly enjoyed reading it. I know I will go back to review the truths that are confirmed by Bible verses, listed at the end of each chapter.

A chapter on sexuality has been added to this new edition. Dannah Gresh participated in writing the chapter. She shares her personal story and perspective. Dannah provides examples of the way that women are wounded in sexual relationships, along with the forgiveness and healing that is offered through Jesus

In the chapter about marriage, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth discusses the difficult and often misunderstood concept of submission. What does it look like in a marriage?  God created Eve to be a helper suited to Adam. The Hebrew phase [ezer]  means  “a helper matching him”  or a  “helper  corresponding to him.” p. 169

Nancy gives examples from the lives of a variety of women, including her mother. She shares insights that she has garnered in her three years of marriage. She also addresses domestic abuse.

The chapter about children has been revised. Mary Kassian participated in the rewriting.   I am  glad  that a brief history  of  contraception is included. The birth control pill became popular in the  1960s  and  led to the  sexual revolution.

It would be hard to overstate the far-reaching, lasting effects of Margaret Sanger’s life and influence. Our culture has embraced wholesale the idea promoted  by  Sanger  and  Planned  Parenthood—that  controlling  our  fertility is a basic human right. p. 198

The reader is encouraged to know the way contraceptive methods work and to seek wisdom about marriage and family from the Bible. Couples should prayerfully seek God’s guidance when making decisions. I appreciated the inclusion of Holly Elliff’s experience as a mother.

Many aspects of motherhood are opportunities to grow in relationship with the Lord. Financial worries, parenting challenges and the mommy wars are addressed.

In the chapter about circumstances, Nancy explained that a friend had sent her a framed calligraphy with these words:

Coram Deo
Living all of life
In the presence of God
Under the authority of God
And to the glory of God. p. 270

In a world that is broken and full of deception we need to be pointed to the truth of God’s word. This book does that. It is useful for personal or group study.

Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free

In full disclosure,  I received a copy of this book from  the  publisher  in  return for an honest review.

For more information click here.

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A New and Revised Edition

It is Five Minute Friday—the day that we take five minutes to write on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives us. If you would like to join this group of writers click here for Kate’s information.  Today’s prompt is: WHY

When the first edition of Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free was published in 2001, I read it. Some of the women in my church also read it, and the book opened discussion on sensitive topics.

A new and revised edition will be available on February 19th. I have been privileged to receive an advance copy as a member of the launch team.

Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free

Why is there a new edition? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth explains in the preface:

Our world has been shaken by seismic cultural shifts since Lies was first released in 2001. For example, social media as we know it today did not exist back then. And certain sexual issues and themes that were peripheral twenty years ago now touch most of our lives in personal ways. I’ve added an entire chapter on lies about sexuality and made some other needed updates.

She mentions the letters, e-mails and conversations that she received in response to the first book. She has listened and clarified her message.

Seventeen years have gone by and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has  been  married for three years now. She writes: At selected points in this book, I’ve added thoughts or illustrations from my older/married vantage point.

Next week I will post a review of the book. Hope you will come back!

UPDATE: The book is available now. For more information visit LiesWomenBelieve.com

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently I have been going through some old folders and found a copy of a recipe with a story. According to the distributor of the recipe, she paid $250 for the Neiman-Marcus Cookie recipe. Did I ever try the recipe? I couldn’t remember.

I had the ingredients on hand—well, most of the ingredients. I made a few changes (adding barley flour & raisins, reducing sugar). After softening the raisins in hot water and draining them, I chose to put the raisins and walnuts in the food processor with a portion of the oatmeal. My husband loved these chocolate chip cookies!

So here is my adaption of the cookie recipe:

1 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 + ½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup barley flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 + ½ cups instant oatmeal
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add the eggs and almond extract. Beat until smooth. Then add the flours, salt baking powder, baking soda and 1 cup of oatmeal. Mix, forming dough.

Place 1 + ½ cup of oatmeal, the raisins and walnuts in the food processor and process until you have coarse crumbs. Combine the raisin & walnut mixture with the cookie dough mixture. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop a tablespoon of dough and form into a ball—place each ball 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Musing About Family and Privilege

The snow has come as forecasted and the world outside my door is cold and white. It is a good day to stay inside. It is Five Minute Friday—the day that we take five minutes, or just a little more—to write on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives us. Today’s prompt is: PRIVILEGE

There is a great benefit to growing up in a family with both mother and father. When the family reads Bible together and prays, there is additional blessing. This is God’s design. An intact family is not meant to be a privilege, but we live in a broken world.

My daughter and son-in-law have taken in two children through foster care. They have had some contact with the biological parents and are deeply saddened by the brokenness that has led to the child entering foster care. My daughter has shared with me her gratitude for our family, her growing up years.

Sometimes we don’t recognize the privilege we have experienced until we move outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes we need a new perspective. //

Family - Bouquet

As a nurse I had a dramatic change in perspective when I left the hospital labor and delivery unit to attend home births. For years I had taught Lamaze classes, giving instruction on how to stay relaxed, how to breathe, comfort measures for labor. When my clients gave me feedback, they told me about the hospital procedures they encountered. The breathing techniques and relaxation did not always help.

For home birth, the laboring mother is in her home. I was the guest giving her guidance and support. She was able to work with her labor in a way that I hadn’t seen in the hospital.

I am now an advocate of homebirth—with a clear plan for hospital transport when labor is prolonged or complicated. My hope is that hospital staff and homebirth attendants can have increased communication and understanding. All can benefit from a new perspective.

It is a challenge to step outside of our comfort zone. As Christians we have been given a great gift and the ability to reach out to others with love.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not your own doing; it is the gift of God . . .

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the common wealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2: 8, 12-13

 

Book Review: Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia

The progressive loss of brain  function  in  Alzhiemer’s  disease  and     dementia is difficult to observe in a loved one.    My  mother’s  loss  of memory and physical skills has been gradually progressing. It would be wonderful to have a knowledgeable and experienced Christian doctor give guidance for both victim and the family.

Dr. John Dunlop does that in his book,  Finding Grace in the  Face  of  Dementia. He explains the disease in terms that non-medical people can understand.

As I read the book, pausing to take in the information in each chapter, I developed a better understanding of what is happening to my mother. (I wish that this book had been available four years ago; it is so helpful.)

Dr. Dunlop explains the progression of the disease along with suggestions for relating with the person with dementia. When the disease is well progressed an individual may not remember the past and have little interest in the future. But they can still enjoy moments in the present. He writes:

Dementia does not alter a person’s ability to experience pleasure. Victims of dementia may enjoy pleasing aromas and be put off by offensive ones. They may like good music and admire pretty scenes or pictures . . . They will often enjoy human touch. They may want their loved ones to hold their hands or put an arm around them . . .

He encourages both the victim and family members to turn to their faith in God. Prayer, Bible verses and hymns can all bring comfort. Being involved in the care of someone experiencing dementia can deepen our understanding of self-sacrificing love. Dr. Dunlop gives reference to Bible verses throughout the book.

In the last chapter of the book Dr. Dunlop discusses end of life issues. I greatly appreciate the explanation of decisions that may need to be made. He offers wise counsel and demonstrates his faith in God’s eternal plan.

I enjoy sharing books that have been a blessing to me. If you found this post helpful you might enjoy  my Facebook page  where I post articles  related to family and health.

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Live in Harmony

It’s Friday and the prompt for Five Minute Friday is: AGREE. We write for five minutes on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives. Sometimes I go over the time limit but I try to stay within five minutes.

Marriage provides the opportunity for personal growth, for learning how to work through disagreements. My husband and I agree on many things, but at times we have disagreements.

We have learned about the importance of listening to each other. We have come to appreciate our different perspectives. We are both being refined.

Here is a simple illustration. My technique for chopping walnuts has been to place the walnuts in a plastic bag and pound them with a rolling pin. Since my husband is now retired he is in the kitchen more often and was upset by the pounding.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m chopping walnuts.”

“Why are you doing it like that?”

“I have always done it like this. My mother chopped nuts like this.”

“The noise hurts my ears.”

“I’ll try to do it while you’re not around.”

Not long after my husband came home with a nut chopper—a glass jar with a plunger that has sharp blades. My immediate reaction was that I didn’t need it. But I have tried it out and I like it. I now chop walnuts with this nice device.

Amazing Microbiome

// My women’s Bible study is studying the book of Romans. We are now on chapter twelve and it includes wise instruction on relationships.

Live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:16

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