Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Reading

Today is the very last day of May, 2011 and temperatures are predicted to reach upper 80’s in Brighton, Colorado.  A wet, dreary month has passed and it looks as if summer really will arrive.  I was beginning to wonder!

I thought it might be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite titles for summer reading.  My preferences are not the sappy romance, make-you-feel-good titles of my earlier life.  My fancies have turned almost exclusively to that which will help me grow, make me think, and equip me to encourage others.  If you’re looking for light reading over the summer, this may not be your list.  But if I can encourage – dare I say inspire – some of you to reach for something on the mostly serious side, you may just find that you come out of the journey feeling a little closer to God and understanding yourself a bit more.  

These books have affected me in significant ways and it is my pleasure to share them with you!  Drum roll, please… introducing a few of my “must read” recommendations:

1)      Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala (Zondervan). This book is a gripping testimony of the transformation of The Brooklyn Tabernacle through the prayer of its people.  If you have wondered what impact prayer can really have, read this book from cover to cover! 

2)      I Should Forgive, But… by Dr. Chuck Lynch (Word Publishing).  We have all experienced hurt by the actions of others and this book helped me realize that forgiveness doesn’t make the offense OK, it makes me OK.  The Lord used this book to set me free in many ways.  Praise Him!

3)      Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore (Broadman & Holman Publishers).  I love the writing of Beth Moore (if you’re hearing that for the first time, where have you been?!) and this is one of my favorites.  I laughed, cried and fell in love with my Lord through this devotional journey of the life of Jesus through the Gospel of Luke. 

4)      How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart (Zondervan).  This is a great narrative for laypeople who want to know more about the Bible.  The most immediate help I received came through a deeper understanding of the Psalms and how man’s word to God can be also used (divinely) as God’s word to man!  I also learned how 7 specific chapters of the Old Testament can give significant insight to the books of prophecy.   

This book helps me develop deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s Word that is alive and active.

5)      Epicenter by Joel C. Rosenberg (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.).  Timely, relevant, and tied with current events, this book helped me see the world through God’s eyes.  We in the US often feel that WE are the center of the world.  Clearly, God’s Word tells us that Israel is the “epicenter” of our planet and ties current events with Biblical truths.    

Please know that I do not agree with every word printed in each of these books.  Nothing written by man is infallible or inerrant and should be read carefully, with wisdom and discernment.  I encourage you to study as the Bereans did and to test all things against Scripture!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Thank you for a much-needed sabbatical.  I haven’t written for several weeks as we have faced (and continue to face) a whirlwind of transition.  

Christopher, our oldest child, completed his career as a baseball player this month.  When he was 3 years old, we gave him his first ball and bat as a birthday present and he never looked back.  He used to beg, every day, to be 5 years old so that he could play on a real team.  It was truly a God-given passion for him and after nearly 20 years, his career ended as his college team lost a tournament championship game that would have led to the World Series.  I realize that nearly every team and every player closes on a losing note, but that fact does not ease the heartbreak that shrouds the final score of the final game.

Jessica Taylor, our youngest, graduated from High School on Saturday.  There are many mixed emotions with this momentous occasion.  She has the excitement of new independence but the struggle of saying goodbye to many companions.  There is the anticipation of a life that waits, coupled with the uncertainty of what God is calling her to do.  There are teachers and others who have poured into her life that she will likely never spend time with again.  She is thrilled, but her heart is broken at the same time.
This momma has struggled watching my kids struggle.  There is a great deal to look forward to, I do realize, but as I say goodbye to things we have cherished, I ask the Lord, “Where is our path?”  I can’t see it.  And when I have no idea what the future holds it becomes hard for me to see transition as a beginning rather than the end. 
Our Lord reminds me, however, that He is the path.  He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).  When we trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean on not on our own understanding, when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will make our path straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6).  With a burdened heart, I am once again challenged in the worry / fear department, but I know, and am gently reminded, Who holds us all in the palm of His hand.
We wait on the Lord to see what He has planned for each of us.  We wait together, strengthened in His love. He restores our joy in His presence and for the next 3 months, I have the gift of both of my kids at home!  Thank you, Jesus!  I eagerly wait to see what our futures hold and trust that Your plan is perfect