Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Thanks for all the comments on my previous post. I think I am going to take all the advice, in one way or another! I have decided to keep reading "Heaven", but to skim it for the next 10 chapters or so. If it doesn't get any better, than I will put it away for good.

As for the Piper book, I have decided to shelve that one for the time being. I can always pick it up again when I need the message (that is, when I'm struggling to desire God) or lend it to a friend who may need it.

Sometimes you know the right answer, but you just need someone to validate that it is ok! Thanks everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dreading Reading

I have a quick question for all you avid readers out there. Have you ever just trudged through a book? I mean, you keep reading, hoping for it to get better or for the message to affect you, but each chapter is drudgery and each time you shut the book you think to yourself, "I don't think I can stand to ever pick that book up again." If you have experienced this with me, what did you do? Do you keep reading (as my OCD nature tells me to finish) or chalk it up to a time waster and move on to a book that really speaks to you?

Here's what I am battling with. I have been "reading" Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven for some time now and I feel like his initial point about our bodily resurrection and the necessity of the earth's resurrection has been made already. But each chapter seems to go back to that main thesis and try to prove it in another way and I find myself quietly screaming, "OK! I GET IT! MOVE ON! WHY DO I NEED TO READ 40 CHAPTERS IF THIS IS ALL YOU ARE GOING TO SAY?!" Now don't get me wrong, Randy Alcorn is a great author and I have greatly benefitted from some of his other books, but I am just struggling with this one.

The other book that I put down a few months back and haven't picked back up is Piper's When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. Now the same qualifier counts here: You can't argue with Piper and I have enjoyed his writing, but I feel like once you get his theology, each book kind of just repeats it in a new context.

So, my readers, what do you think I should do? Do I keep plowing through the books and strive for the good feeling I know I will have when I finally finish a book, or do I stop now and devote my already scarce reading times to something seemingly more profitable? Give me your advice!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Catching Up

The past week has been crazy! With Elijah gone, Dan and I celebrated our 8th anniversary (I meant to post on it, but didn't have time!). We had a lovely afternoon out. We went ice-skating and out to dinner, nothing over-the-top, just one of our favorite restaurants that we don't get to visit very often.

We continued celebrating our anniversary on Thursday when we went to the county zoo during their "A La Carte" where local restaurants set up shop by all the animals and you can sample great food from a host of different vendors. I was so excited to get a falafel, which Gretchen introduced me to in Louisville in May and I have been salivating to try again ever since. We ate a ton of food, but the walking in-between helped it all digest so we could cram some more in! It was a blast and we ate all that great-tasting food for $20, which helped make the trip memorable enough that we will probably do it again next year!

Dan's brother came Thursday night and we spent most of the day on Friday in the boat on the lake. We came home a bit sunburned and exhausted, but not so much that we couldn't get together with 8 other friends to play "The Settlers of Catan" that evening. (Dan won the men's game, I did poorly at the Ladie's table.)

The weekend took us to Waupaca where we met Dan's parents and picked up Elijah. I am so glad to have him back home! So all in all, we had a busy week. It has been raining a lot here, and promises to about every day this week, so we things should be a bit quieter around here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Missin' my Buddy

Elijah is visiting his grandparents this week, so we are all lonely without him. (Actually, we are working on our bathroom project - but that's another post.) I got these pictures of him from Grandma and Grandpa, and I thought I would share them with you.
Apparently he keeps promising Grandpa that if he can play with his UPS truck, then Elijah will let Grandpa play with his milk truck next time they are at our house! Who can resist such an offer?
Workin' in the garage - his favorite pastime.

This is Grandpa's other toy. I don't think Elijah has anything comparable to this that Grandpa can play with at our house!

This picture made me miss him even more. That's my big boy, little man!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Quote of the Week

"People do not drift toward holiness.
Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith and delight in the Lord.
We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."
--D.A. Carson, For the Love of God, vol. 2

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I hosted a Stampin' Up party last night and had a blast! We used the new Pretties Kit, which includes flowers that you can dye, pearls and hat pins. I just had to share the beautiful cards that we made. Hope this inspires you to try something new! We used Baroque Motifs for a few of these cards. A gorgeous set with a ton of possibilities! I am getting this set for sure!

This card uses some of SU's designer papers. They complement each other beautifully and can be used to make a really quick and easy card!

This card is my one of my favorites - I love the dyed flowers!

This one is my absolute favorite. I love the details like the grossgrain ribbon and the designer paper that make this card so beautiful.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Book Sale!

I just finished blogging about my new favorite kid's book, The Jesus Storybook Bible, when low and behold, Gretchen offers a great deal on that very book!

Her bookstore, on the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is offering The Jesus Storybook Bible for 50% off this week only! Stop on over to her blog and you can order there and she will ship it to you.

In case you are wondering, I bought 5. With the multitude of babies arriving at our church in the coming months, I figured I should be prepared!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


My first trip to IKEA was very successful and I want to go back! I bought a few things, only one major purchase, but I got some great ideas for decorating and future purchases! Here's the picture of the toy bin I bought for Alli's room and the pictures I framed (about $12 total!) for her room.

Thanks for all the tips everyone gave me. It did take about 4 hours to get through the store. Now all I need to know is how to get IKEA to build closer to home!

Body Piercing

I just read "Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock" by Andrew Beaujon. I was turned on to this book when I noticed it's title on the sidebar of Bob Kauflin's blog. I Googled it and read an excerpt on Amazon and was hooked. Now I'm not about to spend the $12 + dollars to buy it, so I checked my library's catalog (online - don't you just love the Internet!) and sure enough they had it! So a few weeks later I checked it out and began reading.

A quick disclaimer is that the author is a self-described non-Christian. So realize that his views are a bit jaded and his language is less than "holy," but his description of the Christian rock scene is in-depth (historical at times) and very interesting. He struggled getting all the access he desired for this book, but none-the-less gives a thought-provoking outsider's look inside.

Besides detailing the behind-the-scenes of Christian Rock Festivals (Cornerstone, Lifefest, etc . . .), the author scored some great interviews with some of Christian rock's biggest stars. Mind you, if you aren't into the heavier Christian music scene, most of the names mentioned will be unfamiliar, but realize that most young kids who listen to this type of music will recognize almost all of the groups. He also spends a considerable amount of time discussing the modern "worship" movement with it's history and present day stars. When the author first starts to experience worship, he rightly so, feels left out and uninspired. I personally think this speaks to the fact that worship music isn't meant to win people to Christ. It is music written by Christ-followers for Christ-followers. Some of his critique of this genre, in particular, made me angry, because of the truth of the market's incessant drive to make money, and much impressed me. I particularly liked his interview with David Crowder and it caused me to spend some more time checking out his music.

On the other side of that, I was deeply disturbed and angry at some of the interviewees who make music in Christ's name and seem to have nothing to do with Him otherwise. It was an eye-opener to read about some of the "christian" groups out there and reaffirms my belief that you should try to get to know artists before you buy. As anyone can attest, attending a concert can make or break you on a particular artist or band. Somehow seeing them interact with the audience gives you a better glimpse into either their "ministry" or "show." This worked in the negative way when I saw Philips, Craig and Dean in concert and positively when I saw the Newsboys. I'm sure if you ever have been to a concert that you know what I am talking about.

The author made some soul-baring quotes in the book, one of which was this:

“I liked these people, enjoyed their company, and they’d made me feel completely welcome. But it bothered me that I wasn’t a Christian and would never be one. They embraced me like they hope to embrace culture, but I’m still not sure how hard either of us can hug them back.”(p. 137)

Also: "I was on the plane home before I realized that I'd been working on this project for 6 months, and it was the first time anyone had tried to evangelize me."(p.168)

And concerning a David Crowder Band concert: "There was only one star at that evening's show, and he hadn't been onstage at all."(p.245)

All in all, I am glad I read this book. It was revealing and disturbing at times, but necessary. If you are at all interested in the Christian music scene, this is worth your time to read. And if you have a teenager, this would be a great book to read along with them and discuss the author's bias and some of the artist's perspectives.