Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Review - Code Triage

This was a new author for me but one of my favorite genres...medical fiction. I eagerly looked forward to this book. I wasn't disappointed. The main character, Dr. Leigh Stathos works as an ER doc in San Francisco. She is recovering from a broken heart and wants to focus entirely on her work. What complicates her plans are the prescence of her husband, police officer Nick Stathos. Their marriage is in trouble and Leigh is ready to file for divorce but Nick wants to try to work things out. Violence breaks out at the hospital where Leigh works and Nick is right in the middle of the resolution. There is also a "villian" who wants to have Nick for herself and see the breakup of Leigh and Nick's marriage. A subplot of the book is how Leigh negotiates encounters with this woman.

I appreciated the medical background in the book - the cases were authentic and came across as "real". I also appreciated the character flaws the author took time to write into the book. These felt like real characters instead of flat characters in a novel. I alternated being mad at Leigh and Nick and spent the book mad at the "other woman". I think it's the mark of a good book when I react to the characters. All in all, this was a good novel and I plan to look for more books by Candace Calvert.

Tyndale House provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. I received no additional compensation.

Book Review - Love's First Bloom

This was a new one for me...historical fiction. I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction, I find them boring. This book was a pleasant surprise. The main character, Ruth Livingston is the daughter of a preacher who spends his time working with prostitutes. During his work, he is accused of and tried for murder of one of the women he worked with. To protect his daughter, he sends her off to live in another town. Enter a newspaperman trying to resurrect his newswriting career. Ruth is determined to keep her secret, Jake is determined to find out if she is the missing daughter.

I won't spoil the rest of the book, but suffice to say, it is a sweet story with characters that are genuinely likeable. The author, Delia Parr, spent time developing both main characters and you came to understand why each react they way they do to the twists and turns in the novel. Being a hopeless romantic, I loved the way Jake worked behind the scenes to protect Ruth.

The ending was a bit contrived but not totally unrealistic. I definitely enjoyed this book and will be looking for more of Delia Parr's work. I'm willing to give more historical fiction a try.

Bethany House Publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review...Outlive Your Life

I was eagerly awaiting this new book from Max Lucado. I was thrilled to see an author with a following like Lucado tackle the issue of the Church’s responsibility to those in poverty. The book opens with several stories to set the pace and then by Chapter 4, Lucado is presenting the Gospel. I was glad to see he took the time to present the Gospel in this book. All too often, authors focus on the issue but forget WHY the issue is important. Without a foundation in the Gospel, addressing poverty just seems like something else on the “to-do” list. When you view poverty the way God does, addressing it becomes a passion. I loved his description in Chapter 7 of the definition of compassion. Compassion means a “kick in the gut.” Lucado hypothesizes that because the emotions poverty stirs up are so difficult, we have problems figuring out what we can do about it. His premise is that we did to get beyond that paralyzing fear and do something.

Throughout the book, Lucado uses Scripture to prove repeatedly that God cares about the poor, the orphan and the widow and that God expects us as believers to care about them too. In combination with biblical presentation, Lucado highlights practical examples of ordinary people using their lives to care for the poor. He also forces a deep examination of our thoughts and preconceived notions of people who aren’t like us. I was convicted on several occasions of how I have viewed someone on the side of the road or standing in line for food stamps. I was challenged to reframe my thoughts and view all people as how God sees them, someone worthy of His attention and MY attention.

This is definitely not a difficult read. In fact, it could easily be read in a few hours. If you are used to Max Lucado’s deep, thought-provoking works, you might be disappointed. However, if you allow yourself to read this book with an open mind and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your life, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. If everyone who reads it takes it to heart, we could change the world. My only small complaint is that there is not a listing of places or organizations where people could immediately find a place to serve. It would be helpful to give people a game plan to put what they’ve learned into action. All-in-all though, this is a wonderful book! I plan to share my copy widely!

Thomas Nelson Publishers Booksneeze program gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review - Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told

I was intrigued by the title of this book and any title like that was begging to be read. I was unfamiliar with the author but willing to give it a try. Bradley R.E. Wright, PhD opens his book with his premise that statistics have been used by the media, Christian pastors and others incorrectly to make Christians look bad. He then sets out to examine a variety of topics using his sociological skills to debunk current theories about Christians and their behaviors.

Wright bravely chooses to tackle some of the more common issues facing Christians and the Church as a whole. He delves into Christian behaviors (drinking, sex, giving, etc.) as well as commonly held beliefs regarding Christians such as how Christians are viewed by non-Christians and trends within the Church. Surprisingly, we as Christians aren't as bad off as people would have you believe. Wright's interpretation of the data shows that Christians actually divorce at rates lower than non-Christians, church attendance is holding at similar levels to past generations and non-Christians don't view us as negatively as the media would have you believe.

While Wright's overall premise is very interesting and he thoroughly explains how he arrives at his conclusions, it's a tough book to read. The subject matter is thought-provoking but if you don't have someone to discuss it with (and I didn't), it's a book full of statistics. This was an enjoyable book but I'm not planning to read it again.

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review of this book.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Last Operative Book Review

Okay so it was more like a few weeks rather than a few days but here goes...

I received a copy of Jerry Jenkins' book The Last Operative from Tyndale House for me to review. I have to admit, I was a little leary going into this book because I wasn't a fan of the Left Behind series. I'm glad though that I stuck it out and read the book.

The novel opens with a spy waiting to meet his wife for a vacation. Before the first chapter ends, his wife has been killed and Jordan Kirkwood's life is changed forever. He discovers a plot to inflict serious damage to the United States. Kirkwood becomes obsessed with identifying who the threat is and how he can neutralize the threat. Complicating the story is that Jordan has no idea who within his agency he can trust.

I was impressed with the writing style and this book kept me on the edge of my seat. The conversational structure of the book kept it flowing and avoided the choppy "he said/she said" transitions. I finished it very quickly and was disappointed when it ended. I read a lot of spy novels each year (it's one of my favorite genres) and this book was as good as others I've read. All in all, this was a good book and I was pleasantly surprised.

Tyndale House provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not So Deep Thoughts

So, I've been in the ATL almost 2 months now and I'm beginning to feel like I'm going to find my way around this silly town after all. I've pretty much learned my way around the Decatur area and just today found another intersection that I wasn't expecting. Fortunately, traffic in my area isn't too bad - slow drivers but those are everywhere. Each morning while listening to the traffic reports on the radio, I am more and more grateful that I chose to live near my workplace.

I sucessfully navigated MARTA earlier in the week as well. Had to go downtown for a meeting and my ED drove. But, she stayed downtown to have lunch with her husband so I took MARTA back to my office. Very easy, the train was surprisingly clean and the audio was understandable. Can't wait to navigate it to other places. I think I'm going to buy two plastic cards - one for me to use regularly and one to have when people come to visit. That way my guest can put $$ on the card and not waste the effort with a paper card. People at work have done that and found it useful. It would be nice if MARTA had better coverage but I'm going to use it when I can. If I worked downtown, I'd use it every dadgum day.

I am trying a new church tomorrow. It's a branch of Grace Fellowship that I visited two weeks ago. I really liked Grace Fellowship so if the midtown branch is a bust, I can always go back. This one just seems like a younger crowd and is a little closer to home. I'm just excited about the possibility of meeting people my own age who have a similar worldview. My coworkers are great people who believe in what we're doing but our worldviews don't exactly match. :-)

Book review should come tomorrow or the next day...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thoughts on PCC

So, last Sunday evening I drove myself over to Greater Atlanta Christian School for the service of Passion City Church. I was excited and a little nervous about what the experience would be like. I enjoy Louie Giglio's talks and love Chris Tomlin so I didn't want to be disappointed. Right now, PCC is meeting in various locations around ATL until their facilities are renovated. GACS has a nice gym facility they are letting PCC rent. So, that was the environment for Sunday night's service. Because of the large numbers of people fighting to get into the parking lot, the service started about 20 minutes late. The musical worship was incredible, though a bit like a concert. Not Tomlin's fault by any stretch of the imagination, just the result of 2000 people in a gym praising the Lord. :-) I've since discovered that one of the songs we were singing that was new to me was straight out of II Corinthians. I want to find the song again because it was a really cool song.

Louie's message was out of Psalm 121. While it was a great message, it wasn't exactly the "meaty" message I'm used to. There was nothing wrong with it and there were parts that really touched my heart but there just wasn't the depth I've grown accustomed to with David Platt's teaching. Again, not Louie's fault that I've been exposed to a level of preaching few others can attain to. :-)

All that being said, I wasn't exactly disappointed, I just wasn't overly thrilled. As I told a friend Sunday night on the way home, I can't put my finger exactly on why I am unsettled, I just know I am. Since PCC doesn't meet this coming weekend (another problem in my book), I've decided to try out another place here in town. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Please understand, I am NOT slamming PCC - it is a great ministry and will reach many people in this city and around the world. It just isn't what I'm looking for.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review - The Hole in Our Gospel

I've been meaning to write this review for a few weeks now...I finished Richard Stearns The Hole in Our Gospel and can easily say it is one of the most powerful, thought-provoking books I've read recently. Stearns is the current head of World Vision, a child sponsorship organization known worldwide for their work with children in poverty and disaster. I had heard great things about this book so I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.

The book opens with Stearns outlining how he came to be the head of World Vision. Needless to say, heading up a large faith-based organization wasn't on his list of "must have" jobs. He resisted and resisted God's call until it became so obvious he couldn't deny it. Stearns gave up an incredibly lucrative position in the secular world, uprooted his family and moved across the country to follow God's call.

The remainder of the book - really the bulk of the book - is Stearns making the case through Scripture that we are called to help the poor. Through personal stories and experiences, Stearns provides a sometimes heartbreaking look at the realities of poverty in much of the world. He very pointedly takes the western Church to task about our lack of concern for people we cannot see on a daily basis.

One thing I really appreciate in this book that is sometimes lacking in other venues is that Stearns provides multiple options on how Christians can get involved in working with the poor. He also doesn't advocate only his organization - he provides tips and encouragement on how ANYONE can get involved.

Bottom line, this was a wonderful book that I would highly recommend to anyone.

Thomas Nelson publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fully moved in...sort of

I finished the last of the "moving in" stuff this weekend. I wanted to wash both my comforters before putting them on my beds so I hauled them in to the local laundromat today. That was an interesting experience to say the least. But, got that done and I am more thankful than ever for my washer and dryer! Can't imagine the weekly expense of the laundromat or the hassle of hauling laundry in and out each week.

I also got the second bedroom cleaned out and partially organized. I still have some additional sorting to do but that can happen over time. I also got my smaller pictures hung so the apartment really feels like home. I feel a true sense of accomplishment this evening.

Had an interesting experience yesterday. I needed to go get my GA drivers license so I headed out to the Decatur branch of the Georgia Department of Drivers' Services. The mall this branch is located in is somewhat sketchy to say the least. Lots of closed storefronts and the other stores were ones I hadn't ever heard of (outside of Macy's). I wanted to get in and out quickly. Well, the crowd in front of me put an end to those thoughts. There were at least 50 people ahead of me in line. But, surprisingly, the system worked rather well. It called people by assigned number so there was no line cutting to be had. From entrance to new license only took about an hour so I was pleasantly surprised. My picture makes me look like a criminal but oh well, no one looks good in their DMV photo. :-)

After the license was obtained, I headed to try and find a new Publix. Found one that appears to be closer to my apt. than the one I tried last week. Still had my coupons scrutinized but I'm beginning to think that's a Decatur-area Publix thing. As long as they continue to take my coupons, I don't really give a flyin' flip how long they scrutinize them. I know Publix's coupon policy so I'm prepared to argue for my savings if I have to. :-)

All-in-all, it was a good week. I have lots of meetings (mostly by phone) this week and then heading home to Macon for Father's Day and Sarah's birthday. Get to spend some extended time with Sarah to give my mom a break from taking care of the patient. Sarah had surgery this week on her knee so she still needs a little help getting around and handling Barney. It'll be nice to spend some one-on-one sister time.

The only thing I haven't found is a new church to visit. There are literally hundreds of churches in the area but so many of them are traditional churches and so far, I just haven't seen one close to me (within a 30 minute drive) that seem like a "good fit." I'm still praying God will show me the place. Passion City Church meets June 27th so I have that one on my calendar. We shall see.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Week In Review

So, I've officially finished my first week in my new city. It was really a smooth transition into my new job, new home and new city, other than locking the cat in the linen closet by accident of course. (That's another post for another day.)

Tuesday was my official first day of work and like any good organization, Tuesdays are for staff meeting. There was major food at this meeting. I'm not sure if this is the normal approach to staff meetings but I like it! Apparently there is a major approach underway to radically alter the make-up of the board of directors for my organization. So, most of the meeting was spent trying to figure out ways to circumvent this attempted coup de tat and make plans for the major board meeting and vote scheduled to take place on Monday. This office also does secret pals and this past Tuesday was their "reveal." Each of them had presents for their secret pal and to make sure I didn't feel left out, they got me a Starbucks gift card. Major score!

The rest of the week was pretty mundane. Get up, go to work, work hard all day trying to make heads or tails of my project, go home, crash and then repeat the next day. Friday night after work, I decided to change it up a bit. I got directions and headed out to Buckhead to find Lenox Mall. Well, I missed Lenox but ended up at Phipps. Same difference since the store I wanted was in both places. Phipps is one nice place. I plan to go back and explore the stores at both Phipps and Lennox...Nordstrom, Filene's Basement, Williams-Sonoma and more. My GPS lady and I managed to find our way home quite nicely.

Yesterday I slept in and then headed out to run errands. I am thoroughly enjoying having more than one grocery store. I have a whole new appreciation for now that I have Kroger and Publix close by. Ran to Kroger yesterday morning for those staples they had on sale. Brought those home and headed back out to one of my favorite stores on earth...IKEA. If you've never been, plan a trip to visit me and we'll go. I had a list of things I wanted to find and outside of a replacement CD tower, they didn't disappoint. I also came home with an additional item, a set of recycling bags to use at my local recycling place (more on that in a bit). After IKEA, I headed to my local Target. It's in a place kind of like Patton Creek (for those Bham people) only more crowded and not as well laid out. Have to try and find a different Target. This one is too crowded and the in/out system is NUTS. After Target, I headed to what says is my local Publix. Have to find a different Publix. This one is small and horribly laid out. I had only a few items but the cashier insisted on scrutinizing each coupon I had. You'd have thought the money was coming directly from her paycheck. Then, the bagger used one of my cloth bags put started putting other stuff in plastic. I was thinking, um...I brought canvas bags and I expect you to USE them. I made him take the stuff out of the plastic bags and put it in canvas. To me, it's not an environmental thing, it's an ease of getting everything into the apartment thing. Canvas is better for that hands-down.

Today brought another first. Dekalb County, the county where I live has a well-known international farmers' market. It is 144,000 square feet of fruits, veggies, spices, crackers, cookies, breads, meats, seafood, cheese, etc. They had fruits and veggies from all over the world some of which I'd never even heard of. They even have pure sugar cane still in the stalks. Can't get much fresher than that! There is a large section of spices from all over and packaged much like a co-op would do it. VERY large section of organic grains and regular grains. I wandered through their bakery area to see what they offer and decided to check out their wares by bringing home some chocolate cream cheese croissants and a half a loaf of raisin bread. I figure it's pretty hard to screw up chocolate and cream cheese. :-) They also have a huge cheese selection, again with varieties I've never heard of. I got a small block of colby and monterey jack to try and it is delicious. Definitely better than anything I've had from a grocery or specialty store. If you like fresh fruits, veggies, etc. come visit and we'll make a trip over.

The farmers' market is also the site for local recycling. They take newspapers, plastic, steel cans, glass, phone books, etc. It is incredibly convenient and I can't wait to make use of it!

All-in-all, I've had a great first week. Still haven't found churches to visit but I'm still searching. Passion City Church doesn't meet again until 6/27 so I'm having to wait on that one. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery would be greatly appreciated.

Til next time...

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Big Move

Well, I did it. I am completely moved in to my new place. There is only one box left packed that isn't staying packed and it has scrapbooking stuff in it that will stay where it is until I have time to sort. I am amazed at how quickly the move went. My moving company, New Latitude, did an amazing job! The driver called me at 7:00 Friday morning asking if they could come early. I said "heck yeah! We'll see you when you get here." They got the truck loaded in less than 2 hours and about an hour after that we were on the road. The two of them got everything unloaded in about 2 hours again. Mom and I then were able to get our cars unloaded and everything inside. Then it started raining. Praise the Lord everything was already inside and dry. We spent part of the evening unpacking some boxes but pretty much crashed.

Saturday dawned and we were up and at it pretty quickly. We were focused on the kitchen primarily to get everything unpacked, washed and put away. I swear the kitchen gadgets were multiplying! After the kitchen, I moved into the bedroom and put away all my clothes and rearranged my closet. We ended Saturday pretty early too so we could rest. But, the kitchen was pretty much settled as was the bedroom. Progress was being made!!

Sunday we focused on linens and books. Right now the linens are where they belong and the books are on bookshelves but that's about it. The books will probably move from room to room for a while until I decide where I want them to live. One thing I do know; the textbooks will be staying in the office/spare bedroom. Don't want those things visible everyday! :-) Dad and Sarah came up Sunday afternoon to see the place. Daddy also helped get the washer leak repaired and reattached the dryer hose. He also helped me hang my bigger pictures. Love having a daddy who can take care of those things for me. Last evening the family and I went into downtown Decatur and went to Ted's Montana Grill to have some bison for dinner (yummy!). That trip would have been easier without an arts festival blocking the only way I knew how to get to Ted's. Grrr!

Today I've gotten the last of things put away and my bathroom organized. Mom was able to leave at noon. I look around at this apartment and I am amazed that I just moved in last Friday. I am so thankful for the friends who helped me pack and the mom that helped me finish packing and then unpacking. I could not have completed this move and retained my sanity without you!!

Tomorrow starts the new job. I imagine there will be all sorts of stories/posts coming from that adventure.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review - Shattered

Finished my latest book last night and I can honestly say it was very different than what I expected. Autobiography/memoirs are not really my cup of tea but since this one was written by a former baseball player and I'm a huge baseball fan, I figured why not? I'm glad I took the chance. Frank Pastore has written a compact book that impressed me with his open, honest assessment of his life growing up, his baseball history and his conversion and life since his conversion.

Pastore came from a tough childhood, no doubt about it. He chronicled a distant relationship with his dad, his mom's uncaring, reckless parenting and his athiest approach at life. Baseball was his way out and he made the most of it, working hard and chasing his dream. His stories of his antics in the minors and life as a professional baseball player gave me a little more insight into how difficult a time young baseball players (especially 30 years ago) could have.

I think though, what most impressed me about his story was his honest assessment of his life coming to faith in Christ and his life post-conversion. He doesn't sugar-coat the issues he's faced - a spouse who didn't understand fully the change in his life, being "overly eager" to share with friends and relatives and the ups and downs life brings. Pastore honestly and openly talks of time spent in counseling, hurtful experiences at the hands of Christian men he looked up to and struggles with his mom's death. He wrapped the book up with a nice chapter or two detailing how God has worked in his life and how he is now doing what he knows God called him to do.

The only negative I have about the book is that there are several paragraphs interspersed throughout the book that really don't fit. They are great stories and anecdotes but don't fit the chapter they're in. Almost made me wonder how the editor missed them. Just kind of weird in my opinion. That being said, this was a good read and I'm glad to have had the opportunity.

Now for the legal comply with Federal Trade Commission rules, I must tell you Tyndale House provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review of this book.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review

I got Max Lucado's You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be in the mail from Thomas Nelson. It's a small little book, perfect to give as a gift to someone graduating from high school or someone who needs a little self-esteem pick-me-up. Lucado uses excerpts from one of his other books (Cure for the Common Life) to comprise this book. It is a great summary of the unique qualities God gave each of us and how we are to use those qualities in His kingdom. He reminds the reader several times that God gave each of us skills, talents and passions and He expects us to use them. I think it's a great little book to help young people trying to figure out who they are in the world. I think a lot of times we get caught up in trying to be who our parents or teachers or friends want us to be and miss using our God-given gifts to be who God wants us to be. This book was a neat little reminder to stop and remember that what we do is supposed to be for Him, not someone else.

While this is a great little book for graduates, it's not overly helpful for those of us past high school or college. As a 30-something adult, it came across as a little cheesy. But, I had the good fortune to learn many of the lessons in this book years ago. If you know people struggling with who they are or whose they are, this book could be helpful.

I am a member of Thomas Nelson Publishers Booksneeze program. As such, Thomas Nelson provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review of the book.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One of Those Days...

Ever have one of those days? No, not that kind; a pefectly good day. Today was one of those for me. I was able to sleep late, lounge around and generally do just what I wanted to do. I managed to find and save a few jobs to apply for off and the APHA career site and re-did my resume on their site. Input from a friend of my parents was especially helpful.

I also managed to plan my meals for the week and cook some meat for the upcoming week. I have some chicken and fish to cook up tomorrow afternoon but the plans are made. I am trying to eat healthier meals and eat at home as opposed to opting for the easy (but really expensive) option of eating out. I'm also trying to get out of my dissertation rut of eating sandwiches instead of real meals.

I think what made the day so relaxing is that I could watch TV and read without feeling guilty about it. I watched some episodes of 24 and NCIS this afternoon and spent part of the evening reading two fascinating books: Forgotten God by Francis Chan and Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Fascinating for entirely different reasons but fascinating nonetheless. The one by Chan is on the Holy Spirit and the one by Kidder is a biography of Paul Farmer. Expect book reviews of both when I finish.

I just realized I have really, really eclectic tastes. Or weird tastes, take your pick. :-) I am currently reading four books that are wildly different and am enjoying every one of them. I know some people wonder how you can read four at one time and usually I don't. But, these four are so different I can manage. I actually think I am going to curl up in bed with the Braves game on low and go back to reading.

A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review

So, I have gotten through my latest Thomas Nelson book "Chronological Guide to the Bible." I was excited about getting this one because I'm a Bible-geek. While I am impressed with the overall layout of the book and think it will be a useful tool, it is a somewhat difficult read. A lot of the introductory material is stilted in some of its language and I found myself having to re-read paragraphs to fully grasp their meaning. I did appreciate how the authors laid out the argument about what books were included in the canon and which were not and how the order came to be.

One thing I did like is the introductions for each Epoch and the answers to historical questions that are embedded throughout the book. The examples of how biblical history lines up with secular history are also interesting. The maps, graphs, charts, etc. throughout the book also add to its appeal.

I do question a couple of things regarding the book. First and foremost, any other chronological guide I've ever seen moves Job. That's part of what makes it chronological. This guide doesn't really do that. I'm not sure if the authors want to be different or what but their reasoning doesn't make full sense. Secondly, it would be nice to see the whole guide listed out somewhere that you could use as a reference. It's broken up by Epochs and some are only one line long. You could easily miss them.

The biggest hang-up for me was the price of this book. It is a pretty book full of glossy pictures but I would balk at paying $25 for a paperback study guide especially if I was buying the Chronological Study Bible at the same time. While it's a nice book and a good reference piece, it's not a must-have for me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So I'm looking all over the internet for job possibilities and am coming up pretty empty. I know there is a position out there and God is teaching me patience and reliance on His provision and timing but man I so want to find a job in my field and find it quickly.

He birthed in me a passion for moms and children. Heck I've known since I was eight I wanted to work with them - the job focus has changed but never the age range. Don't mind men or older people, they just aren't the group God gave me a passion for. Why is finding positions to apply for so difficult? It isn't even finding a job per se that's difficult, I'm not even seeing jobs to apply for. I know what I would love to do but there aren't really positions built around that either. Guess I'm proof the whole "name it and claim it" idea is a big stinkin' pile of crapola! :-)

I so want to just blindly trust that God will work something out but it's hard to say it and mean it. I know deep down that God will provide but my flesh wants it now. I'm sitting here typing this post while crying, partly out of frustration at the lack of positions and partly out of a lack of trust in my Provider and frustration at myself for that lack of trust. He's shown Himself over and over and over as provider. Why do I so easily doubt His provision in this instance? Why can't I just rest in His promises?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Meandering Thoughts

I'm very tired tonight so I can't promise this won't ramble. Why is it that short weeks always seem so long? I guess it's because there is always a week's worth of work but fewer days to get it accomplished in. This week was a classic example of that. I had Monday and Tuesday off and spent it in the North GA mountains with the family. So relaxing but since this was Easter week, there were many things to get accomplished at Brook Hills this week. Since there was a wedding at BH today, we couldn't set the lobby until today. At 5:30. Took until after 7:00 to get everything done that needed to get done. But, it's all ready to go and tomorrow should be a great day of Worship, celebrating our risen King.

Speaking of Easter, this is one of my favorite times of year. Beautiful weather for the most part, no need for heat or air, sandals come out of hiding, blooming trees, etc. And, it's my favorite sports time of year. NCAA tournament closely followed by the opening of major league baseball. I love the underdog stories of March Madness (Butler anyone) and the new promise of a brand-new baseball season. Hopefully the Braves can put something together this season.

I am enjoying my time to myself. I am reading a variety of books which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. I may start putting some random book reviews on here since I read pretty prolifically and like to share my opinions. I am working my way through the Harry Potter series right now. I am currently in book two and these are books that I would have loved when I was younger. They are good to me as an adult and they are the type of book I liked as a kid, lots of imagery, lots of imagination and twists and turns until the end. I am staying out of the controversy around them.

I think that's enough meandering for now. I am hoping to post a little more often now that my nights are not taken up with dissertation work. I'll keep updating about the job search and other things that stir my interest.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Been a While...

but, I have a good excuse. I have finished my doctorate and am officially "Dr.". Of course, the only ones who use the title are my parents and sister. I've always thought it a bit pretentious to use a title all the time so I doubt I'll use it much. But, it is a huge accomplishment that I could not have done without my family's support. Now, the "fun" part...finding a job in my field. I have a couple of possibilities, it's just a matter of waiting and seeing how God will provide. Until then, I'm trusting in His divine provision.

I am filling my time reading a bunch and watching episodes of 24. I never watched it when it began because I was travelling a lot with my job and DVR's weren't commonplace. I can see why it was such a compelling show. It's easy to get hooked in and waste hours and hours watching. In fact, that's my plan for tomorrow until the final four games start (Go Butler!!).

I'm off to finish working and then off to reading.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Healing Sands Book Review

I finally finished my latest BookSneeze book review, Healing Sands by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn. It was different than what I usually read and took a little bit of time getting into. The book starts very slowly and it took getting to about halfway through before the action picked up and I really wanted to keep reading. But, the twists and turns in the novel made it worth the perseverance. I liked the character development the authors gave to the main female character, Ryan Coe but I would have liked more back story. There's a lot more to this character and I feel like things were brought out but not explored. I was left wanting to know more. Same with Dr. Crisp, the main male lead. However, there are two previous books I haven't read so the backstory could be in those.

While it did start slow, the book redeemed itself and in the end was a very entertaining read. There were enough twists and turns, some I didn't see coming, that made it worth the time invested. I actually want to find the two earlier books. I also hope the authors are continuing to write. A monumental event happens at the end and I want to learn how he's going to deal with it. All in all, this was a good read and I plan to share it with several people in my life.

Friday, January 29, 2010


My heart is so heavy tonight and I'll admit freely that I am questioning the sovereignty of God. I know He is all-knowing and is working everything for the good of those who love Him but man, it's hard to trust that tonight. I have been praying earnestly for a while now for a friend of mine who was fighting for custody of her children in another state. She had the stronger case and by all accounts, her children should be on their way home to her in AL. Instead, a judge ruled against her today. She was in the right all the way and had experts on her side; her son desperately needs care he can get more efficiently here. I can't remember a time I have prayed more on behalf of someone else and not seen the situation resolved positively. It just seems like the ex is being rewarded for bad behavior. Right now, other than peace for my friend, I'm not sure how to pray. I just don't get it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Retraction/Correction and Good News from Haiti

I always want my blog to be a place of truth and as such, I need to make a correction to yesterday's post. After talking to mom today, I understand that I should not have taken Limbaugh to task yesterday for saying people shouldn't give. According to Rush, he DID NOT say that, his words were misconstrued (is anyone surprised the media would misquote Rush?) and he was not saying people shouldn't give. In this instance, I am glad I was wrong and I'm glad I can come back on and correct that. Still don't think it's a time to pick sides but that's beside the point.

Now for the good news: according to Compassion International founder Wess Stafford (who's also one of the coolest guys around), Dan Wooley, the Compassion staff member who was trapped and rescued from the Hotel Montana rubble was able to lead the bellhop he was communicating with to Christ while they were trapped. Praise the Lord!! God WILL use extreme devastation to prove His glory! More good news, again according to Compassion. They are still hearing sounds in the hotel wreckage and Dan's videographer had protein bars and water with him. Please continue to pray that David can be found alive and continue to pray for the workers who are struggling to meet the overwhelming need in Haiti. This is an impossible situation to comprehend but we serve an awesome God who is in the miracle business. He WILL be glorified in this situation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Thoughts

My heart is still aching for the nation of Haiti. Before the earthquake, Haiti was in a sad state of affairs. They are an impoverished nation with a governmental structure that leaves little chance for meaningful change with a heart-change from the top down. BUT, that in NO WAY justifies the comments of Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson. Both have made statements in the last few days that are just downright stupid and insensitive. Now I'm not usually one that jumps on the insensitive bandwagon but in Robertson's case especially, the comments got under my skin.

Pat Robertson is supposed to be an example for Christians. How are statements saying the Haitians deserved the earthquake as God's punishment for a deal with the devil certain Haitians supposedly made years ago? Seriously?! When did God decided to explain his sovereign will to Pat Robertson? Throughout Scripture we are reminded that suffering will happen in this world but our job as Christians is to minister to the "least of these" as Christ would. I don't remember Christ using a litmus test to decide who was worthy of His help. He offered help and forgiveness to all who asked. How are the Haitians to know of Christ's love if we don't go and share while meeting needs? Aren't we supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ? Guess Pat's momma didn't teach him the phrase "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." What was the point of his comments anyway? Why not pray for the people of Haiti, pray for the rescuers, pray for the parents in the US waiting desperately for adoptions from Haiti? He has a HUGE platform, use it to send out a call for prayer.

Then comes Rush Limbaugh. He of course is using this to jump on Obama claiming Obama is using this to look compassionate and play to minorities? Seriously Rush?! Now I can't stand Obama and think his administration is bad for America but ANY president in his position would be doing the same darn thing. Remember the tsunami? George Bush handled that one. And then he went off saying we shouldn't donate to Haiti because we already give our tax dollars to them. So much for compassionate conservatism.

Sadly, all these two have done is hurt their respective causes. Robertson unfortunately is viewed as a spokesman for Christianity by the media. His asinine comments allowed all Christians to be painted with a somewhat broad brush. Fortunately, some news outlets were interviewing others like Franklin Graham and got vastly different responses. Unfortunately, everyone won't hear those other responses. And Limbaugh just hurts the conservative movement when he opens his blow-hole and starts talking like he did earlier this week. Stick to debating the political topics and leave disaster response to the professionals.

Sorry for the vent, I'd just had my fill of stupid people. I keep being reminded of the Mark Twain quote "better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Maybe someone should embroider that on two pillows and express ship them to Robertson and Limbaugh.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Here are my pictures from the snow today:

If you look really closely and use your imagination, you can see the snowman I spent all day making.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Well maybe not so deep but interesting to me and maybe to someone else so I'll share.

Today was officially Day 1 of the Radical Experiment read through the Bible portion. Today's passage was Gen. 1 and 2. Now I've read the creation story probably hundreds of times but I've never noticed a particular section of Gen. 1, verses 11 and 12. In it, Moses is outlining the creation of the plants. And he was specific about seed bearing plants. He didn't just say plants, he said seed-bearing and he said it a couple of times. It struck me this morning that this little piece of Scripture is so evident of God and His providence. He KNEW reproduction of plants would be necessary and animals to eat those plants hadn't been created yet. God foreknew and His plan built reproduction into the creation plans. How awesome is it that the God we serve cared enough about His creation that He made those plans ahead of time? And I forget time and time again that the same God who took care of plant reproduction before it was necessary cares more for me! Lord, forgive my unbelief.

Then later I found a quote in a new devotional book I'm reading (thanks Mom!). It said we cannot fool God by going through the motions of giving. That really hit me. There have been lots of times I've given God less than my best or begrudingly gave my tithe or didn't give at all because I needed the money more. Talk about conviction. I think this whole concept applies to way more than just monetary giving though. How often have I given less than my best at work or at school or in a friend relationship. I was too tired, the task was beneath me, etc., etc., etc. God doesn't want our excuses - He wants our best. Sure we'll fail but our goal should always be our best because ultimately what we do is supposed to be for His glory.

To top all that off, I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Now, if you don't want to be convicted, leave this book off your reading list. But, if you want to be blown away by how awesome our Creator is, go to Amazon, buy it (or download it on iTunes), and begin reading. Just be warned, it is slow going. Not slow like Tozer where every sentence is heavy and hard to understand, just slow because you'll want to ruminate over passages. This afternoon's 3.5 pages (seriously, only 3.5) were no exception. Look up Phil 4:4. Go ahead, I'll's a command to rejoice in the Lord always - it's a command - not a suggestion. Then verse 6, do not be anxious about anything. What Chan says next is what really got me thinking..."when I am consumed by my problems - stressed out about my life, my family and my job - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice." Oops, Houston, we have a problem...

Then Chan goes on to say that worry implies we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives and stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. He finishes out the section reminding the reader that the story isn't about us at all, God is the center of the story. This is really a hard concept for me to wrap my head around because I am an A #1 control-freak. I freely admit that I fall short all the time in letting go and letting God. When I put that passage together with the creation story from this morning, I can't help but marvel at God. In His sovereignty, He knew I needed to hear a reminder about His providence and His being in control and He gave it to me today in two totally different ways. Taken alone, each are amazing displays of God's unique position in my life. Taken together, they are seen as absolute writing in the sky that He is reminding me he's got everything under control.

Reminds me of a cheesy quote that is quite appropriate...I don't know what tomorrow may hold but I know who holds tomorrow.