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.