Faithful in Obscurity

Suppose you’re playing Jeopardy!, and you see this clue in the People in the Bible category:

Bartholomew, James the son of Alphaeus,
Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot

Would you know the right question?

“Who are some of Jesus’ disciples?”

If I were the host, I’d count that correct. But, more precisely, you could ask, “Who are the lesser-known disciples of Jesus?”

The names are a little different in the various lists of disciples (people often went by more than one name then.) But these usually appear near the bottom of the lists, right before Judas Iscariot. We don’t know much about them besides their names. We don’t have their words or actions recorded in the Bible other than in what the disciples did as a group.

Several years ago, our pastor at that time shared a series of messages about the disciples. Peter, as you can imagine, was the subject of more than one sermon. I think Judas may have gotten two; John, Phillip, and some of the others may have had one message devoted to each of them.

Our pastor grouped these last virtual unkowns all together. What can we possibly learn from them?

My pastor suggested the main thing they teach us is faithfulness in obscurity.

The lack of detail about them doesn’t mean they were inactive or lesser disciples. For His own reasons, God chose to emphasize certain aspects of other disciples in the Bible.

They heard the same messages as the others and ministered alongside them. There were people they preached to and helped and healed. I’m sure they made a difference in the lives they encountered. God probably used them in ways He could not have used Peter and John.

When they give an account before God, they’re not going to get a participation ribbon or an “I was one of twelve” tee shirt. If they served God faithfully, they’ll hear His “Well done.”

So will you. You may be a busy mom of little ones, a secretary stationed at her desk, a cashier at a counter, a caregiver tucked away in a lonely room, or in any number of occupations where you feel unnoticed. Don’t be concerned if you don’t get as much attention or response as other people. Don’t fret over whether your work seems “important.” Faithfully do what God has called you to do, for His honor and glory.

Sometimes obscurity is just for a time. Jesus was on earth a little over 33 years, with only the last three spent in active ministry. What was He doing those first thirty years? The Bible doesn’t tell us much except that after Mary and Joseph thought they’d lost Him and then found Him in a discussion in the temple, “he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:51-52). We can assume He learned carpentry alongside his stepfather and did all the things a normal Jewish family would do in those times. He probably engaged in acts of kindness and quiet ministry to others.

If we were arranging things, we might have Him manifest Himself as the Son of God much sooner. But that was not God’s way. Yet that quiet time in the background, walking righteously in everyday life, was just as much a part of His life as the rest. Just before His death, Jesus prayed, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

That can be our purpose as well, whatever work we’re called to.

God may call people to the spotlight for a short time or for much of their lives. But many of us will live as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says: “to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.” We can serve Him in ordinary, everyday ways, hardly noticed by the rest of the world. Yet doing that ordinary service in love as unto Him, filled with His Spirit, makes all the difference.

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

Laudable Linkage

A collection of good reading online

I wanted to let you know that I have a guest post appearing at Almost an Author: Sculpting a Masterpiece. What does Michelangelo’s David have to do with writing? I invite you to take a look and find out.

And now, here are some great reads discovered this week, the first few related to Mother’s Day:

Prayer Warrior Challenge: You Don’t Have to Dread Mother’s Day this Year! “I remember clearly the momentous day when, deep in the weeds of Toddler Parenting, I realized I could do everything ‘right’ and still end up with a wayward child.”

Great Is His Faithfulness, HT to Challies. “My guess is that in this messy life, many are experiencing a measure of both joy and grief tangled up together this Mother’s Day week.”

How to Pray for Your Teen When You’ve Run Out of Words. “Handing our children over to God when they were infants was relatively easy compared with the task of entrusting them to God’s care now that they are jingling car keys in their pockets and making their first financial decisions.”

Training Children to Honor Their Parents by Honoring Our Own, HT to The Story Warren. “As I think about training my own children to honor their parents, I’m realizing how much is caught more than taught. The way I treat my parents will likely have a direct impact on the way my kids treat my husband and me.”

Beautiful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Handmade with Love, if you need any last-minute gift inspiration. The Skip to My Lou site is a treasure trove of neat ideas.

The Childless Man or Woman, wise words from Elisabeth Elliot. “Children, God tells us, are a heritage from Him. Is the man or woman to whom He gives no children therefore disinherited? Surely not. The Lord gave portions of land to each tribe of Israel except one. ‘The tribe of Levi… received no holding; the Lord God of Israel is their portion, as he promised them’ (Joshua 13:14, NEB). Withholding what He granted to the rest, He gave to Levi a higher privilege. May we not see childlessness in the same light? I believe there is a special gift for those to whom God does not give the gift of physical fatherhood or motherhood.”

What God has Made Crooked. “Sometimes God makes our way crooked to slow us down. He has something beautiful to show us. He wants to be seen along the way. He has designed even the crooked ways with beauty.”

Aging Doesn’t Make You Faithful. Jesus Does, HT to Challies. “It is folly to expect to wake up more faithful to Christ twenty years from now if we’re not feeding our faithfulness today with the means of grace God has ordained for our growth. God has invited us into the process of spiritual growth.”

What Is Anxiety? HT to Challies. “Most of our sinful anxieties are tied to proper concerns. It is proper to do your job well, to support your family, to care for your children, to fulfill the duties that God has called you to do. We should be concerned with all of them. The question is, When do these proper concerns turn into sinful ones? When does godly care become godless worry?”

The Dull Conversation, HT to Challies. I’m sorry to admit I chafe during seemingly meaningless conversation. I recognize that’s unloving toward the person I am listening to. Ed Welch has some good ideas to discern “What is that person saying in the litany of information?”

I have to say, though, I disagree with this part of the last post: “With those who are closer to you, each day deserves these two questions: What was the best part of the day? What was the hardest part of your day?” My difficulty with superlative questions (best, worst, favorite) is the way my mind works. To figure out the best part of the day, I’d have to look back over all the events of the day, line them up, compare them to each other, weigh the two or three that rise to the top. It’s exhausting. So, instead, I usually reply something like, “Well, one good thing from the day was…” You might think that whatever floated to my mind first was the best. But later, as I think back over the conversation, some other part of the day with come to mind, and I’ll think, “Oh, I should have said that instead.” Am I the only one who overthinks like this?

Forgive me for that rabbit trail. 🙂

Finally, this is a cute video about mom superpowers:

Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow to those who mother in any way.

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Let’s end the first week in May by thanking God for what He has provided.

1. A housewarming party. We had a family housewarming party for Jesse to congratulate him on his new apartment and give him some odds and ends he didn’t have yet. He even made dinner for us! Or the main dish, anyway. It was good! Mittu made a side and I made dessert. It was a fun evening. I told him getting excited over a new skillet was a sure sign of being an adult. 🙂

2. Jesse’s new coffee table. Jesse made this coffee table by finding a photo he liked and having it printed on wood at PhotoBarn. Then he and Jim built a frame for the legs to screw into, attached the legs, and Jesse got glass cut to fit the top. It turned out nicely.

3. Replacement parts. A couple of things I had ordered arrived damaged. Reporting the damage and arranging for replacement parts was relatively painless. One arrived today; the other should soon. I was also thankful they just sent a replacement part and not a whole new item, so I didn’t have to box up and send back the items.

4. Safety in the storm. We had some pretty heavy thunderstorms this week. Jim and Jason both had to be out, but were safe driving. Thankfully there was no rain when I had to go to the store, even though it was forecast. We didn’t lose power–it didn’t even blink.

One night the rain stopped, but clouds were still out. I noticed this one from the kitchen window, and called Jim to come and see. We went outside and watched it for several minutes. I don’t think I have ever seen so much lightening within one cloud formation. This isn’t even the worst of it.

5. A Hobby Lobby excursion with gift cards. This is only the second or third time I’ve been into Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite places, in the last year. I have several gift cards to the store and used part of one for some card supplies and items for the new guest room. Fun!

Hope your week was good.

Daughters of Northern Shores

Daughters of Northern Shores is the sequel to Joanne Bischof’s Sons of Blackbird Mountain (linked to my review).

Picking up in 1894, four years after the first book, youngest Norgaard brother Haakon has fled his family and gone to sea after betraying his family’s trust. He wrote just a brief note to them when he left and has not written since. They don’t have an address for him. He has lived far from the morals he was raised with. One particular woman who was only a good friend makes him wonder if life could be different for him, if he could settle down with a family. But first he must go home and face those he wronged.

Back on Blackbird Mountain in Virginia, Thor and Aven had married and are expecting their first child. Business has gone well since Thor decided to quit making hard cider with his apple orchard produce after his grueling battle with alcoholism. Aven and her sister-in-law make apple pie fillings, applesauce, and other items for the local grocer. But Thor has a nagging pain in his side that is growing stronger. He had watched his father succumb to liver disease after years of alcoholism, so he knows the signs. But he has been sober four years—he thought he staved off affecting his liver.

To add to their troubles, their former neighbors, the Sorrels, cruel former Rebel soldiers and Klansmen, are back for revenge after the Norgaard brothers routed them in the last book. The sheriff has searched for them without success, but the Sorrel men know how to hide. Thor and oldest brother, Jorgan, try to attend to business while keeping their families safe and watching out for a Sorrel ambush.

I loved the first book so much, I was eager to continue on with the Norgaard family. I enjoyed this book just as much. Haakon was not my favorite of the brothers due to his personality and wrong choices in both books. But his desire to come back and apologize to his family starts him on the right path, and I warmed up to him as he slowly learned and changed.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

While words were potent, a man’s caring ran through deeper waters. It dwelled right there in what he was willing to do.

She moved as though wood being forced to bend to wind rushing in.

Both the major and minor characters are so well-drawn, and Joanne weaves together the various threads of the plot so well. Parts of the book were touching; other parts were edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. I also enjoyed the author’s afterword about how this book was not planned at first, and then didn’t go the way she expected. Originally she was going to have Haakon die at the end of the first book. I’m glad God led this way instead. I’m sorry to leave the Norgaards behind.

I listened to this via the audiobook nicely read by Amy Rubinate. I kept forgetting, while reading the first book, that Aven was Irish rather than Norwegian. So Amy’s adding an Irish lilt to Aven’s voice was pleasant in itself, plus a reminder of her heritage. Then, since audiobooks don’t usually contain the back matter of a book, I got the library edition to read Joanne’s comments about the story.

(Sharing with Booknificent)

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion

For several years, I hosted a Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge during the month of February. I often referred to Annette Whipple’s site, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion. Now Annette has written a book: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide.

A chapter is devoted to each book in the Little House series. Annette summarizes the plot, then, as the title suggests, she goes chapter by chapter sharing interesting background information, discussing life in Laura’s time, explaining concepts or situations that might be confusing, etc. Sidebars share even more information.

Laura had not written the Little House books as strict autobiographies. So some information is made up to smooth out the story. For instance, her nemesis, Nellie Olsen, was actually based on three different girls Laura knew. Annette’s “Fact or Fiction?” inserts discuss some of those made-up parts.

Next, each chapter shares instructions and illustrations for several Little-House-related activities. For instance, the first chapter, based on Little House in the Big Woods, tells how to make homemade butter, paper dolls, vinegar pie, snow pictures, pancake people, snow maple candy, and more–all activities that Laura’s family did in the books.

Each chapter ends with a “House Talk” section, several questions for thought and discussion. A few from the first chapter: what would you like and dislike about living in the Big Woods, what kind of work did Laura and Mary do to help their parents, how do you help your family, how did Charlie lie, why didn’t Pa shoot the deer at the end of the book?

Scattered throughout the book are photos of the Ingalls family, their various homes, news photos from the times (like a snowed-in train in The Long Winter chapter).

A final chapter tells “What Happened Next”—what ultimately happened with each of the Ingalls family members.

Annette didn’t shy away from or gloss over the difficulties in Laura’s book, like how African-Americans were depicted or the treatment and feelings towards the Indians.She points out what was wrong and how attitudes have changed today.

[Laura] didn’t tell readers how or what to believe. Instead, she let readers like you decide what to think.

We change and grow as a country and a people. When we do, we realize the ways people lived and thought in the past weren’t always right. We can learn from the past and make changes in ourselves (p. 42).

An extensive glossary defines unfamiliar terms, and a final section lists resources to explore.

This book is a great companion for exploring the Little House books personally, as a family, or as a class or home school. Highly recommended.

(Sharing with Carole’s Books You Loved, Booknificent, Senior Salon)

Link-Ups I Participate In

I participate in a few link-ups hosted by fellow bloggers. I usually leave a link to them at the bottom of some of my posts. But that takes a lot of time every week and looks cluttered. So I thought I’d put them here to refer back to.

Linking doesn’t mean 100% endorsement or agreement. A couple of these aren’t specifically Christian sites, but I haven’t found anything objectionable in them so far. I might skip linking even with some of the Christian ones sometimes if there is a political jab or a big theological difference.

Where the blogger had a button or badge or link explaining the link-up, I added those. Otherwise I just linked back to the host’s blog. Some of them explain the rules of linking each week on the link-up. Some of them had buttons I couldn’t load because of the type of file they were (WEBP).

Sunday:

Sunday Scripture Blessing is hosted by Peabea’s Photos and Scribbles.

Selah hosted by A Spirit of Simplicity.

Scripture and a Snapshot hosted by Just a Second

Hearth and Soul hosted by April J. Harris, “The 21st Century Housewife”

Inspire Me Monday hosted by Anita Ojeda

Monday:

Senior Salon hosted by Esme Salon

Tuesday:

Tell His Story hosted by Jeanne Takenaka

InstaEncouragements

Legacy Link-Up hosted by Mandy and Michele (every second Tuesday of the month)

Wednesday:

Soaring with Him Ministries

Recharge Wednesday hosted by Patricia Holbrook and friends at Soaring With Him

Share a Link Wednesday at Woman to Woman Ministries

Let’s Have Coffee hosted by Joanne Viola

Thursday:

Heart Encouragement hosted by Crystal Storms

Grace at Home is hosted by Imparting Grace

Friday:

Grace and Truth has four different hosts.

Faith on Fire hosted by Lyli Dunbar

Blogger Voices Network

Monthly:

Carole’s Chatter host a Books You Loved around the first of the month where we’re invited to share just that–books we loved.

Booknificent Thursdays hosted by Mommynificent (first Thursday of month)

Shannan at Shannan Enjoys Life! hosts What I’m Into/What’s Keeping Me Sane near the beginning of each month.

Have mercy on your pastor this Mother’s Day

When the COVID pandemic first began, I saw a lot of blog posts and articles pleading with people to be compassionate towards their pastor because he had likely never shepherded people through such an occasion before. It would take time to discern the best course of action in response to ever-changing information, and he had people on opposite sides of every fence involved.

Pastors face a similar dilemma on Mother’s Day, no matter whether this is their first pastoral Mother’s Day or their 50th. They will likely have people in all these circumstances in their congregations:

  • women who desperately want to have children, but God has not granted them yet
  • women who love their children but are tired and discouraged
  • women who are in despair over their parenting failures and need guidance
  • women who have no desire to be mothers
  • women who are single by choice or by circumstance
  • women whose children are wayward and breaking their hearts
  • women whose children have died
  • people whose mothers were not honorable
  • people who are estranged from their mothers
  • people whose mothers have died
  • people who don’t even know they need a Savior

Anna Jarvis probably had no idea she was creating such a minefield when she sought a simple way to honor her mother.

I’ve seen posts on Facebook already indicating that Mother’s Day shouldn’t be observed in church because it’s not a national holiday. Prophets and preachers in the Bible spoke about current events, and honoring parents is a biblical teaching. So it’s not wrong to observe the day. But whether that observation should be just a passing acknowledgment, or the whole service should be built around it, is up to each pastor’s leading of his particular congregation.

Whether pastors let the holiday go by unobserved and carry on with whatever book or series they are preaching through, or they choose to honor mothers in some way, someone is going to be offended.

Can I urge us as Christian women to be mature in response to whatever path the pastor chooses to take? To remember that love “does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:5). To understand that there are different needs among the congregation? No one sermon will meet them all except as it points us back to the only Savior who can help and heal and provide grace.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (II Timothy 3:16-17). Whatever God lays on the pastor’s heart to preach this Sunday, if it is based on the Word of God, it will be profitable for us.

Let’s pray for our pastors to preach the message God wants him to preach that day. Let’s pray for grace for our particular triggers, seek to get from the message what God has for us, and seek to encourage others rather than focusing on self.

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

Laudable Linkage

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I’m a little behind on blog reading once again, but here are some that struck a chord with me this week:

What Does it Mean for God to Be Our Father? HT to Challies.

Evaluating Evangelistic Phrases. Some of the ways we talk about salvation can be confusing or give false assurances.

How to Mortify Sin, HT to Challies. “Not new methods, but only an understanding of how the Gospel works, can provide an adequate foundation and pattern for dealing with sin.”

9 Practical Tips for Bible Reading, HT to Challies. “We are different, and the Bible does not set forth the one and only way to focus and get going.”

At first glance, this is funny. But then I realized it so aptly illustrates why the Bible calls us sheep—as we’re rescued from one problem, we immediately jump into another.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

-Robert Robinson

Have a good Saturday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

The last Friday of April! I love these opportunities to press “pause” and reflect on the blessings of the week. It’s too easy to let them slip by with hardly a notice. Here are some from this week:

1. A new retirement home ministry. Our church just started a once-a-month service at a local retirement home. I was surprised they were allowing services, much less random visitors—I’ve heard so much about even family members being restricted from visiting in some places. I don’t know the circumstances—maybe they’ve all been vaccinated. Anyway, this was to take place on a Sunday afternoon, when Jim and I are usually zombies until we take our afternoon naps. We talked off and on about whether we should go, and finally decided to just the night before. I’m so glad we did. After the short service, which seemed to go well, we fanned out and talked with some of the residents individually. Jim and I talked with a lady from Germany whose name sounded like Isla or Isala. At first the conversation was general introductory pleasantries, but then we felt like we got to know each other a little. I so enjoyed it. I was involved in a nursing home ministry in college, but have not done anything like that since except for the years when my husband’s mother lived in facilities nearby and then with us.

2. A free and quick lunch at the park. Our church and the retirement home were far enough away from our house that it wouldn’t be practical to come home for lunch and go back. We’re still not quite to the point of feeling comfortable eating in restaurants yet. My husband suggested we get take-out from McAlister’s Deli and take it to a nearby park. We hadn’t gotten anything from them for more than a year, so that idea was welcome. When we placed our order over the phone, they said they couldn’t offer curbside delivery: one of us would have to come in to pick it up. As I waited for Jim in the car, I wondered what was taking so long. As it turned out, they were short-handed: they only had two people working, and Sunday lunch is one of their busiest times. They gave us our lunch for free because we had such a long wait. We only had about 15 minutes to eat when we got to the park, but it was enough. We watched people setting up a massive event tent while we were there (probably for a wedding reception). They were working on the top part, and we were hoping we’d get to see how they got it up on top of the main part before we left. That didn’t happen, but we enjoyed the quick break before heading out to the home.

3. A break from cooking. I was running late getting dinner started one night, and Jim suggested bring home Arby’s Then a grocery shopping excursion ran late, and I suggested pizza delivery. Then the next night, Mittu offered to come over and make dinner Friday night. Then we got McAlister’s Sunday. Good food, and a nice break!

4. Dinner and movie night. Jason and Mittu suggested having a movie night, which was the occasion of her making dinner for us all. We streamed Scoob with the family, a remake of the old Scooby Doo cartoon. We hadn’t watched that one regularly, but we were familiar enough with it to appreciate some of the nods to it in this movie. It was cute in places, meh in other places.

5. Outfitting the RV. Jim’s desire for the RV is to have it set up so that all we need to do to use it is buy whatever food we’re bringing. I had extra sheets and a bedspread, so he made up the bed. We went out last Saturday and got a couple of towels, hot pads, some kitchen items, etc. He found a small collapsible dish drainer online. Our first excursion will probably be somewhere local as a test drive—in case we forgot something essential. 🙂

How was your week?

April Reflections

It seems a little cliche to open almost every monthly wrap-up post talking about how fast time flies—but I literally don’t know where April has gone. I just suddenly realized on Tuesday that April ends this week.

I love that April starts feeling like spring, even though spring began officially in March. We still have some cold nights and days, but the air is gradually getting warmer, flowers and trees are blooming, my energy is renewed like a bear coming out of hibernation.

Family

The highlight of April for us is our grandson’s birthday. Facebook always shows pictures and memories from that time seven years ago when Timothy came unexpectedly 10 1/2 weeks early. Those weeks in the NICU were hard on many levels. But God brought everyone through, and Timothy is now a strapping, smart, sweet, funny boy.

We’re continuing to adjust to our empty nest. Jesse is enjoying “adulting” and learning to cook. We got his old room painted and my craft/sewing stuff moved in. We still have to move the things on the wall to the new room, and then Jim will be ready to paint the old sewing room, which we’ll turn into a spare bedroom. I’m looking up ideas for decorating it. My pink-and-flowers-and-lace-loving self would be thrilled to go full tilt. But often men stay in that room, usually my oldest son or my step-father. So to be merciful to them, I’m looking for something more neutral.

I like the idea of a beachy theme (which I just discovered is called “coastal” now) and have a Pinterest board of ideas. I grew up in Texas near Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico, and almost any major event as well as several minor ones took place on the beach. Plus one of my all-time favorite family vacations took place on Folly Beach in Charleston, SC. There’s just something restful to me about the beach—at least, a beach that’s not crowded.

After seeing this Spare Oom sign (a la Faun Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), and decorations like this bookish pencil holder and end table, I was sorely tempted to try to make the room like a Narnian English study. But we’d probably need to spend more for that kind of look. Plus all the rooms like that I see online are dark, and I much prefer light, airy rooms. The furniture that will remain in the room is white. So I think I’ll stay with beachy.

We also fulfilled my husband’s long-standing dream of getting an RV. It was a matter of finding a good deal on a used one in good condition at a time when our finances could take it on. We’re having fun outfitting it and look forward to taking it out for the first time.

Creating

I mentioned on a post about Timothy’s birthday that he’s into Minecraft now, and his party used that as a theme. So I wanted to have my card for him incorporate Minecraft somehow. The Cricut didn’t have anything related, and it didn’t occur to me til I was all done that Hobby Lobby might have had some stickers. I ended up looking up free Clipart images and printing and cutting them out. I even found a Minecraft font I could use for the wording.

I put the heart on as an afterthought and didn’t realize that messed up my centering until it was too late. Oh, well . . . live and learn.

Watching and Listening

My husband discovered the Home Fires series, about the home front in England during WWII. I had watched it a while back while riding my exercise bike, but I enjoyed watching it again with him. The cinematography is gorgeous. It gets a little soap-opera-ish in places, and there are some wrong relationships, but nothing explicit is shown.

I’m still working my way through Lark Rise to Candleford, but haven’t been using my bike as much just due to general busyness.

In-between audiobooks, I listened to several episodes of The Christian Publishing Show podcast. I also enjoyed the Literary Life podcast episode on Why Read Fairy Tales. Originally, fairy tales weren’t necessarily meant for children, and they imaged some aspect of the gospel. I learned that most fairy tales we’re familiar with today (and most that the Disney movies are based on) aren’t the originals, but were rewritten by someone to make them moralistic. Also, did you know that “hero” originally meant the main character in a story, not someone with heroic qualities? And there’s a difference between a cautionary tale, a folk tale, and a fairy tale? All in all, a very good and informative episode.

Reading

Since last time I finished:

  • Preparing for Easter with C. S. Lewis. This was my Lenten reading. It was kind of a disappointment because it didn’t really live up to the title, and too many excerpts were pulled from their context and therefore not as easily understood. But there are always some good nuggets in a collection of Lewis’ writing.
  • Be Confident (Hebrews): Living by Faith, Not by Sight by Warren Wiersbe. A small, helpful commentary on the book of Hebrews.
  • Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof, an excellent Christian novel set in the post-Civil War years. A young widow comes to keep house for her husband’s cousins, one of whom is deaf and addicted to alcohol. Two of the brothers are attracted to her, causing a rift between them.
  • Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the second in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. A satire of rival clergymen and rivals for a rich young widow’s hand.
  • The Narrative of Sojourner Truth as told to Olive Gilbert (audiobook). A freed slave who later became a well-known speaker for civil and women’s rights.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Counted (Numbers): Living a Life that Counts for God by Warren Wiersbe
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin
  • Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof, sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
  • How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (still . . . )
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Blogging

Besides books reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

And that just about wraps up April! How was yours?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Grace at Home, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, What I’m Into, InstaEncouragements)