Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 2010 Reading List

Anna's Books

Completed This Month:
  • Mentoring by Bobb Biehl - Are you curious how the mentoring process should work? This book, subtitled “how to find a mentor and how to become one” should answer some questions. It is filled with advice, inspiration, practical steps, tributes to mentors, and a call to just get out and start mentoring and/or being mentored, even if you don’t feel qualified.
  • The Joy of Natural Childbirth by Helen Wessel – A book on childbirth is a little strange for a single, no-husband-in-sight girl to be reading, I admit. However, I found it very interesting and eye-opening. It’s given me information to help prepare mentally for the pregnancy and birth I hope to experience one day. As it goes in-depth in the process and everything involved, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone not of marriageable age. It starts with a story about a newly-wed couple and teaches through their experiences, which while idealized, was very sweet. The second half delves into topics relating to birth in a more in-depth way. The book also goes into references and to birth in the Bible and attitudes toward it throughout history, which I found particularly interesting. There were a few things I disagreed with slightly in the book, but overall it was a very informative read that made me think. Lord willing, I’ll be able to experience the joy of giving birth some day.
  • The Treasury of Christian Poetry compiled by Lorraine Eitel with five others – While looking at books of poetry at the library, this title caught my eye. It compiles poetry from Christian authors old and new, and divides them into 8 categories having to do with the Christian faith. It was neat to see how different poems succinctly brought new light to certain aspects. However, out of them all, only a few of the many poems really stuck out to me. Regardless, it was an interesting read.
  • America’s Christian History – by Gary DeMar – Was America founded on Christian principles? Much as some would like to deny it, the evidence is overwhelmingly in the affirmative. This book shows some of that evidence, examining some of America’s founding documents, statesmen, education, and court decisions. Having studied history from a Christian perspective all my life, not much of this information was new to me, but I did learn some interesting facts. The book wasn’t written as well as others I’ve read, though. A more enjoyable series on a similar topic are the ones by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, beginning with The Light and the Glory.
  • Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Malley – This may be the 5th time I’ve read this book, but it encourages me every time. It's a book that is great for younger girls, encouraging them toward purity without including details that will destroy their innocence. But it’s also great for older girls, those who are ready for marriage, but still waiting. It will inspire you to continue using your single years for God’s glory, encourage you to fall deeper in love with our Lord, and strengthen your commitment to purity in all aspects of life. I highly recommend it to any young lady.
  • The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell - Want to learn about the historical evidence for the Bible? Want to know how to answer those with differing worldviews? This book will help. It's an expansive volume with a lot of well-researched information. It was difficult to read at times, with all the sources it quotes and arguments for and against things I didn’t know much about, but it gave me good surface-level knowledge. If I ever need to have answers for something, I’ll know more of where to look and how to respond. Parts One and Two, “The Case for the Bible” and “The Case for Jesus” were the most interesting and informative for me – they truly strengthened my faith. Parts 3 and 4, “The Case for and Against Christianity” and “Truth or Consequences” were interesting, but a bit harder to read. But all-in-all, this is a great volume to study if you have questions about Christianity, or just want to be prepared to give an answer if someone should ask.
  • Connecting by Larry Crabb - A small group from our church studied this book together over the past few months. It's a book about relationships, and how we should be focusing more on building and strengthening them among the body of Christ. It rightly points out what's wrong, and gives things to think about how you can improve. Ultimately, it comes down to letting Jesus work through you to touch others. Reading this may make you dissatisfied with the state of your relationships, but it will also cause you to evaluate them and pray for courage and wisdom to change.
Currently Reading:
  • Four Plays by George Bernard Shaw
  • Wrestling Prayer by Eric and Leslie Ludy
  • The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka
  • Dropping Your Guard by Charles Swindoll
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  • America: A Narrative History by George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi
  • Life-Span Development by John W. Santrock
  • Faith Alone by Martin Luther, edited by James C. Galvin
Miriam's Books

Completed This Month:
I did not complete any books this month that I can remember, but this month has been pretty crazy. But now I'm home for three months and will have lots of time to read.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Giving "A Sacrifice of Praise"

This week - in fact, the last few months! - has been busy preparing for "A Sacrifice of Praise," the 2010 spring presentation of The King's Praise Ballet. There are so many details involved with bringing it together, that I don't have much time to do other things on the computer once I'm done.

However, the blog for The King's Courts is staying updated with pictures. Yesterday we shared at a nursing home, and tomorrow is our dress rehearsal. Saturday at 4 PM is when it all comes together for an audience, so I would appreciate your prayers that God uses it for His glory!

So, if you want to keep updated with what's going on in my life this week, be checking The King's Courts' blog. Perhaps when this presentation is over, I'll be writing more here... But, once the recital is over, I have 3 trips to be looking forward to!

What are you all doing in this spring season?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preparation


"Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see."
--Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, April 23, 2010

All Of Me

All Of Me

Here's myself, Lord
I give You all of me
Use me to
Fulfill Your will

Take my hands, Lord
I want to work for You
To be a
Servant in Your house

Use my voice, Lord
I will sing for You
Let the sounds rise,
Rise to Your ears

Fill my heart, Lord
Let it pour back out
To show Your
Mercy and Your love

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Overnight Blooms

Yesterday, these were just buds. This morning I pulled up my shades and looked outside, and three flowers had bloomed overnight. God's creation is simply amazing.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, April 19, 2010

Delightful Study

"...all true study must be delightful."
- Gregg Harris, in The Right Choice by Christopher J. Klicka
Do you agree?

When I read those words this morning, they made sense. After all, what do you remember best? What you forced yourself (or were forced) to study and slogged through, or what you studied because you couldn't wait to learn more? Often, it's your attitude in approaching the material that makes all the difference.

I truly find delight in learning. My goal is to be a life-long learner. I may not do more more than read a chapter in a book and take a few notes, but I often find myself pondering what I've read throughout the day.

With "A Sacrifice of Praise" coming up in two weeks, and all the details it entails, I don't have as much time to study as I'd like. But, I try to follow the study schedule I've made myself, and when I can fit them in, those few hours each morning are definitely worth it.

The spring weather adds to the enjoyment. After all, what could be more delightful than sitting outside learning, with God's beauty around you?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Blooms

"I wait for You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God."
- Psalm 38:9

"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You."
- Psalm 39:7

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
- Psalm 51:10

"The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever - do not abandon the work of Your hands."
- Psalm 138:8

"In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
- Psalm 56:11

"The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."
- Psalm 147:11

Pictures taken by Anna of the beauty God has blessed us with this spring at our home in the valley!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"The world trembles before the woman who chooses to fearlessly love."
~ Anonymous

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"More Like Falling in Love" Dance/Drama



A few month's ago, my pastor excitedly called me into his office, saying, "You've got to hear this song!" He's been doing a sermon series on walking in grace, and this song, "More Like Falling in Love" by Jason Gray, perfectly complemented it. He asked me to come up with a dance/drama for it, so I got a group together and we presented it during the morning service on March 21st.

Too often we can get caught up trying to do what the "good" Christian should do, and totally forget that our focus should be on our Savior. When we fall in love with Him, we will follow Him out of love, not duty. Hopefully this song and the accompanying movements will encourage you.

You can see the video larger on YouTube by clicking here, or on Tangle by clicking here.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Spring Sewing

A common birthday present for my nieces are matching dresses. However, I must admit, they're often very belated birthday gifts! This spring I've been busy sewing dance skirts/slips and altering costumes, but I finally managed to finish these dresses for my nieces.

The dresses were made using Simplicity's patterns #9497. I've used this pattern many times, and really like how easy and versatile it is! It was fun finding this beautiful fabric and all the girly trim to go with it.

A lovely spring dress!

Perfect for enjoying the lovely weather and finding flowers. :)

You can see dance portraits with this spring's costumes by clicking here and here. They were fun to work on, but they did take quite a bit of time, to find, order, alter, and distribute.

What about you? Have you sewn anything this spring?

Monday, April 05, 2010

In Christ Alone



Saturday, April 03, 2010

Being Spontaneous

By nature, I am more of a planner. Spontaneity isn't usually something that describes me. However, family makes me spontaneous sometimes - usually in a good way. Without them, I'd probably work too much. It can be hard when I have things I should do and they want to play a game - and often, I do have to turn them down - but I've found that the breaks I take are usually worth it in the end.

My brother Elijah is home for Easter break, and because of this, I've relaxed more these last few days. While walking with him in Jubilee yesterday and enjoying the beautiful spring weather, I had the idea to go on a picnic the next day. They were enthusiastic, my parents agreed, and I called four families of friends, to invite them to join us if they could.


Only a few friends ended up coming - my invitation was a bit spur-of-the-moment - but we had a great time! There's nothing like a Saturday spent outside in the spring. Food always tastes better on a picnic as well, especially after working up an appetite playing frisbee. We walked a lot, talked a lot, took tons of pictures, and enjoyed great fellowship. The hours slipped away faster than seems possible.

This weekend hasn't been as productive as it could have been, if you measure productivity in the amount of things you get done. But more and more, I'm realizing that relationships are far more important. Though you don't have much in the physical realm to show as accomplishments, time spent with good friends is time well spent. Long after I've forgotten the items left on my to-do list, family and friends will still be there. Relationships last long after stuff fades away.

So, be spontaneous. Invest in people; their value will never go down. Yes, plan your days as best you can, for it is important. After all, "he who fails to plan, plans to fail." But don't be so tied to your to your plans that you neglect what is really important. Take breaks and enjoy God's creation. You only get one life to live. Live it to its fullest for God's glory, building relationships as He gives you opportunity.