Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: The Lightlings

The Lightlings
By R.C. Sproul

The Lightlings is a beautifully illustrated children's story by theologian R.C. Sproul. Sproul is a well-known and respected Reformed Christian author and speaker. He's written some great books for the adult audience, and so I was excited to read one of his children's books, expecting that it would convey Biblical truths on a child's level. 

Summary: I think The Lightlings is a good children's book. It's an allegory of the creation, fall, and  redemption of mankind. It tells the story of a little boy, Charlie, who asks his Grandpa why he is afraid of the dark. Grandpa tells a story about the Lightlings, who are created by the King of Light to shine just as He does. But they choose to disobey the King of Light, and being filled with shame, they flee their garden to hide in the darkness of the forest. One day they see a light shining in the distance and discover that it is a baby, who is the son of the King of Light. They worship the baby, and the King's light is once again reflected in them. They then take their light into the rest of the forest, where some lightlings choose to accept the light and some stay in the darkness due to fear. The story ends with Grandpa telling Charlie that when he thinks of the dark or the light, to remember the King has given us a child to bring light to the darkness and we don't have to fear any more.

The book seems to be written towards a 4-8 yr old audience. The pictures are beautiful, and there is a section at the end with questions for parents to discuss with their children, showcasing the Biblical truths found in the allegory.

The book doesn't go into depth explaining sin, Christ, or salvation, but simply gives an overall picture of God's redemptive plan. Even though I would have personally liked more detail and explanation those things,  I still think it's an excellent book to read with your child. As our family grows, I want our home to be filled with engaging stories that convey Biblical truths, and The Lightlings does just that.

I received this book for free from Reformation Trust in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Caleb Playing

Took this video tonight of Caleb playing in the hallway. For some reason he thinks the wall tastes good... Oh, and he's got a new crawl - the bear crawl - on his hands and feet only.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Tonight was a special night as Stephen was ordained into the ministry. I'm so proud of him and thankful for the call God has put on his life. It was a wonderful service and we were humbled and blessed by the charges given to the candidates and the prayers of the deacons over our family.

It was also an extra special service because Stephen's step-father, Jeff, was also ordained with him.

2 Timothy 4:1-2
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Book Review: Pursuit of Justice

Pursuit of Justice
By DiAnn Mills

Pursuit of Justice is a Christian suspense novel. FBI Agent Bella Jordan returns home to West Texas to solve a series of murders surrounding a local treasure legend. She also returns home to face the ghosts from her past. Though not anticipated, she also finds herself with feelings for one of the murder suspects. Bella must follow the trail of clues to find who's behind the murders and catch them before they catch her.

This was an easy read and an enjoyable book. It wasn't super-suspenseful or surprising. I'd rate it a decent beach read.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stolen Goods

Funny story from yesterday.

When we packed up to leave Aruba a week and a half ago, we had a plastic grocery bag full of snack items (mostly granola bars, popcorn, and oatmeal). I was a little worried that the bag might not make it through U.S. customs because of the "grains" in the granola bars (even though they were clearly packaged and bought in the U.S.

Well, this bag was one of the last to get packed and didn't quite fit in the suitcase I was trying to shove it into. Stephen was in charge of all the luggage and did a little last minute rearranging to make it all fit.

We get home from Aruba and start unpacking bags. I notice the bag of snacks is not in our luggage. We start to joke that the customs guys in Aruba must have pulled it out and spent the afternoon snacking on our food. There were a few other little things we couldn't locate either - bag of Twizzlers, a jar of baby food, and for a couple days I thought my flip flops were missing. Ended up they were hiding under a pile of clothes....

So of course we started joking about the customs guys stealing our stuff. Ok - I was half joking, half mad that they stole my popcorn!

Well, a week and a half goes by and I've mostly forgotten about our missing bag of snacks. Last night we're getting ready for bed and Stephen grabs his backpack, which he normally takes every day to work with him, opens it up, makes a soft cry, and pulls out our bag of snacks!

So I guess I owe the Aruba/U.S. customs guys and apology. I seriously thought you stole our bag of snacks. I will no longer warn friends headed to Aruba to watch out for thievery in customs.

But I do think you still have the Twizzlers!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Links I Love

I stumbled across some great reads today and thought I'd share!

The Hendricks (church family from college) moved to Haiti a month ago to share the light and love of Christ. Heather's updates are great. Today she introduced us to Ben & Katie, a fellow missionary couple in Haiti. Katie's blog gives a great view of their life ministering to teenagers in Port-au-Prince.

I've been following the journey of Compassion International bloggers in Guatemala here. I've been to Guatemala, and we also sponsor a little boy in Columbia with Compassion. The overwhelming poverty contrasted with even brighter hope in Christ has left me speechless numerous times.

I especially liked Shaun Groves' post from today and loved his new song which he shares from Guatemala in the post!

And lastly, this recipe for Black Bean & Red Pepper Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins sounds absolutely delish for a cool fall day! Yummy....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: Solitary

By Travis Thrasher

Solitary is marketed as a teen, Christian suspense novel and I found it really entertaining in an edge-of-your-seat, light verses darkness, uncomfortable sort of way. I loved the way Thrasher narrates this book, making you feel like you're in the head of a teenage boy rather than just reading about a teenage boy.

It's about 16 yr old Chris, who has just moved to the town of Solitary, NC with his mom after his parent's divorce. Chris is immediately drawn to a beautiful loner, Jocelyn, who has some pretty dark secrets. Come to find out, the whole town has some very dark secrets and this book (the first of the series) only begins to touch the surface of all that is going on in Solitary.

This first book is somewhat dark - I have a feeling the series will become a true battle against the light and the darkness (good vs evil), but the main character has yet to really embrace the light/truth and is simply uncovering the mysterious evil going on around him. It's not a book for your grandma, but would probably be really popular with teenagers. I liked it a lot and would like to read the rest of the series as it comes out. The ending really shocked me (in a way that very few books do) and left me with a ton of questions that I'm assuming will be answered in following books. Good job Travis Thrasher - you've got me hooked!

I received this book for free from The B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Aruba Vacation

Last week Stephen, Caleb, Stephen's Dad Frank, and I went to ARUBA!!! Woohoo! It was a week of relaxing, exploring the island, and enjoying God's awesome creation. It also fell on our 3rd wedding anniversary, so we got to celebrate with a sunset dinner at a restaurant on the beach - so romantic and pretty! Here's a few pictures from our time in Aruba. If you want to see more, you can check out my Facebook page.
Caleb reading his book on the airplane. He was such a good little flyer.

Our sweet hotel on the beach.

Stephen and Frank. We really enjoyed Frank getting to be with us for the week. And Caleb especially enjoyed his Grandpa time.

Speaking of Caleb... he got to play in the ocean for the first time! He acted like a pro, just chillin in his inner tube, perfectly content until Mom and Dad were ready to go in.

It was a great week and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to vacation in Aruba - what a special treat! 

Lord, I thank You for the opportunity to see more of Your beautiful creation, and for the chance to enjoy it with my family. It was a special blessing, Lord, and a mere taste of what You have in store for Your bride. I look forward to the day when we will join You in heaven - when the wages of sin and a fallen creation are no longer evident around us and we see the new and perfect heaven and earth that you will make. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be, though it still won't compare to Your glory and beauty. You are a mighty and powerful God.