A Little Secret

Growing up I can remember coming home from school and vegging in front of the TV. I needed that time to just unwind and relax. This was in the 80's mind you. So think back, what reruns were on everyday that a child would watch? Little House on the Prairie of course. I know I've watched every episode a dozen times each. I got to the point where I could tell by the opening music which episode it was (before the title of the episode appeared). This way I could tell if it was going to be one of those really sad ones that I just couldn't watch again. I remember especially loving the ones with Nellie Olsen, when she was so mean and nasty, but always got what she deserved in the end.

Anyway, my little secret that I'm about to share with you is that up until now I have never read the Little House series. Can you believe that? I hate to admit it, but I never thought I needed to read them since I had seen the show. The truth is that I don't think that I would have appreciated them as much back then as I do now. They are simple, but refreshing in that they are so ordinary. And what was once so ordinary, is not so common now, so they are very educational. If you have never read this series, I have to tell you that you may be surprised. I highly recommend them!

Food for Thought

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Book Review: Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza is a thirteen year old girl who has been living a very privileged life in Mexico. It is during the 1930's. Her father is a wealthy land owner and she is loved and adored by everyone around her. Then, life suddenly takes a turn when her father dies and her greedy uncles take over the land. She and her mother are forced to flee, leaving everything they know behind.

Esperanza Rising is a very thought provoking book about the plight of those seeking seasonal employment on the big farms in California during the Great Depression. Esperanza learns the value of hard work and after a while overcomes her selfish ways. She learns what things are really important, along with many other valuable life lessons. It really is a book with some substance to it.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. I was not bored in reading it, even though it was written for children. I think that I will include it on my list of 'read aloud books to my kids' for the summer.

My Rating

Overall: 5 stars. I thought is was a lovely well written book.

Objectionable Content: none

Book Review: Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

Well, this book review has been a long time in coming. I've wanted to finish this book for a while, but, you know life sometimes gets in the way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this in depth biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The title of this book to be exact is is Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy. If you don't already know about Bonhoeffer, then like me, the title alone is intriguing.

Bonhoeffer, born to a wealthy, influential German family in 1906, lived a very privileged, idyllic life. His father was a well-known psychiatrist, and his mother was educated and from a respected, titled family. He grew up in a household that valued study and education. He excelled at anything he set his mind to and became a gifted musician. He really could have chosen any field of study, but at the age of fourteen felt that he had been called to the ministry. This seemed to have perplexed both of his parents, since neither one (especially his father) had ever been religious.

After Dietrich Bonhoeffer finished his studies, he traveled extensively. He was able to observe many different Christian congregations this way, and he made mental notes as to what he believed each had to offer. He soon led his own parish, giving not only highly academic sermons on Sundays, but showing that he was a devoted pastor who gave to children and those in need. He had faith, and believed that God spoke to him. He was a brilliant teacher and loved to teach others to meditate on the scriptures.

At this time, Germany was being changed drastically by Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer could see the writing on the wall and decided to act. He was instrumental in forming the Confessing Church which broke away from the German church. Then later, when Germany declared war, he became a member of the resistance.

While reading this book, I was constantly amazed at the sincerity and faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He did not waver or stray in his beliefs. He truly was a force for good, a real hero. It has been one of those books that I feel like I am a better person for having read it.

My Rating

Overall: 5 stars for sure! This book was inspiring, informative, and just a great read. The writing style was not boring at all, but actually humorous at times.

Objectional Content: none