Friday, October 10, 2014

C.S. Lewis & A Mere Review

It is book review time!!!  And boy, do I have a book to share with you....

If you are even semi-interested in history (especially of the WWI/WWII era), progress/regress of Christianity, and/or ANYTHING C.S. Lewis, this book will rope you in and not let you go until the very last page... and even then!!

C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created A Classic by Paul McCusker is a biographical account not only of C.S. Lewis, but of the events, people, and organizations which influenced and catapulted him to the status of great author and common theologian we remember him for today.  From his birth in late 1800s Ireland, to his time away from the faith and in the trenches of WWI... to his rebirth as a follower of Christ and the influential relationships with men such as JRR Tolkien and BBC executives.  Snap-shot biographies of other pivotal figures of the time provide an in-depth understanding behind each event discussed.  A perspective rare but welcomed in a historical account focused on one man in a lifetime affected by so many. The events leading up to Mere Christianity are painted clearly and with such color that you hardly feel you are reading a historical biography.

Paul McCusker's book was well researched, drawing from multiple authentic sources.  He spans the events of C.S. Lewis' life well and makes no assumptions, rather, draws from first-hand accounts to express mere facts.

My only critique of this book would be the occasional disconnection in the timeline of events.  As the author builds the frame of happenings and seeks to tie them all in for the reader to understand drive, factors and emotions of the time, he occasionally jumps back and forth on that frame-work, disconnecting the reader from what should be a cohesive string of events.

This is a minor complaint when considering the deep theological and historical reflections of one of modern literature's greatest writers, and Christianity's greatest modern proponents.  If only more men today were like C.S. Lewis in their boldness of faith and character.

Consequently, I am planning a literature curriculum around this book  One which will meld history and the various literary and worldview works of C.S. Lewis as a high school 'requirement' for my students.  I feel an understanding of this (and related) works is THAT important to their worldview understanding as they launch into their adult life.

received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House - See more at:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House for my review. This review is my opinion alone.

received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House - See more at:

Marriage Advice In Retrospect

What child doesn't fantasize of the perfect marriage?  I know I did... even as an adult I falsely believed for years in a marriage without trouble.  After all, a marriage with trouble meant we weren't compatible.  A marriage where hate and anger crept in was one where you really didn't 'get' each other... and likely never would.  Marriage meant he always leaned my way because that is what gentlemen do... right?  And the idea of my husband as my BFF... please... that is what other women are for, that way we can get together and talk about all the ridiculous things pertaining to husbands (like I could do that with my man).

Then God revealed a Biblical marriage to me.  A marriage which entailed ups and downs... a marriage which required selfless and willing compromise, a marriage where anger (and yes, even hate) may creep in but the power of the Spirit could push it back out.  A marriage where cleaving was so beautiful on so many levels that my husband could and should be my BFF and any unwholesome talk about him to others was not only destructive for him... but it was also destructive to our relationship as a whole.

Today is our wedding anniversary.  I am so blessed by the biblical marriage God has transformed ours to be.  I am reminded of my grandparent's sage wisdom when I sought there council at their 50th wedding anniversary, a year before my marriage.  Grandpa said NO MATTER WHAT, don't go to bed angry... yet, realizing how unrealistic that could be at times, he tenderly added, if you can't resolve your conflict before you go to sleep, at least say "I Love You" and then take care of it in the morning.  Such wonderful advice as I reflect on this tidbit I ran across in Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul:

Marriage Advice from 1886
Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.
Believe the best rather than the worst.
People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship.  The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.
Please hand this down to your children and your children's children: The more things change the more they are the same.

Jane Wells (1886)

Timeless and true.

I pray your marriage is packed full of the truth of God's Call and love... when the waters are rough, His joy keeps you anchored and holding steadfast!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Proces of Being Bloggy

It's 1a.m., no longer Friday!  How did that happen?  Five minutes ago, or so it seemed, I was nodding approval to a pre-bedtime shower for Miss Brooke.  Now, here I am, the loud tick of a wall clack in the quiet of a sleeping house... I'm usually sleeping with the house!

Not tonight.

It is such a long story which brings me back after months of blogging silence.  One I won't dive into the dirty details here.  The highlights, however, would be....

...a whirl-wind of LIFE and those still lingering wisps of Bloom from 2013...

...compounded by an afrontive sign at a local establishment I can't even remember the exact words of anymore, however, it left me feeling like a fool for investing my time tapping keys to articles which may-or may not- be read by the masses (did I temporarily forget my promise to be an upside down blogger??)...

...the ponder and pray process which led to realizing I am called to blog, regardless of silly shop signs (there is always a critic somewhere!) and I simply needed to lean into the Lord for balance.  A little move, Mom's Night Out, did A LOT to encourage me as well.  If you haven't seen it... you should.

The beginning and middle of this process has been propped up by a Call I have felt for more than a year now to change the name of my blog.  This spring, God gave me the drive and the words, "Faith and Home".  I began considering a Wordpress migrate, my husband even excitedly purchased a domain name for me and began the tedious process of a Joomla set-up.  From this point on the story gets long (and occasionally techy) but needless to say, nothing has migrated.  Not sure if or when it will.... I'm not one for self-induced ulcers!!!

In the meantime, Facebook has welcomed the new name and the 'skin' of Faithful has had a sort of 'lift'.  I determined to keep with the sunflowers because their meaning has become ever-more profound to me.  An article I hope to expand on soon.

The balance.... and the bloom.... translate to no more rigid blogging schedule.  It took too much from my family.  However, now that the bulk of my tweeking and revamping is complete, I do hope to write more than once a month!!!  Maybe even once a week.

Thanks to those who have stuck by, prayed for, and encouraged me. I look forward to sharing more!