Sunday, July 1, 2012

Confronting Jezebel

Growing up as a pastor's kid, I witnessed some fairly tragic church splits and conflicts. Reading this book opened my eyes to glimpse some of the motivations and spiritual warfare that occur through people in regards to church conflict. Though the memories are painful, it's important to really understand the driving forces (often demonic) behind church-splitting Jezebels so that I can be discerning if one ever pops up in church again. (Very likely!)

The best part of this book were the stories that fleshed out what Jezebel looks like in real time. The more you read about them, the more one can recognize traits and behaviors in people that operate under this controlling spirit. It also opened my eyes to some controlling behavior I have -- and helped me work and pray through it.

Overall, the book is good due to the stories and real-life examples, but I wish the book would focus more on God and His power to pull down the devil's strongholds. Sometimes, it's better to study the Truth than the counterfeit (Jesus over Jezebel), but I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone in ministry!

Thank you to Bethany House publishing for giving me this book for reviewing purposes.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Unexpected Page Turner!

Living a gloomy existence in a war-torn town, Quaker-girl Hannah finds herself restless and impatient with her Friend's pacifistic stance on the Revolutionary War. Her insatiable desire for justice is at odds with her family's stringent rules. Guilt presses upon her as she begins to do the unthinkable: spying for the Rebels!

Jeremiah Jones cannot bear to ask for help, much less ask for help from the uppity, self-righteous Quaker girl! But with so many lives in his hand -- the only one he's got left -- he's quickly running out of options.

Siri Mitchell uses double narrative voice which was a wonderful technique. The male narrator (Jeremiah) was so real and lifelike, I couldn't wait to get to the chapters in his voice. The romance developed subtly, through bitter banter and witty quips (which I loved!)without dominating or overpowering the work. Suspense, action, raw emotion and deep faith-probing will keep the pages flying!! It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

Thank you to Bethany Publishers for sending me a copy of this book to review. All opinions were mine, and I received no other compensation. I hope they make a miniseries out of this!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My sweet friend, Julia, recommended this book to me:  Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond.  I really liked it, and I feel so inspired to parent with confidence I gain from trusting Scriptural truths.

Here are some quick things I learned/liked:

-teaching a child manners is key in child-rearing.  When a child gives another person preference and respect, he gains self-respect.  He is teachable (in school) if he is respectful and obedient to others.  This starts with manners.

-High self-esteem in a child should be avoided at all costs.  If a child esteems himself highly, he is proud, selfish and thinks the world revolves around him.  Teach a child to be humble and considerate to others.

-A family should be more marriage-centered than child-centered.  After the age of 3, the parents shouldn't cater to every need of the child, but rather, teach him to serve the family (chores, etc) and be a contributing member instead of ruler of the roost.

- Tell and compel.  I shouldn't ask, plead, cajoul or beg my child to do anything.  I tell them once, and turn away so they only have a back to argue with. Lead with confidence -- inspiring and influencing.

- Predicable consequences (such as spanking a child for the same infraction over and over and over) immunizes the child to the spanking.  Instead, make discipline unpredictable (and creative), increasing the punishment each time the infraction is made. 

-Limiting activities after school and allowing more time for kids to be kids in free play is good.  Rosamond points out that going to a kid's soccer game is NOT family time, team building is less important than family building.  He says a mother's identity should not be wrapped up in her children's activities.  Amen!

-Micromanaging Moms:  (I could tend toward this!)  If you are constantly checking in on your child's homework, affairs and other things, you are teaching the child that he doesn't have to be responsible, since you're always there to remind him of things, fight his battles, pick up last minute supplies he needs TOMORROW etc.   

Rosamond talks a lot (too much?) about how modern parenting (prompted by today's psyco-babble) has truly derailed children, but he insists that if we base parenting on Biblical truth -- we will never be flailing for answers or doubting the legitimacy of our "curriculum."