Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cindy Woodsmall

You may remember that awhile ago I blogged about a very good book by Cindy Woodsmall, called When the Soul Mends, which I've seen on our library table. So, read below ~~

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here ( about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

It's cool and unusual when a Chritsian fiction writer is featured on Nightline. That says something about her writing and impact.

Home Bible Studies Illegal?

County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies
POSTED: 5:31 pm PDT May 25, 2009
UPDATED: 7:43 am PDT May 28, 2009

SAN DIEGO -- A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home, 10News reported.

Attorney Dean Broyles of The Western Center For Law & Policy was shocked with what happened to the pastor and his wife.

Broyles said, "The county asked, 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say amen?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say praise the Lord?' 'Yes.'"

The county employee notified the couple that the small bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of county regulations, according to Broyles.

Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

"For churches and religious assemblies there's big parking concerns, there's environmental impact concerns when you have hundreds or thousands of people gathering. But this is a different situation, and we believe that the application of the religious assembly principles to this bible study is certainly misplaced," said Broyles.

News of the case has rapidly spread across Internet blogs and has spurred various reactions.

Broyles said his clients have asked to stay anonymous until they give the county a demand letter that states by enforcing this regulation the county is violating their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion.

Broyles also said this case has broader implications.

"If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly at home for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties? What about people who are meeting to watch baseball games on a regular basis and support the Chargers?" said Broyles.

Broyles and his clients plant to give the county their demand letter this week.

If the county refuses to release the pastor and his wife from obtaining the permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.

Talk about what this might mean for the church world, as well as any religion who wanted to meet in homes. I can only hope this is a spoof, but the way our world works, probably not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


HERO: Becoming the Man She Desires is a powerful book for young men as well as us older men to read. This book ends a trilogy of books from the "EVERY MAN" series of books as Fred Stoeker candidly reveals his struggle with sexual sin and pornography. The full story is found in his book, Tactics.

Fred reveals the deeper story as he wondered what would his sons remember about him? Would they be led down the same path he ventured, or would they be pure, holy and obedient to Christ.

It's an intense book, one which should be read by mature enough high school boys along with their dads or mentors.

Fred collaborated with his son Jasen and Mike Yorkey to specifically address single men, as he provided practical principles for maintaining sexual purity, and a God centered romance.

He took examples from the Old Testament as he compared and contrasted Baal worship and idolatry from Israel's history to the way the modern world is obsessed with sexual promiscuity.

"Hero" is a book which can help single men and all men win the battle over the pressure of sexual temptation while becoming men of honor and a hero to the women who are looking for men of faith who keep their commitment to a life of personal holiness.

I also found it interesting that Jasen's wife, Rose, adds some thoughts from a woman's point of view. I would highly recommend this book, albeit, read it as father - son; or it could even be accomplished in a small group setting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Take the Lead

Last night we watched a little bit of a racy movie with some crude language. If you could get by those two items, it was a movie which reminds me of why we are in ministry. Take the Lead stars Antonio Banderas as a dance instructor who brings his style of ballroom dancing to a tough neighborhood which prefers rap and hip-hop music.

The real story comes in the transformation which occurs in the lives of the troubled youth. They gradually and grudgingly accept Banderas and begin to believe in him and what he is asking them to do. There is no nudity, so if you can accept the language as the language of the street, but focus on the story, it's a movie which should remind us of the need to love one another, even those who are tough to love.

Thanks Jan for taking the risk and showing this movie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wedding Faintings

I came across this while looking at a leadership web site.

I thought it was pretty funny, hoping it never happened to you, and does not happen to me.

Click on the link or the title to watch.

Get a good laugh today.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother's Day Books

Dear Mom is a wonderful and practical book for moms who have teenage daughters or are about to enter that memorable time of life. While I don't have a teenage girl, and two budding teen boys, I found the information very valuable.

Melody Carlson wrote this book from the point of view of the teenage girl, as she writes a letter to her mom. The teen tells you what she is thinking and feeling and how she wishes her mom would respond. The book details the 'love/hate' relationship many teens go through.

From the publisher we read,

Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:

· how to talk to teens so they hear,
· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,
· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.

The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires.

Melody Carlson
is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage
Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever.

Mama's Got a FAKE I.D. is for men and women who need to reclaim the person God has created you to be. Caryn Dahlstrand Ribadeneira offers readers a guide to being the spiritual person God intended us to be. "God created us to bear His image in all of life, not just in one area." Too often we feel guilty that we are not better at what we think God wants us to do and be. That guilt lives with us and those around us who feel they have not measured up as well in their lives, so what do we do?

We carry fake I.D.s with us, hoping we can fool the rest of the world, including ourselves.

When we become parents, we are still the person God created, we have simply added new roles our lives. Before your children were born, you existed; you were capable of thinking, dreaming, and planning. Parenthood does not change that, we should still have dreams and hopes and make plans for the future.

The sad part is that many parents, maybe all feel guilty that they want more out of life, wondering "is this all there is to being a parent?" And "why did I ever want to have children, this is no fun at all!"

Rivadeneira writes in an easy-to-understand style. She adds some humor and has included questions at the end of each chapter.

This, along with the prior book would be a great study for a young mother's group. She also furnishes the address to a blog, where you can discuss this book with other women.

You can purchase either of these books at I have also seen Dear Mom at Family Christian books in Muncie or Anderson.



Fun Kids Devotional

God Gave Us the Bible: 45 Favorite Stories for Little Ones is a very well done, hardcover introductory Bible for parents to read with thei...