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A Late In Memoriam

If you have poked around these parts at all you’ve probably stumbled upon some earlier posts I
did on Shirley Temple movies. I instantly think of my father. If I suggest watching a Shirley
Temple movie he makes a gag face. It’s a given and I deal with it. But the thing about her
movies is this: I can just relax while I’m watching. I know Shirley will always get out of trouble.
She will always draw people closer together. She will sing and dance and those songs will be
stuck in my head for days as I drive the people around me crazy. They are simple and clean
and timeless.
So this is my memorial post to Shirley Temple Black. I know I’m 2 months late. But sometimes
you need a bit of time when it feels like a friend of the family has passed on. Her movies have
been a part of my classic film library for over 20 years. I feel that with her passing another piece
of innocence is lost, at least in the film industry. We may never have those pure and simple
family films again. But I’m so glad that her films have been preserved for future generations.
I’m glad that I’ve shared them with my niece, who also likes them. And even my dad. Because,
let’s be honest, he’s around females all of the time and we kind of run the show. So Shirley gets
popped into the DVD player regardless of the gag face. He’ll lean back in his chair and by the
end of the movie will say, “You know, that’s a really good movie.”
Yes dad. They’re really good movies.

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The Movie Marathon is Almost Complete

When I posted a picture on Instagram recently of the Jane Austen movie adaptations that I own AND that I was going to make that weekend a Jane Austen movie marathon…I’m not sure what I was thinking. These take quite a while to get through! I finished up the most recent Emma and just finished watching Northanger Abbey. I’m not sure I’m up for watching the final film tonight, the most recent adaptation of Persuasion. Although it is my most favorite story of Austen’s. I suppose because Anne marries later than most and beforehand had no options for her future. It’s strung together with bits of hope and I like that.

So it’s been 2 versions of Sense and Sensibility, 3 versions of Pride and Prejudice, 3 versions of Emma, 2 versions of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and 2 versions of Persuasion.
Phew! I wish I could get paid for this.

How about you? Are you an Austen fan? Do you prefer the books over the film adaptations? Which film adaptations are your favorites? I’d love to discuss this amongst ourselves! :)

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Saying Yes to God

Doing good work for Jesus doesn’t make us special or extraordinary; it shows we’re Christians.

– Kristen Welch, author of Rhinestone Jesus

In her book, Rhinestone Jesus, Kristen Welch begins by painting a picture of her early life that I found to be very similar to my own. I didn’t wear the rhinestone lapel pin, but I had the What Would Jesus Do? bracelet that I wore for a time. I also had a number of “salvation bracelets” that I had made over the years – bracelets made before mission trips to assist me in telling others about Jesus.
Kristen’s story shifts when she recounts her trip to Kenya with Compassion International bloggers. She witnesses first-hand the poverty, the stench, the sickness, the death and it changes her and breaks her apart in the best possible way. She goes back home and says “Yes” to God, which turns into opening a home in Kenya for young pregnant women. She gives an account of the ups and downs they have experienced thus far in this yes journey – things felt in Kenya and things that have affected her family at home. Kristen doesn’t mince words. She doesn’t make this all seem pie in the sky, happy-go-lucky. She’s honest. It’s good work. And it’s hard. Sometimes it’s really hard. But she continuously emphasizes that it’s for God and that she wouldn’t turn back from watching Him move for anything.

I live a pretty safe life. It’s not easy. Somedays it’s hard to be me and to inhabit this life. But it’s safe compared to people just down the street from me. And I wonder what I can do? I ask God, “What have you put within me to do for someone else?”

Perhaps your work for God is raising your littles. Perhaps it’s caring for aging parents. Perhaps it is spent on your knees as a prayer warrior for others. Perhaps it’s going half-way around the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus…or maybe just next door…or down the hall. Kristen Welch speaks a sweet and powerful word in her book that safe faith isn’t enough. But saying yes to God is radically wonderful.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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When It Seems God isn’t Fair

Let me give it to you straight.

I don’t know if I would have bothered reading this book if it wasn’t written by Jennifer Rothschild.

I took part in a Bible study several years ago that was written by Jennifer. And the thing that just blew me away about her was the fact that she is blind. On top of all of that she is a good teacher and writer, she has a lovely singing voice, and seems so pleasant. But for me to watch those video sessions of her teaching and then to dig into God’s Word with her was transformative because I wanted to know how she still trusted in God after her eyesight failed, AND after praying so many times for healing just to still be blind.

So I was intrigued. I wanted to hear what Jennifer had to say about God not being fair. I figured if anyone had a reason to think that He isn’t fair it would be someone like Jennifer.

In her book, God is Just Not Fair, Jennifer Rothschild addresses six specific questions that anyone may find themselves asking God at some time or other:
- God, are You there?
- God, do You err?
- God, do You hear prayer?
- God, do You care?
- God, are You aware?
- God, are You there?
Honestly, this book wasn’t easy for me to read. It wasn’t easy staring my own doubts in the face. It wasn’t easy realizing that I put way more emphasis on “me” and not nearly enough on God. It wasn’t easy looking at questions about disease, abuse, murder – just to name a few – and walk away still without a concrete, solid answer.

Perhaps the most important thing I will take away from reading this book is that life is hard. Being a human is hard. Sometimes it is down-right horrific. But that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. In fact, Scripture tells us that He will never forsake us. He is always with us. He is always good. He always has a plan. Sometimes I don’t always “feel” this, but I can KNOW it. Especially if I believe the truth of Scripture.

Looking through the lens of my humanity I might scream at the top of my lungs that God isn’t always fair. But I know He loved us enough to send His Son to die for the sins of all mankind. And that deserves a great, big shout from the highest mountaintop.

You can learn more about Jennifer Rothschild on her website.

*I received a copy of this book in return for a review. All opinions are my own.*