Skip to main content

Read

Right now I am reading three books.  One is called Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien.  It's a great book about how we tend to interpret Scripture based on our culture.  When you visit another culture, especially a middle eastern culture, you may get a more realistic interpretation of certain Scriptures.  It's a great book and one of the few on my Kindle that I actually paid something for.


The 2nd book I'm reading is also on my Kindle.  It's called Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance).  It's about a 21 year old whose sister and brother-in-law are killed in an accident and she has been designated to be the guardian of their eight children.  It's a pretty good book, though the humor often falls flat.

The 3rd book I'm reading is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  This book is so, so good.  In a way her writing style is too flowery and wordy for me.  But then in the very next sentence I am amazed at the picture she paints with her words.  And beyond all that, I am challenged to give thanks for little things, for big things, for hard things.  

I wish the copy of this book belonged to me so I could underline and write in the margins.  Instead I'll have to take time to go back through and write down some of the things that have blessed and challenged me. Or maybe I can buy it for my kindle and learn how to use the highlighting tool! 

Too often my reaction to "frustrations", to "stress", to "discomfort", to "annoying people" is to complain, to gripe, to be cynical. I put them in quotes, because they aren't the problem, I am.  It's easy to label things and excuse myself because of "frustrations", "stress", or "annoying people".  I've started a "gift list", trying to focus on what the Lord has given, not on what I don't have. 

 I loved this today:  

"Pride, mine -- that beast that pulls on the mask of anger -- this is what snaps this hand shut, crushes joy. ...  Dare I ask what I think I deserve?  A life of material comfort?  A life free of all trials, all hardship, all suffering?  A life with no discomfort, no inconveniences?  Are there times that a sense of entitlement -- expectations-- is what inflates self, detonates anger, offends God, extinguishes joy?

"And what do I really deserve?  Thankfully, God never gives what is deserved, but instead, God graciously, passionately offers gifts, our bodies, our time, our very lives.  God does not give rights but imparts responsibilities.... inviting us to respond to His love-gifts."  p. 177, 178

Comments

Georgene G. said…
The principles from One Thousand Gifts helped me through one of the most difficult years of my life. I continue to count my blessings (in a small notebook) almost daily.

The other book you mentioned sounds very interesting about the difference culture makes in how we view scripture. Does he give many examples?
Nancy DeValve said…
Yes, they gives a lot of examples, especially from their times serving as missionaries in countries with a completely different world view than the west. He starts the book by giving an example of giving a multiple-choice test to his students. They left many of the answers blank and he said to just guess that they would have a 25% chance of getting it right. They said that would be dishonest because they didn't know the answer so they shouldn't pretend like they should. That's not really a biblical example, but shows clearly how the West and "the rest" often think.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  



February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.



In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.



While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…