Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We just finished another marvelous book and I'd like to recommend it!  

Nothing Else Matters, by one of our all-time favorite authors, Patricia St. John.

The following is from the back of the book, "A powerful and moving story based on real events in the bitter conflict in Lebanon, Lamia and her family are caught up in the fighting, with tragic consequences.  Lamia struggles with the hatred that threatens to destroy her, until she grasps that forgiveness and love are the most important things.  Nothing else matters."

Here are a couple of quotes I recorded in my commonplace book:  

"After he died, I think it was like being in hell...Guilt is a terrible thing Lamia.  You wake in the night and the stars are no longer beautiful.  You walk on the hills and the first flowers are no longer lovely.  All the colour goes out of life.  It is like a great burden....your heart is always heavy, until you feel that it will crush you."

"'He said there was only one really important question when we have to face death--where is my sin?  Am I carrying it myself, as a heavy burden that will separate me from God forever... or have I laid it on Christ on the cross?  If so, then death is the gate of life.'"

"'yes, I know...and yet, he never told us that our feelings are what matter.  I think he measures our love only by our obedience.  It's not how much do I feel, but how far will I obey?'"

...."The idea that loving went along with suffering was somehow resolving itself into a trinity; love, obedience, pain--but productive life-giving pain that sprang into deeper loving, the winter before the spring...."

"She could not explain; only the veil between life and death seemed very thin and death no longer the final tragedy. 'Today...with me.' Here or there, they would come home." ...

"But she could not sleep for a very long time, for the implications of her new discovery if they were true, were almost more than she could take in.  For if death was just a step into the presence of God, then her dead were not very far away; they at home in the love of Christ, and Christ, shedding his love abroad in the heart that received him--then they were all closer together than she had dared to imagine, united in that all-enveloping love."  

You can get a copy here for as little as $4 including shipping.  Or borrow it from Pastor Bob and Doris.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Can't remember where I read the recommendation for Iris Noble's books, (Thank you to whoever recommended them) but I want to pass on how wonderful they are!!  We're just finishing The Honor of Balboa, which is the story of the first white man to see the Pacific ocean.  He claimed it for Spain in the name of King Ferdinand.  Though this is a biography it is easy to read and alive with wonderful details of his life and explorations in Central America. The book is not too long - just ten chapters and the children would often ask for a second chapter after I had read one.  I am saddened by the greed of the Spaniards and their terrible mistreatment of the Indians that lived there.  In contrast Balboa stood out for his policies of working together with the Indians in most cases, respecting them and learning from them. 
 Mary read Empress of All Russia: Catherine the Great and enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to finding more titles by Iris Noble.