We’re still working through this book together as a small group, but I finished early. Several of the chapters were extremely convicting and thought-provoking. I underlined a ton. The chapters on suffering, waiting, and contentment were particularly timely for me. It’ll be a good one to revisit in the future.
WWII historical fiction is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres. I loved this Italian point of view. While Beneath a Scarlet Sky had a neat storyline, the writing could’ve been better. It made me sad to think about Pino Lella’s heartbreaking experiences, but did he know the One who will eventually set all things right? There was way too much cursing for me. It won’t be a re-read.
Tackled a couple more Stink Moody books at bedtime with the kids. Again, not my favorite series in the world, but the boys are learning lots about English – as well as ways not to treat your siblings/friends. Hah. The boy humor definitely keeps them more engaged. I’ll be excited to get into some other (classic) read-alouds as the years go by.
Below: quite a few quotes from this month’s reading. I usually try to pare these down, but I just couldn’t take any more out! My suggestion? Just go read some good books!
I think the main difference is that in college, when I was around Mike, I wanted to be like Mike. Now, after spending time with Mike, I want to be more like Jesus. ¹
I have heard so many Christians tell me of a gut-wrenching season they walked through, only to hear them say, “In the end, I’m glad it happened…” None of them would have chosen ahead of time to walk through such a difficult trial. But all of them are grateful, in hindsight, that the trial came. Such fire-testing seasons are severe gifts from a loving Father…. These seasons are necessary because we do not walk easily into maturity. ¹
Faithful obedience, over time, weakens temptation’s allure. ¹
If your faith begins and ends with you, you are missing the truly profound experience of working with God to make a difference in a needy person’s life. ¹
It is a mistake to assume that “letting go” is always going to be a onetime event. Far more often, it [forgiveness] is an ongoing commitment. ¹
The time will come when all of us will be done mourning – but that time is not now; that time doesn’t exist on this earth. We need to mourn. Mourning invites us into a deeper life. ¹
But seeking after the transcendent – which can be found in God alone – points us to the only world where we can be truly satisfied. ¹
We pay a price when we become leisure-oriented, self-serving people… ¹
He was frightened by the penalty for helping the Jews, but he was going to help them anyway. ²
We are passing through a bad time now and it will probably be worse before it is better, but that it will be better, if we only endure and persevere, I have no doubt whatsoever. ³
To fight in defence of his native land is the first duty of the citizen. But to fight in defence of someone else’s native land is a different proposition…. it involves a higher conception… a wide outlook upon human affairs and a sense of world responsibility. ³
I am persuaded both evil and good angels had a large share in this transaction: how large we do not know now, but we shall know hereafter. 4
People who are focused on themselves are less likely to make changes for the team than people focused on serving others. 5
Without knowing both sides of the story, people tend to give the benefit of the doubt to themselves and to assign negative motives and actions to others. Without communication the situation just festers. 5
People forget how fast you did a job-but they remember how well you did it. -Howard W. Newton 5
Dependability means more than just wanting to take responsibility. That desire must also be coupled with good judgment to be of real value to the team. 5
A basic truth of life is that people will always move toward anyone who increases them and away from others who devalue them. 5
You can’t break a cycle of apathy by waiting to feel like doing it. 5
¹ Authentic Faith, Gary Thomas
² Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan
³ Churchill: The Power of Words,
4 The Journal of John Wesley
5 The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, John Maxwell