Happy Leap Year! Here’s my February in books. And… go!
I received Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog for my birthday from a dear friend who knows me so well! This fun book would be great coffee table decor. As her subtitle says, Florey definitely gives “the quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences.” I know that the percentage of people in my life who care even the tiniest bit about diagramming sits around .00002%, but I’m in love. (Thank you, Mrs. Ramsey, for being my Sister Bernadette when it comes to diagramming and grammar.) In the middle of this short read, I feel like Florey breaks away from the topic at hand, but it’s an enjoyable read overall – if diagramming is your niche.
Milton Vincent’s A Gospel Primer for Christians was a birthday present for Scott, but I stole it. Heh. I wanted to devour and savor this tiny book simultaneously. Its whole premise is that the gospel is not just for unbelievers, but for everyone. Even after salvation, preaching the gospel to oneself is necessary if abundant life is to be experienced. Some great content in this concise little read. It’ll definitely be a re-read as I continue to digest the ideas here.
It’s been hard to find books that concurrently capture the attention of all three of my kiddos. After discovering that our school library has a good portion of this Magic Tree House series, I started pulling these books because they were short and easy reads. I thought they’d be perfect for my kids’ varied age ranges/interests, but I’m actually not a huge fan. The concept of siblings visiting other times and places is all fine and dandy, but the books are poorly written and the plots are slow-paced. When I’m reading these stories, I find my mind wandering. We made it through #7, but I think it’s about time for a break.
Below: some quotes I’d like to remember from this month’s reading.
In the end, I think the important thing was not what we learned from diagramming in Sister Bernadette's class, but simply the fun we had doing it. Diagramming made language seem friendly, like a dog who doesn't bark, but, instead, trots over to greet you, wagging its tail.1 When I begin my train of thought with the gospel, I realize that if God loved me enough to sacrifice His Son’s life for me, then He must be guided by that same love when He speaks His commandments to me.2 When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ.2 Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for sin diminishes and the lies of lust simply lose their appeal.... Eyes do not rove... when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus.2 And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigorous, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.3 To conclude that Jesus was a deliberate liar doesn’t coincide with what we know either of him or of the results of his life and teachings. Wherever Jesus has been proclaimed, we see lives change for the good, nations change for the better, thieves become honest, alcoholics become sober, hateful individuals become channels of love, unjust persons embrace justice.4 Good parenting, which does what God intends it to do, begins with our radical and humble recognition that our children don't actually belong to us.5 Your kids will never be what they're supposed to be or do if they lack God-consciousness.5 God's greatest and most wonderful gift to you as a parent is himself! He knows how hard your task is....5
1 Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog, Kitty Burns Flory
2 A Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent
3 Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
4 More Than a Carpenter, Josh and Sean McDowell
5 Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family