Saturday, December 29, 2012

2. The Empty Butter Dish

Project #2: Clean out the storage container cabinet

1. I read somewhere that you should only keep 10 or less plastic storage containers for leftover food. Get rid of the rest. Well, I probably have 50+ plastic containers sitting in the cabinet waiting patiently to be used - time to purge.

2. Give away the nice ones - filled with goodies of course! I know several elderly ladies that could use a little extra love - Yippee! It's time to bake!

3. Use them to organize art/craft supplies - my craft shelves need to be "contained" - hmmm, sounds like project #3

4. Throw away the misfits - goodbye to all those lids that don't fit on anything

(Any that didn't fit the above categories I put in the garage sale/donate pile)

Wow! Now I have a nearly empty cabinet!



Friday, December 28, 2012

You, Your Family and the Internet

David Clark's book, You, Your Family and the Internet, is a helpful resource that should be in the hands of every parent and grandparent. It is a quick read with a great impact. The subtitle, "What every Christian in the digital age ought to know" is an accurate assessment of this book.

Clark's 30+ years of experience with technology paired with his strong biblical worldview will help people make informed decisions about how to utilize the Internet. I appreciate that not only does he clearly warn of the many dangers of the Internet, he also gives great examples of how to use the Internet to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, Scripture is used throughout the book to help the reader think biblically about how they present themselves online.

Although I was familiar with many of the aspects of the Internet that Clark discussed, now I more fully understand how it all works together. Realizing that advertisers see me as the product has made me think carefully about where I go and what I post online. The main point I took away from this book is that as a Christian, my virtual life needs to reflect Christ in same way my physical life does - my words and actions online and off need to point people to Jesus.
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* Disclosure: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews  in exchange for my honest review.

1. Out of my Inbox

Project #1: Cleaning out my Inbox
Ok, so one goal in getting organized it to keep my online home free of clutter just like my physical home. I have 3 email accounts. 1 work, 1 personal, 1 for junk mail (like when I sign up for freebies) - yikes! Who has time to keep up with all of that?

Lesson 1: Unsubscribe - all those e-newsletters I never have time to read and aren't really interested in - I will unsubscribe - sorry, it's not you, it's me - please don't take it personal, random health e-news!

Lesson 2: Delete immediately! After I've read an email and it requires no further action - delete it!

Lesson 3: Respond immediately! If an email requires a response, don't delay, do it now. Then create a folder for that subject and move it out of the Inbox.

Project Organize 2013

Hi, my name is Taryn and I am a packrat. I come by it honest, though. When my grandma gave me the first cookbook she purchased after her wedding in 1951, it still had the receipt in it - she keeps everything!
We're not talking an episode of Hoarders here - let's just say I'm sentimental and have a keen sense of future creativity. I have my piles and I know what's in them. Plus, it never fails that when I get the nerve to throw something away, a week later I realize I needed that!
However, to honor my husband (who is a neat freak, compared to me) and to better care for my home - I hereby dub 2013 as "Project Organize". I have everything I need to get started - a Pinterest board full of organization tips and ideas, my Kindle is cluttered with ebooks on organization and I have a really big trash can in the garage. I hope maybe by posting my goals and progress here, it will help me stay accountable to the task! Great ideas and encouragement are very welcome and needed - so please share!! So, here's to organizing my life - may the new year bring a successful endeavor!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet

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Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet, by John Currid would be an excellent addition to the library of  any preacher or Bible teacher. I wish I would have had this resource when I taught through the book of Ruth earlier this year.  I found his explanation of the text thorough and yet easy to understand. Most importantly, he points to Christ as the reason for this beautiful narrative.

Currid gives a detailed analysis of the Hebrew language and practices good Bible interpretation by cross-referencing Scripture to make his points. But he also explains the text in a manner that someone without a seminary degree can understand. I appreciate that his "Points to Ponder" at the end of each chapter are easily applied to people today and stay within the context of the storyline.

The author clearly has a great appreciation for 17th and 18th century writers and preachers, as he often uses quotes and anecdotes from their lives. These quotes and stories make nice transitions to the point he will make about the text and would be easy to insert into a sermon or lesson. However, I found that having a prior knowledge of these men helped in gaining the full impact of the author's purpose in quoting them.

Too often, when using a commentary to study, I find that there is a huge gap between the theological interpretation of the Scriptures and the level of understanding of the ladies in my Sunday School class. It is then left up to me to "translate" great insights into understandable application to my students, and I often wonder if I'm doing the writer justice. I think Currid has done a beautiful job of filling in that gap with his commentary on the book of Ruth.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of the From Bitter to Sweet – Ruth (Welwyn Commentary Series) Blog Tour in exchange for my honest review.

Christmas Letter

I gave this to the ladies in my Sunday School class today. I thought is was a wonderful reminder of who we are in Christ.

My precious daughter,
I choose you according to my will (Ephesians 1:5). You are not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:16). And it is my desire to lavish my love on you because you are called my child (I John 3:1). Every good gift you receive comes from Me (James 1:17). I will meet all of your needs according to my glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). My thoughts toward you are precious and outnumber the sand (Psalm 139:17-18). Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). I am able to do more for you than you can even ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). I will give you comfort and strength (II Thessalonians 2:17). I will comfort you in your troubles (II Corinthians 1:4). When you are brokenhearted, I will be near (Psalm 34:18). I love you even as I have loved Jesus (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26). His death shows my love for you (Romans 5:8). Remember the reason I sent My only Son is so that one day we will be together forever (John 3:16).
                                     Merry Christmas,
Your Heavenly Father            

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mom Connection - Disconnected

I was very disappointed after reading Mom Connection by Tracey Bianchi

I find this book random and confusing. It was meant to be a devotional for MOPS but there is nothing inspiring to share with the group - just random thoughts and cliches. I love the idea of a  guide to creating mom friendships with "Mom tested-tips" at the end of each chapter - but they are repetitive and wacky.

The most disappointing part was Chapter 12 "Flannelgraph". The subtitle: Here comes the Jesus chapter. This is ironic because she only mentions Jesus by name three times in the whole chapter. She has the perfect opportunity to explain the gospel and instead compares God to "a giant tambourine-playing hippie" (183)
There is no mention of repentance or salvation - just a journey of faith. If someone asks if she's a Christian her answer depends on the adjectives used: horrible - no; good - yes(182). What about telling us what a Christian is suppose to be?
Her Christian experience has a very New Age feeling:
"Motherhood - divine dance with God"
"What is your dance like with God?"
"Will you get up and dance?"
Unfortunately Bianchi doesn't understand the gospel and treats God very disrespectfully.
I am shocked MOPS endorsed this as their Recommended reading/Devotion book for the year!
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Missional Moves

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I opened Missional Moves by Rob Wegner and Jack Magruder expecting "hey, we're a megachurch, look at us and copy what we did." In some ways it is that. But more than that, I found this book to be full of challenging and thought-provoking ideas about how the methodology of church that seemed to work in the past needs major renovation.
With creative examples and personal anecdotes, the authors present 15 reasons why and how the local church's view of missions needs to change. I was impressed with many of their ideas, such as:
  •  Instead of just throwing money at missions organizations, we have to learn how to build relationships that will transform lives with the gospel of Christ.
  • With an understanding that missions is not just for "professionals" but the job of every member of the local church, everyone needs to know the vision of their local church and how to be involved.
  • Our gospel impact will be much deeper if it is focused in a few areas instead of spread thin across many ministries.
I think every Christian should read this book to truly understand the extreme makeover needed in today's churches to reach the lost. However, with it's visionary thinking and technical jargon, it appears to be geared toward church leaders and most people probably will not attempt to read it. I think their "Seven Metaphors of the Fractal Core"(p. 215-217) are a good summation of the major points they are teaching and would be helpful to everyone trying to catch the vision. So, I would recommend this book to church leaders who are ready to think outside the box and lead their local church in creative, yet focused ministry.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of the Missional Moves Blog Tour in exchange for my honest review.
For more information on Missional Moves, visit their website at: