Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Review: Is This the End?

Full Title: People are asking . . . Is This the End? Signs of God’s Providence in a Disturbing new World.

Dr. David Jeremiah understands our culture, and he has a way of boiling complicated issues down to the crux of the matter. Part One of the book looks at current issues such as the “anything goes” culture, immigration, the increase of intolerance and the apathy of America. In Part Two, Jeremiah documents the rise of ISIS and the resurgence of Russia before sharing his insight on the rapture and tribulation. I appreciated the interesting case studies he included throughout the book to prove his points.

Persecution, according to Jeremiah, produces godliness and suffering offers rewards.  He writes: “God can use your courage in little things to accomplish bigger things.” He discusses the hope of Christians along with the Christian’s responsibilities. I appreciated his overview of revivals that have touched nations down through the years and his thorough explanation of the history and growing isolation of Israel.

I sometimes find it confusing to reconcile compassion with law and order, so I found Jeremiah’s view on immigration very insightful. No matter where you stand politically, this book will shed the light of God’s Word on current affairs. A good, easily understandable read for anyone interested in making sense of our world today.

Monday, January 2, 2017

C'mon Over for a Progressive Dinner Party!

Dear Friends,

Last Tuesday, my Friends of the Heart, Kim and Janine, along with hubbies, Matt and Dave, joined Bill and me for a Progressive Dinner. We wanted to see each other’s decorated homes and taste each other’s goodies. After reading this, you just may want to try it yourself (with some friends, of course).

Janine served the most delicious salad. Her home is always ready for a House Beautiful photographer. Not a spatula out of place. (Well, that night there was a refrigerator sitting in the middle of her kitchen; repairman scheduled.) But Janine organizes every toothpick and paper clip. Empty counters, except for a display of objects made by her father through the years—a woodcutting of the Nativity, a “love” plaque, a lantern. Her home is elegant, to say the least.

Kim served prime rib with mushroom/spinach stuffing--your choice of AuJus, gravy or horseradish dressing. We feasted on roasted potatoes with artichokes, roasted Brussel sprouts and green beans vinaigrette. Check out those aprons! Matt too enjoys cooking. Paraphrasing the last sentence of the story of the Samaritan woman, I told Kim, “We no longer believe because of what you said. Now we have tasted for ourselves, and you really are a gourmet cook.”

Now for her décor: Her enclosed porch hosts a huge metal Santa Claus and sleigh along with eight (not tiny) reindeer, all outlined with lights. Her father used to display the piece on the roof of his barn; that’s how big it is.

Each corner of her home would be a “picker’s” delight. She adds a string of lights to teddy bears and sleighs and even cabbage graters to create picture-perfect Christmas displays. On the kitchen counter, a hot chocolate bar. On the porch, a slate with “Santa, I’ve been a good boy. Chandler.” And photographs—old (Matt as a boy), new (grandson Chandler) and everyone in between. Just gorgeous, to say the least.

Finally, I served peach pie with ice cream; Dave claims it’s the best pie he’s ever eaten. Just sayin’. At first I thought I’d make a few desserts to offer choices. Nope. Too much work. Everyone would be full until they reached our house anyway.

As far as décor, my home is a scaled-down version of what used to be. I no longer get out the Santas, and (don’t tell anyone) I carry away the artificial tree fully decorated from one year to the next. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Conversation ranged from Matt’s new work assignment to my husband’s years as an Air Force radar repairman in the 50’s. We had fun posing before a tripod to remember our evening.

So I hope I’ve given you an idea of something to do to hold the winter doldrums at bay. I am convinced, we can’t call each other friends unless we share the hospitality of our homes. And friends are one of the greatest blessings God gives us. Let’s keep in touch with them often in 2017.

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year, Friend!


Upcoming events:

January 17, 6:30 – Shirley speaking at Women’s Ministry meeting, Grace Community Church, Herndon.

Woodcutting by Janine's father, Jack Feaster