Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Book Review: Redeeming Love

I don't usually read Christian fiction, but a friend recommended Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and I thought I'd give it a try. Wow! It was incredible... I couldn't put it down. The book is loosely based on the Biblical story of Hosea, but is set in the gold mining times of the American West. Although there aren't many scriptural references, it is an amazing reminder of God's love and forgiveness. If anyone wants to borrow it, let me know!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Search

So we went to NM this weekend in search of the perfect job and the perfect house... well maybe not perfect, but better. Justin already has a list of jobs (demo, tiling, door installation, etc.) from 10 of my parent's friends and Amanda has 2 pretty good job offers as well. On to the house.... WOW... the housing market in SE NM is insane! I think it may be the only place in the world that has increased home sales. I don't know if we can get enough financing to buy a house in a remotely safe neighborhood.
So now we're considering Colorado again.
The pros... Amanda could potentially get her dream job (being an Auditory Verbal therapist- it's a special kind of speech therapy with hearing impaired kids that teaches their brain how to hear again without sign language or cued speech). Justin could definitely finish school there. There are tons of foreclosures in the Denver area so it's a great time to buy there. This is where we want to be forever (at least we think so).
The cons... We don't have all the great construction connections for Justin. We'll be kind of waiting until the last minute to find a place to live since we have no time until school's out in May.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


So Justin and I were talking today... actually mostly me talking and he listening. We have kind of become addicted to TV. We still do lots of running and dog walking and working in the yard and house and it's not that we sit mindlessly watching hours upon hours, but we always have the TV on when we're doing stuff (folding clothes, cooking dinner, cleaning, etc.). It feels like my brain is rotting as we speak! We do watch a lot of learning type stuff (cooking shows, home improvement shows), but it's like I can't totally relax with the TV turned on- to anything. (Anyone else feel like this?) Anyways we are planning to try being totally TV free one day a week- I think I would like more, but I'm not sure he would go for it!

Also- National TV turn off week is coming up... maybe I can work Justin up to it!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Grace and Truth Paradox

I just finished this book... on loan from Jeff Noble. Here are some of my favorite parts and my thoughts.

The book is basically about having truth and grace in the Christian life... God never meant them to be opposites but compliments.
This is something I really struggle with... I tend to lean more to the side of grace (partly b/c of my Methodist influence and partly b/c I'm a people pleaser)

One of the things Randy points out is that non- believers LOVED to be around Jesus... they were friggin rippin off the roof to get to him! Why don't non-christians love to be around Christians? Jesus had this amazing way of showing grace and truth at the same time (think the woman at the well)

"our culture is riddled with the poisonous spirit of entitlement"
As Americans today we are so greedy and never stop to realize what we really deserve in life. We complain when things are not fair... when we don't get our way... when you really stop and think about what we DO deserve... it kind of floors you!

" John Newton "I remember 2 things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great savior"

"Grace never lowers the standard of holiness"
I think sometimes (at least for me) I want to almost water down God's truth to make it more "friendly" to non-christians... telling people that it will be ok if they sin... this is something Jesus never did... he always presented the truth in black and white with no sugar coating. Sometimes the truth is harsh and is hard to tell, but it shows true love and doesn't cheapen God's grace.

This story comes from a British comparative religions conference... scholars were trying to decide what made the Christian faith different from others... they couldn't think of anything until C.S. Lewis walks into the room and is asked his opinion... He simply replies "Grace" Only the Christian faith presents God's grace as unconditional. This so goes against human pride, that man never would have made it up. (and that's a major reason Lewis believed it)
Wow... that is something I never really thought about... but it is so true... and what a testimony to share with lost people

Last one... I liked this one b/c it relates this principle to politics
Liberals' commitment to fighting racism in the 60's was commendable. But sometimes liberals fight against true standards, like the beliefs that abortion, fornication, adultery, and homosexual behavior are wrong. They often embrace tolerance as a grace substitute. Liberal Christians often end up being liberals first, Christians second. Conservatives want to restore lost values. They want to go back to the days when prayer was allowed in schools. But they forget that the same schools that allowed prayer didn't allow black children! By trying to conserve so many things-even things that were clearly wrong- conservative Christians have sometimes been conservatives first, Christians second.