Friday, October 31, 2008

Looker, Trouble, and Cutie

Who's who?? You guess!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alternative Perspective on October 31

Halloween is rapidly approaching. My kids have only just decided who or what they will be dressing up to imitate...I actually like their ideas this year. Wordgirl--well, let's just say we've enjoyed gales of laughter over watching Maggie run through the house with her fist in the air, crowing "Word up!" So it will be great fun to see her "in uniform" finally. The boys have decided to be a pirate (again) and a woodsman (think Daniel Boone). Works for me.

I admit that Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year. It's not even a holiday! And what are we celebrating? Ghosts of the saints (Nov 1 is the feast of All Saints)? I do know that many people around the world use this occasion to venerate evil, participate in abhorrent practices, and generally celebrate Satan. I'm thankful that, several centuries ago, an obscure monk endowed October 31 with a greater significance that we Christians can embrace.

Martin Luther.
95 Theses.
Reformation Day...

I wrote about Reformation Day in a new article. In it, I encourage believers to focus on how the events of that day in 1517 sparked a reformation of faith, faith alone (sola fide) being our requirement for righteousness. Sometimes a little history can open up the future...

Take a look!
Anne Rice, on rediscovering the Bible...

"it became the great adventure of my life to try to internalize Scripture. I fell in love with it with a new spirit and a new desire to be influenced by it completely."

--interview with Gloria Gaither

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding Your Voice

My co-author, Sue, recently blogged over at, a women's ministry leadership site hosted by Christianity Today. She discussed an issue facing many women who have joined previously all-male ministry teams--how and when to speak up confidently. Check out "The Woman Who Got it Right."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Reviews in your Inbox

So many books, so little time. So little idea if said books are worth your time. What to do?

Meet my colleagues Chris and Heather Goodman, who--people after my own heart--buy more books than they have time to read. Chris has a heart to connect Christians with culture, specifically through the Internet. He spends much of his time exploring the future of the Internet and missions with Heather, a graduate from Dallas Theological Seminary, is a writer and speaker on the intersection of Christianity, culture and the arts.

Together, they've started Solomon Summaries, a unique subscription summary service that provides subscribers with a 10-page summary of a non-fiction book, a review of the book, and group discussion questions every week. That's 52 books each year.

These summaries are not intended to replace the content of the entire book but rather to provide a synopsis of the key points from the book. (Kind of like the old Cliff's Notes!) Solomon Summaries encourages dialogue, helps readers decide which books to buy and read, and tickles minds with new ideas and concepts that might warrant further exploration by the reader. Pastors and church leaders wanting to keep up with what their congregatioms are reading would find this service especially helpful.

You can read one of their summaries right now on the site to get a feel for what it's all about. All interested readers can enjoy a free subscription trial until December 1. They will send you a weekly email notice when each new book summary is available. Then when it's most convenient for you, you can login and read the summary, download and print it, or download the audio version to your iPod (coming soon). Plus, you are eligible for a one-year subscription at $100, a 15% discount from the established price.

If you decide to subscribe, be sure to mention my blog as your referring source!

All bloggers on this tour

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two Degrees to the First USO in Iraq
I saw the coolest news story this morning. Linda Robinson, a local woman whose son served in Iraq a few years ago, just returned from a year's service in Iraq. She spent the year using her creative and organizational skills to start up the first USO center in the war zone. Read about it here.

Why do I say "two degrees"? In the spirit of "six degrees to Kevin Bacon," I'm just two degrees from this USO. Linda happens to be one of my coauthors who helped write Women's Retreats: A Creative Planning Guide. I have not seen her in a few years and had no idea of this USO project until I saw the news clip. Way cool!

Speaking of the military, I have to give a public shout out to Captain Brian Anderson and his bride of 9 years, my dear friend Erin. Brian returned last week after serving a six-month tour in Afghanistan. I took my kids to join Erin and her family as we welcomed him home at Love Field in Dallas. I've seen news stories of these airport reunions, but nothing compares to watching it in person. Especially when they are your own friends, and you've watched them struggle day by day to keep faith, stay strong, endure with a smile, and teach their kids about faithfulness through their own example. Erin is as much a hero to me as Brian is. Thank you both!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Interrupting this Program...Humor on the Campaign Trail

Showcasing their speechwriters' comedic talents, McCain and Obama roasted each other at a much-anticipated memorial dinner Thursday night--one night after slamming each other in their third and final debate. The speeches are truly funny, especially to those who follow the campaigns somewhat closely. Have a watch:

Who do you think is funnier?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thoughts from the MOPS Convention

Last weekend I attended the MOPS convention with 7 friends from my local group. Great fun--lots of girl time, decent sleep, shopping and networking opportunities. Mostly, though, we heard from a number of intriguing, thought-provoking speakers. I've posted my musings regarding one of the primary topics on which the convention focused--Do Mommies get to pursue their dreams even during the MOPS years? The article can be found at my other, ministry blog here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Bible Versions--What To Do?

Ever wonder what version of the Bible is the "best" one to read? There are so many to choose from! All those initials look like degrees you might stick after your name: KJV, ESV, NET, NIV, NRSV, TEV, NASB... How does a Bible readers know which one will provide the most accurate translation, the most elegant prose, the most solid scholarship, and the easiest text for memorization?

Dr. Dan Wallace, Greek professor and recognized expert in the field of Greek grammar, shares his thoughts on the best option, specifically comparing the NIV, ESV, and NET Bibles. If you've ever debated which version to buy, take a look at his discussion.

Then, share in the comments which version you prefer, and why.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's All in Who You Know

I've been leading a group of women at FBC McKinney through a study of Colossians this semester. We are using my friend Sandi's book Cappuccino With Colossians as our guide. Halfway through now, the women have expressed excitement over how this study has challenged them to dig deep, to consider context and history and word connotations while they work through the passage.

Yesterday, Sandi drove an hour from her home to McKinney in order to visit this class and serve as guest teacher. The women were delighted to meet THE AUTHOR (it's all in who you know, right?). They were even more impressed to hear her teach on "The Other 'S' Word" -- submission. It really was the topic we were covering in our lesson, so she tackled it courageously and eloquently. (I particularly enjoyed her stick figure drawings on the white board--a head and body, a bodyless head, headless body, head plus an org chart... :) You had to be there...)

More than introducing my friend Sandi to my new friends at FBC, I enjoyed watching the group engage, ask questions, check their notes, furrow their brows, scribble in their study book, smile and say "Ah-ha!" They were really getting into it. I had forgotten the excitement generated when women go deep with their Bibles. When they dig, question, discover, and apply truths they'd previously never known existed in a given text.

It gives me ideas for next week...