A Needed Reminder – Review of Onward

onward Book InformationOnward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel

Author – Russell Moore

Publication Information – B&H Publishing (2015, $24.99 hardback, $6.29 digital)

Reading Challenge book? Yes. This is my “Book with the word ‘gospel’ in the title.”

“The culture of the kingdom is not a projection of our lives now onto eternity, but instead the reverse: a vision of a new creation that breaks us and prepares us for our inheritance by patterning us, now, after the life of creation’s heir: Jesus himself. With a kingdom vision, we realize that the priorities of this present world system are different from those of the age to come.”
– Russell Moore

Onward won Christianity Today’s Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year for 2015, and upon reading it, I could understand why. The author is Southern Baptist and I am a reformed Presbyterian, so we may disagree on nonessentials, but when it comes to the priority of the gospel message, Moore nails it. His love of Christ and the Word shines through in every chapter of this book. Continue reading

Review of The Lifegiving Home

lifegivinghome Book InformationThe Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming

Authors – Sally Clarkson and Sarah Clarkson

Publication Information – Tyndale Momentum (February 2016, $15.99 print, $8.57 digital)

Reading Challenge Book? No.

“As I do all of this, I am aware of the Kingdom coming. As I order and hope, fill and form, the Holy Spirit is renewing one more corner of the world. Here, in my room, the fallen stuff of broken earth is being formed back into love, into home.

There’s no place like it.”

– Sarah Clarkson, The Lifegiving Home


It is no exaggeration to say that I have been longing to read this book since I first learned of its impending release. I stalked it on Netgalley to no avail, and finally pounced on release day.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one waiting. Our local Lifeway sold out the day the book was released.

So, was it worth it?  Well, the short answer is yes.  This book is exactly the sort of resource for homemaking (home culture, really) that I have wanted for many years. There are many good books on there that touch on how to keep an orderly home, a clean home, a well-planned home where your kids won’t run feral, and so on. However, books on the real heart of a Christian home are few and far between. Continue reading

From My Library: Home Comforts

homecomfortsBook InformationHome Comforts

Author – Cheryl Mendelson

Publisher – Scribner (2005 – $22.00 print, $16.00 digital)

This book is one that I go back to again and again, and I’ve given it as a wedding gift to more friends than I can count.  I’m not a born homemaking maven and I’m not one of those women who loves cleaning, but this book has been a valuable tool in helping me keep house.  More importantly, it has done much to help me make our house a home.

Home Comforts is not a book that I’d recommend reading from cover to cover all at once. It’s pretty much an encyclopedia of home keeping, and it’s the kind of thing that you will find yourself pulling off the shelf again and again whenever you forget something your mother taught you or simply come across some new conundrum.  Not sure how to remove stains?  Oh boy, will Mendelson teach you how to remove just about any stain!  That includes all the crazy messes that come with infants and toddlers.  We inherited a cream colored throw rug, and a tip from this book actually worked for getting strained beets out of it (don’t ask.) Continue reading

From My Library: The Honorable Imposter

honorableimposterBook Information- The Honorable Imposter

Author – Gilbert Morris

Publisher – Bethany House (1986, $4.99 digital only; secondhand print copies still readily available)

Those of us who grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s may remember this book. The House of Winslow series was a popular one in just about every Christian household I knew. Telling the story of a family’s faith and history over many generations, the series stretched over 40 books to take the Winslows from colonial America into the 20th century. The books were immensely popular and went through several editions.  Currently, they are not available in print (though copies are easy to find), but you can still buy the digital edition.

I still have almost all the books, and I moved them from home to school, then back home and then off with us when I married.  My husband and I moved a few months ago into what I hope will be our forever house out in the country, and when I came across The Honorable Imposter one day while unpacking, I had to give it a nostalgia read. Continue reading

From My Library: Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross

jesuskeepme I’m not Catholic, but in my parents’ home and in the reformed(Presbyterian) church I attended until I married, I grew up with a keen appreciation for the passing of the seasons and the celebrations of the church year. And this time of year, as we’ve entered the Lenten season, I find myself growing more contemplative. It’s a wintry time of examination but also of anticipation for the Resurrection.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross is a book I pull out to read during Lent every year. It’s a fabulous anthology edited by Nancy Guthrie. Just as a side note, I have to say that I have really enjoyed all of Nancy Guthrie‘s work that I’ve read so far. As a teacher, she really helps to point me to God and Christ, and I value that. She’s definitely on my short list of folks I would love to have a chance to hear speaking in person.

This particular book is an anthology of essays and sermons, from a variety of time periods. Authors represented range from Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards to more modern teachers such as R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, and J. Ligon Duncan, III. My childhood pastor is even represented here. Continue reading