Sunday, May 28, 2017

What I Read- May 2017

If each book I read is a world to explore, a place to travel, and an adventure to have, well, I sure traveled a lot this month! Ancient Persia, Greece, and Europe on the brink of World War Two. Won't you join me for my "debrief" from all the places I explored this month? ;)

Xerxes (Morgan Llywelyn)

Xerxes

The first world I explored this month was the world of Ancient Persia through the eyes of the great king Xerxes I (Also known as Ahasureus from the book of Esther). It was a very informative biography and talked about what life would have been like for Xerxes as he grew up and gave a great description of the battles that he lost to the Greeks.

Vienna Prelude (Bodie Thoene)

Vienna Prelude

Next stop: Europe, just before World War Two. The main Character, Elisa Linder/Lindheim is a half-Jewish girl escaping Nazi takeover with false papers in Vienna. She plays violin with an orchestra that is made up of mostly Jews...but none of them know her true identity. She meets an American journalist named John Murphy who warns her that the Nazis will not stop with Germany, but will come to Austria. She refuses to believe that it will happen...at first. When she finally realizes that John in right, she gets them both involved in the secret network helping to rescue Jewish children.

D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths

Greek myths

Now entering...the Ancient Greek Empire. This book was full of fascinating and weird myths from Ancient Greece. The things these people believed are just plain weird! :)  The gods and goddesses are just humans with super powers. And the myths are full of jealousy, wrath, murder, gossip, lies, and much more. Every time I finished a myth, I would say "The Greeks actually believed this?"
Anyway, it was a fascinating book! (AND the pictures were appropriate. If you have ever studied Ancient Greece, you know that the statues and pictures of statues are sometimes...um...questionable!)

The Ides of April (Mary Ray)

ides of april

My final world to explore was the suspense- and mystery-filled world of Ancient Rome. This book opens just before the master of a rich home in Rome is murdered...and it looks like the slaves are at fault! The slave Hylas manages to escape arrest. He ends up asking the Emperor (Nero) himself for help to prove that the slaves didn't do it. In the process, he uncovers a plot his master had been involved in to kill the Emperor.


I have found this to be true this month.....

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Thought About God's Love

As I was typing another draft of my research paper on malaria (whose idea was that? Oh wait...mine!!!), a thought crossed my mind that I would like to share. No, I won't bore you and share my entire research paper on malaria. :)

My paper is on the need for a better treatment and cure for malaria. For those of you who don't know what malaria is, it is a deadly parasite-borne disease of the blood. So far, no effective treatment and cure has been found for malaria, although scientists are experimenting with promising vaccines.

Anyway, that being said, here is my thought about God's love:

Because of sin, there are diseases like cancer, malaria, typhoid, small pox, etc. But God, in his love and faithfulness, gave us the ability to research and discover cures and treatments for these deadly diseases. Also, if someone is a believer, they know that if they die, whether from a disease or some other cause, they will see their creator face to face and there will be no more sickness or pain!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What I Read- April 2017

Yes, I know that is six days into May. Sorry. I apologize profusely and I promise that I read last month.

Only two books though. But they are both really good books.

The Insanity of God (Nik Ripken)
Insanity of God

I wanted to write  a separate blog post about this book, but I restrained myself. But it was SO good and SO convicting...
This is one of those books where you are totally sucked in from chapter one. If you are a reader, you know what I mean. It is one of those books that you just can't put down.
On the other hand, it is also one of those books where you experience so many mixed emotions that you don't know what to do when you reach the end. It is one of those books that you get to the end and you close the book and say (maybe out loud) "What now?"
When I finished, I said, "Something about the way I live out my faith needs to change...but what?"

It describes the personal journey of faith for one man, Nik Ripken, and in the process tells the stories of many persecuted believers- believers who experience persecution "like the sun coming up in the east". It makes me want to meet these people and hear their stories in person. And it makes me wonder how I can live a life like theirs- because they have REAL, ACTIVE faith!
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to you.

(Side note: In my opinion, the best quote in the book was this one: "Perhaps the question should not be: 'Why are others persecuted?' Perhaps the better question is: 'Why are we [in America] not?'" [page 311])

The Golden Braid (Melanie Dickerson)
Golden braid

This is the sixth book in a series of fairytale rewrites. It is set in Medieval Germany. This particular book is based on the story of Rapunzel. It was easy to figure out...the main character is Rapunzel, and her 'mother' is Gothel.
Anyway, Rapunzel grows up under the strict control of "mother." "Mother" won't let her wear her hair uncovered, talk to men, or sing in public. Anytime a man begins to show interest in her, "Mother" moves them to another village.
Eventually, she meets a man named Gerek who agrees to teach her to read. (That is another thing "mother" won't let her do) She secretly learns to read German and begins to learn Latin, but then "mother" finds out. Rapunzel ends up working as a maid in the castle of Duke Wilhelm, where she discovers that she is actually the long-lost daughter of Duke Wilhelm and his wife Rose and was kidnapped as a child by "Mother" Gothel!
Yes, she ends up in a tower, and yes, she is saved because of her long golden hair. She ends up marrying Gerek, and it is happily ever after. :)

Have you read anything good recently? I'm always looking for suggestions...if you have ideas, post them in the comments! :)

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