Saturday, June 10, 2006

First Week of Camp

The real point of this post is not about books for once, but to document the first week of Camp OUTT (which stands for Opening Up to Truth) -- the day camp I am running this month out of my church. We had a really great first week! Our team of staff was really united, and I think the kids are already impacted by the love we have given them. We mostly have unsaved and/or unchurched kids (there are a few exceptions). Most of them are from broken homes, some of which are pretty terrible.

Of course, we have had a handful of discipline problems, but far less than you would imagine. Please pray for a boy who I will call Leo. He is bipolar, and from the roughest background. He is only 8, and can switch to a very violent temper pretty quickly. He prayed to be saved with one of the counselors this week, but it is hard to know how real that might have been (though he did initiate the conversation!). He has been battling with his will and anger since then, and I have been encouraged by his breakthroughs. When you are dealing with kids who have never had ANY discipline in life before, you really have to train them to think totally differently! That is a long road to haul. Hopefully, next week I will post a couple of pictures.

I am a little stiff, sunburned and sore in my muscles that I haven't used in a while, but overall filled with great peace about all of our efforts this week. It is such a blessing to pour out every minute of each day as an offering to the Lord -- so satisfying to utterly use up your resources and strength serving Him!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Happy Anniversary, Josh and Gretchen!

I convinced my husband to let me post a picture on my blog! This is an appropriate one of us together, even though it was kind of a while ago (Thanksgiving), because we just got back from celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary! Josh offered to take me to a REALLY good Italian place, even though pasta isn't his favorite (yet he got pasta, and I got a salad and bread). Josh is so selfless and generous to me, and it is wonderful to reflect on how we have grown together in Jesus these past years!

Guess what we bought for ourselves on our anniversary? You got it, books! We bought The Civil War by Shelby Foote, but only volume 2 and 3. That was all they had on the clearance rack at Barnes and Noble, but we saved a total of $80 off the cover price! :) Those will have to go on my next years' reading list, because they are FAR too long for this year (I am trying to read 100 books I have never read this year, so far I have finished 51. But that's another post).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Da Vinci No-Brainer

I read The Da Vinci Code over the holiday weekend, so I feel the need to write a review of the bestseller on my blog. I so dislike discussing books that I did not enjoy, because it takes more time than it is worth, but I must be totally honest!

I don't claim to be a genius, or the most well-read person around, but characters of this book were so thin and the plot so obvious, that I had to deduce that this book sold millions of copies based solely on its controversial subject matter. The author, Dan Brown did nothing to endear the reader to his hero and heroine, at least not in my opinion (but that may be because I read so many children's books, and half the point of those is to make the reader LOVE the main characters).

I cannot imagine that a Christian who truly has a thriving relationship with his Lord could in any way be shaken by the fallacies presented as "fact" in this novel, but the content that I most have issue with is the pagan religion so advocated by the characters (and thus the author). I have never seen an addiction to sexuality so cleverly disguised as something wholesome -- even as worship. Brown constantly explains symbols found all around -- in nature, in architecture, in art -- as all representing some body part, or the "worship" of the woman's body and her ability to reproduce. It was disgusting!

The main benefit of this book (at least from the author/publisher's standpoint) is that I now am curious about the movie. I just couldn't picture dear Tom Hanks as the role of Robert Langdon, so I guess I will go see it!

Finally, here are a few questions I would love to discuss with someone else who may have read the book (or seen the movie, I guess).

1. Why didn't Sophie's grandfather raise her to believe in his religion? He was obviously devoted to it-- the Grand Master. She is so clueless about EVERYTHING he believed in!
2. Why does a religion devoted to the "sacred feminine" have almost ONLY male Grand Masters through history? If woman is so divine, she should pretty much always be the one in control, huh?
3. Why are many people in history who believe in goddess worship homosexuals, as the author tells us? If the whole point of those pagan beliefs are the balance of man and woman, the yin and yang, the chalice and the blade, then why would those people live their lives in this unbalanced way?

Please post if you know what I'm talking about! :)