Thursday, February 15, 2007

valentine's day Some jokingly call it National Single's Awareness Day. But, living in Taiwan, I don't really have the full impact of the holiday like those of you in America do. Sure people know it is V-day, and yes young dating couples will go out tonight, but I am not reminded everywhere I go that I am alone once more on a lover's holiday. Last year, I took a personal retreat right at this time. It was such a good experience I decided to make it an annual tradition. This year, however, things will be a little different. I leave tomorrow morning to another country for a little over a week, so I am spending V-day cleaning and packing. I do hope though that I get to spend some of my time in the other country alone with God, reflecting on the past and praying about the future. It is only a focus on God, the lover of my soul, on days like this that allow me to keep going. By focusing on Him and His grace, on Him and His work in my life, on Him and Him alone can I prevent days like today from becoming pity parties. Because I promise you, on days like today the enemy is actively whispering in my ear lies of deceit. And the only way to ward off the envy and self-pity is to take my eyes off of me and what I don't have and place them on Him, all that He is, and begin to count my blessings. And remember: "don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life" (the Message's paraphrase of part of 1 Corthians 7). I wish all of you a very Happy Valentines Day!!
I've been lost in the 1600's In addition to going to the beach, another thing I love about winter vacation is that I have time to read for pleasure. I have time to really get lost in a book--not just read a few pages before going to sleep. Reading is a love that has been passed down to me from my grandparents and my parents. I am in all sense of the word a bibliophile. Most recently, I've been lost in 17th century England walking alongside the Puritans as they suffer from persucuition and struggle to surrive. I enjoy reading biographies and historical fiction. And, one of the best authors of Christian historical fiction is Jack Cavanaugh. I read his Book of Book Series on Bible translation a few winters ago. A member of the Church my dad pastors sent me Beyond the Sacred Page and Glimpses of Truth . I was sad when I finished reading these two books because I learned they were the only two in the series. They were so well written and I enjoyed them so much, I wanted to read more about the history of the English Bible and its various translations. In fact, just thinking about them makes me want to read them again--but I've long given them away to others to read and enjoy. Anyway, when I was home this summer, on a whim, I bought the first book in Cavanaugh's first series--The American Family Portrait Series--The Puritans . I recently read and finished the novel, and I was not disappointed at all! It is a fantabulous book! Thankfully, this time the series consists of eight books. Each book tracing a generation of the same family through American history. I was surprised that over 3/4ths of The Puritans takes place in England, but it is true that The Puritans lived there first before becoming The Colonists. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, so I can continue reading about the fate of the Morgan family and their faith. Do you have a fave historial fiction book or author you reccomend?

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