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What I’m Reading and Loving

I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, and I can only imagine how true this is for people who have little ones to tend to from dawn to dusk, and then probably, still, from dusk to dawn. I got the slightest taste of this today when I took three of my favorite six children in all of Nashville over to my house for a fun snow day – even though there was no snow (from this winter on I shall start referring to them as “flake days” maybe). At any rate, I got no writing done. I got no reading done. How could I when there were shoes to tie and games of Hangman to play; when The Incredible Mr. Limpet was playing in my living room? I wouldn’t trade the day for anything, but if I had  – absolutely had – to trade it for a day of reading, this is what I’d have in my hands…

First off, Mark Batterson’s new book Primal: Recovering The Lost Soul Of Christianity. I’m almost done and it is a must-read. (My dad is an amazing guy and has pastored for over 35 years and read more books than I can imagine; he puts Primal in his top five.) Here is why I love it as well: This book shows the reality of the Gospel, it doesn’t just talk about it or define it.

You can tell from Mark’s stories and humility that Jesus is making an enormous impact on him personally, in his multiple congregation locations in D.C. and across the world. I don’t know what your soul is longing for right now, but mine is desperate to see Jesus alive and active in my life and the lives of those around me. And, yes, I do see Him in many ways, but I’m always so encouraged and impassioned when I encounter first-hand, or read about, people who are experiencing him undeniably. Mark does not give us a hard to digest, how-to book. He brings us back to the basic, yet unfathomable, command of Jesus to love Him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Have I sold you?

Second book I am finding equally powerful is Dallas Willard’s, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings On Discipleship. I am devouring this book for much the same reasons I am loving Primal, mainly because it is all about having a real, life-consuming relationship with Jesus. Not just having Him as a religious side-dish. It’s about the truth and transformation of being an apprentice of Jesus’s, and loving others enough to teach them about who He is and how He calls us to live: Life to the fullest.

Okay, so these are my two faves right now. The big question is “What Are You Reading And Loving?” (When the kids are asleep, of course.)

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Cranford Series

Okay, so has anyone caught the Cranford Series which originally aired on the BBC and most recently on Masterpiece Theatre? It is true I never thought that a) I would be doing anything even remotely close to writing a blog and b) if I were to do something like, say blog, I never thought it would include the words Masterpiece and Theatre. But, let me tell you, I have absolutely loved this series! (Based on the original book by Elizabeth Gaskill).

Now, if you are into faced paced, quick cuts, high intensity, this is not the mini-series for you. But if you are into exquisite writing, compelling acting and moving storylines you will love this. I so enjoyed slowing down and entering the simple but intensely profound and rich lives of the 1800’s. The language and vocabulary were stretching and the weaving of lives inspiring. Plus, the personalities and dynamics of the women are just too perfect. The whole thing made me want to drink more tea and maybe – just maybe – wear a bonnet at some point in my life.

Just thought I would share something that was – trying desperately to think of another word besides ‘wholesome’ – incredibly wholesome (ahhh, there’s just not another word), while not sacrificing storyline, plot or acting. Rent this series if you’re up for it!

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Important Ruth Study Update (Part II)

We just got several studies into the www.kellyminter.com store today so feel free to order from there. If you have a particularly large order, email us at info@livingroomseries and we will help you get what you need as soon as possible. Thanks! -April

Hey Everyone. Just wanted to give you all an update on the Ruth Study since we have been getting so many inquiries. It is currently out of stock but we should have plenty available in the next week or so. We are so sorry for this inconvenience and would love to help those beginning the study by sending you the first two weeks in a PDF file so you can stay on track. If this would be of help to you, please email us at info@livingroomseries.com and we’ll email it to you right away.

As well, if you’re looking for the study please check with your local LifeWay Store because many of the stores still have plenty of copies.

Also, we’ve still got some Ruth CD’s. So if you’re in need of those you can order from the store or download from iTunes. Thanks everyone and please let us know if we can send you the first two weeks of Ruth via email.

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For Haiti

I John 3:16-18, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

I woke up with the flu this morning. It seems my attempts at healthy and whole eating have momentarily failed me. My friend ran to the grocery store before 10:00 AM to get me juice and graham crackers (sometimes you just have a hankering for one thing and one thing only). “Are you sure you don’t mean saltines?” she replied. Hmmm… “Nope, graham crackers it shall be.”

We are so dialed in here in America. A slight fever and I’ve got 40,000 choices of drinks, snacks, restaurants, soups… all the while, thousands of God’s creation have died or are dying in the rubble, and I truly have no idea what to do with this knowledge. I can make no reconciliation here, simply I can cling to this passage in I John that doesn’t explain, it only tells: this is what love is that we lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters. That we give out of our immense options and poverty to those who are in desperate need.


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