If you want to escape to a village where a modern-age Jane Austen would set a story, you will enjoy Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera’s The Awakening of Miss Prim. Here you will find characters with Victorian-era ideals whose match-making interferes with the independent Prudencia Prim. This is a story that will not leave you.
Books by Ralph Fletcher: As I am preparing for another year of home school, I have been reading many of Ralph Fletcher’s books of poetry for children. Have You Been to the Beach Lately?, Moving Day, Relatively Speaking are excellent examples of his storytelling through theme and poetry. I am looking forward to studying his poems and writing style with my kids this school year.
Amy Elizabeth Smith’s memoir of her sabbatical provides insight into much-loved Jane Austen classics through several organized and ad hoc book clubs in six Latin American countries. Like the author, I had many assumptions about what her journey would be. No doubt, we are both glad we were wrong! I absolutely loved “traveling” these roads, especially with my own book club!
In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon: Of all the books my son and I read this year, we agree this is our favorite. It generated great discussion. A must read for anyone who has asked “What would Jesus do?”
The Chaplain by Maurice Russell: Maurice Russell’s debut semi-biographical novel tells of a chaplain’s faith and personal struggles even as he ministers to others. A compelling read!
A Jane Austen Devotional: This devotional is a gem! Each lesson contains a passage from one of Jane Austen’s classics, applicable insights, and powerful scriptures. Highly recommend it!
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them.Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of God: “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, I will deliver them into your hands.”
So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand.” So that place was called Baal Perazim.The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire.
Once more the Philistines raided the valley; so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, “Do not go directly after them, but circle around them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
I smiled when I saw the statement from A Jane Austen Devotional the day after I lost an hour of sleep because of the time change. But, I can attest that a good night’s sleep makes all the difference when facing a new day of decisions. I love the reminder in Blackaby’s book because a solution from the previous day cannot always be applied to now. Every decision requires calling out to God as David did in Psalms 4 and in 1 Chronicles 14:8-16. Notice how God simply says “Go, I will deliver them into your hands” the first time, but in essence says, “Wait! I want you to climb these poplar trees until you hear them coming. Then attack.” Like David, I need to remember that some days God says “go” and other times He says “wait.” He may say, “I’ve got this one.” Or He may tell me, “Do this first. It may not make sense, and you may not think you can do it. But, if you follow my instructions, you will know what to do when the time comes.” Either way, no matter the season of life or time of the day, I need to be ready to surrender my plans, even if it means resting in the boughs of a poplar tree.
“By biblical standards, reverencing a pastor means honoring him with your words, actions, and thoughts; encouraging, praying for, and building him up. But most important…a pastor is an important advocate, a shepherd who helps guide us in our walk with Christ.” A Jane Austen Devotional
I am posting these references to reverencing our church leaders a day early. As I read them today, they reminded me to pray for my pastor before Sunday’s sermon. They prompted me to pray for my church and the churches of family and friends. They challenged me to pray for leaders within other denominations, especially for discernment for those choosing the papal successor. May God be glorified through “those who spread the Message” and “those who believe the Message”!