Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is the face...

...of my sweet first born child.
...of a child "in training".
...of a child who is quickly entering the tweenage years and beginning to discover who she is.
...of a child who I am so, so proud of.
...of the face of honesty and integrity.

As a parent of young children, the days can sometimes be long and challenging. Repeating myself over and over and hoping that it somehow soaks in and wondering if this child looking back into my eyes will actually make it in this big, scary world...

We are raising our children in a Christian home, trying to get them to understand and accept that the world is not always in line with what we believe, what we hold true and our version of right and wrong. However, in the midst of what others think or believe or do, we can stand firm in our beliefs and act accordingly. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this is easier said than done. I mean, seriously, don't we all struggle with this, even as adults? It's much easier to "blend in" than to take a stand. We are a culture of choosing the comfortable.

I just have to share this story as an encouragement to any parent who might read this. The training is rigorous and monotonous, complete with ups and downs. However, when something like this happens, it is all worth it. We definitely don't get it right every day, but the beauty of night rolling into day is a new start, a chance to make this day better than the one before. And so, we press on...

...bring (your children) up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

My sweet Em attended a sleepover on Friday. She has a fantastic group of friends and they love, love, love their time together. Thanks to the temporary insanity of another mom, Em had the opportunity to spend the night with these giggly, enthusiastic girls. Upon my arrival to pick Em up, the host mom shared with me that the girls were set to watch a movie last night. When Em learned of the title and rating, she let her friends know that she's not allowed to watch this particular movie. She opted to play outside of the room, and one of her great friends volunteered to join her.

As I was listening to this story, I didn't know whether to scream with joy or cry. I can tell you that I'm overflowing with pride and admiration for my girl who stood up for what she believed was right. It would have been much easier to go along with the plan, not saying anything, and save herself from any possible embarrassment. However, she opted to do the right thing. (Hallelujah!) What a great lesson for our family today. Doing the right thing is ok, true friends don't make fun, and feelings of guilt are avoided.

We are so proud of you, Em! What an amazing young lady you are becoming! You are a blessing to us and so many others!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: "The Jesus Inquest" by Charles Foster

(Click on the image to link to Amazon's website.)

I couldn't wait to receive this book in the mail. From the moment I read the brief description of its contents, I was hooked.

"The Jesus Inquest" by
Charles Foster is written as a debate between two characters: X and Y. While X is defending the non-Christian view of the resurrection of Christ, Y is presenting the Christian view of the same event. While the reader might anticipate the entire work is a heated debate, X and Y actually share common ground throughout the presented case while also qualifying the differing points of view.

As a Christian reading this novel, I was set to find character X's points easily dismissed. However, I surprisingly learned a great deal from X's presentations. Through Foster's intense research, scholarly influences and first-hand knowledge of courtroom proceedings, "The Jesus Inquest" is masterfully written. It is not a quick read or easy read and will take extra time to complete and process.

On a side note, Foster states, and I agree, faith is not necessary to be challenged by this book.

This book was provided to me by Book Sneeze for the purposes of review.