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This is our last study on impacting the heart in mentoring and mothering — I know there is so much more that could be said, but we will end with a list of resources (with comments from our own Elizabeth) to help you through the summer, particularly as a mother and a mentor of children. Because this is a holiday weekend, and the video is long, I’m giving you two weeks to complete it. Then, in June, we begin our summer study!

I want to close with a story about friendship and how that can impact the heart. Studies reveal we become like the five people to whom we are closest — and that is true from childhood on.


I watched both our sons go through a time of rebellion in their teens, influenced, in part, by a poor choice of friends. When Sally (our third) came along I prayed and did what I could when she was little to encourage friendships with children from strong families.  When she was in elementary school a group of mothers and their daughters met for breakfast weekly before school to study and pray. How thankful we were for their friendships, for they did help one another face the rapids of immorality in high school together with strength. When they were in their last year of high school they had done a Bible study on Esther together and were impressed with this woman who took such a courageous stand, being willing to perish to rescue her people. (As Keller would point out, she was willing to risk perishing for her people, but Christ actually did perish to rescue His people.)

perish12These girls decided they would follow Esther’s model to try to reach their public high school peers for Christ. They fasted their lunches and prayed for wisdom, as Esther had fasted for wisdom. At the end of the week they heard that Campus Crusade (now CRU) was bringing the Jesus movie to our little Nebraska city. This movie had been melting hearts all around the world.

live-jesus-filmThe girls decided they would draw straws and whoever drew the shortest straw would, like Esther, go to the “king” (the principal of the high school, Dr. Kenagy) and ask if they could host a showing of the Jesus Movie in the high school auditorium on a Saturday and put up posters in the halls and flyers on the cars. Sally drew the shortest straw. They also decided that she should go and make an appointment, but not talk to Dr. Kenagy immediately, but make him wait while they continued to pray, just as Esther had made the king wait. So, Sally went to Dr. Kenagy on that Friday and asked if she could make an appointment the next Monday to talk to him. He said, “I”m free right now, Sally, sit down and tell me what is on your mind.”

She said, “I can’t tell you yet. I need to tell you on Monday.”

He raised his eyebrows in question, but then laughed.”Okay, Sally — come in first thing Monday.”

When Sally came home and told me their plan, I was filled with doubts and fears. I really doubted a public high school principal would support this, even though it was legal. And I feared for the girls’ faith. Sally read my body language and told me she thought God would work in his heart — for he was much nicer than Xerxes. I knew enough to be quiet and pray.

Yet I never anticipated what would happen next. God amazed me. That weekend Sally and Dr. Kenagy’s daughter Katie were supposed to sing in their Madrigal choir at an event in Lincoln, Ne.

sally madrigals
Katie Kenagy, 2nd row, fourth from left Sally Brestin, front row, second from right

Sally went to Lincoln the night before to stay with her brother and sister-in-law and to buy a prom dress. But she forgot her black madrigal dress. So she called Katie, the principal’s daughter, and her friend, and asked her if she and her dad could stop by the choir room and bring it to her. They agreed to do so.

However, the next morning it was snowing, and in their rush to get going a bit early, they forgot Sally’s dress.  Sally wore her “green prom dress” instead. She said, “Everyone kept expecting me to step out and do a little solo, which I never did.”

Dr. Kenagy left three messages on our answering machine, apologizing for the embarrassment Sally was caused, and it was evident he felt so badly.

On Monday, when Sally walked into his office, he said, “Whatever you want Sally — it’s yours.”

Flyers went on the cars, posters in the hall, and a hundred students came, with many trusting Christ and then being discipled in small groups. God moved — all I had to do was stay out of the way. And the girls never forgot it — their hearts were melted by God’s grace.

A footnote to this story is that this spring I gave a retreat in Omaha where Katie Kenagy was the M. C. It filled my heart with joy to see what a strong woman of God she has become. In high school she was just budding, and I didn’t even know she was a believer, but oh the fruit I saw that weekend. I asked permission to share this story and she said “Yes!” She laughed, “Whoever thought that God would use my forgetfulness in such a mighty way!”


1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Week One (Memorial Day Week)

Proverbs for Moms and Mentors

2. Read Proverbs 1:1-19

A. What can the wisdom of Proverbs do, even for the simple, even for the young, according to verses 1-4?

B.  What is the beginning of knowledge, according to verse 7?

C. Tim Keller differentiates between bad fear and good fear — and gives the example of how you feel in the presence of one your greatly revere and long to please. How do you fear the Lord?

D.  What warning is given to “sons” and why in verses 10-19? What lies of the enemy does this uncover?

E.   Pray for the children and teens you love now in light of the above passage.

3. What metaphor is used in Proverbs 27:17? How have you experienced this?

4. What ideas do you have for the mother who longs for her children to have godly friends? For yourself to have godly friends?

5. What warning is given in 1 Corinthians 15:33?

Bad Company5543f967ee424043d750cb4bf96931e56. Pray now for the children you love in regard to the above warning. Pray for yourself too.


Week 2: (Beginning May 31)

Panel on Parenting from The Gospel Coalition

Some-of-My-Best-Friends-Are-Books-SmallSunday Icebreaker:

1. Books are great friends — so I want you to recommend three you have loved: One that changed your life, One great but edifying beach read, and One you love for children: And tell why in a sentence!

Here are mine:

Changed my life: I am so in need of giving grace to others. Paradigm changing for me.What's So Amazing About Grace



Great beach read: Each Christmas I list my top three books of the year. This is my top so far, and I can’t imagine fiction getting better. She’s a  Pulitzer Prize Winner for her book Gilead. Exquisite writing. Interesting in particular to Presbyterians. Wonderful character development. Favorite quote so far: “Papa always said we don’t need to understand to forgive, we need to forgive to understand.”


One I love for children: Life is hard — and we have to go through it, but Jesus will be with us. I add that application. And google the video on this to do it with your kids!

going-on-a-bear-hunt-bugabookYour turn:

Changed My Life:

Great Beach Read:

For Children or Teens:



At the end of this panel they list books for teaching children, which our Elizabeth wrote down and commented on herself. It follows this video — you may want to copy and keep for shopping or inter-library loan.


7. Share your notes and comments:


The following our the resources they mentioned, with great comments from Elizabeth.


Big Truths for Little Kids (catechisms built in to the stories)-Susan Hunt;

We used this is 1st grade Sunday school—it takes the catechisms and puts them in simple short stories, questions at the end. Good for preschool to probably 1st.

Big Truths for Young Hearts (Bruce Ware)—”bedtime theology”

This is great material but just a little long and wordy for us. It says ages 9 and up, but I would say older—the chapters are long, it can get dry.

The Action Bible (comics-style Bible book, lots of graphics); also audio and devotional

Have this in ebook—a little weird to me, its really comic-style, maybe certain boys? Not so much us.

The Gospel Project Curriculum

We use this at Church, really solid curriculum for Sunday school.

Desiring God Kids curriculum

I’ve downloaded pieces of their stuff online—was actually about to get one on God’s Names—tons of good resources on that website.

The Big Storybook Bible

Not sure if they meant “Big Picture Story Bible”—I have a copy, its “ok”-? Just not my favorite for a storybook (of course I’m partial to Jesus Storybook Bible!)

The Children’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos

We love this one—you probably have it? I used it all summer for devotional time—it really keeps the detail and accuracy but is almost Message-style easy to read. I like it for the heavy Old Testament stories

Jesus Story Book Bible (SLJ)

( still my top favorite

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (SLJ)

Really still love this one too—so short, but always good devotions, great for a quick morning thought)

Show Them Jesus (Jack Klumpenhower)

Don’t have it—looks great.

Give Them Grace (Fitzpatrick)

It’s good, didn’t get a whole lot new from it, but some eye openers—like “pharisee princess”

Exploring Grace Together (Jessica Thompson )

I really like this one, surprised me. It is short daily devotions, really takes gospel truths and applies to real-life kid scenarios. Elementary to middle school.

Answering your kids toughest questions (Elyse and Jessica)

Don’t have this one.

Also–We have been using  Long Story Short (he also wrote Short Story Long) by Marty Machowski for nightly devotions for about a year—its really solid, very gospel-centered.

I also really like Long Story Short & Short Story Long—Marty Machowski, was surprised they didn’t mention it.


8. What is your take-a-way and why?


Next week we begin the summer study — I’ll send out an e-mail you can forward to friends!

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    Life changing I have a few but would have to say “From Prison to Praise”  by Merlin Carothers the book is based on the scripture ” Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. For this is Gods will for you 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
    Beach read I need to go to the beach:) As I believe Wanda shared I never read fiction. I just recently finished a coaching program with Leslie Vernick. She was so helpful! One of the topics I was wanting to discuss was my life being out of balance and much relating to work being too much. She suggested I read a fiction book and suggested “The Gift of Wings” I was not able to get the book at the library as it was on a long wait list and I chose not to buy it but I they had it on CD and I listened to it. It was wonderful to listen to. I am going to try and get more. As a child in school listening to a story each day from a chapter book was something I really enjoyed. I honestly do not know if I could have read it. One step at a time:)
    Children’s Book Growing up my favorite was the story of Helen Keller. It was the only book I ever remember reading for pleasure as a young person believe it or not! As a parent my favorite children’s book and it so made me cry the first tie I read it was “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. That book so touched my heart I am sure for many different reasons.

    1. CORRECTION The book was called “The invention of Wings” By Sue Monk Kidd  NOT the Gift of Wings

        1. Dee – I appreciate your warning about discernment with authors!  Soooo critical.  Though I haven’t read The Invention of Wings, it made me wonder if you have read Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior?  It is a biography of Hannah More – simply amazing!  

  2. 2. Read Proverbs 1:1-19
    A. What can the wisdom of Proverbs do, even for the simple, even for the young, according to verses 1-4?
    Even the simple can learn to be prudent from the wisdom of Proverbs. It means careful, good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks or skill and good judgment in the use of resources.  The young can get knowledge and discretion.
    B. What is the beginning of knowledge, according to verse 7?
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; a proper respect and reverence of God.
    C. Tim Keller differentiates between bad fear and good fear – and gives the example of how you feel in the presence of one you greatly revere and long to please. How do you fear the Lord?
    When I go down the wrong path, when I feel that bend in me that wants my own way or to do whatever I want, the wrong thinking/attitude is that I would be god of my life. Getting back the right perspective is for me to remember that there is only one God, and it isn’t me. He alone deserves honor, glory, worship, and to be served. But oh, how I enjoy being served. To repent of these wrong attitudes in my heart is one way to fear the Lord. And even though we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, I need to remember to Whom I am speaking.
    D. What warning is given to sons and why in verses 10-19? What lies of the enemy does this uncover?
    The first warning I see is for the son to not forsake his mother’s teaching. Then, the son is warned not to go along with sinners; this specific example seems to be of those who want to commit violence against the innocent – to rob and steal and perhaps even hurt someone. It may seem like a good plan and that he will get all sorts of valuable goods from it, but he is warned that hurting others is really hurting yourself and it brings destruction to your own life.
    The lies of the enemy are that you can get away with sin, nothing will happen to you, you won’t get caught or punished, and you’ll enjoy the things you have stolen.
    E. Pray for the children and teens you love now in light of the above passage.
    Oh God, I have two adult sons who spend more time now away from home than at home. I can’t be with them, watching them every minute. They are going to school, working, and every day presented with two paths to take. My young daughter who will also be entering the world of high-school will also be presented with two ways – Your way, or the world’s way. I pray that You would bring to their minds the truths that they do know from Your Word, and that Your Spirit will mercifully intervene to help them choose what is right. Help them not to be blinded by the lies of Satan who wants to deceive them and destroy them. Help them to live with integrity, discretion, and wisdom. Uncover the plots and schemes of the enemy and help them to consider the possible consequences of their choices. Even though their hearts are far from You, please draw them back and help them to see past the seeming fulfillment of what the world offers to really see how empty it all is if You are not regarded. I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    1. Lord I join Susan in this and pray this for my boys too. In your Powerful name, amen.

  3. 1. Books are great friends — so I want you to recommend three you have loved: One that changed your life, One great but edifying beach read, and One you love for children: And tell why in a sentence!

    A book that changed my life: COMPLETELY-#1! Hands downIdol Lies by Dee Brestin. Need I say more?  
    I had to add a 2nd book that didn’t transform my life like Idol Lies but transformed my view of my job in the kitchen. Work Matters by Tom Nelsonwho is one of our pastors.    I am joining with God doing his work in the world in the kitchen I work at giving my best in making and providing food for the teens He cares deeply about providing for. It isn’t loftier or more spiritual to ‘do His work’ in church than it is in a high school kitchen. 
    Great Beach read: I may have to come back to this one.
    One for Children: 
    Definitely kept my boys attention and stirred great conversations: Thoughts to make your heart sing. Loved this as our devotion before Dinner-impacted all my boys and it is easily adaptable. You can stay on the surface or go deeper with each devotion depending on how He leads.

  4. Jackie R!  Was out of replies to your mention of your daughter’s blood clot on the brain but wanted to say I’m so sorry you and she had to go through yet “one more thing” and Oh I am praying for her total recovery from that and for NO MORE! And, of course, that she will find the one TURE LOVER of her soul, Jesus! 

    1. Mary – your prayers for my daughter’s soul are especially poignant and precious to me.  Thank you.  🙂  I am still praying as per your request that God continually be magnified and glorified through your life – as He IS doing!  So thankful to be a tiny, tiny part, through prayer,  of His Glory shining through your life.  

      1. Thank you so much, Jackie.  If it were not for being lifted up in prayer I am sure I could not go it alone with any of this.  I need prayer just to remain faithful to Him through whatever comes, and I think in that He will be glorified. 

        1. Amen Mary. 

  5. Book that changed my life:  I am sure there are more, but I find myself using material from Tozer’s The True Vine.  Really love the concept of being a branch that allows God to work through me.
    Beach Read:  I read Christian fiction.  The writers are very good and conveying how Christianity is to be a part of every day life.
    Children’s book:  Love the Chronicles of Narnia, but also like Hinds Feet on High Places.
    Appreciated the story of Sally and the Jesus Film.  My husband and I were with Cru when that film was developed and have a relative on that team now.  It is so powerful.
    Just returned from a preaching conference, with pastors from many different denominations.  What a great time.  Throughout the conference my husband and I remarked often “that our son would enjoy talking with this pastor or that speaker or teacher.”  What we have learned from our adult son is how many times he was hurt as a child in church by well-meaning members of the churches my husband pastored.  Regardless of the intent of the member, our son felt judged for not being good enough.  This has caused him to disassociate from organized church.  Reading all the comments about adult children, I feel your frustrations.  We keep suggesting he attend, but that will only come from God’s prodding, not mine.  
    While we cannot control our children’s choices once they are adults, we can seek to better lead the children God brings across our paths.  Hopefully, we can be loving without becoming judgmental of the young people in our churches.  I am reminded of the number of times, in my own youth, that I played devil’s advocate in a Sunday School class or a youth group meeting.  Rather than judge me harshly, my teachers and leaders allowed me the freedom to voice questions, doubts, and even alternative interpretations.  The did not appear to be threatened by my non-conventional questions and observations.  They actually gave me the freedom to think differently and still attend.  I believe this is what may be missing from many youth experiences today.  

  6. thank you for your kind words, Nila, Wanda, Laura, Susan, and Dee. I do so love this place and my sisters.

    I have have listened to the panel 1 1/2 times and aim to share my notes but I wanted to share that the facilitator, Gloria Furman, actually wrote a book called a Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full, Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms and it was excellent (I read it last November). I highly recommend it and it is a short (and I thought ‘easy’) read (appropriately so since the target audience is busy moms) but thick with grace “pounding” for the heart. =)

    (She wrote a couple others, too, but I have not read them.)

    Also, one thought that keeps occurring to me. If I want to melt my children’s heart (or friends’s hearts, or whoever) I must have my own heart melted. I cannot merely “live out” what I want my children to learn….if I am not ravished by Christ this will ring hollow, and indeed may be? His Spirirt convicts me over and over again that I seek perfection when I need to seek love, grace, and truth. Elyse has talked often about “partnering with our kids as sinners to run to Christ.” And this is a concept I have never seen modeled, but God is showing me bit by bit and the two biggest ingredients are humility and melting.

  7. Testing-for some reason it isn’t taking my whole post so it will be in pieces. 🙂 It is something i have written and it is triggering a security alert. It is probably me and nothing to worry about as far as the blog.

    Oh I figured it out. It was because I put two titles in parenthesis. As soon as I took those off it posted. 🙂

  8. A beach read I hesitated to include yesterday for it isn’t inspirational but I couldn’t put the book down when I read it! It is called A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. This boy will warm your heart in a strange way. 🙂

  9. Another couple of books I would highly recommend are by C.S. Lews called The Problem With Pain. and Surprised By Joy. Also, life changing is The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.

    1. Ah, Rebecca!  I’ve read both of those Lewis’ books and found them both difficult to sink my teeth into, but intriguing.  Was glad to read ‘the Problem of Pain’ with a friend as it was hard to process on my own.  After I read ‘Surprised by Joy’ i was lamenting that I wished I had someone to talk to who had read it, because I needed some clarification.  My friend’s husband (same friend!) said he’d be interested in reading it.  He couldn’t get into it and gave up on it!  I wish you had been here!!   Smile. 🙂  I think I should read it again.  That was a long time ago.  

  10. 2 more books i HIGHLY recommend: The first was recommended to me by Anne who posts a lot with us, it is called Parenting is your highest calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt. by Leslie Leyland Fields.  It helped me sift through the parenting lies that created guilt and replace them with the truth of His Grace and control!! Really the lies are all around us and we are even inundated at church!  🙂 
    The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin. I don’t think I have ever read a book where just watching two lives changed mine-and it came as a surprise. I was expecting to read the story of how God came to Dee in her pain but instead God came in a mighty way through their lives. Steve and Dee’s life of loving God, their children and one another changed mine

  11. Update on my Isaac. He came up the stairs yesterday and looked me with wide eyes-and a soft heart saying, “Mom, I changed my mind. I know I am still a Christian I am just struggling with my faith. Elijah reasoned with me and I agree with him so I am not agnostic.” I responded with, ‘honey, if you truly know Him you can never ‘not’ be a Christian once you are’, but then I closed my mouth after that.  This is his journey with God, not mine. I AM SO GLAD GOD IS IN CONTROL AND I AM NOT!! 🙂
    Lord I ask that this will go from his head to his heart and you will ignite a fire so big giving Isaac passion for you above all else for it is you who who works in him to will and to act in order to fulfill your purpose-to delight in you and delight in doing your work with you-you have the power to change the hardest of hearts-ALL praise and honor and glory be to you alone.

    1. Oh, Rebecca. I just had to pop on here to verbally give you a hug. I just love this update from Isaac. Praise the Lord.  It is so hard to watch our kids struggle with their faith, but it is such a blessing that your boys are talking to you about it while they are in process of maturing and questioning. I will pray for Isaac in particular. You are modelling such good parenting here in trusting Him to the Lord and praying. It is often so hard to know what to do and say. God knows what is best for your child and He will guide you in how to respond to him. 

    2. I just read this, what wonderful news 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    3. Rebecca – and Isaac means “laughter”, right?  Amen to your beautiful prayer for Isaac…….and to the work that is ALL of the Holy Spirit that is shining through his life…..doubts and questions and all!  This post of yours gave my heart wings this morning!  To God be the Glory.  

    4. Rebecca. this is all wonderful! Isaac and God are dialoguing!

  12. Narrowing each category of books down to one is nearly impossible for me, but here goes…..
    Life changing:  The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer.  Here’s a quote from the book…..”  What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  Enough said.
    Beach read:  Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, by Matthew Crawford.  Marvelous!  I have his latest book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming An Individual in an Age of Distraction on order!  
    Favorite book for children….oh, this is tough!  Several of you have mentioned the Narnia series, so I’ll skip over that and go straight to the rather obscure series by Thomas L. Tedrow called “The Younguns”.  Set in Missouri in the early 1900’s it is an adventure series for older elementary age kids……(some of the topics – a rabies outbreak in the animals. for instance – would be too much for younger children).  My husband STILL talks about the peals of laughter he so loved hearing night after night as my kids and I read through this series!  🙂  

    1. I have ‘The Knowledge of the Holy’ on my bookshelf.  With your recommendation, I will pick it up sooner rather than later, Jackie!  

  13. 3. What metaphor is used in Proverbs 27:17? How have you experienced this?
    I looked at this verse in a few different translations, and I really like it in The Living Bible, “A friendly discussion is as stimulating as the sparks that fly when iron strikes iron.” So, I am thinking that when iron strikes iron, they both heat up until the sparks fly. Then I thought of the image of warming ourselves by the fire, and the opposite…when we isolate ourselves or withdraw from fellowship with other Christians, we can get cold. I know that when I am around other Christians and we are talking about the Lord and spiritual things, and even just other topics of conversation, I feel more alive and energized. It is stimulating to be really engaged in meaningful friendships and conversations where you feel a connection beyond the superficial with another person. I know I experienced this when several of us were in Ashland.

    1. I like that analysis of the verse too, Susan.  Thinking about how we get energized when those sparks re-charge us with spiritual energy.  So grateful for the re-energizing I get here too, because I am not often in the company of others.  But I have faithfully met with my one friend every week.  We read Christian books and come together to discuss a chapter a week, but often, it just ends up that for a couple of hours, we just discuss life. And encourage each other in various parenting and life challenges.   It’s really been a life saver for me to have this weekly connection.  I know the hard part, is always finding a time that works for both.  

      1. Wanda, I wish I lived close to you! I would love to meet to discuss books together! That’s great that you two keep your commitment to do this.

        1. I wish that too, Susan!   

  14. 4. What ideas do you have for the mother who longs for her children to have godly friends? For yourself to have godly friends?
    One way would be to model for our children godly friendships, to have times when they get to be around us and our friends. For example, I have a friend who sometimes comes over for a visit; it’s nice when my daughter can join us and be a part of our conversation. I try to encourage my daughter to be involved with her youth group at church, and we talk about being wise in choosing friends. Her older brothers are pretty good role models as they generally have had nice friends. And praying for God to give our kids discernment is important too.
    For myself, I can pray for God to give me friends, and also be willing to think outside the box…for a long time I’ve wished that there were more married women with children in my Sunday school class, but most of the women are widowed, divorced, or never-married. Because my husband doesn’t go to church, I have gotten to know more of the single or divorced ladies and am finding that I can find friends among these women…I think we have to give up our expectations and be open to friends of different ages and life stages and circumstances.

    1. Dee, that is interesting…actually, I did sign up to do a summer Bible study (7 weeks) this summer at my church; it will be led by Cathy, my Sunday school teacher, and it is a BSF study on the gospel of Mark. I really like Cathy. she’s maybe 3 years older than me, single, never-married. I know another single gal from my class who is also signed-up. It’s hard at churches to find a place if you’re not a “couple”. I would feel awkward in other ABFs that are for married couples in various life stages. I love Cathy’s teaching and I know another married woman who is also married to an unbeliever who is in my class. There are quite a few ladies in their 60’s and early 70’s who stick together. What I am missing is that sense of “clicking” with others…it was amazing that when we were in Ashland, having never met, for example, Nanci, Laura, Dawn, Julie…we just “clicked” and really enjoyed being together. There are still ladies in my class that I’ve never really talked to…others with whom it just never gets past the superficial level. It is frustrating.

      1. Susan, I felt the exact same way! I so enjoyed our time together and wished it could have lasted!!
        The friends that I had when I when my kids were growing up were other mothers at my church and I guess it was more of a circumstantial connection rather than a friendship. Nothing lasted once the kids got older. We also had a church split right around that time and I lost a lot of “friends” when we found ourselves on opposite sides.
        I eventually decided that my sisters, cousins, and nieces are my friends, but there lacks any spiritual connection.

  15. MARY E :    Wanted to let you know that there’s a candle luminary with your name on it, lighting up the darkness, at an American Cancer Society ‘Relay for Life’ fundraiser up near my home town in Northern Minnesota tonight!   I bought several of them in honor of many friends and family from my home area, who are fighting cancer.  I don’t ever make it up there for this event, but I have a good friend from high school, who was dx this year, so other friends formed a team in her honor.  I purchased luminaries and one has your name on it. 🙂  You are a real life light here among us. 
    If I get to this event in my county later this summer, I’ll do it again and take photos.  It’s an impressive evening.  Do they have them where you live?  

    1. Thanks, Wanda!  If they do it near me, I’m not aware of it!  That’s really great!  

      1. Oh, of course, Mary.   I wish I could have been there, but it’s a long ways from here and we had other things conflicting.   My sister almost always walks in the ‘survivors’ lap’ at this event and one year, I was able to walk with her and also my sister in law.  That was really neat.  What was so fun about the event this year, is that because my high school friend has been newly diagnosed, our mentally handicapped friend, and her friend who has Down’s Syndrome were determined to have a fundraising team in her honor. It was she that decorated the paper bag luminary with your name on it.  Another classmate took the lead to help them, but all told, they raised over 900 dollars for the American Cancer Society.  I am humbled by their devotion.  I was a long distance contributor but may make it a priority to be up there with them next year.  It’s so beautiful to walk the track with all the luminaries lit up at sundown.  

  16. I’ve been enjoying everyone’s book recommendations and have written a few of the titles down as ones I would like to read, too. It’s so hard to come up with just ONE book per category!
    A Book that changed my life:  The God of All Comfort by Dee – it just really feels like a friend coming alongside of you, sharing her journey and encouraging you in yours. I’ve recommended it to others and have turned to it more than once. Also, one I’m still reading and re-reading is The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It is helping those pennies to drop about God’s love and acceptance.
    Great Beach Read – Last summer at the beach, I read Born Again by Charles Colson. I was fascinated by the inner workings of politics as he described his years with Nixon, and came out admiring this man for his faith. I also like to follow along with Midday Connection’s Book Club, and I never thought I would even want to read this book that they read and discussed, but since my son had to read it for high school English and we had a copy, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula – and I loved it. I loved the classic literary style of writing and the clear delineation of good versus evil (not the typical vampire fluff of this era).
    For Children or Teens:  I love children’s books! We have quite a collection and they’re like old friends. The Wainscott Weasel by Tor Seidler is one of my very favorites. A weasel, Bagley Brown, falls in love with a…fish! That sounds weird, but it’s a very poignant story, not silly, and Bagley is ready to sacrifice his life to save her from an osprey.
    Another gem that my daughter and I read last December is Christmas With Tucker by Greg Kincaid. And, we love books by Elizabeth Enright like Thimble Summer and Gone Away Lake – we read them every summer. My all-time favorite fairy tale when I was young is The Snow Queen.

  17. Great reading ideas, Susan.  I haven’t heard of any of the children’s books and they sound so good.  My son and his wife are always looking for recommendations for their family.  I will write these down! Intrigued by Dracula. Glad you told us about it.

    1. Wanda, on Midday Connection’s book club page, they have a recommended reading list for both children and adults by Dr. Rosalie DeRosset, who is an English professor at Moody Bible Institute. You might want to check it out and tell your son and his wife about it (for the kids list). The reason I love Elizabeth Enright’s books are that they are “old-fashioned” stories – children going off to play and having adventures…in Gone Away Lake two cousins discover an abandoned summer resort except for an eccentric brother and sister who still live in two of the ramshackle homes (Aunt Minnehaha and Uncle Pindar). They’re just great stories! Also, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is a real classic for children.

  18. well, I think this lesson is convicting me I need to read for “fun” more! I will have to work on that this summer…part of my problem is my impatience with sitting…and this nagging sense that I need to be productive, so if I’m reading I need to be learning some deep truth or improving my parenting–ugh! But, inspired by you fun readers, I had my own escape today and pulled out my long-forgotten art supplies! I even got myself a new grown-up coloring book of flowers and started coloring 🙂