Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started


You are invited to Join us In A Summer Book Club!

I read more in the summer, and I’m always looking for a good book.

This week we’re going to get ready to read a good book together.

What book, other than the Bible, has been applauded by Christians more than any other?

What book brought sanity to the world in a time of Hitler’s insanity? 

What book caused Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship,

to pull his car off to the side of the road and surrender his life to Christ?

What book caused Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza,

to stop building his dream house when it was 1/3 done?

What book convinced me that I needed to take the claims of Jesus Christ seriously?

Without looking ahead, can you give a guess?

If you are new to us, you can be a silent reader, or better yet,

join in on the discussion. All you have to do is click here for

the easy “getting started” directions. 

Getting Started


1. What book do you think we’re talking about?

2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)


I’ll tell you the title of the book in a bit, because if you don’t have it, I want you to purchase it, however you prefer: hard copy or kindle — because you are going to want to highlight and make notes in it. I’m sure you can get it from any library, but I’d prefer you have your own copy. We’re going to try a five week adventure, beginning next week — and then assess.  This book was originally given as four radio addresses during World War II — we are going to take Part I of the book, which has 5 chapters. It’s not light reading, but we’re taking it in small pieces, and doing it together, which means we are more likely to succeed. I know so often I do better at accomplishing good goals when I have support. My hope is that the reflection questions here will ripple out into your family and friends, causing you to be a fountain for good and rich discussions.

What is it? Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.

If you are game, please get the book this week and we’ll start May 20th. You can buy it in any bookstore or on any book website. This week we’re also going to give you a chance to share some of your favorite books, for what we put into our hearts and minds, Jesus tells us, shapes who we are. Each day there will be a different category of book for you to list some of your favorites, and why. The books I’m going to choose will all be related to World War II, as this is the backdrop for the writing of Mere Christianity. You may want to pick up one of them to read along for your summer reading.

Monday: We Are What We Put Into Our Hearts

3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.

A. What principle does Jesus teach here?

B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?

C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?

I am looking forward to having grandchildren with me this summer, and I plan to read to them. For those interested, here is an article on why we should be reading even to older children.


You might want to consider reading Narnia, or just The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to your children this year. Four is not too young. When my daughter Sally read this to her 4 and 6 year old, they kept guessing who was doing to have to die to rescue Edmond from the slavery of the white witch. They were aghast when they realized it was Aslan. The setting of this series is in World War II when the children had to leave London for safety to go live with their uncle. Many of the truths in Mere Christianity are illustrated in Narnia.

4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

Tuesday: Historical Fiction

This is one of my favorite genres, for knowing that a story is based on truth heightens my interest. A well-written book based on the stories of three women who lived during World War II is “Lilac Girls.” This would be easily available from inter-library loan – definitely in print, and you may be able to download it onto your kindle from your library at home if you have a library card. My library gives me a choice of 7 to 21 days to have it on my kindle, and I always choose 21 days, and often still, can renew.

It’s title is based on the fact that lilacs bloom more beautifully after a hard winter, for indeed, suffering can produce beauty. This is not a Christian book, but I do think it is a book worthy of reading, giving us insight into the human heart. One of Lewis’s objectives in writing Mere Christianity was “pre-evangelism.” He wanted to demonstrate that there is a right and a wrong, and the human heart knows it. Either we can stuff that knowledge and quench that spirit, or we can agree with it, and allow our conscience to flourish. Lewis said he wanted to renew a sense of guilt.

5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?”


6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?


Wednesday: Fiction and Audio Books

When I’m multi-tasking, I like to listen to sermons, books, or music. Because I really appreciated the reader, Sarah Zimmerman, who did my audio version of He Calls You Beautiful, I have been listening to a few of the fiction books she has read. One is called The Girl from the Train — not to be confused with the dark and trashy Girl On the Train. This book has to do with a girl from Poland who lived during World War II. This is a Christian book loosely based on some historical incidents. It’s also a lovely book on adoption.


7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why.

8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to?

Thursday: Biography

Another genre I love is biography, and biographies of men and women who have been so filled with Christ that they changed the world have been so stimulating to me. I’d love to hear your recommendations of well-written biographies. The one I will recommend that goes with our theme is Eric Metaxis’ Bonhoeffer. Though it starts a bit slowly and is mammoth, it is absolutely wonderful.

 Hitler distorted Christianity and formed a new German church, so Bonhoeffer returned to America to stem the tide of lies, even establishing a seminary. Bonhoeffer knew that our thinking shapes our actions.

9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?


10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.


11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.


12. What’s your take-a-way this week and why?





Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. Sunday:
    1.  What book do you think we’re talking about?
    I did not know! I had to read ahead to see the answer. (Smile) But when I saw the answer it made sense to me. It has been awhile since I read the book so it will be good to re-read and study with our group here. I need to look for it before I leave for the Philippines on Thursday! I will try my best to participate but it will be sporadic.
    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)
    My Dad was a difficult man to live with especially during the last 10 years of his life. Mom loved him nevertheless and stood by her man till the end. She embodied true forgiveness for what provision and protection my Dad was not able to give. I have not heard her complain about Dad leaving her a widow for almost 30 years now.
    Since I have lived far from my mother for the same amount of time, God has given me my dear mother-in-law as a second mother. Evelyn gave me all the support a daughter could receive. She was my mother close by!
    Both of them were great seamstress and I have been a recipient of their beautiful handiworks. Every time, I see a sewing machine, I think of my 2 mothers.

    And Dee, thanks for being willing to do a book study with us. I rejoice with the others for you and for the deep impact you have in my spiritual life. This blog has time and time again blessed my heart beyond measure. All praises to Him who is the giver of all good gifts!

    1. Bing, I’m so happy for you that you will be seeing your mom very soon!

  2. 1. What book do you think we’re talking about?


    I truly am not peeking….my guess is it’s something written by Bonhoeffer. He was a pretty intense person and I think his writings would be very convicting. I have never entirely read one of his books, though my son gave me a copy of The Cost of Discipleship and I started to read it; it is not an easy read.

  3. 1. What book do you think we’re talking about?

    I really have no idea because I’m not a very well read person other than things that I need to teach; textbooks.  But, my mother was very well read, so I have seen a lot of books in my day that she thought were important enough to read. My guess is it’s a book that’s pretty old, written by a Christian person, so I want to say something like something from CS Lewis?  Maybe that book by Tozer….The Pursuit of God? This makes me feel stupid! I need to read more 😩. I never have extra time.

    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)

    My mom was a treasure. I miss her. One thing she did well was model good Christian behavior, even when it was hard. I remember her sitting at the dining table doing her bible studies, preparing for her Sunday school class that she taught for 30 years, and praying before every meal. She cooked amazing meals and never (rarely) complained. She was a gem. I can never live up to her standard; I don’t know how she did it all! Did I mention that she worked as a full time psychologist?

    1. Laura, love learning these things about your mom! And, I agree with Dee….I think you are more like your mom than you give yourself credit for!

  4. 2. It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)


    This is my 1st Mother’s Day without my mom; tomorrow, the 14th, will be 6 months since she died. My mom was a very hard worker. She worked as a secretary when she and my dad were married so that he could go to college, and I know she always wanted to be an English teacher, but when they started their family, she stayed at home as a homemaker, and never went to college. I remember how hard she worked around the house – my dad was always at work, and my mom took care of everything. One thing I admired about her was how she had so many friends, and I don’t mean the superficial kind; she had several very close friends. Here is an excerpt from something I wrote about my mom that I shared at her service….


    I always admired my mom for the kind of friend she was. She had many friends, and good friends. Some, like Gloria, didn’t even have to call; the doorbell would ring and she’d just drop-in. And mom would put the coffee pot on….that is one of my favorite memories growing up. Every week, mom and a friend, or two, at the kitchen table, the smell of coffee, and often something delicious that mom had baked. Friends were always welcome at her house, and that never changed. After I got married and had children, it was me dropping in, ringing the bell or knocking at the door, and mom was always happy to see me, and delighted to see her grandchildren. Mom’s kitchen was always sunny and bright, or warm and cozy on a cold day. There was never a lack of something good to eat; “What can I fix you?” she’d say, or “Won’t you stay and have supper with us?” How often a pie was cooling on the counter. Mom’s home was always a place you felt warm, welcomed, wanted; it was home, and it was that way because of her.

    My mom also demonstrated a lifelong love of learning; she was interested in the world around her. I remember her reaching for her encyclopedias when she wanted to learn about something. She loved poetry and could still recite some she had memorized in high school. I would often see her perusing her big book of poetry that her father had given to her. Here is one of her favorite poems, that she could still recite, even at the age of 90….


    My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky

    So was it when my life began, so is it now I am a man,

    so be it when I shall grow old, or let me die!

    The child is father of the man, and I could wish my days to be

    bound each to each by natural piety.  (Wordsworth)


    I found something my son Ryan had written for one of his classes in elementary school, in which he wrote, “My grandma is the most interesting person I know.” My mom also expressed her love for all of us with words, “I love you”, and with hugs and kisses; we were never too old for that!

    1. Dear Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your mother.  What you wrote about her is just beautiful.  You blessed her greatly, & I imagine her looking down on you from heaven, smiling.

      1. Thank you, Wendy!

  5. Well, I did guess Mere Christianity, but only because of Chuck Colson, I didn’t know the other things.I would love to have accountability in reading through it. I’ve had the book for over 20 years, and picked it up countless times, but still not read cover to cover. Interestingly, my mom was just here for a visit, and she is reading through this–which is really interesting, if you knew her history. I would say, my Mom actually did a lot “right”, more than I may have always appreciated. She had a heavy load to carry. I would say, even though we may not now agree with each other theologically on everything, she modeled reverence for God. I can remember being a young child and watching my Mom on the kneeler benches at church. Even after the priest would tell us to rise, she would often stay kneeling for a time.

  6. I am excited to be back from two weeks of vacation, and ready to be here with all of you again! This will be stretching for me, the book club. I tend to read sporadically, especially fiction, because I am really compulsive about it. When I start in, I want to finish, regardless of the other demands on my time. But I look forward to hearing everyone’s input.


    1.  Maybe the one about Christian on his way to heaven… This is terrible, I can’t even think of the title!


    2.  I have very few positive memories of my mother. Early in my life she impressed me as someone interested in a lot of things, and having an ambition to know more. She taught me to look on getting lost as an adventure, and the art of cooking as approachable. Later, I mightily struggled with how to honor this woman who consumed the people around her. God was more than gracious. He supplied me with other models of womanhood, motherhood, and sisterhood. I often fail in all three, but because of all God has given me in other women, I know I am not doomed to be my mother, or to end up as she did.

    1. Pilgrims Progress was my guess too 🙂

  7. I am happy to have the opportunity to honor my mother.  She was  a very kind person who loved others and particularly cared about those in difficult situations. She was sympathetic, kind, selfless. I miss her and still use her as an example of how I want to live.

  8. I have never been a part of  an on-line book club and am looking forward to sharing thoughts about the book we read with other Christian readers.

  9. Looking forward to this new on line experience.

  10. Looking forward to this new experience of an on line book club.

  11. Looking forward to sharing with others in an on line book club.

  12. I have to admit I couldn’t guess, but I scrolled down :)……. Looking fwd to reading the book as I’ve never read it all the way thro.

    Thanks Dee!

    My mother has been such a blessing in my life. God gave me a mum who has loved & supported me all my life & gave me a firm foundation for the tough years of adulthood. I feel very privileged to have such a loving mum, & tho she now has dementia she still tells me she loves me. Best hugger in all the world!  🙂

  13. 1.  What book do you think we’re talking about?  I didn’t have a clue?!

    2.  It’s Mother’s Day.  What is one thing your mother did right?  She lived out her faith openly and lovingly.

  14. I am Judy from Burbank, California.  I am looking forward to be in your book club.

    I couldn’t guess the book but wanted to find out.


  15. 1) I didn’t know which book it would be but am excited to know it’s Mere Christianity because I started it years ago and for some reason didn’t finish. So glad for another opportunity to pick it up again and possibly discuss it!

    2) Yes, Mother’s Day and the one thing my mother did (and to this day still does!) right was to always let us know we were loved. As kids, we were a challenge to a mother with health problems, a husband whose work frequently took him out of the country and left her to raise a rebellious daughter and a handicapped son. At the end of the day, all was forgiven (on both sides) and love abounded. So thankful to God for His love for us that knows no end!

  16. 1. What book do you think we’re talking about?

    I had no clue, but when I saw it I was excited for I read it a long time ago and would love to read it again. Yes it is powerful. It was new to read about the lives it has impacted.

    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)

    Most important: She loved us well-sacrificially, VERY sacrificially. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home but what we caught from her growing up is a hatred for racism and injustice, for when I was growing up racism was pretty strong. While varying races were together in public school there were still divisions and mixed race marriages where a huge no-no. Mom loved to quote MLK weaving in us that the content of a man’s character-the inside -is what matters most.

  17. 3.A.  Jesus taught the principle that you can’t give out what you haven’t taken in. What you put in matters, because that is what will pop out. I’ve usually thought of this verse in combination with the sin nature, that it is the sin within me that tends to pop out. But I can sure see your point that the media we take in, whether print or visual or audio, is what our minds chew on and consequently it is what comes back out of us.

    B.  I tend to let others lead in conversation. I will ask questions if I can think of any, and chime in when I can. Conversations at work tend to be about sports, and I am the opposite of a sports person. At home we talk about our family, things that need to be done, church, or things that we are grateful for.

    C.  Can’t think of a book that I started a conversation about.


    4.  As a child there were so many books that excited me! I still remember the exact day I learned to read, when the marks on the paper suddenly meant something. The first book that comes to my mind is the Secret Garden.

  18. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45. 
    A. What principle does Jesus teach here?

    Good people speak good words and evil people speak evil words. What is in your heart comes out of your mouth.

    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?

    Ugh, lately it’s all about our awful home life situation 😩. It seems as if every aspect of our lives is touched by our daughter these days. Do we let her have a car? Is her boyfriend gone yet? Do we need a babysitter tomorrow? Normally it revolves around money or people’s schedules also. Do we have enough? Who will watch the kids while such and such goes to …..? During the political seasons we talk of politics. Recently, I have talked to my husband about heaven. That study was impactful to me.

    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?

    Dee Brestin’s Idol Lies!


    I learned that when we place earthly things above God, we lose. Our home is heaven, not here, not now. Our earthly world is not important enough to give it much thought. Focus on God and life will be complete.

  19. I’m looking forward to joining the book study.

  20. looking forward to studying with you

  21. 1. What book do you think we’re talking about?
    The book is “Mere Christianity “ by C.S. Lewis.  He is one of my favorite authors and was a deep thinker who articulated well and came to terms with the claims of Jesus Christ
    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)
    I am blessed with a mother who prayed and read the Bible. I knew that God’s Word was important to my Mom because I saw her read and study it. That was a valuable example to me as a child.

  22. 3.  Meditate on Luke 6:45.  (Tuesday)

    A.  What principle does Jesus teach here?  When raising my kids, especially their teen years, I always told them “garbage in – garbage out” and always quoted this verse.  The concordance defines the heart as the “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes and endeavors”.  This always reminded me of a childhood song, Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See, for the Father up above is looking down in love.  The other verses…Oh, Be Careful Little Mind What You Think…etc.

    B.  What are your most frequent topics of conversation?  Sports (I have to keep well versed on this topic so I can join the conversation with my husband, daughter and son😊).  Current events going on in our country and around the world is the other frequent topic.

    C.  A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind.  Name a book that got you talking.  What is one take-a-way you had from it?  The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.  This fictional series prompted me to do in depth studies of Daniel, Revelation, passages in Matthew and other books of the Bible as I desired the truth!

    4.  Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child?  Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and of course all her books!


  23. Monday: We Are What We Put Into Our Hearts

    Dave Ramsey quotes someone named Charlie ” Tremendous” Jones who said 
    “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
    What we read and put into our hearts and minds is of all importance. 

    3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.
    “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

    A. What principle does Jesus teach here?
    This verse talks about 2 kinds of people.  A good one and an evil one.  The good one is a believer in Jesus because a person can only be good or “righteous” because of Jesus. It is Jesus Who changes a heart to be good and to desire to live like Him. As we love Him more and He becomes our treasure our hearts reflect his goodness. Thats why having his Word in our lives and hearts is so important. By making his Word our treasure good will flow out of our hearts. 
    Then the opposite is true for the person without Christ in his life and heart.  
    Jeremiah 17:9 & 10 says The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?  
    I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?
    I am a Nebraskan so we talk about the weather and Husker football!  (-:  Ha ha 
    Seriously this is an interesting question to ponder.  It is largely dependent on who I am with.   For me personally that is mainly family and a circle of Christian friends. So often I do get to enjoy talking about the Lord and his Word and what He is doing in lives around us. 

    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?

    A book called “The Insanity of God” by an author who wrote under the pseudonym of Nic Ripken. It is a true story of an ordinary missionary and his wife serving in Africa who had to come to terms with the death of their teenage son and their experiences with the persecuted church in the world. He faced death, persecution and suffering up close and personal. The quest he went on was to answer the question “Is Jesus worth it?” The take aways are many but my understanding of and appreciation for those who are part of the persecuted church is much deeper. 
    I gave a copy to my son who told our church family in a sermon at the first of the year that if they only read only one book apart from the Bible this year it should be “The Insanity of God”. 
    4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

    An answer for that is harder to come up with because as a child we spent many hours in the small library in our very small town reading. I enjoyed reading so many of those books they tend to run together in my mind. ( that was a loooong time ago). But as a young teenager I read  “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom and that had a strong impact on me. 

    1. Bev.-our Mary E. sent me the movie (documentary) of The Insanity of God, it’s her very favorite. What a incredibly powerful testimony!

  24. Looking forward to reading Mere Christianity. That is a book that has been on my read list for some time.

    Luke 6:45 shows that we reveal what is in our heart by what we speak. Taking a look at my words and what they are saying about my heart.

    Just finished reading Code Girls by Liza Mundy. It is a great book about some of the contributions women made to the war effort during WWII.

  25. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45


    A. What principle does Jesus teach here?


    The essence of who we are originates or is found in our heart. The heart is like a treasury, or storehouse; things are deposited and withdrawn. Things also are “produced” and, I like to think, things just “spill out”. If the heart is good, good things are produced; likewise an evil heart produces evil things. What a person says flows out from what is in the heart.


    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?


    Frequently, it’s the “what’s coming up this week”….talking about our schedules, appointments, etc…. I don’t like to admit it, but recently, gossip about a particular person was a topic of conversation. My daughter asked me, “Are you going to talk to the Lord about that, mom?!” Sometimes it’s “family situations/problems”. I really miss a friendship I used to have; we talked about God and spiritual things. I was a Midday Connection listener for years and I enjoyed when they had “The Milrose Club” where they chose different topics to discuss. Sometimes I want to talk about more meaty, weighty things and it’s hard to find a willing participant! Recently in the car, I did bring up to my husband and daughter something from the Keller sermon from the other week, where he used the metaphor of people weren’t meant to live in the parks and how the “weight of our souls cannot be supported by people or other things here on earth and they were never meant to be.” I think that’s something worth pondering.

  26. I have been a lurker,  but I was so intrigued by your description of such a powerful book that I decided to come out of the shadows.  I confess that I peeked, and was so excited to see what book we will be studying.  I have the book in my library, but have never read it.  I am looking forward to learning and growing this summer.

  27. What book do you think we’re talking about?  I had no clue so I decided to look and yes, I have heard of “Mere Christianity” and I have never read it and I look forward to studying it together

    Mom was a woman of prayer.  She prayed for us daily, we would hear her singing in her room every morning and then she would read the word and pray softly.  She did that every morning without fail.  I remember feeling confident about situations because I knew my mom had prayed and will be praying for me.  Mom went to be with the Lord in 2009 and we miss her dearly.

    1. Welcome Grace. Interesting gravatur! Explanation?

  28. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.
    A. What principle does Jesus teach here?
    I remembered the first time I heard the acrostic GIGO for “garbage in; garbage out”. It sure can be applied to Luke 6:45. If my heart is full of “garbage”, then whatever will come from my mouth would be a reflection of what “garbage” I have stored in my heart. I think of the verse in Proverbs that says, “Guard your heart for it is the well-spring of life.” From a nurse point of view, it is good to remember that a person can live without some organs but cannot live without a heart-literally a well spring of life! What affects my heart affects my whole being. I need to guard my heart, indeed.
    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?
    Depends. I talk about my students and the challenges of teaching when I am in school. With Christian friends, I talk about life in general and how God is working in my life.
    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?
    Tim Keller’s books, Idol Lies by Dee and as of late, Fierce Conviction by Karen Swallow Prior. The latter’s book is so beyond my grasp of English and American History that I had to re-read many pages to get the point. A take-away from me from Karen’s book is that one life (Hannah More) surrendered to God can make a significant impact in history. She used her gift of writing and her position to bring along change. I want to be like Hannah More. 

  29. 3. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.
    Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. My mom encouraged my love for reading and she saved enough money to buy a series of books for me.

    It was so intriguing and fascinating to follow the lives of the March girls- Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy. I still have my copy and it is falling apart!

  30. Love your books and conferences! What a blessing

    1. WELCOME, Kendra!

  31. I will be joining the book club. I read Mere Christianity as a you adult and it led me to eventually accept Christ. I’ve wanted to read again with new eyes some 30 years later, so this will be my chance! I’m excited Dee; thankful you’re doing this.

    I loved Lilac Girls. Another favorite from that genre ” All the light we cannot see”, set in WWII.

    1. I loved All The Light We Cannot See too, Beth! I can tell you are a reader. Yay!

  32. 1. What book do you think we’re talking about? I’m a little behind, but I promise that I didn’t look ahead. My guess is a book by Bonhoeffer, but I don’t know which one.

    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?) My mom was far from the ideal mother (though she would be crushed if she knew that I said that) but one thing she always did was make the holidays special. We had a lot of family traditions (baking cookies, dying easter eggs, decorating the tree) and our big farmhouse was where everyone got together for holiday celebrations.

    1. Dawn, it sounds like making and preserving family traditions and memories, especially around the holidays, was important to your mom!

  33. Sunday:
    1. What book do you think we’re talking about? – Is it Desiring God?
    2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?) – My Mom has always been there for me. She taught me to do the best I can at all times and to be me and not try to impress others. I grew up Catholic and went did all the sacraments I was required to do, and I learned about God from that, but never had a relationship with him until I was older. My decisions were mine and she would try and guide me, but would in the end let me make my choices. My Mom will be 91 in November and has been living with us since July and I love spending time with her. She is still teaching me and I can only pray I’m half the wonderful, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend she is. 

  34. I guess I didn’t read far enough down before guessing my book. I’m excited to attempt to read Mere Christianity again. Didn’t get through it the first time so this should help.
    3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.  
    A. What principle does Jesus teach here? – We need to pay attention to what gets into our hearts. The more good we put in the more the good will come out and our lives will be a better mirror image of Christ’s.
    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation? – Lately with our Pastor suddenly resigning due to health issues, we talk about what is happening and where are church will go next. We seem to be in a holding pattern right now, with no real answers of the next step. We need to remember to just pray and give our church to the Lord and he will lead us on.
    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it? – The one that I read recently was He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado. It had so many good eye openers, I was highlighting like crazy. I need to get the book back from my friend so I can go through it again to read my highlights.

    1. Julie, I love that book by Max Lucado! I try to read it every year at Easter. I especially love the chapter about the father and his daughter who left home in rebellion, and he kept writing her letters, all asking, will you come home and dance with your poppa? It always makes me cry.

  35. 4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child. 


    I missed this question yesterday. I loved mysteries as a child. My favorite books were the Nancy Drew series; so innocent were those days!

    5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?” 

    I agree with Lewis. My mom used to always say that there is good and evil in the world and we need to recognize both.

    6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?

    I really loved reading “To Try Men’s Souls,” by Newt Gingrich. It’s about a young boy and his brother who sign on to fight in the Revolutionary War; their perspective. You really feel the pain of the soldiers from the bleeding feet to the ecstasy of winning battles. A book has to be really good for me to re-read it. This is one that I would read again.

  36. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.
    A. What principle does Jesus teach here?
    Out of the abundance of the heart we speak so whatever we store in us shapes us and inevitably flows out of our mouth.
    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?
    So conversation at home has been different the past two years than the 17 years prior, and the conversations going on in my heart are different than what I end up talking about when my oldest son is around. Since my son turned I felt hindered to let it out (which is every day as I walk along the way) because he would desire an argument-and would get aggressive for he is angry feeling like we brainwashed him grown up. He would trick me or try to “convince me out of my faith”. Through much struggle and dark times satan didn’t succeed because God has drawn us closer in and put the CEO for Global Scholars in our community group who is teaching us Apologetics now. Talk about an over the top rescue for my son and and over the top equipping for us.  I am just praying his heart will be open to listen. 🙂 🙂

    The most frequent topics between my husband and I lately are what we are learning in our apologetics class, what I am learning here, our finances, our boys talents and gifts and other topics relating to them and how God would have us use our resources and time. Last week I started a discussion about heaven-what we learned last few weeks..and it has weaved in and out of our topics of discussion, even with my boys when my oldest isn’t around.


    1. Not surprised about your topics of conversation, Rebecca!

  37. 4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

    Little House on The Prairie series. I read all the books over and over and watched the tv show. 🙂 It helped me dive into their world-so simple, so full of love. I always wanted a dad like Charles and now Jesus is that dad to me, but better!  🙂

  38. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.

     A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

    What principle does Jesus teach here?
    What we feed on,  what we “store up in our hearts” shows up in how we live and speak.                                                                                                
    I thought about manna, that it needed to be gathered daily, and that Jesus is our bread of life, I need to come daily to get what I need for the day. When I don’t abide in him I find the “good things stored up in my heart” are in short supply.

    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?
    I don’t think I have a pattern. I do have substantial conversation with several people about deeper things, but I do long for more. I was thinking of looking for a local Tuesday or Thursday morning (those are my days off) bible study. I sometimes think the level of fellowship I long for won’t really be realized in this lifetime.

    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?

    Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters by Jack Miller

    This book wonderful book really affected me. The way he lead with humility, his own brokenness, and real dependence on the Lord was so different from the norm.
     One takeaway was the importance of addressing the person you have conflict with directly. Another was his very tangible belief that God was in control.

    “Remember, the only real leader you have is Jesus Christ. Unless you are daily taught of Him you will not be able to make the right decisions. To get to Him you need to pray, but it needs to be prayer of a unique quality. You can pray all night and all day and still not be in touch with His will. Prayer is not full and effective unless it adds up to our learning to wait upon the Lord for Him to make known His will. He needs to break down our tendency to cry out in prayer “Your will be done,” and then to get up and still try to impose our will on circumstances.” 
    ― C. John Miller, The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller

    1. Great recommendation, Chris!

  39. 4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

    Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, I wrote to the author and she wrote me back, we corresponded a number of times, I still have her letters. Of course, I read all of her books.
    This fall the CCEF conference is in Virginia Beach, when it ends I have plans with a friend to visit Chincoteague & Assateague Islands. I have hoped to go there since I was a girl. 🙂

    1. We were just to those places on our vacations! We only saw one wild horse, and that was at a great distance… Hope when you go you have better luck.

      1. Thank you Mary- I hope so too!


  40. 5.  Lewis’ desire to ‘renew a sense of guilt’. Ray Comfort is all about this. His premise, and probably Lewis’ as well, is that without an understanding of how much you need forgiveness, you either don’t become a Christian at all, or accept it as just a nice concept of heaven and all that. Your life doesn’t radically change; you don’t understand Lordship.


    6.  Historical fiction. I’d have to say the Little House books. She brought those times to life. You probably didn’t mean children’s genre, but that is what I think of first. Then there is The Robe, which was made into a movie many years ago. Set in the first century.

  41. 2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? 

    My mama had a grateful heart and was such a humble woman.    And she sang.    Often.    So I grew up with her beautiful alto voice.  I remember that when she took me to college, she sang hymns all the way from Wyoming across the entire state of South Dakota.    So she left a rich legacy of gratitude and song.   I can still hear her singing in my mind.

    So this past weekend, when my two adult daughters decided to leave their young children and husbands and spend the weekend with me, we found ourselves singing.   We rented a cabin near the mountains and my girls brought their guitar and fiddle and we sang.    I will be grateful till the day I die that my mama sang.

    1. Love your last line, Nila. My mother sang all the time. Even, to our chagrin, in the grocery store.

  42. 4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

    I have such good memories of being nestled in my dad’s lap with my head resting against his strong chest, listening to him read aloud for hours over my childhood years.   He read a wide variety of books often checked out from the library.   He read a lot of Dr. Seuss.   And then as we grew out of those kinds of books he continued to read articles from Reader’s Digest or magazines  outloud at the dinner table.    My dad was a reader and as a result he was such a good writer.  He instilled the love and value of reading into me from a very early age.   I am grateful.

    A series that held my interest as a child (Junior High) was the Nancy Drew Mysteries. I also remember a teacher reading aloud and that I liked Girl of the Limberlost, but I don’t remember why.

    Grateful that my dad instilled a love for reading that continues to this day. He “touched my pallet” with reading aloud to me at such an early age and so my appetite to read remains strong.


  43. Dee,

    C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity is a book that I taught in a high school home school coop several years ago.    I truly value the writings of C.S. Lewis.    I used a base curriculum from Progeny Press that does book studies and gives a host of questions to respond to as a student reads through  a particular book.   (For any of you out there looking for curriculum for elementary, Jr. High, High School,  this curriculum provides excellent questions that help a student of any age respond to the reading.  They have developed studies for a wide variety of literature, both Christian and not – and all through a Christian world view.)


    Thank you, Dee, for providing this summer book club!


    C.S. Lewis is attributed to saying:

    We read to know that we are not alone.

    1. Can you give us a link, Nila?

  44. Tuesday

    5.  What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?”  I remember several years ago God had laid upon my father-in-law’s heart, a preacher, to do a series of sermons on the reality of hell.  He felt strongly that a complacency towards sin and the results of it were being overlooked in regards to evangelism.  I believe his desire was to “renew a sense of guilt”…stir up hearts in what was going on in the world!  Lewis’s statement is timeless and so needed…what is important, is how it’s done.

    6.  Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction you have loved?  It was a trilogy(Mark of the Lion) by Francine Rivers.  A Voice In The Wind ( Book 1), An Echo In The Darkness (Book 2), and As Sure As The Dawn (Book 3).  It follows the story of a woman named Hadassah during the first century in Jerusalem, Germania, Rome, and Ephesus…the persecution of the early church.



  45. 3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.
    A. What principle does Jesus teach here? That not only are we to fill our hearts with what is good so that what comes out of us is a reflection of that good, but if what comes out of us isn’t good then we need to pay more attention to what we are putting in.

    B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation? My workplace and the constant drama that goes on there.

    C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it? Wendell Berry’s Port William series. My one take away from all of it is life will go on and you will leave a mark if only for a generation or two. Any good that you do is worth it.

  46. I took a wild guess, thought maybe the book was Pilgrims Progress (haven’t read).  I am a passionate reader, have always loved books since I was a child.  I tried to read Mere Christianity once, but didn’t finish it…I have trouble reading CS Lewis.  It seemed like it was one of those books I would read a sentence, then have to go back over it again to try to understand what I just read.  I’m interested in doing this study, esp. since Dee is going to help us understand what we’re reading as we read it, and in “small pieces”, which interests me even more.  I like the idea of doing this together.

    3)  A book that got you talking:  I had to think about this.  I’ve read a lot of books.  (In 2007 I decided to start making a list of all the books I’ve read each year, which is interesting to go back through from time to time.)  And there is one that is ‘with’ me to this day:  Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  It is simply, unforgettable.  I told everyone I knew (and then some) about it.  It’s a true story, and one you just cannot ever forget.   Another:  In the Presence of my Enemies, by Gracia Burnham (true story).  I had so many questions about God after reading her story, questions which have no answers this side of heaven.

    I love books that take place in time periods / settings that are completely unlike our own.  16-17-18-early 19th century settings, Asian, Indian cultures.   It’s like traveling back in time, escaping to a foreign land.  Several recent unforgettable reads:  A Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman, The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (which had me literally sobbing in parts).

    6)  Historical fiction book:  The Dovekeepers, also by Alice Hoffman, is based on Jewish historical fact.  It was beautifully written, often hard to read because of the incredible hardships they endured.

    7)  Fiction book you absolutely loved:   This is an easy one for me.  Hands down, it will always be The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  I started reading it before we left on a vacation, which was a mistake.  I took it with me & was so completely taken in by the story and the writing, I just could not put it down.  I felt sorry for my husband–it wasn’t much of a fun vacation for him with my nose stuck in that book the whole week, bringing it along with me everywhere we went.

    8)  Audiobook:  Last year my daughter popped in an audio book for the kids to listen to while we were on a road trip.  We were riveted…it was unlike anything I have ever heard before or since.  That audio book has stayed with me ever since, & I feel emotional every time I think about it.  I dare anyone to listen to it & not be effected by the words.  It was Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.

    9) A principle from Scripture that has affected my life:  Rom. 8:1  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”… amen & amen.

    1. Going to get the audio book!

  47. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child? The earliest ones that I remember reading were the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary when I was in 3rd grade.


    1. Yes! Ramona!

  48. 5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?” 
    It is needful. If we don’t  have a sense if our sin and guilt we can never appreciate the truth of God’s grace and the true depth of what the Cross is about,
    6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?
    I don’t read a lot of fiction. It just isn’t my favorite genre but a few years ago I really enjoyed reading “The Help” which I read before the Movie was made.  It was a poignant story and insight to past but fairly recent history in America.