You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

Today I celebrate 21 years of marriage to my perfect match and I thought it appropriate to review a book on compatibility. Since I haven’t read it yet, my good friend and writing buddy, Claire,  has offered to be a guest blogger. I know that God is working on Claire’s perfect match. She deserves someone special.

Book Review of  More Than a Match

By Claire

The title of the book attracted me. More Than a Match: The 5 Keys to Compatibility for Life. While I’m not in a relationship, I was looking for advice on how to evaluate potential guys. What things should I look for? Are there things that would clash with my personality. I was looking for something deeper than the obvious. I.e. faith, finances and children.

I was disappointed to find that More Than a Match for the most part only covers the obvious. This is a great book for someone who isn’t a believer, a new Christian or just hasn’t given much thought to the basics.

I did disagree with how the authors dealt with two issues. The first was their attitude about dating. At one point they said, “Amy and I share the philosophy that dating is a good thing, even for teens in high school…” And later, “Dating is your opportunity to have a relatively emotionally intimate relationship with someone before you commit to a lifetime of marriage.”

Encouraging teens to develop emotionally intimate relationships before they are able to follow through with marriage is setting them up for major physical temptation. Look at teen pregnancy, even within the church.

I agree that dating is a great way to evaluate a potential spouse, but developing emotionally intimate relationships before you’re ready or willing to marry can lead to unnecessary heartbreak. You aren’t honoring someone of the opposite sex if you date them, even though you have no intention of marrying anytime soon.

My other issue with the authors was how they handled the controversial issue of the man being the leader in the home. Rather than quoting scripture, they quoted the following line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “The man might be the head of the family, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants.”

Here is an issue clearly addressed in scripture, and the authors turn to a secular movie. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Now that doesn’t mean that the man can simply do whatever he wants, and the wife has to go along. Later in the same chapter Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (verse 25).

I was disappointed they glossed over this issue, especially when it so clearly address in scripture.

One chapter I did appreciate was their frank, but not in your face, discussion of a couple’s honeymoon. As someone who has saved myself for marriage, I found their chapter on this helpful and made me think about things I hadn’t thought of before.

While I’m sure people have found More Than a Match insightful, I was, for the most part, disappointed. The book had little to do with compatibility (although the title makes you think that’s what its all about), and they glossed over important issues. I wish Michael and Amy Smalley the best, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend their book.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

All the Tea in China by Jane Orcutt

I’ve had this book on my shelf for well over a year now. When church was canceled because of the snow, I decided it was the perfect time to read it. And I’m so glad I did.

It truly grieves me to think that this writer will no longer pen her tales here on earth. Just before the book was published in 2007, the author died from a battle with leukemia. This must have been her last labor of love.

The story, told in first person (unusual for a historical romance), was rich with details that made the setting come alive for me.

Isabella Goodrich wants to find her calling in life. After meeting a missionary from China, she believes she has found it. Her only hindrance is convincing the missionary to take her along with him.

What you’ll find in All the Tea in China:

A woman with a sword who knows how to use it

Privateers who underestimate the woman with the sword

A man who is not quite what he seems

Two people who find love most unexpectedly

Note: My favorite books to read are regencies. I’ve attempted to write one myself. I don’t come close to being in the same league as this writer. I wish she were around to write more of her stories.

We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.

In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.

As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”

Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.

My comments:

I’ve only been able to read a few pages because of time constraints, but I like what I’ve read. And I love the cover art–it looks like it should be the cover for a novel.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

For more information, click here.

I don’t normally write about movies. Maybe once or twice. But I just watched a movie that I loved–Secret Santa on Lifetime starring Jennie Garth (of old 90210 fame).

This is a sweet tale about a journalist who sets out to reveal the identity of the generous person who bestowed gifts to deserving individuals in a town called Hamden.

Unlike a lot of Christmas movies, this movie doesn’t skip the true meaning of the season. At one point in the movie, the journalist is at the town Inn, but there was no room, so she has to stay in the Rest Home in town–great plot point, I must say.

It appears the movie came out in 2003, but somehow I missed it. When I watch movies like this, it makes me wish I could write stories that are fun and at the same time convey a deeper meaning.

I loved the movie. If you see it on TV again this Christmas season, I highly recommend watching it.

Oh, and I love the WordPress snowflakes falling through my post. We might get some of the real white stuff in good old Roxboro tonight.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.