27 February, 2010
26 February, 2010
Far from being a long and tedious theological argument for tithing, this book takes a fresh approach. The author tells experiences of number of Americans who practice tithing. The overwhelming impression is that tithing is a basic guideline that God gives to believers. The interviewees felt that it was a bare basic in the generosity God expects of us.
The denominational backgrounds vary, most of which I wasn't familiar with. Their perspectives on tithing varied too. However none of them are considering giving it up. All felt themselves blessed. One couple said felt that tithing is not only a matter of obeying God. It is also a conscious way to resist the self-worship that accompanies greed and stinginess.
Most had chosen to live simply and their lives expressed generosity beyond the sharing of their finances.
I enjoyed the book, though in places there were terms and traditions I was unfamiliar with. As missionaries we have learned to live simply, minimising our belongings and thinking carefully about how we use our money and time.
It was refreshing to read about others who live simply. Challenging to read about the generosity of others. Inspiring to read about how God’s blessings flow through His people to others and back to the giver.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me for review by Thomas Nelson Books <http://BookSneeze.com>. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
25 February, 2010
23 February, 2010
20 February, 2010
19 February, 2010
18 February, 2010
16 February, 2010
There is another type of normal fat (triglyceride) in the blood. The levels in the blood tend to become elevated by excessive amounts of refined sugar, saturated fats and alcohol in the diet. Elevated triglyceride levels are more common in the overweight and inactive and often accompany elevated cholesterol levels.Well, he is neither overweight nor an imbiber of alcohol. His cholesterol levels are fine. Perhaps he is a little inactive and a lover of refined sugar, but essentially healthy, except for this little blood test result. Anyway, this is the second time this blood result has come back (previous medical in Australia 4 and a half years ago). So, we really need to do something about it. The main way to improve the situation, so my research tells me, is to exercise and to reduce the refined sugar and fat intake in your diet. I cannot do much about his exercise, except to encourage. So I've been working on the food end of things. That our diet is pretty healthy is evident that neither of us is overweight. No one in our family has food allergies, so I haven't been in the position of having to be very careful about what we eat. But now I have to reconsider family favourites like white sauce based meals, white toast, hot dogs, cheese, cake and biscuits and so on. As I tour the grocery store it appears to me that it is challenging to eat cheaply without blowing out on simple sugars and fat. Whole grain stuff is usually more expensive. Cheap, easy snacks are sugar-high biscuits and cakes. My long-held criteria for recipes that make it into the regular menu are
- quick and easy to prepare (i.e. under an hour from beginning to end)
- don't have a zillion ingredients
- don't cost a lot
- are reasonably tolerated by our three boys
- have easily available ingredients (this becomes even more important in Japan)
15 February, 2010
13 February, 2010
"Three close friends and neighbors, Cici, Bridget and Lindsey, find themselves at a crossroads in life and long to do something different, something unique. Bridget has recently become widowed, Cici divorced, and Lindsey retired from her teaching position. So when the opportunity to purchase a dilapidated old house in the Shenandoah Valley comes up, the ladies decide to make the leap from their comfortable suburban lives and become lady farmers."I've just read this book. It is delightful. I'm trying to figure out why. Maybe because I know what it is like to leave the city and "go bush" and a little of what living in the country is like. Maybe because there is no violence or mystery and I've read quite a lot of murder mysteries lately? There is no romance (or minimal). Yet it was compelling reading, mostly because you want to know whether they make it to the end of the year they've promised each other and whether they'll go longer than that. There are also enough 'incidents' to make you wonder what on earth they'll come up against next in their effort to restore this house and reclaim the farm. To be honest, the relationships between the women are appealing too - honest, yet deep, abiding friendships, everything a woman might want in a girlfriend. Now I find there is a sequel and I want to read it...now. But the library doesn't have it yet. Sigh.
12 February, 2010
10 February, 2010
09 February, 2010
"Almost all of the other "Buddhists" I have met have little or no clue what (classical) Buddhism actually teaches. Mr E, on the other hand, actually does! Not surprising I suppose for a Buddhist priest."Occasionally I have people ask me about Japan's religion/s. It is often difficult to explain. The country claims a couple of religions as their own - Buddhism and Shintoism. But, as our missionary above explained, most Japanese cannot tell you what they believe. It is not like adhering to Islam or Christianity. It is more a way of life. A bit like Materialism. What Materialist can give you a creed that they live by? I sometimes feel quite at sea in Japan, feeling like I don't really know much about the Japnaese and how they think, especially in a religious way. And even more so when an Australian is trying to press me for a clear, concise answer. So I was encouraged to read this 'veteran' missionary's honest statement about a "Buddhist" Buddhist.
08 February, 2010
07 February, 2010
06 February, 2010
04 February, 2010
Colossians 3:1-2 NIV 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.Oops. Turn my eyes to things above. I guess that doesn't involve a nice house here on earth, does it? It was just the re-tuning that my mind required. Not that it is bad to appreciate the earthly things I have, I just need perspective, God's perspective. Especially in this transitory life of moving around that God has given me.