2007 at 6:02 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Here’s the list you’ve all been waiting for, in plenty of time to shop for Christmas—it’s my dad’s annual book recommendations for the husband, father, brother, or special guy friend in your life. But if you’re like me, you’ll be adding one or two of these to your own Christmas list. Enjoy!
THIS MIGHTY SCOURGE: Perspectives on the Civil War
by James M. McPherson
THE WIT OF MARTIN LUTHER
by Eric W. Gritsch
THE WICKED WIT OF WINSTON CHURCHILL
by Dominique Enright
ENCYCLOPEDIA IDIOTICA: History’s Worst Decisions and the People Who Made Them
by Stephen Weir
PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
by Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach
PISTOL:The Life of Pete Maravich
by Mark Kriegel
MASTERS OF THE AIR: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
by Donald L. Miller
TRIUMPH: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics
by Jeremy Schaap
CREATORS: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney
by Paul M. Johnson
MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
by Nathaniel Philbrick
BROTHERS: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
by David Talbot
MORE LETTERS FROM A NUT
by Ted L. Nancy
TWELVE ORDINARY MEN: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You
by John MacArthur
TALES FROM Q SCHOOL: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major
by John Feinstein
WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED: A Life Of Vince Lombardi
by David Maraniss
EXTRAORDINARY ORIGINS OF EVERYDAY THINGS
by Charles Panati
THE AMATEURS: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal
by David Halberstam
CHOSEN FOR LIFE: The Case for Divine Election
by Samuel C. Storms
SIX FRIGATES: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy
by Ian W. Toll
FOR CAUSE AND COMRADES:Why Men Fought in the Civil War
by James M. McPherson
THE CROSS FROM A DISTANCE: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel
by Peter G. Bolt
THEY MARCHED INTO SUNLIGHT: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
by David Maraniss
LOST IN THE MIDDLE: Midlife and the Grace of God
by Paul David Tripp
2007 at 10:30 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
As I prayed for my family this morning, these words from The Valley of Vision (A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions) captured the desire of my heart for this new day:
O Sovereign Lord,
Let those that are united to me in tender ties
be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory.
Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven.
Will you join me today in praying this prayer?
2007 at 4:19 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Thanks to Karen for this cute story about her son…
My son was allowed to choose any book for his 4th grade book report. We
are very blessed to live near a beautiful brand new library. I took
him and told him it was very exciting that he had such a large
selection to choose a book from. I was telling him all the wonderful
books I read when I was his age. He decided he wanted to do a
presidential biography. So I start telling him my list of favorite
presidents. He starts looking through the choices. I’m pushing the
Ronald Reagan and the Teddy Roosevelt. He went with the Biography
of….. Millard Filmore. Famous for…yea, I got nothing.
Surprisingly, they had several copies on the shelf. He read it and
wrote the report. At the end of the report he is supposed to say
whether he would recommend the book. He wrote " I recommend The
Biography of Millard Filmore to people who like biographies but I have
to warn you, it isn’t as exciting as it sounds."
See you Monday,
Janelle for my mom and sisters
2007 at 3:26 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Series Girltalk Book Club
Back in October, we took a little break from the book club when so many of you clamored for foodtalk! Then we had a lovely conversation with John Ensor last week. As we returned to the book, we felt the two primary remaining chapters—on submission and a woman’s work—were topics too important to cover in a simple book club post. They deserve a series of their own some day.
So, we decided to close the cover on this book club today. But we want to leave you with this parting thought: read this book! And if you’ve already read it along with us, re-read this book! Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart is one of those biblical womanhood essentials…along with Let Me Be A Woman and (pardon a little family bias) my mom’s Feminine Appeal and several others. We want each and every girltalk reader to benefit from John Ensor’s wise and winsome book.
But we don’t want to end without recognizing that there may be some of you for whom this topic of relationships—or even just the title of this book ushers in feelings of guilt and despair. Because maybe you’ve traded your dollar bill for five shiny pennies (see p. 159). Maybe you’ve done things wrong in matters of the heart; or, maybe someone else has done things wrong in the matter of your heart.
That’s why we must never forget the gospel. John Ensor makes sure we don’t, when, on the last page of the book He reminds us that God’s “steadfast love is great” (Psalm 57:10). God loves us, not because we have always done things right in relationships or otherwise, but because of His one and only Son, who was our sacrificial substitute when He died on the cross for our sins. We will find peace, help to forgive, and grace to honor God in relationships only when we look at the cross and remember the steadfast love of our Savior.
May the love of the One who has always done everything right be your joy today.
2007 at 4:18 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
The arrival of cold weather always inspires me to want to make soup. We have a few soup recipes that we have collected through the years and they have quickly turned into family favorites. Mom and I are gonna make some huge batches for freezing this weekend. It’s great for those crazy days when cooking is difficult. Pull a yummy jar of homemade soup from the freezer, add your favorite bread or salad, and you have a great meal in minutes. We are sharing 3 of our favorites with you today. More to come in the future. Hope you enjoy!
Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups canned whole tomatoes- crushed
12 fresh basil leaves- washed
1 cup heavy cream
¼ pound sweet unsalted butter
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Simmer tomatoes in saucepan for 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.
Lemon Chicken Soup with fresh Spinach and Farfalle
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
8 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
½ 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir 1 minute. Add carrots and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add 8 cups broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes. Add pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix chicken, lemon juice and lemon peel into soup. Add spinach. Simmer until spinach wilts but is still bright green, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Thin soup with additional chicken broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing cheese separately.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
2/3 cup boiling water
1 can cream of celery soup
Milk (fill soup can two-thirds full)
1 small jar cheese whiz
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
salt and pepper
Place frozen broccoli in boiling water. Add can of cream of celery soup, milk, and cheese whiz. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon minced onion and salt and pepper to taste.
2007 at 5:20 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Nine years ago today my husband, Brian, and I got married. On this anniversary I wanted to invite you all to listen in as I thank him for being an incredible, godly husband…
It is so hard to communicate in words the gift you have been to me these past nine years. I often find myself amazed at the Lord’s goodness. I simply cannot believe I got you!!
Our marriage began with the adventure of church planting in Chicago. Those first four and a half years were filled with many adjustments, joys, and a few sorrows. We changed homes and jobs and friends. God blessed us with two precious sons. We also suffered through two miscarriages and various health issues. Then, four years ago God called us back to serve here in Maryland at Covenant Life Church. Soon after we were also blessed to give birth to our third son. It has been a grace-filled journey and I am so glad we have done it together!
This backdrop brings me to what I want to thank you for, Brian: your sacrificial care. You are a man who is constantly putting the needs of others above his own, starting with your family. Your care has always looked different depending on the situation, but your goal has always been to point me to the Savior. You have challenged me even when I was proud, you have been gentle and understanding when I was sad, you have prayed for me when I was sick, you have pointed me to grace when I was discouraged, you have encouraged me with words of faith when I was a weary from caring for small children, and you have given me breaks from the kids to get refreshed. I cannot thank you enough for the ways you have cared for my soul. I love the Savior more as a result of your care, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together, growing closer to each other and to our Savior. I love you very much and count you as my greatest gift apart from the cross.
2007 at 10:43 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fifty-two hours, hundreds of stores, four pairs of tired feet…
2007 at 9:18 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
No, we didn’t forget the post today…okay, we almost did, but the excuse is good. We are on our yearly Christmas shopping trip and having tons of fun. Here’s is a shot from our day. As you can see, we are getting lots of work done.
2007 at 9:04 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Jeany from Florida forwarded us this little story and picture. It was too good to keep to ourselves.
Enjoy your weekend, we will return on Monday!
Janelle on behalf of the girltalkers
We had a "going away" party yesterday for a lady at our claims office. One of the supervisors called a Wal-Mart and ordered the cake. He told them to write: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that write "We will miss you." As the picture shows, it didn’t quite turn out right. It was too funny not to keep it.
2007 at 3:03 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Series Girl to Girl Talk Interviews
Today, we conclude our interview with John Ensor…
Is there any truth, any bit of advice you wanted to include in the book but just didn’t fit? Would you mind sharing it here?
One thing I couldn’t seem to integrate into the book very much because it always appeared a bit off topic, but is certainly related to the whole, was the role of the local Church and active ministry in a local church in doing things right in matters of the heart. The book is aimed at individuals (since that is the nature of a book). But the truth is the local church plays a vital role in proclaiming a vision for mature manhood and womanhood and providing a healthy setting for matches to occur. My pastor, Dr. Gordon Hugenburger at Park Street Church in Boston gets silly with delight when he sees Christians meet along the pathways of worship and service, get to know one another in that context, and then come to him with wedding plans. And so do I.
We couldn’t help but notice the liberal sprinkling of Shakespeare references throughout your book. Can you tell us how you became a fan and if you have a favorite play? [I just had to sneak this question in!—Nicole]
When I was a skulking cynical senior in High School, I somehow landed in a class with a dowdy old school-marm who had the audacity to think that my friends and I could actually understand and like Shakespeare. She made us read Macbeth, then Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. Half-way through Hamlet, and I was totally enamored. I remain so. When my kids were in their teens we watched Kenneth Branagh’s films of Shakespeare’s plays and went to Shakespeare in the Park in Boston. When I sat down to write a book on love, I kept thinking of Shakespeare scenes and quotes that illustrated the theological truths I was developing. I decided that he should be our expert witness; and help us see that not only are the doctrines true, but have long been true and are delightfully true. As for favorite, it depends on my mood. I really like Much Ado About Nothing and Taming of the Shrew. They force all the inner tensions between men and women to the surface and yet, “all’s well that ends well.”
We especially enjoyed the personal stories you included in the book about you and your wife. Can you tell us one thing you most appreciate about your wife, Kristen?
After 29 years of enduring me and my chosen path of ministry, which has been most unconventional and risky, (at one point I gave my salary away, another time, went to jail, and last year took up an initiative in Miami that required me to commute from Boston every other week or so) what I most appreciate is that she is still there when I get home!
Indeed she is faithfulness incarnate. I think what I appreciate about her the most has been her commitment to make our home and family the counter-balance to my work: a place of refuge and laughter, peace, order, and a good cup coffee.
Finally, can you tell us briefly about the work you do with Heartbeat International?
I wrote a brief book entitled Answering the Call (Focus on the Family) that explains the biblical foundations, historical precedence and practical implications for Christians to visibly cherish and defend innocent human life. At www.heartbeatofmiami.org you may read how I am attempting to live out that message. You may see how my role as Executive Director of Urban Initiatives fits into the larger work by visiting www.heartbeatinternational.org.
For a more in-depth conversation about John Ensor’s work with crisis pregnancy centers, we want to encourage our readers to check out his interview with Justin Taylor.
Mr. Ensor, thank you so much for writing this immensely helpful and delightful-to-read book! May God bless you and your family and may your work with Heartbeat International save many children who will grow to know and love the Savior, and rejoice in the compelling vision of biblical manhood and womanhood.
2007 at 3:03 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Series Girl to Girl Talk Interviews
Today, we asked John Ensor to answer some questions from a parent’s perspective:
How do you instill passion and conviction for biblical roles of men and women at a young age?
Love your wife and respect your husband. Without this, all our teaching is just clanging pots and pans. Jonathan Edwards spoke often about the difference between intellectually knowing something and having a sensible knowledge of it-like reading about honey in a dictionary versus scooping honey into your mouth. Young people can be taught the roles, but seeing the day to day interchange of love and honor played out in the home through all the ups and downs of life is convincingly sweet knowledge. Our kids know our faults, but they know the roles we teach are good because they have tasted their goodness in our home.
What types of things do you advise that a daughter (and her parents) know about a young man before the relationship “gets serious”?
The main thing is to encourage them to look for the right things in a man and find it before getting serious. And I think that is character, passion and authenticity. What values drive him? What does he treasure in life? What voices does he listen to? What is his goal in life? How does he treat others? This is what I tried to convey in the chapter, “He Displays Integrity, She an Inner Beauty.” Everything else can be adjusted too, skin color, class, education, personality type., etc. But does he display a teachable spirit about God and does he demonstrate a growing edge when it comes to godly character? He might be poor, unsure of himself, not yet a strong leader. But if he demonstrates a sincere heart for integrity, honesty, faithfulness etc, that stem from faith in God, then the rest will grow in due season.
If we were to ask your son, what do you think he would say was the best piece of advice you gave him in how to “do things right” as he pursued the woman who is now his wife?
I asked him and he sent back the following: "When the question of marriage became more of a ‘when?’ rather than a ‘whether or not’ my soon to be wife and I were faced with a decision that seemed obvious to most, but uncomfortable to us. As we were both still in school, (Juniors in college) current social trends (even Christian social trends) dictated that we wait until after graduation, and maybe even after I had found a ‘good’ job. We posed the question to my father and he reminded me of a verse that he had spoken to me many times. ‘It is better to marry than to burn with passion’ (1 Cor. 7:9). Looking back I knew he would say exactly that, but with such a big decision I really needed to hear it again. We were married the summer before our senior year and many people marveled at the difficult undertaking of school full time, work full time, and planning a wedding. But really, we took the easy way out. Avoiding a burning passion over a long period of time and staying focused on Jesus saved us the guilt, pain, and hardship of keeping our relationship in ‘stall mode’ for longer than we could handle."
Tomorrow we’ll conclude our interview with John Ensor. Be sure to check back!