Jun 23

Keep Reading

2010 at 4:30 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Ever have trouble remembering what you read? I can relate. And so can my husband. He shared some thoughts about reading on his blog recently that I though y’all might enjoy. I hope they inspire you to persevere with your summer reading!


by CJ Mahaney

booksI have friends who can accurately reference specific footnotes from books they read 20 or more years ago! Those friends not only read a lot, they remember just about everything.

I find this very discouraging.

I recently finished A. Lincoln, a 676-page biography by Ronald C. White, Jr. And yet when I closed the book and communicated to others how much I enjoyed the book, there was really only one sentence I clearly remembered—which is one reason why I dog-ear and mark paragraphs and sentences in my books.

I try to read a lot but unfortunately I forget a lot, too. (Did I mention how discouraging this is?) But over the years I have read many unforgettable sentences and paragraphs that have made a lasting impact on my thinking and on my ministry.

Is reading worth the time investment when so much is forgotten? John Piper says yes.

In a message long ago (July 12, 1981) he said this:

What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this: It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%.

Read, but not to remember everything. Read because that 1% that you remember has to potential to change your life.

Although I remember only one sentence from A. Lincoln, that sentence has informed my leadership in a number of ways.

So keep reading.

Jun 22

“Walking With the Wise” Giveaway

2010 at 4:59 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Young Children

walkingThe new Sovereign Grace kid’s album, Walking With the Wise, debuted this week and today we have ten CD’s to give away. Hmmm…maybe we’ll start that girltalk music department after all.

With lyrics drawn from the book of Proverbs, this album includes songs such as: “W-I-S-D-O-M,” “Lazy Bones,” and “A Cheerful Heart.” What’s more, the catchy music is fun for kids and easy on a mom’s ears.

Speaking of ears, one of my favorites songs already is “All Ears:”

I wanna be all ears when Mom is speaking

All ears when Dad is teaching

There’s a lot I don’t know

And they’ve been around a whole lot of years

And have covered some ground

Their words will make me wise, so I’m all ears

I’ve always disliked listening to songs on repeat. But I’m making an exception with this song. We are going to wear it out.

One more thing I love about Sovereign Grace kids CDs – there is always a special surprise track, just for moms. At least, that’s how I like to think of it. On the last album it was “Peace.” Every time it comes on, Jack says, “This is your favorite song, isn’t it, Mom?” You betya, my son.

On Walking with the Wise, I think the secret song for moms is “Who Can Say.” Listen and see if it doesn’t reduce you to grateful-for-the-gospel tears.

So, for the giveaway—be one of the first ten people to email and tell us your favorite line from a Sovereign Grace kids album. And thanks to Sovereign Grace Ministries for providing these CD’s.

UPDATE, 4:50 PM: We have our winners! Thanks to all who entered.

Jun 21

Reilly CD Giveaway

2010 at 10:14 am   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement

around the worldMy husband Mike runs the music department here at girltalk. Didn’t know we had one of those? We don’t. We girltalkers aren’t known for our musical abilities, nor can we identify good music when we hear it. Hey, if we like a song, we like it! It’s all pretty subjective.

So when the Reilly band sent us their new CD, Around the World for review, we passed it along to Mike (who does know a good song from a bad one). Mike and I have enjoyed seeing Reilly in concert a few times—at NEXT and at Covenant Life. So here are a few of Mike’s thoughts on Reilly’s new release:

reillyFans of Reilly’s unique “violin rock” sound will be pleased to know that Around the World is a continuation of Noele and Dan’s dueling violins, Matthew’s interesting bass riffs, with more progressive guitar work from Dan and John (often trading his acoustic for the electric). The addition of Jordan Lenhoff on drums adds a percussion side that we have not heard until this latest effort. Check out the following tracks for a good sampling of their sound: “Around the World,” “Free,” “Light Up the Darkness” and “Wake Us Up.” Vocally interesting, John refuses to deliver the predictable melody lines. Noele takes the lead vocals on a beautiful ballad titled, “Yahweh”. Well done!

The sound will entertain you as you are reminded of your need for a sovereign God and His grace revealed in the cross through their thoughtful lyrics. This truly is the most important part of a song and Reilly did not loose sight of meaningful, biblical, faith-filled songwriting.

Reilly, I don’t know anything about progressive guitar work or interesting bass riffs, but I am enjoying your CD. I’m even listening to it while I write this post. Nice job on a really good CD!

Special giveaway for 5 O’Clock Club Members: If you woke up early—at whatever time you committed to—for the past week (Monday to Sunday) contact us. We’ll send a free copy of the new Reilly cd to the first three members who respond.

UPDATE, 11:33 AM: Contest officially over. Thanks to those of you who responded and congratulations for getting up early! We’ll contact the winners shortly.

Jun 18

Friday Funnies

2010 at 3:11 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

For most of our married life, Mike and I have shared one car. It’s a 1996 blue Camry. The driver’s side door is broken so I can often be seen climbing over the passenger seat to get in. (I wonder how that’s going to work at nine months pregnant?) But I’m not complaining. It’s been a very reliable car.

Recently Mike has added a special feature to our reliable little car. You see, Mike oversees the annual kids camp here at CLC known as Summer Celebration. And each year he has car magnets made in order to get the word out to the community.

Well, this particular year Mike came up with a rather unusual plan for the leftover magnets. Yep, you guessed it, he put them ALL OVER our car. (I’m including pictures so you can see for yourself.)

carI’ll be driving along and notice people staring at me. Forgetting about the magnets (for a split-second) I try to figure out what they are looking at. Then I remember, and sink a little lower in my seat.

Recently, Caly attended a week-long class for which I drove a daily car-pool. I’d park my Summer-Celebration-mobile (Mike’s name for our car) smack in the middle of the row of mini-vans. While leaving class one afternoon, Caly asked me why we had such a funny car. “Cuz you have a funny daddy” was all I could say.

hi carThe other night we went out for dinner and upon returning to our beloved car found that someone had re-positioned all the magnets to spell the word “hi” over and over all around the car. Hmmm…creative.

Then, just a couple of days ago, someone side-swiped the front of SC-mobile and didn’t leave a note. My personal theory? After seeing all the magnets, they were too afraid to get in touch with the owners thinking they might be crazy. I can’t blame them.

I think the owners are crazy.

Happy Friday!
Janelle for the girltalkers

Jun 17

Bitter-Sweet Appetizer

2010 at 3:14 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Recipes

It may be summer, but a cold March wind still blows through our hearts when we remember this year’s Maryland v. Michigan State tournament basketball game.

Wearing Maryland red, the Mahaney family all crowded into Dad and Mom’s living room. We were on our feet—bouncing up and down, calling out plays to the television as the Terps overcame a nine point deficit in the last two minutes to clinch the lead.

Then, with only a few seconds left, and Maryland ahead by two, the MSU player took one final three-point shot.

He made it.

We sat down, hands to our faces, and looked at each other in disbelief.

Did that just happen?

“We are heartbroken,” Dad emailed a friend and MSU fan.

As sad as that day was (and still is), it had two redeeming aspects:

1. We were all together, and

2. Mom laid out a delicious spread.

One of the appetizers (which will always remind me of that game, but there is no reason you can’t enjoy it) is a perfect summer starter. It will make a great lead-off to whatever you’re cooking up for Father’s Day.

And, if you would be so kind, observe a moment of silence for our Terps. Your dad will understand.

salsaFruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

3 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and diced
12 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
Melted butter
1 2/3 cups cinnamon sugar (1 1/3 cups sugar and 1/3 cup cinnamon)

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Granny Smith apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter. Sprinkle buttered side with cinnamon sugar mixture. Then cut into wedges (with pizza cutter) and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.