Friday, August 2, 2013

Why my father was right about Harlequin Romances

When I was a teenager, I read many, many Harlequin Romances.  I am not bragging.  I am confessing.
My father never liked it, and I wish I had been more into pleasing my father and less into pleasing myself.

Robert E. Lee did not like his children reading fiction.  He wrote to his wife:
Let him [his son Rooney] never touch a novel.  They print beauty more charming than nature, and describe happiness that never exists. They will teach him to sigh after that which has no reality, to despise the little good that is granted us in this world and to expect more than is given.
H.W. Crocker III says that Lee enjoyed many of the simple pleasures of life precisely because he forsook wallowing in "unattainable fantasies."  He understood that original sin was a reality to live with for the redeemed.
Though we may not adopt Lee's strict position on fiction, we should be wise as to the temptations that may accompany it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Love of Christ in his Intercession

"It is impossible fully to set forth the interest he takes in his people, or the concern he manifests for their welfare....May I expect every blessing to flow to me through this medium, and may I rejoice in this privilege when I can rejoice in nothing beside."     The Love of Christ by James Smith

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Some of our Favorite Books to Read Aloud

Favorite Authors from Inheritance Publications. This is one of our favorite publishers and the only one I will cover today. The list is not exhaustive of our favorites. Grace  of Truth has a wonderful little selection available.

Piet Prins
Anak The Eskimo Boy
Wambu Series (3 books)
Struggle for freedom Series (4 books)
The Shadow Series (5 books)
Scout Series (7 books)
Stefan Derksen’s Polar Adventure
The Sheltie Series (2 books)

Hesba Stretton

Jessica’s First Prayer and Jessica’s Mother
Amy Le Feuvre

Probable Sons
Legend Led
Teddy’s Button
Harebell’s Friend
Andy Man

Deborah Alcock
The Romance of Protestantism
Crushed yet Conquering
Under Calvin’s Spell
The Spanish Brothers
Doctor Adrian
Done and Dared in Old France
By Far Euphrates

 We have carefully selected  historical fiction to make church history come alive.   Deborah Alcock (though not writing for young children, her books can be read aloud when they are quite young) is one of our favorite authors of historical fiction. She takes you to France to weep with the persecuted but persevering Huguenots, to Bohemia to walk alongside the godly John Huss, to Spain to cringe as the reformation is crushed under the heels of the inquisition, to Turkey to witness the pain and triumphs of the Armenian Christians under the Turks,  to Holland as she fights to be free from the domination and oppression of Spain. Alcock understands the theological issues involved and you will get some theological education to boot.  

Some additional historical fiction to teach church history are:

The Farrier of Buda by P. De Zeeuw
The Carpenter of Zerbst by De Zeeuw
Quintus by R. Weerstand

Church history for children  (biography)
Against the World - The Odyssey of Athanasius by Henry W. Coray
Augustine by J. Gzn and De Zeeuw   
 William of Orange The Silent Prince  by W. G. Van de Hulst

Inheritance Publication also has a series on the Huguenots:
The Escape/The Secret Mission by A. Van der Jagt (this series is for children)
How They Kept The Faith by Grace Raymond
The Young Huguenots by Edith S. Floyer 
Driven into Exile by Charlotte Maria Tucker

                   Some books on WW II
It Began With a Parachute by William R. Rang
Journey Through the Night by Anne De Vries

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Puritans on Sin

 The Puritans took sin seriously.   They knew it was worse than Satan: the devil cannot keep us from heaven but sin can.  They wanted people to see it, mourn it and fight it as sinners saved by grace.

If you click on the titles you can link to a great deal on the book from Reformation Heritage Books.

The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning

Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen (edited by Kapic and Taylor).  This is rich but takes some work.  If you want a simplified (yet excellent) reworking of it see the next book.   One of our daughters read the one below and was deeply convicted.

The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard (this is the reworked one.)

Also available is a little book on dealing with sin in our children: 
Dealing with Sin in Our Children by Arthur Hildersham

For those that want to go really study this, the following book (which I have not read) looks superb.  Because it is sermons, we know it was written for a general audience.  
A Treatise of Sin: The Deceitfulness of the Heart Unmasked by Anthony Burgess is probably one of the greatest books ever written on the deceitfulness of the human heart. It was first written in 1654 and published as A Treatise of Sin. The book is a masterpiece on the heart’s deceitfulness in sin, and formality and hypocrisy in religion. Anthony Burgess’ work contains 42 sermons that pierce to the depths of the soul in exposing false religion and the worthless props men lean on to justify themselves before God.  

I do not know if The Mischief of Sin or The Evil of Evils are still in print.  I could not find them at RHB.   Feel free to google for it.

Another invaluable guide to tracking the devices of the devil is called Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks.

Let me assure you that this does not need to be a huge time commitment. Some days I only read a page or a few paragraphs and it helps for me to write out some of the great quotes and some thoughts if I feel moved so to do.
Blessings.   May God make us all more grieved for our sin so that we may love the Savior and our neighbor more.