Is Your Reading Boring?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you’re in a situation where you’re called on to read out loud, but it’s not your forte and you feel like shrinking and hiding, then here are some great tips from speaking skills specialist and YouTuber Jade Joddle.  I have learned a fair amount from watching some of her videos over the last year or two and thought I’d pass this simple video along to those who wish to improve their reading skills.  This can come in handy if you’re part of a book club, bible study, or poetry reading event.


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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


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New Old Beatrix Potter Tale

d6dea6da476f84746801c68cfe8502dfDid you know there was a newly discovered Beatrix Potter tale recently published this fall?  This may be old news to some, but you can read more about it in this BBC article.  I came across this link while reading a commentary article on Think Christian.  The author of that article is Caryn Rivadeneira, who used to appear on Midday Connection before that program went off-air.  I enjoy the different points of view within the Christian world on Think Christian, and how they tie contemporary news into spiritual musings.  Not to mention, glad to learn something about one of my favorite children’s authors!

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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Words & Music: Mirrors and Reflections

ef2ec994a6f611d76ed3ed046c7ed97cI’ve just listened to a beautiful program from Words & Music on this (for me) quiet November afternoon.  If you enjoy good music and the wonderful sound of words, this program will be your cup of autumnal tea.  Henry Goodman and Lisa Dillon are the narrators for this particular episode, and I particular liked the liquid, alto voice of Dillon.  Authors and poets read from include Sylvia Plath, Lewis Carroll, and Thomas Hardy.  Music ranges from Haydn to Benjamin Britten.  I especially liked the poem, “Lady at the Mirror,” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Movie Review: “Mr. Pip”

MrPip(film)Based on the book, “Mister Pip,” by Lloyd Jones.

Version: 2012; starring Hugh Laurie.

Genre: drama

Plot Summary: [from IMDb:] “As a war rages on in the province of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, a young girl becomes transfixed by the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, which is being read at school by the only white man in the village.”

My Review: Disclaimer*: I have not read the original book, so this review will not be comparing it to that novel.  Only as a story in and of itself, totally unrelated to the book.  

With imagination can come much freedom, but it can also be a dangerous thing.  So learns the children from a village in Papua, New Guinea during civil war and uncertain times during the 1980’s.

I have to be honest, I did not know what sort of movie this was going to be when I sat down to watch it one Sunday evening.  It certainly wasn’t what I expected, and I was not prepared for the gravity and rawness of it.  At first it did not make much sense to me; I wondered if I was watching some kind of abstract story whose symbolism escaped me.  But I’m glad I kept with the movie, and didn’t turn it off when things got tough.  The early parts of the story that did not make sense at first eventually are put together in the end.

This film won’t be for everyone.  Even though the most violent actions taken by some of the characters are hidden from our direct view, we still know what is going on.  It made me want to upchuck at times.  I had to pause it at one point and just cry because of what was happening.  But I couldn’t give up on continuing.  I don’t know why.  I don’t think this was a biographical drama, though I’m sure it was historically based, and looking the book up on goodreads informed me this was an original story.  But I was so drawn into the characters and their lives, that it felt so real.  Things like this do happen around the world.  I don’t want to blind myself to what is reality for many people.  It’s terrible to think of, but I’m thankful for what I do have while I yet have it where I live.

1804a70e7c7301c9e9285e1d14091c32On a lighter note, one of my favorite parts was watching Mr. Watts (Hugh Laurie) read Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations to a bunch of children who had never heard anything like it.  He doesn’t just read the tale, but brings it to life by using his past theater skills to dramatize the dialogue.  Doing such a simple thing brings much joy for the children of the village during an otherwise scary time.  The main character, Mathilda, is able to identify so completely with the character of Pip, that the story becomes both a friend and refuge for her in hard times.

This a deep film, and very thought provoking.  So much so that my poor pea-sized mind probably wouldn’t get to the bottom of it by itself without intellectuals to discuss it with.  There isn’t any gratuitous sex scenes, though a woman is raped.  Others are killed in the most brutal fashion and someone is shot at point-blank several times.  There is one scene in which some women talk dirty, and I believe there was some bad language used by some of the soldiers.  It is learned that a married man commits adultery, but never shown.

This movie definitely isn’t going to be one of those feature films to sit down and watch with Grandma on Christmas.  But for those who are interested, it would be a good idea to be prepared for harsh reality and violence.  I thought it was a good movie, and would recommend it for mature audiences.

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Movie Reviews


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Quote for Nov. 13, 2016


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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in Quotes


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Fall 2016)

Let’s get down to the heart of the matter with these two educational non-fiction reads this fall!:

16278109Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice, by Christine Valters Paintner~ Years ago I loved taking photographs of both nature and family events. I lost interest somewhere along the line, but I this past year I have picked the hobby back up again.  I started off the year by reading this interesting book that uses the art of photography as a tool in the spiritual life.  I’ve enjoyed taking walks in tune with the Holy Spirit and with my camera in hand to ‘receive’ images God was showing me.  I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I took lots of notes and am slowly taking each chapter at a time.  The book doesn’t cover a lot of ground as far as the technical aspect of picture-taking is concerned, but it is surprisingly deep spiritually and intellectually.  To be honest, sometimes it was a struggle to try to understand what the author was saying, but that just caused me to reread until I ‘got’ it.  It’s made me look a little differently at life, and for that I highly recommend it.

23398059Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, by Nancy Pearcey~ Everyone has a philosophy- the way in which they see the world. The question is, what is yours?  Can you put your finger on it or explain it?  I first heard of Nancy Pearcey, a professor of worldview studies, on the radio where I heard her interviewed for her book, “Saving Leonardo.” I have yet to read it; I also found “Total Truth” at a thrift store for a dollar and plan on reading that.  But for some reason I decided to start with this book by Pearcey.  This was also a stretch for my brain, but good exercise and I learned so much from it!  Immediately after finishing it, I was better able to understand an intellectual sermon I was listening to, as well as identify different worldviews behind some of my favorite tv shows and movies.  This is a must-read for any serious Christian, or for anyone who is curious how Christians see the world compared to other philosophies.  However, I would recommend that one start with her foundational book, “Total Truth” as it states the basis of what she teaches and it is referred to several times in “FT.”


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Latest Fall Christian Fiction 2016

Hi, folks!  Today I’m sharing some of my favorites from the latest CBD fiction catalog (view online here).  There wasn’t a whole lot that interested me, but unfortunately that’s been increasingly the case with Christian fiction of late.  But here’s some I am adding to my goodreads list!:


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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Uncategorized


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