Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Review: Protocol Matters

Protocol Matters: Cultivating Social Graces in Christian Homes and Schools Protocol Matters: Cultivating Social Graces in Christian Homes and Schools by Sandra Boswell

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Protocol Matters is an excellent book on etiquette as a part of the Christian's life. It is an excellent resource for parents who want to teach their children how and why to show deference and respect to others, as well as for adults who want to learn themselves.

Protocol is not just about the stuffy "rules" of formal dining. Instead,

"Protocol training promotes the valuable character-building habits of self-control, humility, and thoughtfulness. Good training is practical, providing our children (and ourselves) with a working knowledge of how the Christian worldview applies to social actions, relationships, and culture." Protocol Matters explains how the rules of etiquette allow us to demonstrate God's love in a practical way. It also details what the rules of protocol are for different situations.

This is a great etiquette handbook covering protocol for many situations, ranging from casual to formal. It is thorough in detail, but written well enough to be accessible even to those without training in the social graces. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their own social behavior, teach their children or students etiquette, or dig deeper into how etiquette is a practical application of love. I give this book 5 stars.

View all my reviews.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Galatians 3 and Romans 4

This morning I am reading Galatians 3 and Romans 4.

I am mostly reading this because my Bible study book has not arrived yet. Yes, I ordered it almost a month ago. Yes, I finally received notice on April 22 that they shipped it. Media mail. It could take up to 4 weeks for it to arrive. Still. *sigh* I really thought I was doing the right thing by ordering it through LifeWay instead of through Amazon. I probably won't do that again.

So... Galatians 3. Wow. That's a pretty powerful chapter! I know that I've read it before, but here's what struck me this morning:

"Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"

If this were a comic  book, there would be a giant ***POW!!*** over my head. That's pretty much how that hit me. There are some things I've been trying to do in my own strength, that I do not have the strength to do. I have been teaching Ellie that we are weak and He is strong, so why am I not acting on that faith? Why am I trying to do it by myself? Am I so foolish?

Lord, please give me the faith to believe, to be fully persuaded (Romans 4:21) that you have the power to do what you have promised. Amen.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Still no book...

I still don't have a book for Bible Study on Friday mornings. I ordered it last Thursday, and it still hasn't arrived. Sadly, Beth and I ordered our books together so her's isn't here, either! They will probably arrive while I am in TX, so I asked Leif to take her book over to her when it arrives. In the meantime, though, I still don't have a book. So I'll try to remember what we talked about today, but I don't have a way to reference it, so I'll be brief...

Today we talked about Pleasing God. We focused primarily on Paul, and his life after the transformation on the road to Damascus. This lesson struck the same nerve that has been plucked quite a few times this year for me, and I think perhaps God is teaching me something. =D

It's not about me.

That seems to be the resounding theme in my life this year. It's not about me. It's about Him and His glory. But it's not about me. It comes up in my relationships, in my Bible Studies, in my parenting, in Mary Kay... and guess what? It's (I think!) starting to sink in that this life I live is not about ME!

Now, I've "known" this for a while. But the knowledge is starting to make its way through my mind and into my actions. The knowledge is starting to affect what I do. And I am seeing myself change, which is pretty neat. A few years ago I read a book called "It's Not About Me" by Max Lucado. Can you guess what it's about? =D This is the book that planted the seed that started to grow and now, through the work of the Holy Spirit in my mind and life, is beginning to sprout leaves! If you've not read it, DO. It's an easy read, not too long, but it is packed with truth. It really has changed my life, and I don't say that about many things.

So today in Bible Study I was reminded once again that it is not about me. None of it. It is about Him and His glory. And knowing that makes me want to know more about Him and His glory. So hopefully my book will arrive soon, because studying and spending time in the Word is one of the best ways to get to know more about Him!

Friday, April 03, 2009

6am coffee

What better way to start out a Friday morning than with a 6am Bible Study at a coffee shop?

Can't think of one? Me either!

I have contemplated joining this Bible Study more than once, but have always been too lazy to get up early in the morning. The last two weeks, though, I have been getting up at 5am and getting stuff done, so I guess that excuse just doesn't hold any more. =D So on Sunday I talked to Mel about joining the study and she said they were starting a new book this week. Perfect!! We are studying "Living Beyond Yourself" by Beth Moore, a study on the fruits of the Spirit. I am really excited about the study! What I am probably MOST excited about is the fact that we are doing one day of the book per week. It does mean it will take us about a year to get through the book, but it also means that (1) I will be more likely to do the study, since each "day" consists of several pages of questions and I have had trouble getting all 5 in when I've done studies like this in the past and (2) we will actually get to study more in depth on Friday mornings since we're not rushing to get through 15-20 pages of material in an hour!

Today we focused on Act 13:50 and 14:22. Good stuff to think about! We had lots of questions about why they were women of high standing (since culturally we didn't think women held positions of high standing, but maybe they were just the influential wives of ruling men), and we had good discussions about what we need to do in order to keep ourselves from being incited to persecute others.

We have a good sized group, if you ask me, with 6-7 members. I think that's great! A good sized group for discussion, and a pretty good sized group for 6am!

I'm looking forward to the material and studying with this group of women!