strawmom


Plugged-In
August 24, 2011, 5:05 pm
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I really enjoyed reading Bob Waliszewski’s book Plugged-in Parenting. This book is geared for parents of teenagers, but I felt that there was enough information to keep in mind as my sons grow older.

Mr. Waliszewski is director of Plugged-in, an organization that reviews media from a Christian standpoint.  While Mr. Waliszewski cautions parents to be aware of what media is influencing their children, he is in favor of the strides that technology has made. He seems to be in favor of DVRs, mainly because commercials, often containing PG-13 material unsuitable for children, can be fast-forwarded through.  The Internet is also useful to research homework assignments.

Mr. Waliszewski is in favor of turning off these devices and reading book or spending time outside instead. He has to acknowledge the presence of technology in our everyday life. I wish more people promoted this view of turning off machines. True, I have posted this review on the Internet, but I think that I spend more time reading and with my family than I do engrossed in technology. My husband and I, for budget purposes, canceled our satellite subscription last winter and now have our television hooked up to an antenna. This means that we often only get two channels, one of which is the local weather station. This means that our two sons will spend more time playing and less time in front of the tv. Unless of course a Bob the Builder video or DVD is allowed.

I appreciate the effort that Mr. Waliszewski has made with his company and will probably visit his website to read some of his material. I think that it can be difficult to separate ourselves completely from the media world, but I believe that having a strong awareness of what exists is essential.

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Her Daughter’s Dream
August 22, 2011, 4:07 pm
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I read Francine Rivers’ novel Her Daughter’s Dream. As much as I enjoyed the book, I was glad at first that I did not have a daughter. The four generations of women portrayed in the book repeated the mistakes her own mother had made. May Flower Dawn, the fourth generation, came to realize the holding pattern and urged her mother and grandmother to make peace. It was too late to include her great-grandmother in this reconciliation, as she had passed away.

I said earlier that I was glad I did not have a daughter, having read of the mistakes made over again by these women. I have thought more about it since then. As children, we can have trouble understanding what governs the behavior of our parents. That certainly happened in this novel.

I never knew my father’s parents, so I could understand the journey that needed to be taken at the end of the novel to understand the start of the family’s journey. I would not have the detailed information that Carolyn had as she researched her Oma’s hometown using letters that had been written to a long-time friend who remained in Europe.



Bound by guilt
August 18, 2011, 10:29 am
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I want to be C.J. Darlington. Okay, maybe just meet her. I read Bound By Guilt, her second novel, recently. Ms. Darlington has worked in the bookselling business for over a decade, according to the back cover of the book. As I understand it, she seeks out first-editions of books. Imagine finding a first edition of Little Women or The Wizard of Oz. I would not complain about living in that world.

Roxi Gold is involved in this business as well, but she seeks out first editions to steal and then to sell to another bookseller. She does this with her mother’s cousin and her son. She accepts this life as it is. It may not be the most ethical of lives, but it beats foster homes.

Until that day.

Roxi needs to find a new life and she does. She is placed in a spot where she fits, where God needs her to be.

I loved this book. I wish Roxi had not been a book thief, but I wish I could have held a first edition of The Great Gatsby as she did. I wish I could discuss this book more, but I hate to ruin it for anyone. That is how much I liked it.

I said earlier h



Uncommon
August 18, 2011, 10:02 am
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I thought I might be over my head when I was less than five pages into reading Tony Dungy’s book Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance. Mr. Dungy wrote, “Everyone has a different expectation for us as men: be a provider, be tough, be sensitive, don’t cry, stay home, go to work, change diapers, go hang out with the boys, don’t go hang out with the boys, and so on.”

I’m not a man. I am wife to one and mother to two future men.  As such, I found Mr. Dungy’s book to be of great comfort. I enjoyed his calm tone. As a former NFL player and coach, Tony Dungy has been surrounded by men in their twenties who join the NFL and who stuggle with questions of manhood. He writes, “I feel it’s important that the players and coaches on our team understand the platforms they have in their lives. . . . Some are husbands. Some are fathers. . . . All have platforms they can use to make a difference in the lives of those in their circle of influence.”

At the end of the day, it is not whether you win or lose the football game, but whether you are living the uncommon life. This life is one of integrity, compassion, and strength. Tony Dungy writes of football players who seek money and fame for all it is worth. When all that disappears, what they most want are the family and friends that were neglected.

 



Pride
August 14, 2011, 7:40 pm
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“[I]s your pride saying, ‘God, You’ve done enough. Don’t wash me.’?”
Dan, a pastor in Susan May Warren’s novel My Foolish Heart asks this of Caleb Knight, a candidate for the position of high school football coach in Deep Haven, Minnesota.
Caleb is not the only character in the novel who deals with a prideful nature and a foolish heart. Issy Presley, the former football coach’s daughter, and Seb Brewster, former football hero returned home, also deal with pride and foolish hearts.
The quotation at the start of this review comes from when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and Peter told Him that He would never wash Peter’s feet. According to Pastor Dan, Peter couldn’t “bear to have the Son of God serve a sinner like him.”
This is an interesting concept. I remember the Joan Osborne song, “What If God Was One of Us?” The song proposed the idea that we never know who the stranger on the bus is. No one, as far as I know, as ever addressed Peter’s concern in a song. Jesus has done enough already. Pride will not allow the Son of God to wash his feet. That would be too much.
Caleb takes heed to Pastor Dan’s words, especially after he has his legs knocked out from underneath him. A secret is then exposed, giving new meaning to the phrase, “Pride goeth before a fall.”
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the interaction and growth of the characters.