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So Close to Amazing

So Close to Amazing by KariAnne Wood

With a humorous bent and an infectiously creative attitude, DIY expert and writer KariAnne Wood comes to her new book, So Close to Amazing, with a keen sense of purpose.  The great thing about the book is KariAnne doesn't have it all figured out and yet she is able to laugh at her foibles and mess-ups, with the grace to keep moving on toward another goal.  Early on in the book she writes, "I'm the one who brings slice and bake cookies to a potluck.  Not baked, of course.  Only sliced....That's me - following a dream without much of a plan."

Something extraordinary happens in the midst of the ordinary, at least for the Wood family.  We find in the book a vision of taking over a small town pharmacy, moving from Texas all the way to small town Kentucky with her children.  The picturesque house turns into a swirling place to raise a family, and to engage in DIY projects while seeking to run a business.  Remodeling an old farm hous…
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Vindicating the Vixens

Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible, Edited by Sandra Glahn
For quite a long and drawn out title, this book really packs a punch.The contributors to this volume span a wide range from seminary professors to ministry and pastoral leaders, to bloggers and writers.The book’s title Vindicating the Vixens, gives us a glimpse at the main thrust of the message, we have simply not understood the women of the bible and recapturing and honoring their place in the biblical record helps us see the multi-faceted nature of their lives.
The story of Ruth captures the imagination and focus of its readers with an unparalleled story of redemption.Many times we hone in on the way that Boaz takes Ruth under his wings and marries her amidst the peculiar customs of the time.Yet, as Marnie Legaspi points out, Ruth is committed to her mother-in-law but also to great sacrifice.Marnie points out some loyalties in the life of Ruth by mentioning that Ruth ha…

Frame by Frame

Frame by Frame: Notes on John Frame’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction Chapter 1: What is Theology
Theology is replete with definitions, anything from justification to Christ’s second coming.  Definitions are rarely found in scripture of theology or theological concepts.  We grapple with Scripture and this wrestling in human form are less than adequate to describe the ways the Bible deals with language, narratives, and teaching.
Theologians and scholars of the Bible come up with various definitions.  Frame mentions effectual calling “God’s sovereign summons that actually draws a person into union with Christ.” (3)  But calling also has referent points to “name giving, invitation, request for someone’s attention.”  The point here is that one definition is simply too narrow to encompass all that Scripture states about a particular theological concept. 
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The Action Storybook BIble

The Action Storybook Bible

This graphic illustrated Bible (done by Sergio Cariello) with text from the NIV and Catherine DeVries, gives the reader a real sense of the narrative of the Bible and the characters involved in the various stories.  The book highlights fifteen key stories or episodes in the Bible and provides beautiful illustrations that highlight the facial expressions, activity, and geography of the biblical passages that the authors are engaging.  Overall, the book has an alarming effect of drawing the reader into the story, calling readers to read the stories in the Bible in their entirety and learning the message of God's redemption in Christ.

In the message of Jonah, the authors and illustrator give us a picture of what it meant for God to call Jonah to Nineveh and his response.  The comment, "When God talks to a person and tells him to do something, don't you think he would go ahead and do it?  Not Jonah!"  The grimace on Jonah's face is telling…

Sacred Dying Journal: Reflections on Embracing the End of Life

Sacred Dying Journal by Megory Anderson and The Sacred Dying Foundation

This journal deals with a very important theme in life, the end of life.  Megory, a scholar, educator, and end of life writer has been down the road of understanding death and its coming to every person on this earth well.  The journal is designed for those nearing the end of their life or those who want to get a better grasp on thinking through the questions surrounding end of life issues and journaling about them. The purpose is to get people to think through difficult moments, not feeling constrained to answer every question in order but to wrestle with issues such as ways to heal, belief in afterlife, the kinds of activities you want people to engage in while your dying such as reading, music, talking.  
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