Resources for Christian Women, Encouragement for Families

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Wisdom

A lifelong study of mine is going through the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Presently, I am reading through the Proverbs, in addition to studying from Proverbs commentary by Charles Bridges. This particular commentary is from The Geneva Series of Commentaries. I am just reading/studying a few verses at a time. I keep a spiral notebook on the table and notate each verse that includes a specific word. In my notebook, the first page has WISDOM at the top. On it are already listed and written out over 20 verses about wisdom in just the first 3 chapters of Proverbs. The next several topics are: instruction, understanding, justice, judgment, equity, subtilty (this is needed, by the way, to tell the difference between truth and error), knowledge, discretion, learning, and many more. I am already on my second page of notes pertaining to wisdom. Here are a few verses:

Proverbs 3:13-18

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold; she (WISDOM) is more precious than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour; her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace; she is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retaineth her.

Charles Bridges reminds us:

“Who does not admire this glowing picture of happiness? This wisdom of this world affords no such happiness. Yet cold and barren is admiration, without an interest in the blessing. The happy man has found a treasure, where possibly he least expected it, under the chastening of the Lord. David and Manasseh found ‘God’s house of correction to be a school of instruction.’ Under all circumstances, however, prayerful diligence in the search of wisdom ensures success. The naturally wise man is a fool in heavenly wisdom. The man of prayer getteth understanding, draweth it out to light, as out of the hid treasure…Here the wise man, himself enriched with the merchandise of fine gold points out to us a better merchandise. It is the search for ‘the pearl of great price,’ MORE PRECIOUS THAN RUBIES, YEA, THAN ALL THINGS THAT COULD BE DESIRED. So the Apostle judged. So upon a trial he found it. All the world’s show, all his former valuable ‘gain, he counted as dung and dross’ for ‘the true wisdom’ _ ‘the excellency of the knowledge of CHRIST JESUS his Lord.’ NEVER WILL SOLID HAPPINESS BE KNOWN WITHOUT THIS SINGLENESS OF JUDGMENT AND PURPOSE. THIS INESTIMABLE BLESSING MUST HAVE THE THRONE. THE WAVERER AND THE HALF-SEEKER FALL SHORT. DETERMINED PERSEVERANCE WINS THE PRIZE. (Philip. 3:12-14)

The Shoe Box by Francine Rivers

If you’re looking for an inspirational book to read to your children or as a family, go to the library and check out The Shoe Box, by Francine Rivers. It is wonderfully illustrated by Linda Dockey Graves. On the back cover it says, “Six -year old Timmy O’Neil comes to live with Mary and David Holmes on a cloudy day in September. When Timmy arrives, he has very few things with him. As he slowly makes new friends, he finds a chance to offer his small treasures to a very special someone. A tender and moving story from beloved author Francine Rivers, retold especially for children ages 6-10.”

If I say much more I’ll spoil the adventure. Francine Rivers even includes a page entitled: How This Story Came to Be. Themes of healing, mercy and joy shine through. The Lord’s graciousness to adopt His children as His own is manifest in a special way. Enjoy!

More on Finances

You’ve heard about the Boynton’s book, Radical Debt Elimination in the previous post. I wanted to share a few lines from section 13, the Conclusion. “A whole new life begins when your debt is paid off, and this book was merely the doorway. By continuing to employ the tools we discuss in our book, your income will increase without your taxes increasing. Instead of needing financial help yourself, now you can help others directly……People need to know that others care. Be the one that brings hope to the hopeless. While you were in deep financial bondage, you were not able to do this but now…..”

The book is organized well. There is an introduction, followed by 4 chapters which discuss 4 phases. Phase I is Determine Your Current Location which talks about where you are at right now financially. Then, in the next chapter we read about Phase II: Thinking Radically – Developing the Plan. The nitty gritty of preparing a budget is covered along with an explanation of reducing and redirecting one’s spending. Phase III is covered next: Executing the Plan. There are 4 sections within this phase: Radically Attacking Your Debts, Finding “Hidden” Money, Nickels & Dimes, and in section 10 there is an explanation of “The Malachi Factor”TM. Phase IV is titled Mission Accomplished! There is a discussion about streamlining cash flow and what’s next, after debts are paid.

I agree with much of the contents. God is sovereign and Mighty. His ways are not our ways. As we learn more of Him and His principles, we are better able to make wise decisions. Christ is our Great Redeemer and Life-Giver. He is our all in all.

Why talk about this book on a website called Prov. 31? God calls us to be good stewards of what He has given us. He wants us to be able to reach out and to help others. This may be in the form of explaining to them the claims of Christ, that He died on the cross to pay the debt that His people owed. This outreach may be in the form of reaching out to a family hurting because they do not know what a budget is or how to make one. The Boyntons have decided to write down and share the joys and trials they have gone through with the intent of reaching out to others. Jesus reached out to those around Him by giving bread, by bringing comfort to the sick, by welcoming little children. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by Me.”

Finances, Finances, Finances

Happy New Year to all!

As we begin a new year, we often set new goals, make resolutions, establish priorities. An area sometimes neglected in the new year goal setting (or any goal setting period) is finances. A wise man of old summarized how to handle finances in three easy maxims: Earn all you can; Save all you can; Give all you can. Now each of these could be a message in itself and we may give more details in the coming months on these maxims, however, we have been listening to folks for years and a recurring struggle that folks are having is debt elimination.

For us just to say, don’t get into debt won’t really help those who find themselves in debt, whether $1000 or $10,000. In the next few blog entries, we will be discussing a book called: Radical Debt Elimination. Check out the website at: www.radicaldebtelimination.com/aboutourbook.html.

There are many books, programs, and people stressing debt elimination. “Just pay off the smallest debt, then use that money plus the money budgeted for debt elimination to pay off the next smallest………..da de dah………” What’s unique about the approach in the book Radical Debt Elimination is what the Boynton’s call The Malachi Factor (TM). “We coined the phrase “The Malachi Factor (TM)” from the last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi…..We had nearly $80,000 worth of debt that was eliminated in just six years (including the mortgage)! While we were paying off our debt, we added five children to our family. At the end of those six years, we had a total of eight children (we have nine now) and my husband’s annual income averaged $28,700 over the six years. We want you to see that it is not necessary to earn a huge paycheck to eliminate debt quickly…….”

Check out their website, check out the book and stay tuned for more information on Radical Debt Elimination soon!