Cycling for a cause

Wow – I just looked at my blog posts and it looks like all I’ve been doing for the past month is read. Really – that’s just what I’ve posted on my blog. I’ve been plenty busy doing other things.

After Collier Lilly Ride 6-6-09

For example, remember this post about my cycling adventure. You may not, it was back on May 22. I have done more cycling and have more planned. DH and I rode in a 31 mile ride that started at Davidson College. We did all 31 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes, which I think is pretty awesome. The picture to the right is right after we finished – I don’t look too much the worse for wear. DH could have done it much faster but he kept waiting for me. I have decided that when we move, it will be to a place with no hills.

We have another ride, 40 miles this time, coming up on July 18th. That will be up around the Lake Norman State Park. I’m not nearly as nervous about that ride as I was the first one. I know that if I can do those 31 miles then the 40 won’t kill me.

We are also taking a class at a local bike store where we are learning how to handle hills more efficiently (I still think not riding hills would be most efficient).

BikeMS_1

All of this is really building up to the first weekend in October, when we are riding in the MS bike ride. DH rode in this charity ride 3 years ago and hasn’t made it since due to church Senior High Retreat obligations. But this year we’re riding it. Not together, however. He will be riding 100 miles on Saturday, I will do a separate and shorter route. Then maybe we’ll ride together on Sunday.

Having said all that, I will make the pitch now. The MS ride is a charity ride and it is for a very worthy cause. People are diagnosed with MS every day and there is hope for them. Please consider making a donation for me on my MS150 page, or a donation for my DH on his MS150 page.

We’ll see you on the road! (Please give us plenty of room, I’m not good at staying steady on the white line yet.)

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Nightstand status

nightstandIt’s that time again.

Here is the list of books I hope to read in the month of July.

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Here is the list of books I planned to read in June, with progress made:

  1. Dred Scott’s Revenge by Judge Andrew Napolitano (Thomas Nelson book review blogger) – finished
  2. Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation by Richard Norton Smith – finished
  3. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman – finished
  4. The Odyssey by Homer – keeps getting crowded out by library books
  5. Believing God by RC Sproul Jr. – finished

Other books I read this month:

  • I also read Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire – very funny and very good. This was on my nightstand a few months ago and I’m glad I finally read it.
  • I picked up A City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge and it was wonderful! Now I need to read the other 2 in the trilogy.
  • I also found a new author – still life by Louise Penny. There are another 4 in that series that I will enjoy reading. This was a well written mystery with great characters.
  • I read The Mysterious Benedict Society, loaned to me by an 11 year old – very good book
  • And the sixth Maisie Dobbs book, Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear came out so I read it as well.

Now we know why I didn’t finish The Odyssey.

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Spring Reading Thing close-out

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Spring is over – Summer is here!

I mostly finished my reading list! And read several other books along the way, due to library schedules or getting distracted. For example, I read the Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman and really enjoyed it! I also read a biography of George Washington that wasn’t as enjoyable, but was a good start on what is turning into a major reading project around the Founding Fathers.

The beauty of a challenge is that it keeps me on task, so I don’t get too far off track with additional reads without reading at least some of my original objective.

My original list with links to book reviews or summaries.

  1. Consequences of Sin by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
  2. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (an advance readers’ edition, it’s coming out June 2009)
  3. Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne
  4. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
  5. The Odyssey by Homer
  6. Spectacular Sins by John Piper
  7. How Long, O Lord by DA Carson
  8. Emily Climbs by LM Montgomery
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  11. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
  12. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  13. finish Les Miserables (I’ve read 1 volume)
  14. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  15. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe-the ChristianAudio May freebie
  16. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson – the ChristianAudio June freebie – started but not finished.
  17. Believing God by RC Sproul, Jr.
  18. George Muller bio by Pierson – on Kindle
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Believing God by RC Sproul, Jr

I picked up a copy of Believing God at the Ligonier National Conference in March. I even had RC Sproul, Jr, autograph a copy for a friend of mine. From the first time I read a description of the book I knew it would be great content that I needed, written well.

I was right. He spends 12 chapters reviewing promises in the Scripture, discussing why we don’t believe them, why we should believe them, and what they say about the God who made the promises to us. He picks the big ones, the ones we try to reword to let God off the hook. And he shows us that they say what they say and why that is good news!

I have been convicted by this book. It brought to light beliefs, behaviors, and needs of mine that need to be corrected. I have also been encouraged by this book as 12 wonderful promises have been revealed and applied to me. There is lots of food for thought here, and I will be revisiting this book for more.

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IBC – it’s not just about lumps

Check out this youtube video report about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

My cousin died of this last year. Often there are no lumps. Instead look for spots that look like bug bites, other odd shapes or spots, hot to the touch. Mammograms do not find this. MRI or other tests are required. Your doctor may not have heard of it or ever seen a case. Both of you should get educated!

There is some information about IBC at the Susan G. Komen website.

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Patriarch

Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation by Richard Norton Smith was a difficult read. It covers just the presidency and retirement, with just a summary of his life leading up to that. At times he seemed to present too much detail without context, but others he just expressed an interpretation of motives and actions with no support. I imagine a biography of such tumultuous 8 years and so many strong and varied characters is difficult. I look forward to reading other biographies of Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others to see how they compare.

The biography does provide a lot of information about the period, and displays the partisan fighting that occurred as the Federalists and Republicans fought over the formation of our early government. He also provides some context for world issues as the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte are playing out on the world stage. I found it interesting and covering a period of time that I have not paid attention to since the 10th grade. I look forward to reading more about the same time period.

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The Zookeeper’s Wife – review

I read a few reviews of The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman and they all made it sound like an interesting and well-written book. It is a true story, based on diaries and other sources, told from the perspective of a couple that managed the Warsaw zoo before WWII. The war and German invasion put an end to the zoo, but they found various ways to keep the property used and busy so they could use it as a major part of the resistance and a place to hide many Jews as they helped them escape the Nazis.

It is really much like a nonfiction book given the historical detail that the author includes and the research she has done. She explains many of her sources throughout the book when she uses a journal or story told by someone who lived in Warsaw at the time. But it is written much like a novel in that she doesn’t footnote you to death or have sharp breaks between subjects. The format works wonderfully! It is so easy to read and moving in how she conveys the environment, the people, and the struggles.

I think the story is a great way to learn about the history of WWII, the people involved, the ideologies proposed. It was scary how much of what the Nazis believed is still with us today.

Including the love and care and Antonina’s empathy with the animals added another emotional level to the story. What the animals struggled with – the fear and disruption and moving to new places or being killed for gratuitous entertainment matches what the Jews and other people experienced.

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His strength

This was on Fighter Verses today:

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
[Psalm 105:4]

Why should I seek God’s strength?

  1. [P]ower belongs to God.
    [Psalm 62:11c]
  2. [H]e is the one who gives power and strength.
    [Psalm 68:35c]
  3. I am poor and needy.
    [Psalm 40:17b; 70:5a; 86:1c; 109:22a]
  4. He has pity on the weak and the needy.
    [Psalm 72:13a]
  5. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
    [Isaiah 40:29]
  6. … to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
    [2 Corinthians 4:7]
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Spring Reading Thing status check 4

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Just tracking my progress here:

My original list with links to book reviews or summaries.

  1. Consequences of Sin by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
  2. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (an advance readers’ edition, it’s coming out June 2009)
  3. Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne
  4. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
  5. The Odyssey by Homer
  6. Spectacular Sins by John Piper
  7. How Long, O Lord by DA Carson
  8. Emily Climbs by LM Montgomery
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – done.
  11. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
  12. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  13. finish Les Miserables (I’ve read 1 volume)
  14. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  15. the ChristianAudio May freebie – Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
  16. the ChristianAudio June freebie – Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson
  17. Believing God by RC Sproul, Jr.
  18. George Muller bio by Pierson – on Kindle

It’s tempting to put off finishing something deep and get a quick success in, but I need to hold down and finish what I have in progress already.

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Reading progress

I made a lot of progress Friday and Saturday between bike rides and dinner and other birthday events and I have finished George Muller of Bristol and His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God.  I read the Gutenberg version on the Kindle. It was long and the last 1/3 is journal reprints which I didn’t read. But it was a great book. The writing style is a bit repetitive and preachy, but the subject is amazing and the end result is convicting.

I still have a few hours left of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, the May free download from ChristianAudio.com. This has been a challenging project this month, as I mentioned here.

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I’m gearing up for the June free download, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology by Eugene Peterson. And because I am a fan of ChristianAudio.com on Facebook I also get to download The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way.

There are two more books in the series, available on ChristianAudio for a very discounted price this month. Check them out!

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