271 Babies

I am currently reading a book called “Gosnell, The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer and so far, I really can’t identify the emotions I am feeling. As I read, some moments I’m in an outrage at the lack of oversight of the local health departments or the bigotry against the poor. Other moments I feel crushed at so much death and outright lack of humanity and dignity. Other times I feel hopeless, “will this ever end?”. It’s a great read though and so far I highly recommend it!

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and one day as I was planning out my day there, I picked up a newsletter about “intrauterine instillation”. I had no idea what that was so I read up on it. It is a form of abortion. It is saline or prostaglandin injected through the abdomen into the amniotic sac where in the space of 14-29 hours a pregnancy is terminated by burning the baby inside. You can read more about the procedure  here – don’t worry it’s not graphic it’s just wikipedia. As I read this newsletter, I was informed that these types of abortions still happen. I was completely shocked! I thought saline abortions were used only in the 70’s and 80’s. Although the number has gone drastically down, it is still currently used. Only .1% of abortions are done in this manner making the grand total of deaths by burning 271 – a little less than Queen Mary I of England in the 1500’s aka Bloody Mary! This number is still too high.

Deuteronomy 12:31 says: 
“You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

They even burn their children. This last segment in this  verse intensifies their sin . Not only do they do horrible acts, they’re even worse because they burn their children! Not only do we just rip babies apart in utero, we even burn some of them. Like Molech worshipers, in the name of prosperity, we allow our children to be burned alive.

I do believe there is hope though. With the help of the internet, science and social networks, the numbers of these atrocities do seem to be going down. We must inform ourselves, love the lost and desperate, and pray for wisdom in how God wants us to act individually and collectively as Christians.

I found a great website here, if you would like to volunteer your time or donate money to help men and women make informed decisions about their pregnancies and to help save these babies. I also want to encourage you to pray and to set up an alarm on your cell phone that will remind you to pray for these babies and their parents and this sacred cause. I have my alarm set at 10:10 p.m. because John 10:10 says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Will you join me in prayer? Set up your alarm to ring every night to remind you to stop what you are doing and pray for our children, their parents and the cause. At 10:10 p.m. most of our kids are in bed, some of us are getting ready for bed ourselves and the day is winding down. If you are an early sleeper, could you set the alarm for 10:10 a.m. or forget the 10:10 and set it for a time of day when is most convenient.

via Daily Prompt: Baby

The Picture of Dorian Grey – Book Review

“Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.” -G.K. Chesterson

This article contains spoilers.

My book challenge list consists of reading a classic novel. I chose The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. I am really fond of Victorian gothic novels. (Being a cheery person, I really think I need to think through why I love the general sadness of these books. Hmm. I may need to write about that later.)

The story of Dorian Grey and his portrait was captivating. The slow death of Dorian’s soul represented in his portrait made for an intriguing tale. But I found the long, dragged out conversations between Dorian and Lord Henry and even Basil  rather preachy. Lord Henry tried to sound intelligent with his fanciful play of words, but after a second of actually thinking about what he just said, I found myself saying, “Um, no that’s not it at all!”. The book also had a very misogynistic undertone. And I found it very hypocritical. In one chapter Lord Henry is condemning women as being so emotional that they are irrational most of the time, and then a couple of chapters later Basil is in hysterics at how much he worships Dorian’s beauty and how no one must find out. Even Dorian is overly dramatic in most of his decisions. He finds no middle ground in the conversations he has with others and I found his constant boredom annoying.

The book as a whole does have a great moral story to it though, about the depravity of man and the effects of sin. And I found it very interesting given the lifestyle Oscar Wilde lived how he portrays sin as damaging to the body and the soul. Sin is a horrible and selfish slave master. Towards the end of his life, Mr. Wilde did ask for a priest. He, like Solomon, experienced all types of worldly pleasure, and at the end of such exhaustion, both were left empty.

I never really understood hedonism until John Piper advocated for it saying that true pleasure is only found in God and as Christians we should seek it. It was difficult for me to understand this because I usually equate pleasure with sexual pleasure. Piper says: “As Christian Hedonists we know that everyone longs for happiness. And we will never tell them to deny or repress that desire. It is never a problem to want to be satisfied. The problem is being satisfied too easily. ” And I would add temporarily. The full article can be found here. Dorian Grey was satisfied, but temporarily. He did enjoy so many things, but none fully satisfied him. In the end of the book he mostly wants to forget, so he seeks out opium houses. He even vows to be “good” to undue the damage caused to his decrepit mind. The book ends when he stabs the picture that mirrors his soul. Later, he is found with the knife in his chest and the picture left unscathed. This scene reminded me of what I Corinthians says:  Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

Recommendations: I really don’t recommend this book. It was very hard to read, and I found myself disagreeing with so much of the philosophy in the book. Maybe, if you really like books written in the late 1800’s and Victorian gothic novels, you may enjoy this book. Maybe.

To the Christian:  There are a lot of sexual innuendos in this book, but the book isn’t as graphic as it could have been. Obviously that is because it was written during a time when any more details and it would have been banned by civilized society. The word “lover” is used instead of outright illustrative scenes. There is also hinting of homosexual relationships Dorian may have had. Dorian tends to hang around males most of the time, and there is really no moral voice in the book except for Basil (who, to me, has a rather sick attachment to Dorian). Lord Henry I found to be a disgusting character. He is sexist and a manipulator. Although the story is good as a whole, I just couldn’t bear the long conversations between the main characters. I would not let any of my children read this book, even the older ones. Dorian Grey would agree, Lord Henry is poison and I do not want to poison my children with this book.

There are spoilers in this post.

I received the Chronicles of Narnia series for Christmas but before I started reading, I looked up on where to start the series because book #1 according to the book set I received was “The Magician’s Nephew”. This book was published in 1955 while the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was published in 1950 and it was #2 in the box set. After doing some research, I agreed with one commentator who said to read the series in the order they were published, not in Narnia chronological order. This made sense to me. For more information on where to start in the series, I found this site very helpful.

So my daughter and I, depending if we get ready for bed on time, read about a chapter a night. And we both loved it. She saw the movie before hand though, but that didn’t seem to deter her in wanting to read the book. She actually asked why they didn’t follow the book in the movie if that is what was written. I told her that I didn’t think the movie did that bad of a job compared to others in straying from the book, but either way I was excited that she was able to see the differences and preferred the story told in the book.

The book is for children, but I enjoyed it also. As an older Christian the death of Aslan and the “great exchange” made for the life of the traitorous Edmund reminded me of the exchange of Jesus’ righteousness for my traitorous life. There is a depth to this book that unfortunately my daughter missed, only because of her age and she yet has felt the pangs of her sin. But to me that is okay. She loves Aslan, and was happy when he didn’t stay dead. But I had to fight back the urge to emphasize that Aslan is likw Jesus in this book. Although I believe that is the intention of Mr. Lewis, I also believe there is a delicate balance between spiritual symbolisms in fiction that we must take into account.  Saying Aslan is like Jesus is very different to saying the lamb in the book of Revelation is Jesus. C.S. Lewis was not inspired by the Holy Spirit the same way John was in Revelation or any writer of the Scriptures. And I didn’t want my daughter to confuse that. As for now, she is just enjoying a really adventurous story, if she draws the parallel later on, good for her.

Colorful fiction has a way of pointing out truths differently than black and white non-fiction and because fiction has a tendency to stir feelings and emotions we must be careful that those feelings and emotions are based on truths. Remember the heart is deceitful. So while I will not get my theology from a C.S. Lewis children’s book, I will enjoy the emotions caused by the death and resurrection of Aslan on a different level than my daughter because of the truth I know, and pray she will know soon also.

Recommendations: I recommend this book to older children. The witch is mean though and beats on Edmund and turns cute, furry animals into stone. To any one who enjoys books on magical lands and children’s adventures. This is definitely a great book to read out loud to your family.

To the Christian: I really enjoyed this book, but I really didn’t like that Mr. Lewis used mythological creatures as characters in his book. I found it took away from the “Christian” feel of the story.

 

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – Book Review

She Wolves – Book Review

On my reading challenge list, one of the items is to read a book on  history. I chose a book on some awesome queens pre-Elizabeth I. The book covered 4 queens extensively: Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou. All these women ruled England in one way or another and their stories are just extraordinary! To be so brave in a time when women were not seen as courageous and only as a means to heirs was very much refining to me.  These women were brutal in defending their cause and the way they made their choices was convicting. They didn’t settle, they didn’t back down and when faced with defeat they faced their ends with dignity.

The author, Helen Castor, does a great job in making the book come to life with the lives of these women. There is a feminist feel to the book as a whole. This is a book written by a woman, about women, for distinctively a female audience. I say this not to take away anything from the book. It is well written, and I very much enjoyed it.

Ms. Castor also touches a little upon Queen Mary I of England a bit and defends her choice in picking a Spanish husband very well. She also writes a bit on Queen Elizabeth and the success of her reign.

Recommendations: I recommend this book to any woman who loves history, especially female monarchs. Also any history buff on the queens of England.

To the Christian: From the beginning of time the world had distorted the relationship between a man and a woman, especially when it comes to marriage. Ms. Castor does have a tasteful bias for the women she writes about. She defends their decisions eloquently and I did find her enjoyable to read. The ending was a little odd because it ends with a question. The book is not graphic or dull either. Thankfully, Ms. Castor doesn’t bash the Christian faith either like many women writers do when it comes to these subjects.

 

 

 

 

13 Hours – Movie Review

I was a bit nervous choosing to watch this movie. Michael Bay being the director, I couldn’t help but only think of Transformers part 2-6 where I can’t even stand to watch the trailers. Would he fudge this up also? I saw that the movie had been on Netflix for some time and it was recommended by two friends that have a pretty good sense of movies and who know me. I say “who know me”, because lately I have been very sensitive on who produces or who is acting in movies and I hate it that I think this way!  I understand people have different points of view in politics and religion, but it just feels like sometimes these opinions cause division and I find myself not wanting to see movies with certain actors. Was it always like this? This is especially true with military movies that may represent soldiers in an unappealing light. Yes, there are horrors that have happened during wars, but because this was a modern war involving the Obama administration, I was very afraid they would politicize the movie. To my surprise, they didn’t in the way I was expecting. Throughout the whole movie, they never mentioned any of the leadership involved. But silence and inaction can be fairly loud during a crisis and this is more what was ringing in my ear as the movie finished.

I wish I had seen the movie with my husband because he would have been able to explain a little more of the scenario for me and would OF COURSE point out any errors in tactics or praise whenever something was acted out correctly. But from what I gathered, the CIA had an operation in Benghazi about a mile or two from where the American ambassador was staying. When they found out the ambassador’s home was being attacked they were told to stand down and then eventually went and helped out. The CIA base was then attacked. For 13 hours the small force within the CIA base stood their ground. The lack of help from our government is resounding.  I also found it so frustrating the inability to know who was “friendly” or not. How difficult to have to fight an enemy that isn’t a certain nationality, but who has a different and dangerous set of beliefs in his mind. Several died and by the end of the movie the ringing silence of American torpidity echoed.

The acting is just great and heartfelt even funny at times. John Krasinski as Jack Silva was incredible. These kinds of movies really help me to understand just a little bit what my husband went through during his tour in Iraq. This movie was stirring and I loved it.

Recommendations: I recommend this movie to those in our armed and military forces. I believe those with more of a conservative view on politics would enjoy this movie. Young men and teenage boys would probably like this movie also. There are some pretty awesome techy weapons used in the movie they would appreciate.

To the Christian: The movie does have a lot of gore especially towards the end. There are swear words. There is no nudity or sex in the movie, except for two bunnies mating in a video one of the guys is watching. The scene is really short. Some questions I would ask after the movie would be, “How do you determine what is right or wrong in a tense situation?”, “Where do we draw the line on helping other countries?”, “What is God’s role in all of this?” This movie is rated R.

 

Tamales

For years I have been wanting to make tamales for my family and friends, but every year I chicken out and just stare at the ingredients. I know now though why I hesitated so much. Making tamales is hard work and a long, messy process. But now that the dishes are finally clean, my counter tops and dining table don’t feel greasy anymore, and my friends are happy, it really is worth it – only once a year though.

Living in a very small town in Western Kentucky I couldn’t find the special corn meal for the dough (masa) to make the outer part of the tamal, so I ordered it online on Amazon.  Here is the link for the masa mix I used. And on a trip to Atlanta I bought the corn husks. And on another trip to Louisville I bought the ancho chile for the sauce I made to cook my shredded chicken. Isn’t it fun to discover and explore?!

tamales

So again, I had everything I needed to make them, but this time I promised my friends I would be bringing them to their Super Bowl party – so I couldn’t back out like I had done so many times in the past.

I made the tamales on a Saturday when there was nothing much to do. My oldest was going to be out, my youngest had a new series of Pokemon she hadn’t watched, and hubby had a project he was going to work on. So after a big breakfast, I cleared the kitchen and began.

First, I took two large chicken breasts and boiled them. I added salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and some bouillon to the water. This I used for my chicken stock.(1 pot dirtied)

After the breasts cooked, I took them out to cool (1 dish dirtied). After that I whipped about a cup of shortening for the dough with an electric mixer.(2 dishes total dirtied, 1 very greasy electric mixer) {YES! My mother yelled at me already so don’t tell me I should have used lard. I know! I actually thought I had some, and I did, but like 3 years ago when I originally had bought the tub of lard for tamales, but I never made them and threw the lard out last year I think! So instead of quitting – which I was about to do – I improvised and used shortening! Quit judging me!} After whipping the shortening, I then took another bowl (3 dishes now dirtied) and plunged the corn husk leaves in hot water to soften them. After that I used another bowl (yup that’s 4) to make the masa. I followed the instructions on the bag, but ended up using a little more chicken stock than what it called for.

molcajete

After making the masa, I placed the dough ball in the bowl with the whipped shortening and then mixed the two together using my hands! This was so greasy! It’s like mixing frosting with your hands!

shortening-masa

As I was mixing, I was looking for a consistency that was solid and wet enough to spread easily on the corn husks. I had to use some more of the chicken stock to get it just right. But here is where I think I made my mistake. I added some more bouillon (I use a paste) to the masa and mixed it in. I shouldn’t have. I wanted the tamales to be so tasty that I think I didn’t let the natural flavors just be. Although the tamales did taste fine, to me they tasted too “commercially”.

masa

After I achieved what I believed to be a good spreadable masa, I began to make the sauce for my chicken. (2nd pot dirtied). I placed 3 ancho chiles (I only used 1 though in the sauce though because I was afraid it would be too spicy), three roma tomatoes,  1/4 of a white onion, 2 garlic cloves, and salt into a pot and boiled them for about 10 minutes or until they were tender. I did remove all the seeds, tops and ridges from inside of the chiles before I boiled them.

After they were boiled, I transferred all these ingredients to a blender and added salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin to taste. (1 dirtied blender) I also, at this time, removed the corn husk leaves from their water bath and spread them out onto a towel to dry out.

After the sauce was made, I took my chicken breasts and shredded them and placed them in a bowl (5th dish dirtied). I then added the sauce onto a cast iron pan with some vegetable oil to cook, (3rd pan dirtied)  and then added the chicken.

shredded-chicken

I had to add some more of my chicken stock to the salsa because it did thicken a bit.I cooked the chicken until it was softened and the smell was just wonderful!

chicken

After all of this was done I then began the assembling of the tamales. I placed the large bowl with the dough, the shredded chicken, the corn husk leaves, a large dish (6th one), and two spoons on my dining table. I asked my daughter if she would like to help me and she agreed and she loved helping me spread the dough onto the corn husk. I will warn you though that the dough is naturally greasy. My daughter got the dough all over the table, the floor and herself. Our dog probably ate about half a pound of raw masa from the floor. Where . . . is . . .  . he? Anyway, but these are times when I just couldn’t worry. I was passing a tradition down to my daughter daing it, and the dog dying from a heart attack wasn’t going to ruin this for us! We are making memories! So we assembled on.

Now, on the corn husk there is a very smooth side and a side that is bumpy or wrinkly. The dough is spread on the smooth side. After spreading the dough with the “grain”, using up about a third of the leaf, you then place some of the chicken filler in the middle and then fold the corn husk in half like a taco. After that you fold one more time and then bring the pointy end up to the thick end. If you can’t envision it, look it up on YouTube. My daughter was able to do it on her own around her third tamale.

We ended up making about 24 small to medium tamales.

After making them, I placed them in a stock pot (5th pot dirtied). But before putting the tamales in, I placed a steamer mesh and added water to the bottom of the stock pot. I then lined the bottom with corn husk leaves so that the actual tamales don’t get water in them.

tamales-3

After I added all our tamales and made sure they were all upright, I then placed more corn husks around the edges of the stock pot and then wrapped them up like a little baby.

tamales-2

I then placed a clean towel on top of that and put the stock pot’s lid on top. I steamed them on med-high heat for about an hour and 10 minutes.

At the end of the long wait, I pulled one out and unfolded it. The dough and the corn husk separated easily (which means they’re done) and I took a bite. They tasted good, but I think I over did it on the bouillon. Oh well. My family and I shared that one tamal and they all loved it. My daughter especially had a little proud face when we took them to the Super Bowl party and she found out that they all were gone quickly.

Now, Super Bowl was obviously on Sunday the next day so to reheat them I placed them flat in my cast iron skillet and toasted them a little on low heat to heat them through. This did make them taste better in my opinion because of the smoky flavor that is added by toasting the corn husks a bit.

Tamales are hard work, but it really was worth it. I now understand more why women in Mexico choose to make tamales with other women. It certainly is not something to be done alone. To converse, laugh and pass on the culture to our children is something easily entrusted through cuisine. In my opinion, it is something that currently is forgotten. With boxed dinners, microwaves, and fast food, we don’t have the time to sit with our children and just exist WITH them. Although most of us (me included) will not be making tamales all the time, we could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our kids. They can help us make some hot chocolate or cookies. Let us teach them to create deliciousness in the kitchen.

When Elijah was down and tired of his life, God did something awesome to comfort him. He fed him. I will leave you with this verse:

And the LORD said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you . . . So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food . . . . . . he reached the mountain of God.  I Kings 19:7-8

The Great Divorce -Book Review

I have a confession to make. This is my first C.S. Lewis book. I cringe to write that, but it is true. I have had the best of intentions to read Lewis, but never got around to it. Countless of times I have read so many beautiful quotes from him. So many pastors who I admire have quoted Lewis in their sermons. The quotes being full of wisdom and intellect in their distinctly-Lewis way. I loved the Narnia movies (well the 1st one and 3rd one, not the 2nd one so much) and fell in love with Aslan and Mr. Tumnus. But unfortunately, I had never read an entire book by him.

With that being said, it was with great joy for me to get this audio book. I really do not like fantasy that much, but this particular book was fairly short and I thought it would be a good start where I could cut my teeth in regards to this genre.

The book was okay. It had some good quotes here and there, but the story was just too fantastical for me. At the beginning of the book there is a warning that the story is not meant to be theologically accurate, and it wasn’t at all. And I think that is where most of my problems were with the book. It’s not like Narnia, where everything is a fantasy. Everyone is made up and certain characters allude to Jesus or to God. In “The Great Divorce”, the ghosts are experiencing Hell and working to get to Heaven whilst being in Hell, and I just couldn’t get past that as I read. I know the story is meant to help the reader understand sin and repentance and ultimately the joy of Heaven, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about how death didn’t seem so final in this book and that all were technically given a second chance after it. But I continued with the story despite my reluctance.

Lewis did have some good imagery regarding ghosts who struggled with sins we tend to overlook like: manipulation, gossip and vanity. But I just wished they would not have been “dead already” dealing with these sins.

A quote I really liked from this book was:

 There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ 
I do believe I am a bad judge when it comes to the fantastical. I usually don’t read it. I wanted to like this book, but I really didn’t. I do want to say though that Lewis was still profoundly effective in explaining sin and the ugliness of it. His word imagery to analyze and clarify the problem with man and the love and joy of God was paramount. (SPOILER ALERT) And then it was somewhat compensating at the end when all of it was just a dream for the narrator of the book. Somewhat . .

Recommendations:  I recommend this book to those who like metaphors and allusions. Also those who are more philosophical in their theology and who do not mind thinking “what if” on things dealing with the afterlife.

To the Christian:
The book does well in further explaining what sin does to us and how repentance leads to joy. The recurring sin in our lives affects us and those we love more that we could ever imagine, and Lewis does a great job in portraying that with the different characters the narrator meets on his way to Heaven.

Sing – Movie Review

This animation is about an entertainment business koala who is about to have his theater foreclosed on. In a desperate attempt to keep his theater, he promotes a singing contest, but things are not what they seem. Also, in the story line, we get to see into the lives of several contestants and their various plights, and most of us could identify with at least one of them. I, personally, identified quiet a bit with Rosita the pig.

What a fun movie! I saw this with my 8 year old daughter and we both just loved it! There was even a time when I had to force myself to stop laughing because I thought I was starting to annoy people – if you go see it, it’s the Koala car wash scene towards the end. Oh my! I’m chuckling here thinking about it!

The plot wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be so that made it even a better movie. And the music is fantastic.

If you like reality shows like the Voice or American Idol you will really enjoy this movie. All the contestants have extraordinary voices. Meena – the elephant, all I can say is just “wow”. I read that there are about 85 different songs in the movie, so the kids will be entertained.

To the Christian: This movie is a great movie to watch with the kids and will not be a hardship to watch for parents like other animations can be. All the songs are secular. Except if you want to count “Hallelujah” as a non-secular song. (K-love might. Don’t get mad, you know it’s true!)

A great topic to talk about with your kids is what common grace is. God has given all a common grace and one of those common graces is the ability to sing beautifully. Most singers are not saved, but can still produce beautiful music that can point us to a Creator. “How does God use music and other forms of art to reveal His beauty?” and “How can the world use it to influence us negatively?” are both good questions to ask your kids after watching this movie.

There is nothing that really stood out to me as being inappropriate in the movie.

The Alchemist – Book Review

If you are looking for a good book on audio, then this is a great book!  I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it! I had never read a Paulo Coelho book, but had heard of him. This book came as a recommendation from some of my family members, and I am so grateful to them for it. This book would be a great book to read aloud to your family.

The book is about a young man who is looking for his treasure and his personal legend. Throughout the book the reader is unaware if the treasure is actual gold and jewels or if it’s a person or if it’s some form of knowledge. The young man sets off to find this treasure and meets several very interesting characters along the way. The story is set in southern Spain and North Africa and there is a lot that I learned from that part of the world in regards to their culture and customs. The book also provides a bit of magic in the book that is just enough to make for a great story.

The book is easy to understand and at the same time it is very deep and profound philosophically. There are a lot of life lessons and positive perspectives that could be learned from this book. The boy in the book is a natural optimist and that was very attractive to me. He learned a lot on his travels and we learn with him as he journeys to find his treasure.

Recommendations: I recommend this book to the wanderer or traveler at heart, to the person who loves stories about wonder and adventure, and to those who may want something easy and fun to read. I also recommend it to anyone who has an unfulfilled dream that they may still aspire to accomplish one day.

To the Christian: The book is clean and at its center it reveals a God in control of His creation. Knowing the history of southern Spain and northern Africa, you can safely assume that there is a lot of mention of the Muslim faith, and there is. There is even mention of some Hebrew practices. I had a slight problem with God and Allah being interchangeable in this book, but I took all this very lightly due to the magical and fantastical subjects found in the book. For example, one of the characters found a way to change any metal into gold; and the sun and wind can literally speak. There is also transfiguration and immortality is attainable. So I didn’t take his interpretation of God too seriously. The alchemist in the book does cite Jesus’ words several times as words of wisdom, and unlike a devout Muslim, he even mentions Jesus as the Son of God. There are also dreams and visions that are important within this book and the author references back to Joseph the son of Jacob and his ability to interpret those dreams and visions. My only caution would be that Mr. Coelho does have a universalist leaning, but again, to me that wasn’t a problem due to the fantastical prose of the book. There are some beautiful things written about God. If you have a young reader this would be a good book for them to read. You could discuss with them later about who God truly is and what God’s Word has to say about man and the nature of his heart. Mr. Coelho believes that God can be found if we look within ourselves. I would argue that we, ourselves, are found if we look within God.

 

Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Book Review

Ever since I heard the testimony of Rosaria Butterfield, I just fell in love with her. I spent a couple of days looking her up on youtube and other sites and just listening to what she had to say. When I found out that Mrs. Butterfield wrote an autobiography, I just had to read it, so I added her book to my Christmas list and I got it. Needless to say, I read the book in two days!

On youtube and other sites, a lot of the focus of her testimony is that she was a lesbian, Marxist progressive and that she no longer is now. Although that is important, there is just so much more to her than her past lesbianism. In her book she does mention her life before Jesus, but she also speaks vulnerably about her transformation into a repenting Christian and even mentions her current sin issues and how horrible they are to a Holy God. Rosaria beautifully speaks of the struggles in the life of a Christian. My sins, the currents ones I am committing as I write, God hates; but because of the trust I have on the work of the Cross, I can boldly approach this Holy God and plead for forgiveness, and because He is faithful to forgive, I can jump for joy that He is a great God! She also reveals the Gospel in such a way that it just grabs me by the hand and takes me along for a journey in getting to know this forgiving God! Rosaria’s story (like all Christians) doesn’t stop once she converts!

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that she also wrote about worshiping God through hospitality. She mentions the lack of hospitality among Christians and the plenitude of it among the LGBT. And I had to agree with her. Why are we quick to look the other way when someone needs attention or even just a hug? Why do we not open our doors enough to the wretched, the ugly or the lost? Why do I turn up my nose to the depressed, the emotionally needy, the poor, the pill poppers and the losers? What is the point of my candle light shining in an already lit room? Have I forgotten the mire of where I came from and where I still continue to go?

A specific sentence she wrote really captured my attention. On page 24 she says that looking back at pictures of herself, she no longer recognizes herself. Am I transforming in my Christian life that much that I too do not recognize myself? My life before my conversion was despicable. But am I continuing to change to become more and more like my Savior. Am I different from the person I was last year or even last month? Or do I still continue with my same sins, not caring about the monotony of my daily besetting transgressions?

I loved this book! And I recommend it to all Christians! I do not want you to think for a second that this book is only for those struggling with same-sex addictions or inclinations! It is not! It is for the Christian who struggles with hypocrisy (me). It is for the Christian who feels that God cannot heal him from a besetting sin (me also). It is for the Christian who is at peace with their holiness (the self-righteous). It is also for the lost. It is for all of us.

I also want to tell you that the book is not graphic. There is nothing obscene or tasteless in the book, unless words like “drag queen” or “butch” offend you. Not once did I flinch, or think she had crossed a line. Rosaria does well writing her autobiography in a way that exalts her Savior, not her sins (past or present).

I leave you with several excerpts from her book:

Undisciplined taste will always lead to egregious sin – slowly and almost imperceptibly. (pg30)
 In regards to evangelism – The integrity of our relationships matters more than the boldness of our words. (pg. 48)
I felt and feel no solidarity with people who think their salvation makes them more worthy than others. (pg. 81)
People whose lives are riddled with unrestrained sin act like rebellious children. Sin, when unrestrained, infatilizes a person. (pg. 108)
We in the church tend to be more fearful of the (perceived) sin in the world than of the sin in our own hearts. Why is that? (pg. 115)
Our plans are not sacred. (pg. 126)
You can help, but only Jesus can heal. (pg. 146)
There is so much more in this book, but I want to leave it to you to discover on your own.