Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Blind Side

"The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis

Most people have seen the movie and I really like the movie. I wanted to see what the book had to offer. The book had a lot more information about football, my husband is now impressed with my knowledge. But it also added more of who the person Michael Oher was. It really is an unbelievable story of a poor, homeless black teen who is brought in by a rich, Evangelical, white family. The love they show Michael and the devotion he returns is heart lifting. "God gives people money to see how you're going to handle it. And she (Leigh Anne-the white mother who adopted Michael) intended to prove she knew how to handle it." She used her money to buy Michael clothes, of which he only had one shirt and a pair of shorts. She used her money to feed him, send him to school and cover his basic needs. May we all prove we know how to handle God's money. The father, Sean, was asked how he felt about the experience. He replied, "It's ruined us. Because so far as I can see, there's no downside. We can't look at a kid who's in trouble now without asking, 'If we had him, could we turn him around?' So what do we do when he leaves? Do we do it again?" I love the heart of this family. They are so giving and willing to take a chance on someone who needs the love of Christ. This is an amazing story and inspires me to be willing to help those in need.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital

"Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital" by Dr. Heidi Squier Kraft

I read this book in a day. It was a book that reminded me of the sacrifices of every day people that do extraordinary things. It reminded me of the sacrifices so many people make so that I can have the freedoms I enjoy. It humbled me and made me oh so thankful. There really aren't words. It is a true story of a psychologist who gets deployed to Iraq, leaving behind her husband and twin 15 month old babies. She writes about life in Iraq and the Marines that she helps. "There are two rules of war. Rule number one is that young men die. Rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one." This is the most frustrating thing for Heidi and she says "War damages doctors, too. They are damaged by rule number two." Doctors are meant to help and save but in the places and under the conditions they were in they couldn't and because of this they were damaged too. She was able to get a ice cold coke one hot day in Iraq and said, "Sometimes, heaven was redefined." It is the little things. "Can you believe that these sorts of absolutely insane situations face these people half our age every single day out here? Do we actually, realistically, expect them to be able to cope with this and not have any complications?" Our troops face things no one should ever have to face, ever. Yet they do. And how can we expect them to come home unchanged? We can't and we shouldn't. No amount of therapy can change what they see and have to do but at least it can make them feel like they aren't the only ones and they aren't crazy. They are true heroes and I am so grateful to them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Zion Chronicles

"The Gates of Zion"; "A Daughter of Zion"; The Return to Zion"; A Light in Zion" and "The Key to Zion" by Bodie Thoene

These books have been sitting on my shelf for over a year. I always had something else to read so I never got to them. And, admittedly, they didn't look that good from looking at the cover. But as they say, don't judge a book by it's cover. The books are about a few key characters in the struggle of the Jewish people after the Holocaust in the Middle East. There is a lot of sound historical information but it is wrapped around a story that captures the reader. Here are a few quotes. "We must continue to trust. That there is a purpose and a plan for everything. God is paying attention and, though we may grieve now, the whole story is not known to us yet." How hard it is to remember that this is not all there is. We have so many questions because we do not see the whole picture. "There can be no peace unless it is found in a man's heart. And that cannot be unless he first knows God and then comes to love himself and others with a love like Jesus." Peace is hard to find these days amidst the troubles of this world but God gives a peace that isn't based on what is going on around us. I really enjoyed reading these books and am looking forward to the two more series that follow them so stay tuned.