Good Friday morning! This week has been a busy one for me with lots of activities at Drew’s school. Fall is getting in full swing. Here are some of my favorite things this week:
Last weekend I begged Matt to take me to see The Martian since I had just finished the book. What a great movie! It’s full of suspense (obviously) and humor (like the book), which makes a very entertaining 2 hours. (Warning, it is PG-13. I am not recommending this for children.)
On a deeper level, the laborious effort of a whole planet to save one man is very moving. It shows, to me, just how valuable each human life is.
I wrote more on how I liked the movie compared to reading the book first in my subscriber-only e-mail Behind the Blog. Click here to read it (and be sure and sign up so you can receive Behind the Blog in the future).
Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent
Drew and I began reading Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent before bed, and I just can’t say enough good things about this book. I wanted us to start reading about extraordinary Christian men and women and what they did with their lives for God.
I didn’t know anything about Brother Andrew before I read the book. As it turns out, he spent his adult life smuggling Bibles into communist countries in the 1950s and 1960s.
Here is what I loved about this book:
- In Andrew’s early years, he was not interested in God. I enjoyed seeing how God used circumstances in his life to bring Andrew to Himself.
- You see the clear, miraculous power of God on his life. For example, he passes right past border guards with a car full of Bibles after praying, “Lord, make seeing eyes blind.” Drew was able to see how God’s power manifests in a life submitted to His kingdom work.
- I saw how these communist countries allowed a semblance of a Christian church by controlling what the pastors could preach about. I understand now how important the separation of church and our government truly is, and what we should be wary of in the future.
- These communist countries also banned Bibles. I saw how entire congregations of underground Christians didn’t have access to Scripture and how they cried when Andrew would give them one Bible. We take for granted our access to God’s Word.
Educational aspects of the book: Drew received a history lesson without knowing it. He learned about World War II and the Nazi invasion. He also learned about suffering of people, whether it is refugees or those persecuted for their faith in Christ. The book also was rich in vocabulary words above Drew’s level. Some I explained to him but most I allowed context clues to show the meanings of these words.
I would recommend this book to fourth grade and up. Drew is in third grade and some of the concepts were a little harsh for him (like describing Andrew’s experience in war). Overall I’m very glad we read it and I look forward to choosing another book in the Christian Heroes series.
(Idea for my Southern Baptist readers: they have Lottie Moon in this series as well – perfect idea for reading before Christmas! Your kids will be able to know “who” the Lottie Moon was behind the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.)
These last couple of weeks I’ve been checking out Periscope, a social media tool that allows you to view a “scoper” in real time. You can also interact with the scoper by typing in questions or comments on what they’re discussing.
My favorite scopes have been encouraging mom scopes and how-to scopes. I’ll watch them while cooking dinner or listen to them while cleaning. Think of it as a podcast but the scoper gets to interact.
I’ve been praying about using Periscope myself and on Tuesday I’m going to start! My first series will be on unforgiveness based on Matthew 18. I’ll explain in my first scope why I chose this subject as my first one.
I’ll be scoping live at 12 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you can’t make that time, the replay will be available for 24 hours. All you have to do is download the free app from your Apple or Google Play store, sign up, and follow me at Journey with Jill. You can also view the scope from a desktop at periscope.tv but you can only interact from the app. I’ll have updates on my blog at www.journeywithjill.net/periscope and on my Facebook page.
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
This was a late addition to my list because I just made them this morning! But oh so good! If you like pumpkin bread, you’ll love these easy pancakes. I got the recipe from my Kroger magazine. The only changes I made were using all-purpose flour, substituting pumpkin pie spice for cloves, and adding 1 tablespoon of flaxseed (I’m not as healthy as I should be but every little bit counts, right?).
I know you want to try them tomorrow morning, right?