I didn’t go to my TOPS group last night, so I didn’t weigh in this week. I feel like I have at least maintained my weight since last week. I haven’t walked since last Wednesday. My life is sometimes just too busy to work it in. I don’t think I’ll manage working it in today either. So a whole week has passed since I last exercised. I hope to remedy this tomorrow, and will work toward that not happening again.
Books– believe it or not, I am still not finished with Wheel of Fortune. I still have about 80 pages left. Again, my responsibilities have precluded me from reading. But, I will say that Laurel is right about the book having more Christian elements in the second half. As I read it, I have a sense that Howatch was using characters in this book (Young Hal, Pam) as prototypes for her characters in the Starbridge series. I imagine that reading Howatch’s books gives me a picture of her own spirtual journey. It would interest me to talk with her in person about what she believes.
Holiness of God–still in chapter 4. Haven’t had time to read this book either. My son’s birthday was Sunday, so we had various celebrations. Mark was out of town, making me busier over the weekend. I helped host a baby shower at church on Saturday. Sunday had all of its regular obligations plus the consecration of a new wing of the Methodist church’s building, in which Mark was asked to participate. Then we had a community-wide ladies’ function last night for which I had been a part of the organizing group. Tonight is Calvin’s kindergarten program for school. So we are just busy. Things will slow down soon, I hope.
Just thought I would update on a few things I have blogged about lately . . .
Walking – Real workout walk (35 min) Monday; fairly long walk with children pushing stroller Tuesday; 20 minute fast walk Wednesday. Not bad by my estimation. Anything is better than nothing.
Wheel of Fortune– in the last section. Have totally been irresponsible with my time in the evenings to take out time to read this book. Bad behavior for a mom . . . but I’m enjoying the book. Will be on a fiction break for a while (at least a week 😉 after this.
Holiness of God – since I’ve been reading so much of the novel, I haven’t read much more in this book. It goes quickly though, so I am in chapter 4.
It seems I am stuck in a poor sentence structure rut . . . In looking at the latest blog entries, I noticed that I started 3 of them with “Well.” Even in informal blog-land, this is a bit much. I will try to avoid this practice in the future.
I’m about halfway throughThe Holiness of God. I am finding it very helpful in reminding me of how grateful I should be for God’s willingness to love me when I am so far from being holy.
Well, I am up to page 713 in Wheel of Fortune. One thing I’ve noticed in the most recent part of the book is a reference to Dame Julian of Norwhich. She was a big influence in Howatch’s Starbridge Series. I am also noticing a lot of talk about “taking off masks” and some of the characters leading double lives, also things that come up in Howatch’s other novels. I am enthralled with the book, and I have been staying up way too late reading for the last several days. I need to finish this book so I can pay proper attention to my life’s responsibilities.
Well, I went to my weight loss group Monday night after not being there to “weigh-in” last week. In the last 2 weeks I have lost 4 pounds. Total loss is now 20 pounds! This is something of a milestone. Even though I still have a significant amount of weight to lose, it is good to get the first 20 gone. I haven’t gotten out to walk today, but I hope to before getting to sleep tonight.
Well, I have read a couple more chapters of The Holiness of God. I am enjoying it. I heard RC Sproul speak in person a couple of times, and he strikes me as a personable, down-to-earth sort of guy. His writing style strikes me the same way, thus making this book sort of friendly and accessible. I think my plan at this point is to finish this as quickly as I can and then read Chosen by God. Then I will talk with my “newly reformed” friends about reading them together for discussion. I appreciated Dawn’s suggestion of Chosen by God. I have a friend from college who read this book, and it is what drew him to becoming presbyterian (not to mention the obvious sovereignty of God). So I am hopeful that these books will be a good place to start. I also wanted to comment that it has been good for me to read some non-fiction again. I have sort of ignored non-fiction for a long time, so I am enjoying reading for learning more than for entertainment–although we all know we learn a lot when we read good fiction.
Ok, I know I must seem like a broken record writing about Anne of Green Gables again, but I had to because I just splurged and purchased the 2-part video at Sam’s Club on Tuesday. I hadn’t planned on watching it this soon, but my soon to be 3-year-old daughter and I were home alone this morning, and she wanted me to put it on (I think because she liked Anne’s picture on the box). So I did, and we watched while I folded laundry, updated the check book, and did other rather stationery chores. When you read the Anne novels, you get a real sense of the child’s over-active imagination and her overly dramatic approach to life. The video adaptation captures both of these things well. The actress who portrays Anne plays her just as I would expect her to be after reading the books. I played part of the second tape after lunch while my nearly 6-year-old boy played and watched a bit. He got into it right away. Both he and my daughter were very interested in the dramatic expressions of Anne. My son also felt sorry for her when she didn’t get what she wanted and she acted like the world had ended because of it. I realized that I must come across much like Marilla Cuthbert does to Anne when I refuse to let my children do what they want. I think that is what my son was thinking. I also realized that I am not sure I want my son and daughter to read these books until they are nearly grown. They already over dramatize everything, they hardly need the encouragement of a heroine like Anne Shirley.
I am taking a long time to read Susan Howatch’s novel Wheel of Fortune. It isn’t that it is not interesting or a good story. It is just hard for me to get blocks of time in which to read. However, I wanted to note a couple of similarities between this book and the other Howatch novels I have read (Starbridge Series, Wonder Worker). The characters in WoF are concerned about “setting things right” in much the same way characters in her other books were. They also make comments about “doing the done thing” and allusions to “earning prizes,” much the same way the characters did in her other books. I am also beginning to wonder is Ginevra, the main character, will be able to accept good fortune if it ever materializes for her (I’m only on p 176, and there are 1171 total pages).
I know this is not very interesting to anyone else at this point, but I am just using my blog as a journal of sorts to help me keep track of some thoughts. One also might wonder if I will ever finish the book. Mmm . . .
Not much on my mind to write about, but in an effort to blog more regularly, I thought I would just write for the writing’s sake. I did start reading a new nonfiction book today. It is an old RC Sproul book, The Holiness of God. I started it while my 3 children were in their hour-long gymnastics class. So far, I am enjoying it. I am reading it in an effort to familiarize myself with some of the popular books that might be helpful to some “newly reformed” friends.
I came to an understanding (at least the understanding that I have) of reformed theology through somewhat unusual means. At least compared to stories I have heard from other people, it seems unusual. From what I can tell, a lot of folks “become reformed” in their thinking after reading some book or books with reformed theology in it. Or, maybe they heard a reformed preacher on tv or the radio, and started investigating for themselves. I, on the other hand, had some exposure to presbyterian thought in college through a regional college ministry in western PA called the Coalition for Christian Outreach. [After meeting Mark, I found out that this group is influenced by a Dutch guy name Dooeyweerd (sp?)] I also attended an Orthodox Presbyterian church for a year of my college life. Then after graduating, I went to Florida to live with my Baptist sister and her husband, and they took me to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. It is a big PCA church that some will say is not really reformed, but the Sunday school classes are excellent there (or at least were), and that is what got me hooked. Three weeks after my first Sunday in worship there, I was working for Dr. Kennedy’s television ministry in the communications department. There, I edited all of the “pastoral correspondence.” I did that job for 9 months, and every day I read the staff pastor’s answers to people’s theological and spiritual questions. I learned a lot about reformed theology in that job. So, while I knew about a lot of the popular reformed books, I didn’t actually read many of them. Of course, after moving through various positions at Coral Ridge, I met Mark, who got a job for Coral Ridge 2 years after me. We worked together for 2 more years, dated for 3 months, got engaged, dated 3 more months, and got married. I learned most of the rest of what I know about reformed theology from him.
All of that was a long explanation for why I am just now getting down to reading some of the more basic stuff in reformed circles. For having nothing to say, I managed to ramble for quite a long time. Anyway, perhaps I’ll write a few of my thoughts about the book as I read it. Also, if anyone has any suggestions of good “basic” reformed theology books, feel free to let me know. I am looking at a couple other RC Sproul titles to possibly use in a discussion type Bible study with these “newly reformed” friends, but I would welcome other ideas.