It's been a while since I updated my blog. But I guess I really should start working on this again. I haven't exactly been keeping up with my LJ either, so I don't feel too terrible about being so lax.
Books I've Read Lately:
The Shack by William Young
This book was...well...incredible.
God is a black woman named "Papa".
Jesus is a young carpenter with a big nose.
The Holy Spirit is a lovely Asian woman named Sarayu.
With that sort of mix trying to save your soul, how could they possibly fail?
The middle part got kinda long, but it was only because I wanted to get to the end part and find out what really happened to Missy.
Honestly this book needs another go-through, 'cause I read it in a rush so I could get it back to Nina after the weekend. I would like to ponder some of the things that Mack is told.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This book was...disturbing.
Told from the viewpoint of a 14-year-old murdered girl who is looking down on her family and friends from heaven, you get a birds' eye view of life after losing a loved one. She keeps an eye on her first love, her parents and their failing marriage, her little sister and brother, and (in a creepy twist) the psycho who killed her. (What happens to him at the end is nothing less than divine retribution!)
It's absolutely heartrending in some spots--like when she 'possesses' her friend's body and has time alone with the boy she loves--and hilariously normal in others. There's also some heart-stopping moments--like when her little sister breaks into the killer's house to try and find evidence to convict him of the murder.
You also get to watch as her view of life after death matures; and she's finally able to let go, just as her family is letting go, which frees her from having to be with them constantly.
The A.D. Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thoene
I'm in love with these books. At first I was a little skeptical--I mean, another fictionalized account of the Life of Jesus?? YAWN! But then you get caught up in Peniel's story...and the people he comes into contact with gradually start weaving themselves together. It's an incredible spiderweb of humanity that spins into a collection of stories that merely cushion the life of a baby named Yeshua as he grows into a man.
My biggest "gripe", if you will, about Christianity and Jesus in particular, is that he never really seems all that...human? I know, I know! That WAS kinda the whole reason for the virgin birth and all that suffering and stuff....but honestly? God Himself strikes me as a real wiseass somedays. Jesus? He's a bit too straight-laced and fussy. Not in here! Matter of fact (and I plead only insanity and a lack of Stargate), he started to sound a lot like someone else I know. Maybe somewhere between Rodney and John. And I think I'm starting to fall in love with Yeshua.
What I dearly love about these books is that they are VERY JEWISH. There's more than a liberal smattering of Hebrew throughout the pages, and so far there have been at least five or six of the main Holidays celebrated by the characters. I've gotten a pretty good introduction and overview of the whole historical timeline during these years, and I'm loving it! It's inspired me to start my Biblical Archaeology Notebook, and I'm probably going to be half-crazy by the time I find five minutes to get into it!
I'll bold the book titles as I finish them. Here's a brief run-down:
First Light (Peniel's story--the blind boy given sight by Yeshua. He becomes the narrator/recorder of the series. Sometimes he's a participant. Sometimes he's merely there to listen and absorb. Zadok the Chief Shepherd of the Temple Flocks appears here too, and he's a tough old guy with a tender heart.)
Second Touch (Lily and Cantor are lepers, hoping for a miracle. Their love story in the midst of such a tragic fate is bittersweet and lovely. Peniel is a participant in this one--and he witnesses just how awesome God's power really is. The ending made me cry.)
Third Watch (Yahav and Alexander are the primary pair in this part of the story. I think Bodie wanted to be a romance writer at some point, 'cause love is in the air for a lot of these books. Yahav is Jewish; Alexander is a "Romanized Jew"--they overcome the odds to be together. You find out that Zadok is Yahav's uncle--her mother's brother. You also get some of the background of how she and her family left Bethlehem, but the real meat of that comes later. I think I started to fall in love with Yeshua in this book....when he and Peniel are sitting in an apple grove, chatting....)
Fourth Dawn (Switch gears to go back to before the birth of Yeshua. This book--told by Zadok and Eliyahu, Yahav's father--covers the birth of Yochanen to Zachariah and Elisheba, the appearance of Gabriel to Mary and Yosef, and what nearly happens rather than a wedding.)
Fifth Seal (Mary and Yosef set out for Bethlehem. Zadok and his family are praying for the birth of the Messiah. You also meet the Magi--Balthaser and Melchior--who are recording the details of the impending birth in the heavens. It ends with Mary giving birth in Zadok's lambing cave with his wife, Rachel, assisting while in the fields, Zadok, Eliyahu, and some of the other shepherds are visited by angels.)
Sixth Covenant (Mary, Yosef, and Yeshua are living in Bethlehem for a bit with Zadok and Rachel, Eliyahu and Havila, before they take the baby to Yerushalayim for the Redemption of the Firstborn. Herod has finally flipped his lid and declares the lives of the male children of Bethlehem forfeit. I nearly threw up reading the end of this book.)
I wish I'd known there were Bible studies in the backs of the 3rd through 11th books before I started reading them. Now I am almost tempted to go back and read them over again when I'm done, just so I can do the studies too.
Homeschooling will take a whole 'nother post. But I need to get to bed. I've got an evil cold, and I can't stop sneezing.