my end of summer reading list

I’m not going to lie. A lot of this is going to seem pretty boring to most folks. I am on a non-fiction christian book kick. I will do my best to add a brief description of subject matter. I will also be adding books I have read and completed thus far over the summer.

Three Decades of Fertility: Ten Ordinary Women Surrender to the Creator and Embrace Life (Kindle) read

Ten women share their stories of childbearing and being mothers over the course of three decades, from their 20’s – 40’s. I gained a lot of wisdom from this book. These ladies reminded me of my mom and I felt as though I were being taught by true Titus 2 women.

Diapers, Dishes, and Dominion: How Christian Housewives can change the World by Leah D. Smith (Paperback) read

Leah covers a variety of topics from gender rolls, to child-rearing, to government, to eschatology. I found myself either nodding in agreement or being wowed by insights I had never considered before, yet made perfect sense. This was just the right book for just the right time in my life – a mom with young children, preparing them to enter their practical and spiritual educations. This book was a gift to me, and I wish I could gift it to every woman I know. A true treasure for those who are wondering what in the world they are doing as a mother.

Born-Again Dirt: Farming to the Glory of God by Noah Sanders (Paperback) currently reading

Great read so far. Another gift from a friend. The author makes a case for what the Bible has to say about farming. Put into practice, farming according to the Word will look different to different people in different regions, but the principles are the same – take dominion of the earth, and animals, take care of others, and have a godly business ethic.

Paradise Restored by David Chilton (Hardcover) currently reading

I have only gotten a couple of pages in so I haven’t formed a whole lot of opinions. I am reading this because I have lately become curious about the Postmillennial Eschatology. This book supposedly gives solid scriptural evidence for an eschatology of hope. So far the idea makes sense to me, that if Jesus finished His work of defeating sin and death on the Cross, that sin and death no longer have power over the Christian, and not just the Christian, the earth as well. “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Postmillennialism was the dominant eschatological view of the Church up until WWI. However, contrary to an eschatology of hope, there now reigns in Christianity an eschatology of fear. That is: Antichrist is coming, Satan is winning, this world is going to hell in a hand basket until Christ’s return, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Looking forward to this read a lot.

Family UNplanning by Craig Houghton (Kindle)

Point of interest for me. Sometimes it’s nice to just have a little encouragement when you feel like  the minority.

Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender that Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes by Larry Crabb (Kindle)

This is also a point of interest for me and as I’m going to blog on gender roles (at some point) thought this book came across my eyes fortuitously. I would probably not read or purchase this book normally, but Kindle was offering it for free yesterday so I figured why not. Don’t know if I will agree with it or not, but maybe there is something to be gleaned. 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (Kindle)

I asked my facebook community to offer some book recommendations on parenting and this book came recommended by a few women who’s parenting I respect, and also I was warned that his books did more harm that good to one father’s parenting. I think I’m a good judge of things I should and should not believe in, so I expect there will be things I will take away as helpful and other things I will disregard. That’s just how I roll.

Thats it for now. I have a few more on my Kindle that I want to read, but we’ll see how I do with these. I will update either in September or when I’m done – whichever comes first.

I love books! book review #1

Review: Diapers, Dishes & Dominion: How Christian Housewives Can Change the World by Leah D. Smith

When I started raising my girls, I had a specific purpose in mind: Raise them to be godly. Raise them to be a blessing to others. But this parenting thing is a whole lot harder than you can possibly be prepared for!

I asked a couple of friends who’s parenting I respected based on how their children behaved, and a dear friend let me borrow a few books from her. A little while later she gifted this book to me, and one on farming for my husband (I really need to find that one…). I’m embarrassed to say, that though I did start to read it with good intention, it got moved to the back-burner. However, recently I decided to pick it up again and read it all the way through.

I cannot thank my friend (and God) enough for this book! It was completely different from what I expected it to be, and it has blown. my. mind.

Yes, this is a how-to book on how to raise your kids, and how to be a good mom.

Yes, you will get a bunch of advice from the author’s personal experience.

No, it will not be a written-out step-by-step plan, because all families are different, all people are different with different personalities and gifts, and so you do have to use some common sense for your own family.

However, this book is so much more.

This book is not for the weak of mind or the weak of heart. If you are the type of person who is set in your ways and hates change – DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! But if you have a teachable spirit, and are open to scripture transforming your mind and also willing to do your own homework, this book may be the blessing you need in your life this very moment.

I am now more at peace with the direction of my personal life, the direction of our family, and the direction of the universal church than I have ever been in my life. I am more excited and determined to move forward. I am feeling bolder in my faith as a Christian. I am excited about the future of the lives of my family, and the condition of our world.

I challenge every woman who calls herself a Christian, whether you have a family today, or are hoping for one in the future, to read this book.

I challenge every Christian woman who has ever been afraid to have a family based on your fear of the future to read this book.

I challenge any woman who is not afraid to take on a challenge to read this book.

I challenge every Christian man who is not afraid of his wife, buy her this book.

starting at the beginning, part 1: take dominion

Since I vented a little last week, I’ve been struggling at where to begin my newly acquired, long list of posts. Today I just decided I would start where it makes sense: at the beginning.

As homesteaders and Christians, we turn to the Bible to instruct us on what we should do in all parts of life (or at least we should). So what does the Bible first say about homesteading? To the very first man and woman, who he created in a garden full of vegetation and animals, He gave this charge.

Genesis 1:27-28 (ESV)

“So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Then God destroyed the earth with a flood, preserving one man and woman and their progeny. Again, He charged them,

Genesis 9:1-3 (ESV)

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.  Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”

Later on, the Psalmist, David, would sing in praise of the mandate God has placed upon mankind.

Psalm 8:3-8 (ESV)

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”

The prophets prophesied about what manner we are to respond to the creation, fellow man, and the Lord.

Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

What can we learn about homesteading through these verses?

“…subdue it, and have dominion…”

When we think of the words “subdue” and “dominion,” several thoughts may come into your mind. You may be thinking of “dominance,” which may in turn cause you to think of “abuse” and/or “slavery”. I believe this is a very toxic way of viewing this mandate. God did not charge mankind with abusing and enslaving the earth, men, and animals. However, since sin entered the world, it seems as though that is exactly what mankind has done.

We have seen how barbaric some of mankind has been. Over the course of history up until present time we have seen slavery in many forms, and toward many people groups, along with various kinds of abuses including prostitution, human sacrifice (both child and adult), fighting to the death, warfare, etc. Testing, fighting, and other kinds of abuses in the name of both science and entertainment have been inflicted upon animals. Finally, there is earth abuse which we can see plainly from landfills, oil spills, air pollution, radiation, nuclear warfare, etc.

This is not dominion. This is sickness.

Christians should be the remedy instead of contributing to the problem.

Dominion comes from the latin dominus, ‘lord, master.’ In other words, humankind is to take charge of the earth and all that dwells therein. Furthermore, God destroyed the earth with a flood when men became corrupt and wicked, preserving the one man, Noah (and his family), who still obeyed Him. God wants His people to obey his mandate; to be benevolent caretakers of the earth He created. “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly…

It’s sad to say that the tree-hugging hippies and environmentalist pagans are doing a better job advocating for “mother earth” than the Christians who were given this charge.

Jesus told this parable:

Luke 12:35-40

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Do you think Christ, at His return, will be impressed at that you were waiting at the door of your house reading the book of Revelation? Or do you think he would rather return to His people who are working hard at obeying all the commands of His Father who sent Him.

Love God above all (obey him, not man)

Love others (do justice, love kindness)

Take dominion

Be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth
(have sex and babies! make sure there are more babies than parents – this is how multiplication works in case you forgot. if you can’t make babies, adopt!)

Make disciples of all nations (not just witnessing, but training)