Tag Archives: family

Family Dinner

April Poetry Dare | Day 29: “I Tremble with Gratitude” by Wendell Berry

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“I Tremble with Gratitude” by Wendell Berry

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April Poetry Dare | Day 28: “Home” by Edgar A. Guest

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“Home” by Edgar A. Guest

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My Favorite Weekend of the Year: Ohio’s PawPaw Festival

pawpaw2013This weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Ohio PawPaw Festival and our fifth anniversary attending it. I leave North Carolina a little later today to arrive in Ohio for this annual family tradition.

It is a weekend marked out by all of the best things in life: family, camping, good friends, festival food, good beer, campfires, conversation, and singing.

We will arrive tonight, set up our tent–the only time we ever use it–and get a fire started. Some of our friends will roll in later tonight, some will arrive tomorrow morning. From there, it is just more of the above.

The paw paw is the state native fruit of Ohio. I don’t particularly care for it, as you can see I don’t attend the weekend festival because of the fruit but because of all of those other things. Like us, some of our friends travel across the country just to keep up with this tradition. You can’t beat having a weekend of camping with family and friends who so love one another that we go to the lengths we do just for the fellowship and fun.

It is the nostalgia of these weekends, of course, that makes me miss Ohio. We cap off the weekend driving up to Columbus to visit the friends at our old church, Sovereign Christ Church, where we get to worship with them once again. That time is always followed by more food and fellowship.

Yep, it’s time for the PawPaw Festival, my favorite weekend of the year.

Treasure Hunting in Southern Pines

I love my community, or rather, I’m learning to love my community. It hasn’t come naturally to me; it is something I’m having to practice. Today has helped me along the way.

Patty and I went treasure hunting through town this morning. It started because I’m becoming an old man, which apparently is defined–by me–as a morning person. Being a morning person is also something that hasn’t come naturally to me, but I woke up at 7:30 AM today and that got me started.

First, we went to the local farmer’s market, where we scored some tomato plants, bacon, chorizo, and an assortment of fresh veggies. The only thing that would have been better would been to have gotten some of the brisket the meat folks had run out of.

Next, we went to a church friend’s yard sale, where I scored a PG Wodehouse book and Patty discovered some nice plates that will apparently make nice wall decorations.

After that, we stopped at the Goodwill to drop off some donations, which inevitably led to us browsing inside. There, I got a copy of Dickens’ Great Expectations and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Both are books, admittedly, I should already own and have read, but alas are not. Well, I own Pride and Prejudice, but it is part of a single collection of Austen’s books, and I hate reading books that way. I also got DVD copies of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Tristen and Isolde. 

Finally, we stopped at the Post Office where I picked up a package of some neat canisters I’d ordered from England and a copy of Understanding Fiction–the book that influenced Flannery O’Connor while she was studying at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

All told, it’s been a productive and fruitful morning. Now, I’m off to do some yard work with my boys–they just don’t know it yet!

Review: The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good LifeThe Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life by Rod Dreher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolutely outstanding.

It is written in the vein of Wendell Berry, but is the true story of Ruthie Leming and her brother, the author, Rod Dreher. This is an oversimplification of the story, but an easy boil down of it is that Rod is the young man who goes off into the world looking for adventure and experiences, while Ruthie is the young girl who stays home to continue in the bonds of community and family. Rod thinks he’s got it figured out and Ruthie thinks she does. Rod learns what he is missing when he sees the community spring into action, to fulfill love for neighbor and bearing one another’s burdens, when Ruthie is diagnosed with cancer.

This book really did a number on me. In a good way. It is sad, but not depressing sad. It is inspirationally sad. It has caused me to reconsider the choices I’ve made and am making in my own life. What will the community look like that rises to help me should I become ill? How will my children react to hardship in their community, in their family? What will they recognize as their community? Their (extended) family?

This may be the most important book I’ve read in the last year or more. A must read.

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Review: The Church-Friendly Family

The Church-Friendly Family
The Church-Friendly Family by Randy Booth and Rich Lusk

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I must admit up front that I am biased in this review. The reader will notice, upon reading the acknowledgements section of the book, that I contributed to the editing process. Having admitted that up front, here is my review of the book.

This is a much-needed book for the Church. There has long been debate as to what is the most important institution in God’s eyes: Church or Family. It seems there are few who would question whether the State is more important than the Church or Family. In the debate, some will argue it is the Family, since it was created first. Others, will argue it is the Church, since the Church is the only eternal institution.

The Church-Friendly Family provides good theological, biblical, and practical reasons for understanding the family’s role as it regards the Church, as well as the Church’s role as it regards the Family. The book is a collection of talks that Pastors Randy Booth and Rich Lusk gave at a past conference. Well-thought out, well put together, and well edited (hehe), the book communicates its goal quite well.

Every church and every family needs to read this book. The Church and the Family are not in competition with one another, although it can sometimes feel that way for some. The Church is, however, a Family into which all Christian families are become one, and that means natural families subordinate themselves. But, in doing so, the natural family is strengthened itself.

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