Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Review: "Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture" by Mary E. DeMuth

“ You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

As the mother of 5 very unique individuals, I am constantly reminding myself that although parenting IS indeed a ministry that God has called me to, HE alone is the one faithfully creating and producing the results in my children’s lives!

Using Paul, the writer’s, analogy…our children are truly a letter from Christ himself, written by his Spirit on their hearts.

These thoughts reach the very ESSENCE of Mary DeMuth’s latest parenting book, “Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture”. It could easily have been called Authentic Parenting in Today’s Culture, as well. Unfortunately, not many Christians- myself included- have fully realized it yet, but our culture is in the midst of a huge paradigm shift in thought and principles. This cultural shift was titled at some point by “the powers that be”-- postmodernism.

Hold on now, and don’t let that big “educated” sounding word scare you off! Though Mary is kind enough to give a very brief explanation and overview of just what postmodern means for those of us who really might not know, her main goal is to encourage us to be AUTHENTIC Christian parents, regardless of what society may bring.

The truth is that many of us can feel the change going on around us, but just haven’t put our fingers on it yet.

In “Authentic Parenting…”, Mary is sharing a vital and beautiful message that God has given to her. It came through the experiences that she, her husband, and children encountered while living in the south of France, a country where the influences of postmodernism are already the norm.

Mary shares insight that brings us to the heart of "Christ-like" parenting. She addresses the important issues of truth, honesty, community, refuge, encouragement, grace, forgiveness, purpose and selfish abandon, as we nurture our children and lead them through the example of our own journey with Christ!

“Gulp”, some of you say…me included!!—but, NO that doesn’t mean you have to do the impossible--be perfect Christians first!

Rather, Mary encourages us to model walking with Christ for our kids in a realistic way—we seek, we stumble, we may even fall on our faces, then we get back up again, and continue on, allowing him to write with his Spirit in our own lives along the way. She also takes the time to teach us, with tangible methods, how to prepare our kids for the future by leaving them with “three foundational truths: community, the kingdom of God, and gratitude.”

Having two of our five children in the throes of their first few years of early adult life just now, my husband and I were keenly interested in what Mary had written on the subject. After reading "Authentic Parenting..." we can clearly see the importance of them being prepared for, rather than protected from, the culture they’re immersed in. We came to agree with each other, that her message is crucially in order!!

It is not too late for us as parents with young adults to benefit from this book, neither is it too early for those who are freshly initiated to the world of parenting either! In fact, I think this is a fresh message for anyone seeking to have a godly influence on today’s youth.

Don't forget to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of this book!! Click here for a link to Mary’s site--and be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week:
Abundant Blessings
Actual Unretouched Photo
Bluebonnet in the Snow
child of divorce/child of god
Good Word Editing
So Many Books...So Little Time
The Point
Tiffany Colter
Toni V. Lee
For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.

With hope and joy in grace,


Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Lifetime of Adventure--Part 1—Let’s Hit the Road!

“Therefore my dear friends…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. ( Phillipians 2: 12-13)

The funny thing about being a christian, is that no matter how long it’s been since my spiritual quest began, how close I've grown to God, or how much I love and trust Jesus Christ for setting me free--there is and will always be another “challenge”!

I like how this passage reminds us that our salvation continues to be “worked out with fear and trembling”. Isn’t that SO true? I turn a new corner every week in life and find something new to “work out”, don’t you?

Why FEAR and TREMBLING, I ask?? Doesn’t God promise peace and rest, love and hope?

What then does anxiety, or for crying out loud- sheer panic have to do with it?

Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much what happens to me when I step out of my natural comfort zone—my “built in” sin nature tendency towards self-preservation, control, and fulfillment of personal desires starts SCREAMING, “no, no, no, no ,No…!!”

Salvation isn’t stagnant. It begins a journey with an adventure around every corner and a treasure behind every hill.

Hence my challenge to you and myself—no matter what comes along, let’s lay ourselves down --past, present and future! Yes, with some nail-biting and knee knocking, and at times even a great lack of sleep, but with the hope and knowledge that the God of heaven, who created us, is working things out for a good purpose!!

If he would die for us, then why not trust that his plan, rather than ours, has the most good in mind? Let’s give him the freedom to help us…and in doing so, find our own!

Ummmm, yeah...once you begin, the list of things you can apply this to does get longer and longer each day! Pretty much everything goes:

Writing- sure,
Work- yep,
Marriage- of course
Parenting- don’t even get me started!
Friendships- check,
Family Matters-check
Health- check, check…

and the list goes on and on and on and on!!!!!

The exciting thing is, that in every area we’re laying ourselves down, there will be an end result better than anything we, silly selfish people, could ever have coordinated or planned. I know, I know, some of us are pretty good planners and co-ordinators, if we do say so ourselves—even so, would any of us DARE to compare with perfection????

Well, it's time to hit the road in one way or another—send our “selves” packing, drop to our knees before God, get moving in the right direction, whatever sacrifice of pride that it takes, cause…hey, the adventure’s just barely begun!!

Today, I'm working on laying myself down when it comes to teenager's, who insist on believing that
the "dish fairy" is going appear and miraculously move their discards from the sink to the washer. LOL =)
(Mind you I'm not endorsing a lack of parental guidance, rather the "attitude" that happens to come with mine!)

What’s on your list this week???

In Peace-


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Free Book Drawing

YES it's true! I am holding a drawing for a signed copy of Mary DeMuth's new book, which I'll be posting a review on towards the end of this month. Mary's book is the first I've read offering truly fresh insight on christian parenting in a changing world!

Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture
by Mary E. DeMuth
Harvest House, July 1, 2007

If you're interested just say "book drawing" in any comment you leave between now and August 4th. I will announce the winner at 6pm CST that day--so watch out for it!
If you'd rather not wait for the drawing, order a copy today...just click here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Introducing My Newborn Blog-with a Splash!

"And we, who with unveiled faces all REFLECT the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Welcome to my writer's blog!

While mainly you'll read about my writing exploits here, my hope is that whether you're a writer, a reader, a parent or a will laugh, relax, be encouraged and refreshed.

I also invite you to join me on an intense adventure I've recently begun. The mission is: seeking to lay down...who you were...who you are...and who you hoped to that you may truly reflect God's grace and his unique design for your life on a daily basis.

Please drop in on the comments and share YOUR latest adventures!