Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Abbey

I've recently returned from a four day retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY. This was my tenth stay at this wonderful, restful place. The signs on the tables in the cafeteria say it all: "Silence is spoken here." You are allowed to talk in the lobby and out on the beautiful grounds, but are asked to keep silence in the church, guest house rooms and around the building in deference to those who are holding their own silent retreats.

A couple of years ago, some friends and I discovered a "speaking" dining room and ate many of our meals there and caught up on each other's days. But, this trip, since I was alone, I ate in one of the two silent dining rooms. There is also a room in the lodge where you can meet to have a group book or Bible study, and one year some friends and I did that also. We would each read a chapter in the same book, then discuss it with each other in the afternoons.

This year I read three church magazines and four non-fiction books:

Mosaic by Amy Grant was the lightest reading of them all. It was mainly an autobiography of her life interspersed with copies of her songs.

The Seeking Heart by Fenelon was the most challenging. Since I am not a Catholic, I had no idea that Fenelon was even a man! LOL He was a priest who lived in the 17th century in France, and was well-known at the time for his wisdom and spiritual insights. This book had much good advice even for today, but was also very repetitive as it was a compilation of his writings, mostly letters, and he gave similar advice to many.

A book I had been saving to read at the Abbey was God is My Success by Larry Julian. The author is a Christian from a Jewish background who has overcome many disappointments in life to go on to become a successful consultant, speaker and author. He wrote many chapters on "overcoming" to reach "true success." Although it might mostly appeal to business people, I still gleaned many helpful insights as he shared examples from his own life and others.

My favorite book was The Secret Things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud. Howard Publishing contacted him about writing a book to give a Christian view on the best-seller The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Dr. Cloud has done that and much more. Here's part of the back copy blurb for this book: "A positive Christian alternative to the bestselling The Secret, this books reveals the secret things of God--secrets about God, about happiness, about relationships, and about your purpose. These tested spiritual truths reveal principles that make life work...Even Christians who know and claim biblical truths often don't know how to use them...Cloud shows readers how to unlock the treasure of these truths and ignite their power in their lives. There is, indeed, a powerful attraction at work in the universe, but rather than being between an impersonal universe and our own thoughts, this attraction is between the personal Creator of the universe and the creation He loves."

I hope my readers will have time to read some of these books, especially the one by Dr. Cloud. And if you want more information about booking a retreat at the Abbey or to see some pictures of the lovely setting, go to www.monks.org

I will warn you that you need to book four months in advance. Also that you will probably want to go back again and again...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Queen for a Day!

Have you ever felt like a Queen for a day? I did this past Sunday, May 11th, which was Mother's Day and also my and my husband's 40th anniversary. Our children and grandkids made it a very special day. After church, we all met at a restaurant in Georgetown, KY. I sat down and chatted with our son and youngest daughter and their spouses for a few minutes and then went to the ladies room to wash my hands while waiting for the others to arrive. When I returned, the table was decorated with 3 vases of red and white roses--40 in all--and several gifts. I was so surprised and excited. Of course, the best gift was having all of our children, their spouses, and our three grandchildren there. We had a lovely lunch, and the restaurant even gave us a piece of their famous caramel pie for our anniversary, but we were so full we had to bring most of it home.

My loving husband gave me a beautiful diamond drop necklace on Sunday morning and had the florist deliver a dozen roses on Saturday, so my house is now abloom with 52 red and white roses in three rooms, so I still feel like a queen! I was even able to almost squeeze into my wedding dress of 40 years ago, which was handmade by my dear mother. A very special day that I will never forget.
Plus, we attended a wedding on Saturday night, and the lead singer for the band announced our anniversary to the crowd, then on Sunday morning our daughter announced it in church! How was your Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And the winner is...

Gautami is the name drawn by my 6 year old granddaughter who is spending the night. I will mail the book Talking for Two by Wanda Brunstetter out to her as soon as I receive her mailing info.

New contest...

Be sure to leave a comment during the month of May for a chance to win the book Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria, reviewed below. Please read and heed the following rules: Previous month's winner is not eligible. Make sure you leave info where I can contact you for your mailing address to send the book. Also the winner will have to have a postal address in the United States.

Happy reading, everyone!