I have been remiss in keeping up with my blog. I have had some depression issues this past year and began to feel that no one looked at it anyway, so why bother? Perhaps it might help someone, somewhere, someday, however, so I will try to continue....
I have been working on catching up on some of my reading pile (generally kept next to my bed), clearing out some books on faith that I have neglected for a while now. I am in my third year of a study of the Bible, slowly making my way through its books in order of a random preference list I created at the beginning. I have just finished the book of Matthew and am beginning Genesis for the months of February and March.
I signed up with Operation World two years ago in order to receive their reminders to pray for every nation on earth. Because they have not changed/updated this information in the past couple of years, I am not going to use them as a reminder this upcoming year. Instead, I will use the country lists I created and sorted by regions of the world or ethnic/religious groups in order to pray for the world this year.
At the beginning of my efforts to increase/change/improve my prayer life, I also cobbled together a little "book of hours" for myself and my prayer list is incorporated into that. Now that I don't have a regular schedule during the day any more, waiting for my son while he is in outside classes, etc., I have had a hard time remembering to stop for prayer throughout the day, but I am working on it!
My 104 year old Grandmother passed away on January 10, after a short, not too severe illness. I have been going back and forth the three and a half hours to my home town in order to help with clearing her house (she was somewhat of a hoarder, I guess - there's a lot of stuff).... I have, for the first time in my life, been enjoying praise music while on these lone drives.
I was involved in a daily devotional last year with my church, which I have now finished and passed on to my mother. I am resuming my reading of the Upper Room. I think I prefer reading from a larger variety of authors over the course of the year, rather than just hearing one voice....
Some books I received from Billy Graham a while back, that I've just finished, include:
Break Through Prayer, Jim Cymbala:
When God Prays, Skip Heitzig (dealing with Jesus' prayer from John 17):
and Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham (not finished yet):
I also read an older book over the course of the fall and finally finished it up: Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words, compiled by her friends.... Very interesting!
Recently, The Missing Books of the Bible, Volumes I and II have come to me, so I may start on those next (I don't really see an editor - Harvey Minkoff, perhaps...?):
My younger son is doing well in school (much better than his older brother). I have been busy assisting him, where necessary, with his literature course, but primarily with biology. They are using a college non-major's book for this study (along with the standardized testing that goes along with it). The teacher leaves quite a bit to be desired, and while I love the topics they are studying, there is too much covered too quickly for a beginner's group to be able to grasp it and regurgitate it by way of answering the more complex, college level questions they have to answer in 40 minutes or less for a test. I sort of feel like *I* am taking biology again, LOL, but that's okay as I have enjoyed it and our study together seems to have made it more palatable to him, too!
My older son leaves for London on the twelfth, so we are making preparations for his travel. Much time will be absorbed in prayer while he is gone. (Pray he doesn't manage to get run over while there, please - you wouldn't laugh if you had ever seen him on the streets of Chicago....) He's set to travel to Israel this summer for a month of archaeological work, so that will perhaps be even more traumatic for me (if he's even able to go by then)....
I continue to tutor my little scholar and am enjoying it immensely. I wish I had a half dozen others like him to work with over the course of a week. I will catch up on the books we've been using for our history studies soon....