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Thursday, July 30, 2009

It Happened In Italy by Elizabeth Bettina

It Happened In Italy is a beautiful and untold story of the Jewish people who were in Italy during the Holocaust. After seeing the pictures and reading the stories of the six million Jews that were killed under the evil regime of Nazi Germany, it is refreshing to see that there were people who were willing to die to save others.

This book takes you on a journey of thankfulness. 30,000 Jewish people are alive because of the goodness of the Italian people. Italy even helped a thousand people get to America to find safety. We follow them on their journey back to the place that saved their lives. Each one of the survivors tells the same story. They would not be alive if it were not for the Italian people. No one died in the concentration camps in Italy. There were no smoke stacks. The people kept there were treated like human beings. They played sports, got married, had children, and ate very well. This was a far cry from Auschwitz where people were put into the gas chambers.

This book is an encouragement to all believers. We have the power to not follow the crowd and give life when the world around us is bent on taking it. Read it and be inspired. I was, page by page, moved by the goodness of the Italian people during times when it was life-threatening to be kind to a Jew. The story of each person touched my spirit and made me desire that kind of goodness myself. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Elizabeth's account of the loving-kindness of the Italians. Her writing style is conversational and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves history. This is a rare and beautiful tale of goodness and a very special people.

I love the way Elizabeth ends the book. "The most educated people in the world at the time created the Holocaust and the "Final Solution." Yet in many cases, it was the simple people, the "uneducated" people who saved the Jews. Simple goodness triumphed over sophisticated evil."


I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Jesus Test - A Book Giveaway


A beautiful opportunity was offered to me recently. I was allowed to pray through a book with the author and a few others before the publish date. That book was the Jesus Test. Robert takes the reader on a journey of discovery about Christ that is eye opening and faith building. His writing style personifies the tenderness of Brennan Manning, the adventure of John Eldredge, and the warmth of a country pastor. Be challenged to meet Christ in a clear and challenging way. Give one away as a gift of love.

I have the joy of giving away a copy right here. In order to enter to win, all you have to do is email me at stephanie@denbighcherry.com. Write "Romans 2:4" in your subject line.
I will announce the winner here next Tuesday.
Email me!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Love.

As we learn to love from Hosea's example of Christ, we must examine how we treat others. How do you treat the people in your life that have hurt you? Do you speak about them with sarcasm, anger, or disdain? Are you capable to communicate hurt without ridiculing others? What if that person divorced you or your best friend turned on you? Your parent abused you? Our response is to be the same. Healing words that try to heal the wound of the other person rather than nurse the wound we received. That's what it means to count others as greater than yourself. We must tend to their wound and allow Christ to heal ours . . . even when they don't want our help. Pray fervently. When we are angry and bitter, we show the world a Christ who does not forgive sin or yearn to heal. We show them a Christ that refused to be crucified.
That Christ is of use to no one.
Love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kristi's Chemo

Last week, I was immensely blessed to accompany Kristi to her chemo appointment. I first have to say how impressed I was with MD Anderson. Every single person we came in contact with there was intensely friendly and kind. It was clean and bright. I was beyond impressed with the staff. I plan on writing them a comment on their website soon.

We left on Wednesday morning shortly after I packed my daughter up in my mom's car. Kristi was hankering for a Taco Bell bean burrito and so we indulged. Fire Sauce! Then we were off to the hospital. Our first stop was in the area to get her blood drawn and set up a payment plan for her treatment. It is amazing to see the bills for this kind of thing. After the blood draw, we waited to see the doctor. He told her he thought the PET scan she will receive at her next appointment should be good. This scan detects cancer in the body.

Thursday at nine a.m., we went to check into the bed unit to receive chemo. Kristi was quite nervous as she thought of the last three chemo treatment and the sickness that followed. We spent some time in prayer to help relax and ask God to prevent this sickness. We spent the next three hours with this chemical surging through her body. We talked, we laughed, we teared up. Afterward, we got some lunch and Kristi took her nausea medicine. She slept for about 20 hours straight. Kristi drove us home on Friday, hoping to stave off some car sickness. Praise God that this was her first treatment that she didn't get sick! A few days ago she shaved her head. It was amazing how long she kept her hair, but it was finally time to let it go.

I can't even tell you how amazing it was for me to get to go on this journey. It was humbling to see the extent of the sickness in this hospital. One person we saw in the waiting room had received a transplant and had been in the hospital since January. He looked about my age. I was so grateful for my life and health. When I wasn't chatting it up with Kristi, I was praying for every single person I saw. May God be glorified in each of them and their stories be used to draw them to Himself.
So, she was craving a bean burrito and wondering why I was taking her picture at the Taco Bell drive thru. :O)
Lymphoma area where she had her blood drawn and a doctor's visit on Wednesday.
In the Dr.'s office.
At her cousin's house in Houston. What a blessing to not have to stay in a hotel! It was lovely.
Beginning Chemo. The dub Chemo "the red devil." We changed it's name to the "blood of Christ." It's an orangey red.
Her napping. She's going to kill me!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Princess and the Pitch Pipe

This post really has nothing to do with a princess or a pitch pipe. As my daughter and I were picking up the other day I noticed that she had a pitch pipe in a box of dress up clothes for a princess doll. It made me laugh and I thought it would be a good title for something.

I have learned a few things in studying about Hosea. Mostly, I think we try to blame physical things, such as alcohol and emotions, for our sinful state. The truth I learned is that the problem does not lie with the alcohol or how much of it our ancestors consumed. The problem isn't about bitterness or worshipping false idols. The problem is with the heart. We have turned our hearts away from the grace of the most glorious lover anyone could ever behold. We have said no to love. Some of us have replaced it with legalistic "I will never do what the previous generations of my family have done." Some of us have imbibed. Some have blamed society. The problem lies with us. We must choose to love our Heavenly Father. We must choose Him as our husband. We, the people of God, must cry out to Him if we desire others to be healed.

As I sit and look at current events, I am deeply saddened. It would be easy to get caught up in the idea that America at large must repent. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that this is in OUR hands. God tells us that if WE, not pagan America, humble OURselves and pray that God will heal our land. I am praying for an extra dose of humility for my brothers and sisters in Christ tonight. May we do our part and lay aside the arrogance that easily entangles as we return to God. If WE return to God, He tells us He will heal the suffering and the broken around us. Perhaps, if WE repent from OUR wicked ways, many of the people we blame for the problem would come to repentance.

Please keep praying for me as I am writing the book on Hosea.