For Calvinism by Michael Horton

For CalvinismFor Calvinism by Michael S. Horton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is likely the last book that I’ll finish for 2012. It was an overview of Calvinism and what Calvinists believe – debunking some of the myths and caricatures of Calvinists. Overall it was a good read, probably better for those who don’t completely understand what Calvinists believe.

“If sin were reduced to mere acts of sin, we could perhaps conclude that with enough education and moral reform, as well as good laws, we could eliminate injustice, immorality, and strife. If we could just identify the source of evil in some external social structure or group of people, perhaps there would be the hope that with proper prisons and therapy we could solve the problem. However, we are all both sinners and sinned against. This means that we cannot reduce sin to behaviors that one can just stop doing or to wrong actions and behaviors that have been committed against a person. The biblical view of sin is more complicated; we are both victims and victimizers. Caught up in the web of original and actual sin, blame is not easily placed simply on one person or on others or on social systems. We are violated and we violate.”


I Heard the Bells, 12.16.12

This was performed by some of the youth at our church. Excellent job! The man singing is the youth pastor.

Goals for 2013

As part of Operation Deepen Faith,
-Read Colossians 30 times in a month
-Read Romans, James, 1 Timothy, 2 Peter & Habakkuk in 7 different translations
-Re-memorize Philippians 3

For reading through the Bible,
-Read HCSB Bible, Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Bible

For regular reading
-Read at least 40 books (books for 2013) (would like to read at least 75)

For Bible Study
-Do Face to Face with a Holy God – Kay Arthur inductive study on Isaiah (with mom/sister/sister-in-law)

What are your goals for 2013?

Christmas as an Adult

After high school, I returned to the States for college. During the first couple years of college, I spent holidays at my Grandma’s house in upstate New York.
1993 Christmas

In 1997, I moved to Michigan and got married several months later. Christmas 1997 was our first Christmas as a married couple.

In 2000, we moved into a bigger apartment. Mom, Dad, and Dawn came out to visit shortly after we moved, celebrating Christmas 2000.

Christmas 2002, Jono’s mom was able to visit and celebrate with us. We woke up Christmas morning to a white wonderland.

For Christmas in 2003, we traveled to my sister’s home and celebrated with her & her husband, my parents and my brother, sister-in-law and niece.

Christmas Growing Up

Scrapbook pages that my mom did of us kids growing up.

 1974 – Debi’s first Christmas

 1975 – Debi is 22 months old.

 1976 – Debi is almost 3 and her brother Dave has his first Christmas

 1977 Christmas

Christmas in the States

 Christmas program at church in the US


 Christmas program in Bangladesh

1979 – Debi is almost 6, Dave is almost 4, and it is her sister Dawn’s first Christmas

 1980 Christmas

Debi’s Mom’s parents (Grandpa & Grandma) came out to Bangladesh to visit

Debi’s Dad’s side of the family – her grandma, aunt, uncle & cousins

 1982 Christmas

Growing up, when we had Christmas in Bangladesh, we would gather around the tree and fireplace on Christmas eve (though Bangladesh is in the tropics, it did get a bit chilly in the evenings during the winter months and we had no heat in our house other than a fireplace). We would read the Christmas story and then open gifts. On Christmas morning, we would get our stockings. I loved the traditions that we had for Christmas growing up. In a life that was ever-changing and moving around, the traditions we had on the holidays helped to provide some stability for this missionary kid growing up.

Books for 2013

My reading was way down this year compared to previous years. But that’s okay, it’s the quality not quantity. So I’m aiming my goal a little lower for 2013 and want to read at least 40 books. Here is a list of books I want to read and may attempt to read in 2013. I have not put Calvin’s Institutes on the list though I plan to read that during 2013 as part of a group read. I may end up starting some of these books yet this year but nevertheless, they are on my want-to-read list. A lot of these would count as part of the 2013 Operation Deepen Faith challenge.

1. Kingdom Through Covenant by Peter Gentry (own) – postponed (not likely to read in 2013)
2. The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung (own) – gave up on
3. What Is Reformed Theology? by R. C. Sproul (own)
4. Covenant Theology by Peter Golding (own) – gave up on
5. Opening Moves by Steven James (fiction/own) – completed
6. The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias (own) – gave up on
7. God at Work by Gene Edward Veith (own) – completed
8. The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton (own) – completed
9. How to Study the Bible for Yourself by Tim LaHaye (own) – completed February
10. Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher (own) – completed April
11. Living for God’s Glory by Joel Beeke (own) – completed February
12. The Murder of Jesus by John MacArthur (own)
13. Reading Between the Lines by Gene Edward Veith (own) – completed
14. Redeeming the Routines by Robert Banks (own) – gave up on
15. Taking the Word to Heart by Nancy Taylor (own) – completed January
16. Truth Under Fire by John Whitehead (own) – gave up on
17. Hard to Believe by John MacArthur (own) – completed
18. Where In the World Is the Church? by Michael Horton (own) – completed October
19. What If the Bible Had Never Been Written? by D. James Kennedy (own) – gave up on
20. A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus by Elizabeth George (own) – gave up on
21. After You Believe by N.T. Wright (own on Kindle) – gave up on
22. God in Our Midst by Daniel Hyde (own on Kindle) – gave up on
23. The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Carl Trueman (own on Kindle) – completed November
24. Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible by Wayne Grudem (own on Kindle) – completed March
25. The New Shape of World Christianity by Mark Noll (own on Kindle) – gave up on
26. Crazy Love by Francis Chan (own on Kindle) – completed April
27. Being the Body by Charles Colson (own)
28. Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur (own) – completed March
29. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (own) – gave up on 
30. Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views by Stanley Porter & Beth Stovell (own)
31. Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology by Multiple (own on Kindle)
32. The Biblical Theology of Missions by George Peters (own)
33. From Scripture to Theology by Charles Scalise (own)
34. Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays (thru library) – gave up on
35. How to Choose a Translation for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee (own) – completed
36. Methodical Bible Study by Robert Traina (thru library) – gave up on
37. The Church Awakening by Charles Swindoll (own)
38. The Good Life by Charles Colson (own)
39. Idols for Destruction: the Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture by Herbert Schlossberg (thru library) – gave up on
40. People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology by Michael Horton (thru library) – gave up on

2013 Operation Deepen Faith

Operation Deepen Faith is happening for 2013 – you can find out more at this post.

I. Wonderful Words of Life. Goal: Try the MacArthur method of reading one (short, NT) book of the Bible 30 times in a month (or close to it).  (NOTE: 6/19/13 – GAVE UP, PROBABLY WON’T DO)
 – I plan to do Colossians, in various different translations, not sure what month yet.

III. Deep and Wide; Goal: read multiple books of the bible in multiple translations. (NOTE: 6/19/13 – GAVE UP ON THIS)
 – I plan to read Romans, James, 1 Timothy, 2 Peter and Habakkuk in multiple translations
Here is my translations tracking chart:

New Century
NET Bible
1 Timothy
2 Peter

IV.  Meditate or Memorize
 – I plan to memorize Philippians 3. When I was in college, I memorized the whole book of Philippians. I can’t recite it now, but am hoping it will make re-memorizing Philippians 3 a bit easier.
VI. Christian Nonfiction
 – this will be pretty simple as I’m mostly reading Christian non-fiction anyway. I’m not going to worry about a list or a number as I’m already doing this.

Out of Context by Richard Schultz

Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the BibleOut of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible by Richard Schultz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I wish every Christian would read! Too often, a verse is quoted and used for a particular situation without it being referenced in the context of the passage it comes from. Not only is the context of the passage important when interpreting a verse, but the historical context, the genre, the original intent that the author had when writing it. A verse can never mean what it never meant. This book addresses the different ways that Scripture is often misinterpreted, and as a result of misinterpretation it then becomes misapplied.
Different contexts that must be considered when interpreting the Bible are the literary context (the surround passage or passages), historical-cultural context (the culture of the time it was written/the audience’s culture), salvation-historical context (in light of the overarching story of the entire Bible) and the theological-thematic context (theme of the book it is part of).
Examples are given of taking verses out of context and common pitfalls are discussed, such as confusing a descriptive passage as being prescriptive, spiritualizing narrative details, and claiming someone else’s promises. The importance of correctly interpreting the Bible is huge! Misinterpretation often leads to misapplication.
This book lists other resources for learning more about Biblical interpretation and deeper Bible study. It is a quick read and one that is very important for a Christian who is serious about learning the Bible.

*I own this book

Wrapping Up a Month of Thankfulness

Day 22 – Thankful for Bible study resources (and anniversary gifts 🙂

Day 23 – thankful for our own washer & dryer after so many years of coin laundry

Day 24 – thankful for scrapbooks/scrapbooking and the creative outlet it gives me

Day 25 – thankful for a ministry to be part of at my church – being the church “librarian”

Day 26 – thankful for cold, clean water; something not everyone in the world has easy access to

Day 27 – thankful for a dishwasher as I am not fond of washing and drying dishes

Day 28 – thankful for thyroid medication and how it helps me to function more normally

Day 29 – thankful for blogs and blogging

Day 30 – thankful for music