The Tyranny of Books

I’ve been attending BSF this year (Bible Study Fellowship) and studying the Life of Moses. Each week we’re given some notes and questions to go over, studying sections of the Bible on our own. Then once a week we meet with a discussion group and discuss the questions we did, then sit through a lecture on the passages we studied. This past week in the lecture, the speaker talked about how possessions can often possess us, owning us rather than us owning them. In reality God owns everything and all that we have is a gift from Him for our stewardship.
This struck me in regards to all the books I own. Often I get obsessed with what I’m currently reading, how soon I can finish a book so I can pick up the next one, or what I’m going to read next. I have so many books that I want to read and I want to read them all NOW! 🙂 It becomes a distraction and causes me to stress over how quickly I can read and get through books so I can move on to the next ones. What about just the sheer joy of reading? I read to learn; why can’t I just relax and learn from what I’m currently reading without thinking about what I’ll read next? Books start to possess me rather than me possessing them.
In reality God owns it all anyway. And learning doesn’t do me any good if I’m not putting into action what I’m learning. People are more important than books. And if I’m spending my time and energy focusing on books and what I plan to read instead of the people that are in my life, then I’m not pleasing God. So rather than obsessing over how many books I can get through in a year, I need to focus instead on the people God has put in my life and how I can best encourage them and help them to learn and grow also.


Summer Bingo Challenge by Becky

What a fun challenge idea! Original post by Becky here.

book with a question in the title

Has God Spoken? by Hank Hanegraaf

book by a favorite author
book about a specific book of the Bible
book about a specific doctrine
book with a number in the title
Missions in the Third Millenium by Stan Guthrie
reread of your choice!
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
book that intimidates you
book about prayer or book about the Lord’s Prayer
book with the word “God” in the title
From God to Us by Norman Geisler and William Nix
book under 100 pages
book you buy new or used specifically for this challenge!
book about the Bible (reading, studying, praying)

Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word by Kathleen Nielson

book with the word “Jesus” in the title
Theology book of your choice
The Theology of the Westminster Standards by J.V. Fesko
Devotional book (28 days+)
book about preaching OR worship OR church life
book about the Holy Spirit
book you’ve owned for 3+ years
book about evangelism or discipleship

Make Mature Multiply: Becoming Fully-Formed Disciples of Jesus by Brandon Smith

Collection of essays or sermons
Between Worlds by Marilyn Gardner
A biography or autobiography
Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther
book by a new-to-you author
The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim
book specifically for women OR book specifically for men
Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt
book with the word “Gospel” in the title
The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas by Copan and Litwak
book you borrow

How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler


Be Ready

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

-ESV, 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Nine Years

Nine years ago today, Jono and I brought home Mocha and Storm, 2 six-month-old cats that we adopted from a cat rescue organization.


These 2 creatures changed our lives forever, bringing us much laughter, affection, and companionship. They stole our hearts and became part of our family. After 6 years of living with us in a 1-bedroom apartment, we moved into our 2-story condo and their world expanded to include much more room for running and lounging and the fun of stairs to gallop up and down.
Storm lounges in upstairs hallway

Mocha perches on stairs

Storm enjoys the new view out the living room window
Last September, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Storm when we discovered she had cancer and our lives have not been the same since. This is our first “Gotcha” Day without her and she is greatly missed. Thankful that we are still able to enjoy our time with Mocha. She provides us with much cuteness and hilarity.

Thankful for the sweetness these 2 little girls have brought to our lives!

Trip Down Memory Lane

This past weekend I took a trip out to upstate New York (Maine/Binghamton, Cincinnatus/Cortland areas) for my dad’s mom’s funeral. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane.

This was my parents’ home church and thus mine when we lived in the States. It used to also have a Christian School as part of it. I attended 3rd grade, part of 5th grade, 7th, 8th, & 9th grade at this school.

The auditorium/sanctuary of the church, First Baptist Church in Cincinnatus, NY. This was the church where I was baptized on April 24, 1983 at the age of 9.

My first real job (other than babysitting) was as a helper at the local library in Cincinnatus, NY. It was a summer job when I was 15 years old. Loved working there! Above is a current picture of the library in April 2013.
Though for a sad occasion, it was good to be together with my family. None of the spouses were able to make it, so it was just my parents, brother, sister and I. Not sure the last time that it was just the 5 of us.
In front of the missionary board, which my parents are one of the missionaries that the church supports. This church has supported our family my entire life.

Gladys (Delanoy) Totman Randall Obituary – K.L. Sharp Funeral Home

Gladys (Delanoy) Totman Randall Obituary – K.L. Sharp Funeral Home

My grandma (my dad’s mom) passed away this past week at the age of 84. Above is the link to her obituary. I will be traveling to New York next weekend for her funeral. The last time I saw her was actually over 10 years ago, at my cousin’s wedding in Florida.

Grandma and I in 2002
I’m thankful that she knew the Lord and that I will see her again one day in Heaven. The hope we have as Christians is not an empty hope. 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 (NIV) states: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

Peanut Butter Pizza

Take peanut butter cookie dough (whether you make from scratch, use a mix or the pre-made dough rolls at the store), spread out in one big cookie on a cookie sheet.
Bake as directed until 2-3 minutes are left. Pull out of oven and sprinkle mini marshmallows on it. Stick back in oven for the remaining 2-3 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly browned. Take out, sprinkle chocolate chips on it. And voila!

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.