Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The August Crazies

When I first started writing this post, I had been absent from the blogosphere for almost a month while experiencing the back-to-school hub-bub. Since my husband and I both work in academia, August is a bit of a crazy month at our house. That combined with several other activities and family events creates a storm of activity which resulted in something going on nearly every day and very few evenings at home. Although I have posted since initially writing this, I wanted to share my month of crazies anyway.

This month the library I work at hosted our annual library mystery which is part of our freshman orientation. This was our 3rd year to host the mystery and each year we tweak it a bit in our continual effort to improve. This year I took our mystery content and we transformed it into a computerized game. I used LiveCode to create a game in which students used library resources to answer clues, entered their answers in the game, and then found the resources to receive the next clue. Having the game come together and work satisfactorily as very exciting. We ended up having a few hardware issues the evening of the game such as laptops which wouldn't connect to the internet but overall the mystery ran smoothly. The students seemed to have a good time and our objective of introducing students to the library and our library staff in a fun, non-threatening atmosphere succeeded. The winning teams are always very excited to receive certificates for homemade cookies.

Family birthday's highlight August and this year was particularly eventful. This year we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday with a surprise family gathering after church on Sunday. A week later we celebrated a milestone birthday in my life as well. We had a smaller family celebrating at Olive Garden, but my special day received its due as well. My husband in particular outdid himself this year for a present. He put together an envelope of certificates for various goods and services around the home such as cooking a fancy dinner, doing any chore I request, and offering a day or evening sans kids for whatever reason I need, in addition to several others. He also sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers which graced the library for two weeks.

Bringing Up Kids

Since I have children of both genders, I recently decided to read the books Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson. I will readily admit that my reading of these titles was more of a skim than a thorough read, but I was thoroughly disappointed in both. Bringing Up Boys read like a critique of the feminist movement and all of modern parenting philosophy. While not agreeing with either entity completely, I did not feel the dismissal of everything about them warranted. I would have appreciated more parenting advice and less philosophical pandering. On the other hand, Bringing Up Girls seemed to focus entirely on protecting a girls sexual innocence. While a very important topic, I felt additional topics needed attention as well. All in all, I was very disappointed with both of these titles and will not be recommending them to others.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Perfect Lies by Jennifer Crow addresses nine lies Satan and the world would have us believe. The lies Crow presents are fairly common such as "I am unlovable, worthless, or bad." Crow emphasizes not only how these are completely untrue by referencing scripture and psychology references but also how to overcome these lies through meditation. The meditation described is completely Christian and focuses on using scripture passages. Crow also emphasizes creating mind pictures to help internalize the scriptural truths. Throughout the book, the author's tone is refreshingly honest and personal as she shares her own personal struggles with these issues. Given her position as the minister's wife and worship minister at a large congregation, Crow deserves commendations for her transparency.

Throughout the book, while enjoying the story of Crow's personal journey and triumph over these issues, I was concerned over her lack of citations and references when discussion psychological and neurological science issues. While the occasional mention of a book title or chapter was present, too often information was presented as common knowledge without adequate citations. I freely admit, however, that by profession this issue would catch my attention more than the average reader. Readers who are not comfortable or familiar with a more charismatic practice of Christianity may be less accepting of some of Crow's ideas. However, the ideas presented are not unscriptural.

Perfect Lies is a book deserving a slow read accompanied by practicing the meditation described. Simply reading the book, while profitable, will not produce the heart and life change desired. A women's book club or Bible study may enjoy working through this book together. While the lies presented are not unique to women, the examples used resonate more deeply with women. In addition counselors may find this resource useful as they work with clients dealing with these issues although Crow is not trained n psychology or counseling.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”