Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women

Carolyn Custis James wrote Half the Church in an easy to read, story-like fashion. The book is fairly engaging and frequently challenging. I did at times feel the plight of today’s global woman and felt compelled to do something if only I really knew what.

James discussed girls (and boys) from around the world who are involved in sex trafficking or  abused regularly in terribly brutal ways and the societies who not only stand by but actively participate. Her central message is that we as women (and men) as half the church have an obligation to do something because of our relationship with Christ, because we are His image bearers.

Half the Church is book full of anecdotes detailing the terrible place the world is for so many girls and women. She uses current and biblical examples. She talks about a woman’s value in modern society. She talks about the mundane things we involve ourselves in when there are so many more important and challenging situations in which we could make a very real difference. She discusses the works of Amy Carmichael, a woman James obviously admires, as well as Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kristoff and WuDunn wrote Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Glancing at this book, it is clear that Half the Church picks up their theme.

While the book is full of anguishing tales of girls who could find no help or escape, there are also some stories of people who helped and made a difference. Since this is a book full of anecdotes, that makes it much shorter on solutions and I would have liked to have seen more. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter were particularly good and kept taking the message of help back to us being image bearers for Christ. This book probably would have been more meaningful if I’d read it in a discussion group setting where we could have brainstormed interventions and solutions.

Thanks to Mason Slater and Jesse Hillman from Zondervan for this review copy.

Book Giveaway

Zondervan was kind enough to send me two copies of this book. If you’d like one, then let me know in a comment below. If I get more than one request, I’ll draw a name from a hat! Deadline is 4/16/11 at midnight ET.


An irritation with Kindle

I don’t have the device itself, but the program is loaded on my computers and iPod Touch. I never paid much attention to the little location thingy because I just plowed through a book. BUT and this is huge, I finally was able to buy a Kindle textbook and I was so excited until I’m to use a rubric on page 129. No problem. I can’t figure it out, but it’s got to be able to convert to page numbers. I hit Google with my question. And the answer is:

ding, ding, ding

It can’t be done! There isn’t a way to convert. What’s more, Amazon has told multiple students that their way is superior. APA style even has a citation using Kindle locations. Well, whoopdidoo. That doesn’t do a student trying to find a specific location in a book a lick of good.

Nook on the other hand (who I have not been supporting as much as Kindle) does have page numbers. Guess who will be getting my ebook business in the future?

I’ve become a book collector

Since I started the MLS, reading has gone completely down the toilet. If I didn’t listen to books on my laborious drive, I’d get little but textbooks and journals read.

I noticed that I’m collecting books in anticipation of the day I can read freely without guilt. I spend a little time each day looking at reviews and scrounging for freebies. Of course it will take me years to get them all read at this point. mmmmm unless I quit work just to read – which is an attractive idea!

Organizing personal libraries

Many of my blogging friends have extensive libraries. Organizing them can be a nightmare. Mine is a mess since I’ve gone back to school. In this cataloging course, I had to look at Integrated Library Systems and found some that are open-source so they have potential for large personal libraries. The one I researched extensively, Evergreen, is for public libraries that are consortium members, so that is not really an option. However, the second one on my list, Koha, was developed for the smaller library in mind and I’m thinking I might give it a try at home. You can see what the interface looks like by choosing a library from their showcase.

Delicious Library 2. This is really interesting looking and has a lot of visual appeal, but it’s apparently only for Macs. Try it for free. $40 if you like it. Media Man is a windows alternative. Also $40.

Collectorz.com Book Collector. Looks very much like Delicious, but has a $30-50 price tag for the standard/pro versions. There is a free trial and you can publish your book collection online.

BiblioteQ. I like the screen shots on this one. Some of these just don’t show many, but this one gives several behind-the-scenes views. This one also mentions Z39.50 protocol which I’ve not seen too many places. Also open source.

Books organized by color. The idea of this absolutely drives me nuts, but it sure is nice to look at.

Tim Challies describes his personal library. I imagine it’s much like many of the bloggers I know.

Your call is (not that) important to us by Emily Yellin

Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives Read Chapter 1.

I don’t normally pick up airline magazines, but I did on the way back home and found this gem. It’s about customer service. Chapter 1 focuses primarily on Comcast and some of this you have to read to believe.

There’s the story of LaChania Govan who had a problem with her video recorder. After a month, she finally got in touch with someone who helped her only to get the next bill with her name changed to something mmmmm unseemly.

D. C. technician on the phone so long waiting for help that he fell asleep on the customer’s couch. Customer taped this incedent:

Mona Shaw (76)  and hubs waited for a technician to come and install her triple play (phone, internet, cable). They showed two days later and didn’t finish. AND they didn’t come back to finish. They’ve got no phone. They can’t call, so they drive to the office and are told to wait OUTSIDE in August. They waited for two hours to find out the man they were there to see had left. She went back the next week with hammer in hand and got their attention.

I’ve only read chapter 1, but it was a very good read. I’ll be looking for the rest at the library!

The Moravian Church Through the Ages

This book was written in 1966, and it’s by John R. Weinlick.  Looks like a church study course book with questions at the end of each chapter. I was hoping, because of it’s age, that it would be available on Google Books. It had rated a page but that is even of an updated edition and there is nothing on the book there. No cover, not table of contents, no reviews.

So, I’m thinking of blogging my way through this book – well, if grad school doesn’t get in the way. I still have several papers to write for one class.

The Table of Contents

PART I – The Bohemian Brethren

1. The Late Medieval World

2. John Hus, the Martyr of Bohemia

3. The Aftermath

4. The Founding of the Unitas Fratrum

5. Life and Character of the Old Unitas Fratrum

6. John Amos Comenius

PART II – The Renewed Moravian Church

7. The Renewal of the Unitas Fratrum

8. Herrnhut, Mother Community of the Moravian church

9. The Moravian Diaspora

10. Into All the World

11. The Moravian Church in America

12. The Moravian Heritage

blogs on your kindle, but for a price

Kindle from AmazonNot too long ago, I noticed that James McGrath mentioned his blog was available on the kindle – for $1.99 a month. Another blog I read, Free Technology for Teachers,  just made the same announcement. You too can get this great blog for only $1.99 per month. It is a great blog! I get great ideas from it.

I did visit amazon.com and put blog subscriptions in the search bar next to Kindle Store. There are quite a few ranging in price from $0.99 to $1.99. Topics vary just like the do in the blogging world and on most it looked like you could get a 14-day free trial. Even for this one which was #50 on my search:

Product Details This is a test blog by Abhi’s Test blog (Kindle Edition – Dec. 22, 2009) – Blog Subscription

Now I love my gadgets as much as anyone, but really! This could get pricey FAST and what if I’m on my kindle and they reference another blog that I don’t have a subscription for? Will I be charged for it too, or will I just have to wait to see the links until I get home and can get to the blog the old fashioned way, through my browser.

One of the comments on Exploring Our Matrix does address that you can get the blogs in basic form on the Kindle Browser. I’m just thinking it would have to be a super-killer blog to get a paid subscription.