Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good Reads!

I've been doing a lot of reading lately! I'm almost done with the 4-book fiction series by Joel C. Rosenberg. If you like fast-paced political thrillers, this is a great Christian series!

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I can't remember if I've mentioned on my blog what a great book Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney is. It is the best and most concise book I have read on Biblical womanhood and it is a thin book and an easy read. I've mentioned before on my blog the problems I have found in Created to Be His Helpmeet. This book is infinitely better! When you contrast the two side by side, you see such a stark difference. While CTBHH is not all bad, there is an underlying theme of trying to "be a certain way" so that you can gain for yourself a heavenly marriage and to be submissive and sexy in order to manipulate your man. The Gospel is glaringly absent from that book. However, in Feminine Appeal, Carolyn states, "The commands found in Titus 2 have been given to us for an all-important reason that transcends time and culture. That rason is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These virtues are not about our personal fulfillment or individual preference. They are required for the sake of unbelievers--so that those who are lost might come to know our Savior." Page 26

Another lengthy, but rich quote from her book, " This book is about the transforming effect of the Gospel--because that is what Titus 2 is all about. The climax of Titus 2 announces that, "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people." It heralds the news of "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness" (v. 11-14)

The seven feminine virtues we will consider in the this book are not an end in themselves. They point to the transforming effect of the Gospel in the lives of women--women who have turned from their sins and trusted in the Savior, women whose sins have been forgiven and whose hearts have been changed. Can you conceive of anything that sets forth the beauty of the Gospel jewel more brilliantly than the godly behavior of those who have received it? Consider the lovliness of a woman who passionatley adores here husband, who tenderly cherishes her children, who creates a warm and peaceful home, who exemplifies purity, self-control, and kindness in her character and who gladly submits to her husband's leadership--for all the days God grants her life. I dare say there are few things that display the Gospel jewel with greater elegance. This is true feminine appeal." Page 28-29
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One other book I want to highlight as a great read is, "French Women Don't Get Fat, The secret of eating for pleasure" by Mireille Guiliano.
It was a fascinating read about how to enjoy food to the fullest! Sometimes we American women miss things that are simple in favor of beating ourselves up with diet plans and no-mercy exercise routines. The author is French but lives in America now with her American husband. She first came to America as a high school exchange student and gained about 20 pounds after adopting American styles of eating. After working hard to get the weight back off once she returned to France, she studied the differences between the view of food in both cultures and has made many observations about the subject. It's interesting that the French have so much wine, cheese, and gourmet pastries, heavenly baguettes, and delicious desserts and yet stay so slender. I was fascinated by her recipes and descriptions of luscious foods and the way the French delight in their cooking while still practicing moderation. Guiliano doesn't have a "super method" or "10-step plan" to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks like many dieting books but I think her book is probably the most practical and effective I have ever seen on this issue and would get the best results long-term! Even if you aren't looking to lose weight but just want to read more about excellent French cooking, this is a great book! Some of the differences between French women and American women (as summarized by me from reading the book) are:
*French women don't see food as a "shameful" thing and they delight in little pleasures and food treats without guilt
*French women drink water constantly
*French women walk many places and exert themselves in daily tasks rather than hitting a gym or forcing themselves to jog every day
*French women don't ever allow themselves to get famished and neither do they ever leave the table feeling totally stuffed
*French women delight in excellent food, fresh and ripe and bursting with flavor. They enjoy cooking and choosing their food from the market and take their time at it. They aren't afraid of carbs and don't tend to jump into fad diets.
*French women eats tons of fruits and veggies
*French women don't eat while watching TV, reading, or computer surfing. Enjoying a pretty table setting and letting yourself savor each bite and enjoying the "experience" of eating helps them avoid the mindless eating we Americans tend to do since we're always in a rush.

These are just some of the highlights I gained from this great book! The author is not a Christian and therefore there are a few things in the book you may disagree with (as with almost any book) but her perspectives are quite interesting!

4 comments:

Mrs. Taft said...

One thing I've been on about lately is portion control, and one of the best ways to be satisfied with smaller (appropriate!) portions is to savor your food and eat it without distractions.

Josh & Laura Helweg said...

That book sounds really good Lindsey! Well, both, but especially the French women book..
I'd love to pick that one up! :) I do notice different cultures have different eating tendencies, take Italians for example.. pretty much same as the French. :) Neat huh?

lizzykristine said...

The Girltalkers always put together solid, balanced, & helpful material, and Feminine Appeal is no exception. Good book!

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I noticed the portion control / moderation when I lived in Ireland. They ate soooo much junk food! But about the only obese people I saw were American tourists. ;)

First of all, the Irish walk a lot. I didn't have much to lose and I still lost 10 pounds from just walking (and I was eating worse, too!)

Second, they eat much more reasonable portions and exercise moderation, even in their cookies, cakes, and ice cream.

Lyndi said...

Those are interesting things to think about.

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