At Home in Mitford {book review}


This may be my first Jan Karon read.  I remember my mother read her books and enjoyed them.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was skeptical.  Here’s my book review of At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon, which is also posted on Goodreads.

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At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years, #1)At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This copy is currently in my possession from a free library.

What a delightful story! My mother used to read (and loved) anything by Jan Karon. Not sure I’ve read this one, am sure enjoying it.

This book was a pleasant surprise. There are lots of characters, but the characterizations are so clear that it was hard to forget any of them. I love the point of view, which is the narrator’s view of Father Tim.

This is not a warm fuzzy story, although Mitford appears to be the perfect town. There are many ordinary and extraordinary difficulties with which the reader can identify. It is not a predictable story.

Already checked the next two books in the Mitford series out of the library. Great book — great author. Highly recommended. Squeaky clean and very much faith-based, but not in the way I expected. I love the personal relationship with God angle for an Episcopalian priest. That surprised me. Enjoy!

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A Clearing in the Wild {book review}


A Clearing in the Wild is the first in the Change and Cherish Historical Series by Jane Kirkpatrick.  The series is based on a true story of the Bethel-ites originating in Missouri in the 1850s, who sought to live apart from the world and its lures.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a master at weaving historical facts and characters with fiction, while maintaining a strong foundation of faith.  This book upholds her reputation.  The book review below is also posted on Goodreads.

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A Clearing in the Wild (Change and Cherish Historical #1)A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Library copy. I am loving this book. Love this style of writing. ~~ Forty pages to go … oh my, what hardship this west coast pioneering compared to NH a century earlier!

This book is the first in a series, which I am rather anxious to read. While the book stands alone, the story isn’t finished, and leaves the reader hoping beyond hope that things turn brighter in the next two books, as they begin to at the end of this one.

It is beyond me to critique a writer such as Jane Kirkpatrick. Her writing is as writing should be. It is not entertainment. It is thick. Thick enough to sink one’s teeth into or to sink down into as in a feather comforter. Characters (good and bad), plot, language, description of the environment, matters of the heart, matters of faith, they are all there.

When I stop to read a phrase or sentence aloud, just for the pure sound of the words; when I want to wring the neck of one of the characters even though they are fictitious; when I feel as though I am there; that is a five star rating.

On top of all of this, the book is historical. The Bethelites were a real group of people, and much of the story is gleaned from historical records. The author who combines historical fact and fiction seamlessly is tops on my list.

Thank you, Jane, for a superb book! I highly recommend this book, although for some it would appear dry. This is not a contemporary inspirational romance. It is a work of substance. I love it.

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A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick.  {book review}

Sunday Pondering {Churches}


Sunday Pondering {Churches}. 

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Changes.

This morning I have been researching churches in New England, looking at what’s new since I left in 1974 and 1986.  Looking at new pastors of old churches, and how the new churches began.

History.

There’s a long church history in New England, several centuries’ worth.  And there’s the history of Baptist churches, the effects of evangelicalism, the influx of new translations of the Bible, new youth camp ministries, and a growing population which came from somewhere else.  Much to study and ponder.

Doctrine.

I also studied the doctrinal beliefs of different churches and church associations, and found some differences.

I grew up in an independent Baptist church, which has since changed its requirements for membership and removed ‘Baptist’ from its name.  I graduated from Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania, which, as far as I can tell, has maintained its doctrinal position.  Since coming to Wisconsin I have been involved in Baptist churches with slightly different beliefs from both of those.

At the time I was involved in those churches I was too busy to notice the difference.  Now I am noticing.

Old Faithful.

I met a pastor in New Hampshire on my 2013 Road Trip.  We had stopped at a roadside spring.  Our meeting was entirely random.  Or was it?

We had both been in church, different churches in neighboring towns, the ones in which I grew up.  He was on his way home.  I was on my way to Newfound Lake.  The spring is on a state road, a pipe coming out of the side of a hill.  Just a  tiny pull-off in the dirt.  Easy to miss.  The same spring that we stopped at when I was a child, going to or from the lake.

Memories.

The man handed me a tract as I was returning to my car with my bottle of water.  It had the name of a Baptist Church on the back.  I went back to talk to him, wondering if I should know him.  I told him where I grew up, in what church, and of my childhood memory of people who came the long distance (once in awhile) from the town where this church is, to attend services at my church in Vermont.

It was the same church.  Not the same person, but the same church.  This man started the church in Lebanon, from which he was driving home.  He pastors three Baptist churches, in three towns, alternating between them.  One of the churches, the one in Plymouth, which I remembered from the 1960s, has a Christian school, for which he is responsible.  I saw him on the website of the church and school when I was researching today.

I am pondering the awesomeness of God.  He is in control of the small details.  

I am reading a book by a woman who grew up in New Hampshire at the same time I did, fifty years ago.

We went to Bible College at the same time, to sister schools.

We were each married at roughly the same time.  She went to live on a small island just off the coast of the island where I was living in the Gulf of Alaska, at the same time (she still lives there).

We were associated with the same Baptist Church (there are two) in that small Alaskan island town.

She has a Masters degree in writing, which I would dearly love to earn.  She writes memoir and non-fiction, which I aspire to do.  I am reading her book about living on the island.

We have never met, except through email. Her forthcoming book was announced on another author’s blog which I read.

Our churches’ God.

I am pondering her God and mine.  I am awed by His perfection.

He does not do all this for us, though He does all things for us.

It is for His glory, and for us to bring Him all the glory due to His Holy Name.

Sunday Ponderings {Churches}