A Review–“Shopping For God”

This is one of those books that I’m not really sure why I picked up. It’s “Shopping for God–How Christianity went from in your heart to in your face” by James Twitchell. I think it was the second part of the title that caught my eye. I was thinking it would be from a Christian perspective, but I guess I should have known better.

Twitchell describes himself as an “apatheist,” which he says basically means “a disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion and an even stronger disclination to care about other people’s.” Other than that, I’m not quite sure what he believes. He definitely does not consider himself a born-again Christian and that’s clear from the book. That perspective colored the whole book. He is very negative towards most Christian demoninations. It’s like studying Christianity is a hobby to him, the way studying baseball or sewing would be a hobby to someone else.

There were many times I got mad at this book and thought about putting it down. I didn’t, because it is a fascinating look at what unbelievers really think of us. It’s sad. You can tell Twitchell’s eyes have been closed. I think reading it is a good way to figure out how we can take some steps to reach unbelievers. I was raised in the Bible Belt, with Christian parents, friends, etc. It’s hard for me to see how the world looks at us. I guess I’ve been sheltered that way.

For instance, the author states that “The New Testament says nothing in favor of tithing.” I guess he forgot to read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. He also describes Ananias and Sapphira as being struck dead for failing to give 100% to the church. This is not true. They were struck dead because they lied to the Holy Spirit, not because of failure to give.

He does make some good points about the feminization of the Church and why a lot of men are uncomfortable with church. It’s interesting to me that even an unbeliever can see that. If you’re a Christian, this book may make you mad, like it did me. But it was worth seeing how deceived unbelievers can be. I was especially troubled by the way the author only went to various churches to ridicule them. He claims he was studying them, but it comes across more like ridicule in the book. I don’t want to run down this author, but he is clearly greatly deceived. I’m sure M. Twitchell’s intelligence and skills would be a great asset to the Kingdom and I hope one day the Message he’s hearing during his “God shopping” will get through.

Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Frugal Friday–Cheap Beginner Sewing

frugalfridays-754123-778598.jpgSewing can be a very expensive hobby, especially if you’re just starting out. Here’s some ways I’ve saved money as I learn to sew:

*Borrow a machine. Often a friend or relative will have one they no longer use. If you’re lucky, they might give it to you. If you do buy, try the machine out at the store to be sure you’re getting what you want.

*Buy pattern paper for tracing and “share” patterns with friends or relatives. That way, you won’t have to cut the pattern. Just trace off the size you need.

*Hobby Lobby has patterns for $1 or $2 pretty often. Check and see. Sometimes it’s an unadvertised sale.

*Use remnants when you can. Our local Wal-Mart still carries fabric, so I go through the remnant bins every time I’m there. For small projects, it’s great. Often there will be up to a yard of fabric in each remnant.

*Some community or extension centers offer free or low-cost classes. Sometimes a tech school will do the same. Or if you have a friend who sews, trade off and teach her a skill in exchange for sewing lessons.

*Check out the library for books before you buy.

 Frugal Fridays are sponsored by Crystal at Biblicalwomanhood.

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm  Comments (2)  

Modesty–A lost art

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of modesty today. I’m sick of this. I’m sick of seeing body parts that only one’s spouse used to see. I’m sick of the “hooker” clothes for little girls. I’m sick of moms trying to out-dress their teenagers. I do not want to see anyone’s navel ring, bra straps, underwear or lack of underwear.

As Christians, the Bible says we’re called to be different. It says women are to dress modestly. Note, it says modestly, not frumpy. We don’t have to look bad just because we’re modestly dressed. I’ll admit, it’s hard to find the right balance. I’m not sure I’ve found it yet.

In some cases, church is last place one finds modesty. This is truly sad. We were members of a church where status was very important and every Sunday was like a fashion competition. (One reason we’re no longer there…) I often saw more immodestly dressed women (and yes, it’s usually women) there than the mall. Even the little girls were too “adult” in their dress. After one particular Sunday, Curly Haired Husband remarked, “No one told me it was Cleavage Day.” 

So, for those of us who appreciate modesty, I’ll be blogging about the issue as it comes up and hopefully offering some helpful links. This one, by Mrs. Lauren Christine, is very well-written and expresses her convictions on modesty. (She also has a great site, by the way. Check it out.)

And for the record, I’m not “dresses only”, though some members of my family are. I think dresses/skirts are more feminine and ladylike, but I also think there are situations where modest pants are appropriate. I’m not talking low-rise jeans here, but there are situations that make dress-wearing very difficult. We need to look very carefully at what we’re revealing no matter what we’re wearing.

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm  Comments (1)  

A Review–“Sew Everything Workshop”

First off, let me say that I’ve only been sewing for about a year. And my practice comes in between caring for a toddler, so I usually have to sew in short bursts of time. This book is great for that. It’s got tons of info and is very user-friendly. I was able to sew several of her projects right away, with no trouble and they came out looking great. I’ve tried several do-it-yourself sewing books and most were boring or unhelpful. “Sew Everything Workshop” by Diana Rupp is not.

This book comes with pattern pieces which are supposed to have more info that the usual patterns, but honestly, I haven’t made it that far yet. (Sorry.) I’ve just been doing the non-pattern projects. If you’ve never used a machine, this might be a little too advanced, but I’ve only had a few classes and felt it was right at my level. (For reference, I can easily read and follow a pattern, do buttonholes, and put in a zipper. Sleeves and collars give me more trouble. What does that make me, intermediate beginner, maybe?)

I will warn you, though, the author is a little unorthodox. I’m not wild about the “What Would Martha Do?” references, and some of the language could be cleaned up. The project names aren’t exactly to my liking, either. (Naughty Secretary Skirt, for example.) So be aware of this. That said, the info and explanations of projects are excellent.

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

WFMW– Prolong a dying dishwasher


I now have something I never thought I’d own. A stainless steel dishwasher. I know, aren’t you jealous?! Thanks to a closeout sale and our tax refund, I no longer have to wash all the dishes by hand. (This is sad. Next I’ll be excited about an iron.)

We had a dishwasher. It just didn’t work. It died slowly, over a period of several months and I did learn how to help prolong it. So if you’re in the same boat, here’s what worked (for a while, at least.)

*Use the best detergent you can afford. It really did make a difference. I like Electrasol tabs.

*Run the hot water a minute or two before starting the dishwasher. This way your dishes will get hot water immediately.

*Be sure to load the dishes so they face the water spray.

*Rinse before loading. (I know, this totally defeats the purpose, but it’s better than handwashing.)

*Use vinegar in the little liquid bin.

These things worked for me! Check out more tips at Rocks in my dryer.

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 11:31 am  Comments (4)  

Kids bring lots of joy…

and vomit. Lots and lots of vomit. I think that’s all the detail I need to give. The past 4 days have been a complete blur. I don’t think my house has ever been so messy. We had to miss a family wedding that I really wanted to attend (though I am glad we didn’t infect the whole wedding party.) Curly Haired Husband didn’t exactly have a great birthday. But here’s what I did learn from all three of us being sick at the same time:

–We can never be sick at the same time again. We only have two bathrooms.

–I’m not sure I’m ready for another child. Maybe in about 8 years.

–A ham and cheese sandwich when you’re sick will set your recovery back a good 6 hours.

–Curly Haired Husband is pretty good at housework.

–I have really nice parents.

–Kids bounce back a lot quicker. She’s climbing on the kitchen table again and I’m barely functioning.

–I think I’m going back to bed.

Published in: on April 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment