John and Bethany Arndt

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Monthly Archives: December 2011

radically enternal

December 28th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

We had a pre wedding reception in Tulsa, we had our wedding in Oregon and then it was time to celebrate with our friends and community in Cape Town; a 1980’s themed party!


1000 Gifts

December 20th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

1000 Gifts – By Ann Voskamp
If the book cover doesn’t draw you in, then the contents definitely will. My mother in law gave me this book after she told me how much it meant to her. I will admit I thought it was going to be a little Joyce Meyer/ Joel Olsteenish; nothing against them, I just thought I had the book pegged.  Its a common theme it seems; Thankfulness.  Yet with extraordinary words, Ann VosKamp dialogues with her maker about the true summation of life. The reader can expect to enter a deep and twisting journey into a woman’s search for authentic joy. Her story begins with the early & tragic death of her younger sister, which birthed gripping anxiety in her own life. Her personal quest is to exchange fear and distrust for the rare perspective of seeing beauty in ugly circumstances. Her journey began as she started cataloging a list of 1000 things she is thankful for. In doing so, she started to explode with happiness. Gratitude for the small things can lead to opening a treasure chest.  By breathing out thankfulness and breathing in the grace of God, she discovers both the difficulty & the simplicity of obtaining joy through gratitude. Skillfully written with delicate description’s of her own soul, this book is sure to challenge and inspire even the already optimistic reader.

The part of the book that actually spoke the most to me was about living fully in the moment. I had already been working on this; my tendancy is to task master,  think ahead, cover all bases, use my time in the most effecient way, trying to respond equally to all the various demands and responsibilities.  I book too many things in one day and end up feeling rushed, pressed, and internal frustrated. Sound familiar?  Ann wrote, “Haste makes waste.”  I took it all in.

” On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

Hurry always empties a soul. So to relax in the moment, letting go of what is next, and intentionally assessing the glory of God in each conversation and setting; this is the behavior of someone who is truly thankful. Time Full.

I only got it a month ago; and have already passed it on and sent it as a gift to someone.


like the sun

December 19th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

Was laying in bed this morning, after John got up to put the rubbish bin out for collection. Was thinking about how I ask for more of God, and he points to His qualities all around me.

God is like the sun.

He is fixed, unmoving…. sure. He radiates warmth. He gives light….the kind that dispels darkness. Where there is only one ray of light, total darkness fails. The clouds and thunder may cover Him, rendering Him unseen, although we can still see traces.  This is always temporal. We know the sun will reappear.

We need Him for our mood. We need him to grow. We need Him for nourishment.

When something blocks the sun a shadow is created; partial darkness. The sun is the star around which the earth orbits. God is the presence our lives dance around, many of us unknowingly dance.  He provides the light and energy which sustains life… the determination of the seasons.

As sure as the rising and setting of the sun, He will respond.

Our God is a consuming fire. He is lifted up above all the earth, shining, worthy of our attention, our affection, our awe; the center piece of all creation.

Like the sun.


The Poisonwood Bible

December 15th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

The Poisonwood Bible
By Barbara Kingsolver

This was my second attempt and I am thankful it was more successful and more enjoyable than my first. In fact several people have told me they couldn’t get through it. Yes , it was in Oprah’s book club, but Men please do look past this.  I think I was able to make the long trek  5 years later, because of one thing; I am a learner of Africa. For readers who are fascinated with the “dark continent”, this is a must read. I was slowly drawn into this portrait of the Congo; painted as the backdrop for a fire and brimstone, Baptist, missionary who drags his wife & 4 daughters to “save the pagans”  of Africa. The book is written from the voices of each daughter and the wife. One year in the heart of the Congo, during its noble fight for independence from Belgium and this family is forever changed. The militant religion of the father will provoke outrage in the reader, as he stampedes his way into a precious culture than ultimately refused to let him in. But the villagers aren’t his only victims, his family also suffers greatly. While the character development is less than amazing it eventually hooked me; but this books main value is in its unique presentation of African anthropology. Being unsure of the authors background, I became increasingly convinced that she had to have been a personal witness to post colonial Congo; man eating ants, deadly serpents, the struggle for daily survival, witchcraft, village politics and the heart wrenching effects of governments thinking they can do whatever they want;  this book will leave an imprint.