Isaac Watts, cont. OF LIVING INSTRUCTIONS AND LECTURES, OF TEACHERS AND LEARNERS.

Previously

CHAPTER VI. OF LIVING INSTRUCTIONS AND LECTURES, OF TEACHERS AND LEARNERS.

I. There are few persons of so penetrating a genius, and so just a judgment, as to be capable of learning the arts and sciences without the assistance of teachers. There is scarce any science so safely and so speedily learned, even by the noblest genius and the best books, without a tutor. His assistance is absolutely necessary for most persons, and it is very useful for all beginners. Books are a sort of dumb teachers; they point out the way to learning; but if we labour under any doubt or mistake, they cannot answer sudden questions, or explain present doubts and difficulties: this is properly the work of a living instructor. II. There are very few tutors who are sufficiently furnished with such universal learning, as to sustain all the parts and provinces of instruction. The sciences are numerous, and many of them lie far wide of each other; and it is best to enjoy the instructions of two or three tutors at least, it order to run through the whole ency clopaedia, or circle of sciences, where it may be obtained; then we may expect that each will teach the few parts of learning which are committed to his care in greater
perfection. But where this advantage cannot be had with convenience, one great man must supply the place of two or three common instructors. III. It is not sufficient that instructors be competently skilful in those sciences which they profess and teach; but they should have skill also in the art or method of teaching, and patience in the practice of it. It is a great unhappiness indeed, when persons by a spirit of party, or faction, or interest, or by purchase, are set up for tutors, who have neither due knowledge of science, nor skill in the way of communication. And, alas! there are others who, with all their ignorance and insufficiency, have self-admiration and effrontery enough to set up themselves; and the poor pupils fare accordingly, and grow lean in their understandings. And let it be observed also, there are some very learned men, who know much themselves, but have not the talent of communicating their own knowledge; or else they are lazy, and will take no pains at it. Either they have an obscure and perplexed way of talking, or they show their learning uselessly, and make a long periphrasis on every word of the book they explain, or they cannot condescend to young beginners, or they run presently into the elevated parts of the science, because it gives themselves greater pleasure, or they are soon angry and impatient, and cannot bear with a few im pertinent questions of a young inquisitive and sprightly genius; or else they skim over a science in a very slight and superficial survey, and never lead their disciples into the depths of it. IV. A good tutor should have characters and qualifi cations very different from all these. He is such a one as both can and will apply himself with diligence and concern, and indefatigable patience, to effect what he undertakes; to teach his disciples, and see that they learn; to adapt his way and method, as near as may be, to the various dispositions, as well as to the capacities of those whom he instructs, and to inquire often into their progress and improvement. And he should take particular care of his own tem per and conduct, that there be nothing in him or about him which may be of ill example; nothing that may savour of a haughty temper, or a mean and sordid spirit; nothing that may expose him to the aversion or to the contempt of his scholars, or create a prejudice in their minds against him and his instructions: but, if possible, he should have so much of a natural candour and sweet ness mixed with all the improvements of learning, as might convey knowledge into the minds of his disciples with a sort of gentle insinuation and sovereign delight, and may tempt them into the highest improvements of their reason by a resistless and insensible force. But I shall have occasion to say more on this subject, when I come to speak more directly of the methods of the com munication of knowledge. V. The learner should attend with constancy and care on all the instructions of his tutor; and if he happens to be at any time unavoidably hindered, he must endeavour to retrieve the loss by double industry for time to come. He should always recollect and review his lectures, read over some other author or authors upon the same subject, confer upon it with his instructor, or with his associates, and write down the clearest result of his present thoughts, reasonings, and inquiries, which he may have recourse to hereafter, either to re-examine them and to apply them to proper use, or to improve them farther to his own advantage. VI. A student should never satisfy himself with bare attendance on the lectures of his tutor, unless he clearly takes up his sense and meaning, and understands the things which he teaches. A young disciple should be have himself so well as to gain the affection and ear of his instructor, that upon every occasion he may, with the utmost freedom, ask questions, and talk over his own sentiments, his doubts, and difficulties with him, and in an humble and modest manner desire the solution of them.

VII. Let the learner endeavour to maintain an honorable opinion of his instructor, and needfully listen to his instructions, as one willing to be led by a more experienced guide; and though he is not bound to fall in with every sentiment of his tutor, yet he should so far comply with him as to resolve upon a just consideration of the matter, and try and examine it thoroughly with an honest heart, before he presume to determine against him: and then it should be done with great modesty, with an humble jealousy of himself, and apparent unwillingness to differ from his tutor, if the force of argument and truth did not constrain him.

Oh, those arrogant youngsters:

VIII. It is a frequent and growing folly in our age, that pert young disciples soon fancy themselves wiser than those who teach them: at the first view, or upon a very little thought, they can discern the insignificancy, weakness, and mistake of what their teacher asserts. The youth of our day, by an early petulancy, and pretended liberty of thinking for themselves, dare reject at once, and that with a sort of scorn, all those sentiments and doctrines which their teachers have determined, perhaps, after long and repeated consideration, after years of mature study, careful observation, and much prudent experience.

IX. It is true teachers and masters are not infallible, nor are they always in the right; and it must be acknowledged, it is a matter of some difficulty for younger minds to maintain a just and solemn veneration for the authority and advice of their parents and the instructions of their tutors, and yet at the same time to secure to themselves a just freedom in their own thoughts. We are sometimes too ready to imbibe all their sentiments without examination, if we reverence and love them; or, on the other hand, if we take all freedom to contest their opinions, we are sometimes tempted to cast off that love and reverence to their persons which God and nature dictate. Youth is ever in danger of these two extremes.

X. But I think I may safely conclude thus: Though the authority of a teacher must not absolutely determine the judgment of his pupil, yet young and raw and unexperienced learners should pay all proper deference that can be to the instructions of their parents and teachers, short of absolute submission to their dictates. Yet still we must maintain this, that they should never receive any opinion into their assent, whether it be conformable or contrary to the tutor’s mind, without sufficient evidence of it first given to their own reasoning powers.

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Davao Diary Update

(I wrote this some time last week, so references to ‘today’ are not really accurate any more)

I read a description in a book that is perfect for here the last couple of days- the air was mild, but had the touch of a wet sponge against her cheek.  It’s been in the 80s, but the humidity is high so there’s a feel of being damply kissed and caressed by the breezes.

I helped out at the school again today and walked there in a mild drizzle. It didn’t seem like I’d need my umbrella, but whenever I put it down it was wet enough that I hastily put it right back up again.

The last stretch of the walk to the school from our house is a stony dirt road- too many stones to call it a dirt road, too much mud and dirt to call it a gravel road.  There are no houses on either side, just overgrown grass, jungle (did you know boondock is a Philippino word?), and a boggy stretch.  Today as I walked things kept moving on the path and I realized they were tiny frogs, no bigger than my pinky fingernail- and I bite my nails.  They were all moving from right to left, or rather, from the boggiest, wettest side of the road to the still dampish but not standing water side of the road.  I had no time to stop and examine them if I wanted to be at my substituting gig in time.   I also had no time to avoid them, and no way to be sure that I was.  The road was that crowded with them.  I finally had to just set my face and keep my eyes up and straight ahead of me without looking at the path at all and walk on, not thinking about the tiny frogs I was probably squishing beneath my shoes from time to time. I hope that they all escaped, but if they did not, at least they were too small for me to feel any that I crushed.

 

At school today I was to read If You Give a Moose a Muffin to the kindergarteners.  They all assured me they knew what a moose was and had seen them before, but one of those positive children also asked me what antlers were when we got to the bit in the story where the Moose puts on a puppet show and his antlers show.

 

The rain picked up and did not relent. It was a curtain of water cascading down by the time the class was over.  The teacher I subbed for had managed to finish her appointment early and return to school.  She offered me 50 pesos in taxi fare to get home, and I did not refuse her. Jeepneys don’t seem to come right to our neighborhood, and all the trikes I saw were full.  It was 1/3 of the way home before I was able to flag a cab and my arms were pretty wet by then.

Our house stays dry, the street less so.  We are fortunate. Our helper says her street stays dry, but the water comes in through the roof in several places.

As usual, after a heavy rain the frogs are out in full force.  I simply cannot convey how incredibly loud they are. There are at least three different kinds, I think. One sounds like a horn at a sporting event, the kind blown by fans. One sounds something like a kettle drum, it actually says ‘KEK KEK KEK KEK’ very loudly. I had no idea. And the third is more of a chorus of smaller creatures in the boggy wetland area across the street from our house.
I tried to record them while standing in our patio, but the recording does not do them justice. After a rainstorm they are often so loud we cannot hold a quiet conversation in the house.

Our dog Gold has been very sick, I think quite close to dying, but we seem to have rounded the corner and are moving into a good place. A friend of a friend is a Vet, newly returned to Davao City and he is trying to build clientele, so he has come out to see the dog twice- he hardly charged anything the first time, and refused to take anything but remuneration for the medicines he gave us the second time. I have been making the dog small batches of artisan dog food, mostly minced cooked chicken, mashed sweet potato, a bit of boiled egg, and some rice. He gets as much of that as he will eat throughout the day. I also give him water and chicken broth mixed together with some glucose powder via syringe I squirt in his mouth multiple times about every three or four hours. He is much perkier than he was, and shows other gratifying signs of healing and recovery, but I really wish he’d start drinking on his own. I am worried that he is going to decide being hydrated while in my lap is his kind of life-style. Kindly recall that I don’t want a dog, said I did not want a dog, and insist that I do not have a dog. Nevertheless, I am glad that the dog who is not and never shall be mine is not going to die on us, this week, anyway.

On Saturday, we actually had thunder for the first time since we’ve been here. That was startling and also quite pleasant.

I cannot recall if I have mentioned my husband and I are taking language lessons here now, and I’ve spending quite a bit of time reading up on the best ways to learn a new language and using an app called Anki to make my own flashcards which then show themselves to me on a scientifically programmed basis of repetition. Meanwhile, I still keep up with Spanish a bit on Duolingo, and the occasional Korean lesson just to maintain a steady level of ignorance. I will post a little more about that later, the teacher said something very moving.

We have more Indian neighbors than I had realized at first- a group of medical students and interns live somewhere nearby, up the road. They have been getting together with friends and playing cricket in an empty lot and at the old basketball court several times of late. That is fun to watch (and listen to).

Our local church preachers have a small bookbinding set up in their house, and they are printing and binding hymnals in their native Visayan. When that is finished, they will take them by motorcycle up into hills and out to some of the more remote villages where there are small churches who don’t have any. We gave some of our support money to them to help carry that work out.

A few nights ago I had been reading too many science texts while working on a plan for my son’s final science term, and my head needed clearing. I took a walk down the road, and was accosted in the friendliest of tones by a small busload of about a dozen children and a couple teenagers. The bus is a small jeepney that either wasn’t running, or was done running for the day- parked on the side of our small, narrow road, and the children were sitting in it visiting and playing. It is nearly always cooler outside than inside in the evening because of the breezes. They wanted to practice their English and I wanted to let them. They were delightful, teasing each other making up names for one another – ‘that one is charcoal. He is small, dark, and quits easily.’ The charcoal for grilling here is different- it’s hollow, very thin, and breaks into pieces, and it does finish burning fairly fast. ‘That one is Dora the Explorer, she wants to know everything.’ Dora the Explorer’s little brother said something else I didn’t understand, but must not have been complimentary as she reached out the window and thumped him on the head and he laughed and ducked around to the other side of the bus.

The trash pick up here is not by house, but by neighborhood. There are two places on our street with several largish trash cans (not much larger than a couple of outside waste bins at home), and you can carry your trash bags down to either one. they do not seem to have lids. Sometimes they are overflowing before the city truck comes to collect the trash. That means it always reeks mightly in the general vicinity of those bins. Sometimes somebody who lives nearest will light the bags that have spilled out of the garbage bins on fire in sheer self defense. Remember what a tropical climate this is, too.

We are missing our dozen grandbabies, their parents, and my mom, of course, but we are still very glad to be here.

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Recollection and Memory in Education

“Active Recall Testing
Active recall testing means being asked a question and trying to remember the answer. This is in contrast to passive study, where we read, watch or listen to something without pausing to consider if we know the answer. Research has shown that active recall testing is far more effective at building strong memories than passive study. There are two reasons for this:
The act of recalling something strengthens the memory, increasing the chances we’ll be able to remember it again.
When we’re unable to answer a question, it tells us we need to return to the material to review or relearn it.
You have probably encountered active recall testing in your school years without even realizing it. When good teachers give you a series of questions to answer after reading an article, or make you take weekly progress-check tests, they are not doing it simply to see if you understood the material or not. By testing you, they are increasing the chances you will be able to remember the material in the future.

From: https://apps.ankiweb.net/docs/manual.html#introduction
Charlotte Mason on the value of narration in securing the attention:
But, it will be said, reading or hearing various books read, chapter by chapter, and then narrating or writing what has been read or some part of it,––all this is mere memory work. The value of this criticism may be readily tested; will the critic read before turning off his light a leading article from a newspaper, say, or a chapter from Boswell or Jane Austen, or one of Lamb’s Essays; then, will he put himself to sleep by narrating silently what he has read. He will not be satisfied with the result but he will find that in the act of narrating every power of his mind comes into play, that points and bearings which he had not observed are brought out; that the whole is visualized and brought into relief in an extraordinary way; in fact, that scene or argument has become a part of his personal experience; he knows, he has assimilated what he has read. This is not memory work. In order to memorise, we repeat over and over a passage or a series of points or names with the aid of such clues as we can invent; we do memorise a string of facts or words, and the new possession serves its purpose for a time, but it is not assimilated; its purpose being served, we know it no more. This is memory work by means of which examinations are passed with credit. I will not try to explain (or understand!) this power to memorise;––it has its subsidiary use in education, no doubt, but it must not be put in the place of the prime agent which is attention.
Long ago, I was in the habit of hearing this axiom quoted by a philosophical old friend: “The mind can know nothing save what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put to the mind by itself.”
Our more advanced psychologists come to our support here; they, too, predicate “instead of a congerie of faculties, a single subjective activity, attention;” and again, there is “one common factor in all psychics activity, that is attention.” (I again quote from the article on Psychology in the Encyclopedia Britannica.) My personal addition is that attention is unfailing, prompt and steady when matter is presented suitable to a child’s intellectual requirements, if the presentation be made with the conciseness, directness, and simplicity proper to literature.
Another point should be borne in mind; the intellect requires a moral impulse, and we all stir our minds into action the better if there is an implied ‘must’ in the background; for children in class the ‘must’ acts through the certainty that they will be required to narrate or write from what they have read with no opportunity of ‘looking ‘up,’ or other devices of the idle.
https://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/vol6complete.html#6_0_0_intro

This repeated questioning in a Charlotte Mason education happens at the end of a reading or selection, when we ask for narration. It happens at the start of the next reading, which we begin by asking, “Where we were?” Or “Who remembers what happened last?”
It happens again at the end of every term, when the children are given exams. It also happens in a general way when we ask, “What else does this remind you of?” and the child then asks himself that question, turning over other readings and stories and events in his mind as he searches for connections, for other things that relate in some way to today’s reading.

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Did the AP really discover Trump wanted to deploy 100,000 National Guardsmen to deport Illegal aliens?

Read the memo (scroll down to find it. Note this is a memo which the AP declined to release until other news outlets finagled copies of their own. The AP wanted you to take their word for the contents. Hmmmm). Read the AP article. Originally the AP said the President was considering mobilizing the National Guard (here’s the tweet).
Compare and contrast. Ask some questions.

Where does the 100,000 number come from?
Where does the statement about what their duties would be come from? Specifically, where does it say they would be asked to round up illegal immigrants? Are there any other things the National Guard might do to help protect borders? Things perhaps they have done before under a certain other president or two? (surveillance, for instance)
Where does the memo originate? (Trump? The White House? DHS? head of DHS? A staffer at DHS or elsewhere?)
Find the words which state the National Guard would be involved in deportation. Find the word deportation.

Context: in 2014 Obama also spoke positively about employing the National Guard to help fight illegal immigration.
Previously he also deployed 1200 National Guardsmen to help secure the border. No, 1200 is not 100,000, but remember, there is not relationship between that number and the contents of the memo.
BTW, Obama apprehended over 25,000 illegals with the help of the NG.
In 2009 there was another memo on using the National Guard.

The White House says the AP report is 100% not true. But you don’t need to have the WH’s comment. Just compare the AP story to the actual memo and ask some questions about the claims made by the AP story vs what the memo says.
Thanks to Gabriel Malor, Sean Davis, the AP for making the memo available, and several others I’ll come back to name if my wifi allows me.

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Devotional and Missional Reads, free or bargain priced for Kindle

FREE: Gravity, True for You But Not For Me– a basic book for teens or college students or people who have never given the ideas much thought before. The basic premise is that things are true because they are true, not based on what we believe about them. This serves as a good introduction to apologetics, information on the historicity of the Bible and so on.

3.99: Between Worlds, Essays On Culture and Belonging– A book I suspect anybody with any TCK (Third Culture Kid) experience or connections will enjoy. I teared up just reading a reader review:
“My own experience and the circumstances of my childhood as a military dependent were very different from those of Marilyn Gardner’s childhood but the emotional journey she shares in “Between Worlds” is remarkably similar to my own. When Marilyn describes sipping tea with friends in a Chai shop in Pakistan her words capture perfectly the bittersweet feelings such memories hold for third culture kids and others who have lived abroad. I have never been to Pakistan or known the taste of chai but her story ignites my own journey back almost 40 years to sunny afternoons at a Bratwurst stand in Bitburg, Germany. I laughed out loud reading about how she fought off her nomadic urge to move by rearranging the furniture. She captured the confusion and fear one feels when leaving a place you know and love to go to a place where you don’t know a living soul and have never lived before; a place you have been taught to call “home.” She describes perfectly the frustration third culture kids experience when they feel the need to edit their life story to keep new friends from thinking they are bragging or being snobbish. I could go on but suffice it to say this book moved me and helped me better understand my own nomadic childhood and the role it still plays in who I am today.”

Golly. I rearrange furniture three times a year or more when I have lived in a place for more than a few months. I am thinking of a candy store in Canada, a strange looking striped flag in the land of my birth and a thing the other children recited to it which I did not know, slurping soba noodles in Japan and swimming in the China Sea, chatting with the neighbor children here in the Philippines and listening to the sing song call of the Balut man every evening…. Of my son going out with on of his best friends, a Korean basketball player who speaks enough Visayan to get around, and roaming the streets of Davao City until 2 in the morning- playing basketball with Filipinos in the ubiquitous neighborhood basketball courts. What stories he will have. What is home? Home is where I am living, wherever that may be.

1.99 The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins
Reader Review: If you feel you are at the end of yourself, Idleman says that’s a good place to be. That is when Jesus becomes real in your life.

His book is divided into two parts. In the first part, he explores how we come to the end of ourselves. The rest of the book is about putting ourselves into the best position to be used by God.

Idleman looks at four beatitudes that put us on the path to real life. He writes about brokenness – the way to wholeness, mourning – the way to happiness, humbleness – the way to being exalted, and authenticity – the way to being accepted.

Then he shows how Jesus fills us when we are empty. He uses stories from the Bible to illustrate how Jesus is willing to do that. Idleman also looks at what prevents us from being filled, such as failing to ask, feeling unworthy, and thinking it is too late. He also writes about our attempts to fill our soul with things that do not fit.

This is a pretty good book on getting to the point where we have nothing left. He has great stories (many about himself) and biblical illustrations as well as good exposition of Scripture. His chapter on humility is great and worth reading the book.

The only thing that makes this book less than perfect is Idleman’s quirky humor (you just have to read the footnotes). He’s a funny man. But as I imagined a devastated person reading this book, hoping to find God’s way out of the depths he or she is in, the humor seemed inappropriate and something that reduced the seriousness of the rest of his book.

.99 Tracie Peterson’s devotional book The Eyes of the Heart, Seeing God’s Hand in the Every Day Moments of Life

1.99 Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands
Reader Review: “This book has become a classic, and with good reason. Some books on emotional stuggles are written as if we human beings do not have a spiritual side. Other books are written as if the proper prescription for all emotional struggles is, “Take two Bible verses and call me in the morning.” Some are written from such a deep clinical perspective that they are actually worse than useless to the layperson. This book is not like that.
If you, or someone you know, struggles with depression, this book is worth considering.
If you, or someone you know, holds onto pains from the past and nurses them to the point of ill-health, this book is worth considering.
If you are a professional counselor and don’t have much experience with “Christian counseling”, this book is worth considering.
If you are a pastor or other religious professional, but don’t have much experience with counseling from a clinical perspective, this book is worth considering.
Actually, this book is so well written, that if you are breathing and have the ability to read this review, this book is worth considering. It should be in every personal library. You never know when you will be confronted with someone who needs your friendship and care.”

3.99 The Master Plan of Evangelism
Reader REview: “I grew up hearing a lot of teaching and preaching in church about what the gospel was. It consisted, I was told, mostly of what Jesus taught.
One day when I was in college, a guest speaker came to our youth ministry class and uttered a sentence that would open an entirely new dimension to my understanding of the gospel. “Jesus’ methods,” the speaker said, “are just as much a part of the gospel as his message.” Wow!
This book takes a simple, yet profoundly insightful, look at Jesus’ methods–how he made disciples, how he equipped his disciples to carry out his mission.
If we want to know how best to make disciples, doesn’t it make sense to ask how the greatest disciple-maker of all time did it? That’s what Coleman does in this book that has become a classic.
Many of today’s “discipling” methods consist primarily of guiding either individuals or groups through a curriculum. They begin with cognitive knowledge and assume that cognitive knowlege leads to behavioral change. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t.
That was not Jesus’ approach. Coleman identifies eight principles that Jesus embodied in his disciple-making: Selection, Association, Consecration, Impartation, Demonstration, Delegation, Supervision, and Reproduction–and devotes a chapter to each.
A few excerpts:
“Most of the evangelistic efforts of the church begin with the multitudes under the assumption that the church is qualified to preserve what good is done. The result is our spectacular emphasis on numbers of converts, candidates for baptism, and more members for the church, with little or no genuine concern manifested toward the establishment of these souls in the love and power of God, let alone the preservation and continuation of the work.”
“This was the essence of his training program–just letting his disciples follow him.”
“Knowledge was gained by association before it was understood by explanation.”
If you’re wanting to get a biblical perspective on how to do evangelism or how to make disciples, apart from the Scripture on which this book is based, it would be harder to find a better starting point than this book.”

.99 Coaching in Ministry,

Reader Review: “I had the great fortune to attend Keith’s 5 day Coaching Mastery course in Singapore this year, and it was a game-changer for me. I recommend this book to anyone in ministry who is looking for greater effectiveness in their work, a ‘lighter load’, and less stress and frustration in their ministry.

This book is unique in several ways:

1. It describes how a coaching approach is a massive “force multiplier” in ministry: when I was a nuclear submarine officer in the US Navy, we looked for force multipliers that could increase the effectiveness of our boat as a warfighting machine: tactics and strategies that would allow a nuclear submarine to do its mission with greater power and effect, without simply increasing the number of weapons or men on the boat. I have found that the coaching approach described in this book: other-centered and non-directive, is a massive force multiplier in my own ministry as a cross-cultural missionary in Africa. My own effectiveness in my work and my personal sense of carrying the ‘light and easy yoke of Jesus’ has deepened profoundly.
2. It is written by a practitioner: Keith has the ‘street cred’ of a cross-cultural Christian worker and ministry leader, having served overseas for years in ministry. He’s not writing, as many do, from a position of small experience and much theory/opinion, he writes from a position of much experience and an appropriate amount of theory.
3. It is evidence-based: A coaching approach provides greater effectiveness in ministry and greater results than other more directive, ‘telling’ approaches in leadership. The evidence shows this, and Keith’s rigorous approach to research and conclusions greatly deepens this book.

.99 Trusting God When Bad Things Happen (Forgiveness Formula: Finding Lasting Freedom in Christ Book 1)
Reader Review: Shelley Hitz is not just an author, but one that writes from first hand experiences to share with her readers the lessons God and life have availed. In her book Trusting God When Bad Things Happen she very transparently shares her pain and offers timely advice to those going through a difficult season. She has not only been the recipient of personal pain but comes from an understanding that a vast number of people suffer from pain and brokenness.
Our strength, you will find, will only come in Him as our foundation gets rebuilt with Him as a cornerstone. Answers to all our questions and pain will not be found on this side of existence and our finite minds, because they are limited, will never grasp the entire picture. Our beauty will emerge from seemingly ashes in the refiner’s fire as character will be forged into Christlikeness.
Author Hitz offers tips on drawing closer to God and through those encounters, promises our attitude and views toward God will change for the better.
At the end of each section are questions for reflection and a prayer. Turn your trial into an incredible testimony as you gleam truths from the pen and heart of an author that has a passion for God and a love for His people.

FREE!! In Harm’s Way: A View from the Epicenter of Liberia’s Ebola Crisis by Nancy D. Sheppard
Reader Review: A gripping account of remarkable individuals – doctors, nurses, and volunteer health care workers – who risk their lives to save others. This author gives us a first-hand, insider view of what’s it like to witness the pathos and ravages of Ebola in West Africa, while having had the rare opportunity to serve as a volunteer in an Ebola Medical Center in Liberia. Nancy Sheppard’s personal relationship with medical professionals who contracted the disease and her own experience in witnessing the power of faith and prayer should make this book relevant to anyone interested in the history of one of the major medical crises of our era. Moreover, the book will have enduring value in documenting the history of missions, or for anyone contemplating or being trained or educated for ministry and missions.

FREE!! On Which Side of the Road do the Flowers Grow? Wendell Mettey
Reader REview; “This book by Mettey is the best yet that I have read from him. It is a compendium of stories about real people who peopled his life and the life of the church. Wonderful sketches of real people. Not all are saints, but some are and they are all sinners, as are we all. Tastefully done and very readable.”

FREE: Teach Like Jesus
Reader Review: “I have been following Josh Hunt’s work on Sunday School and small groups for years and have applied many of his principles to my own classes. So I was anxious to read his newest book and see what it had to say. As always, he does not disappoint. Easy to understand, practical to apply and fun to read, Josh puts it in a way that you don’t have to be a pastor with a degree in theology to understand. I would highly recommend this book for both pastor’s and lay leaders who are interesting in growing their small groups and growing as a teacher.

Teach like Jesus and expect results in your small group. Another great work by Josh Hunt.”

FREE: Missionary Methods: God’s Plan for Missions by Roland Allen

Amazon blurb: Newly updated, revised edition. A complete missionary manual for evangelical missionaries.

Missionary Methods is an enduring classic, a how-to that every single missionary should read, as well as any lay person who desires to be a useful part of the body of Christ. The author, Roland Allen, takes a thorough look at the practice and principle of arguably the most successful church planter in history, the biblical apostle Paul. Every missionary difficulty and success can be found in Acts and the apostle Paul’s letters, which cover such topics as training, discipleship, finances, and sustainability. The “methods” are built on the foundation of a relationship with God, salvation through Christ, and the indwelling and leading of the Holy Spirit.

About the Author
Roland Allen (1868 – 1947) was a British deacon, chaplain, and priest, and after trips to India, Canada, and Africa, he became a writer and advocate for establishing self-supportive and self-governing churches, which adapted to local conditions as the Holy Spirit led individuals in their own localities. Allen spent the last years of his life in Kenya and wrote a book titled The Family Rite, advocating the family as the center of the Christian church and its ministry.

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