Heart and Soul

Books! Books! Books!

 Many of you are book lovers, married to men who love books, need books for new chapters of your lives, have series of books you collect, or are always looking for new books or old books for your children.

If you’re like us, my husband, Dan and I, then books can eat at that family budget, and a book here and there ends up adding up and making it hard to figure out where those small amounts are coming from.

I love keeping a list of books that I want to order or read, and Dan does even more so.  It’s nice to have several places to go online to check prices and shipping to make sure you’re getting the best deal and not breaking the budget.  If you do like to add to your family’s library, then I would highly suggest that being a budget line item! It is an investment, and it’s worth it, if budgeted for.


Here are some places that we find are great for buying books for our home or for gifts.

Christian Bookstores:

Desiring God

Westminster Bookstore

Sovereign Grace



The Good Book


Discount Books:


Add All   (searches all used book stores for the book you’re looking for and compare prices with shipping)

Half Price Books

Book Closeouts


How to review a book:  I know my husband is very good at this, and I need to be better so that even in reading, I am protecting my weakness to become misled by clever writing or spend time reading books that are not well written.

How to Read a Book

rules for critical book reviewing



This site is great for exploring which books to order for a certain topic, and also gives great articles and sermons (so a book might not be needed for what you’re looking for).

DG Resource Library


The coming future of books and how we read them: it seems far out, but it’s becoming a huge reality and very popular!

The Kindle


Why you might consider having a well stocked children’s library of the classics and your personal favorites:

Article on lead in older books


Great Lists of Classic Childrens Books for developing your library or just for inspiration for what to read next with your kids

breaks up books by age groups   

oldies but goodies

By author 

The classics

A great classics forum 

This has some great reviews )

A great monthly resource for reviews each month 


** of course your local library is always a great way to read and save expenses!


by Charity Starchenkco

One thing I have come to realize about New Year resolutions is that they are inherently self centered. It’s like a personal health and wealth plan. Lose weight, stop smoking, enjoy myself more, eliminate debt and you’ll be beautiful, happy and rich. As the new year approaches, people look deep and hard at themselves and make a list of things they want to change about their lives, and then set out to change it with gusto. But their enthusiasm wanes as it gets harder and harder to achieve their goals the and sacrifices necessary to achieve it are more painful than the desire to change. This is not a new problem. Ben Franklin made resolutions that he planned to live by, except that he called them virtues. 


You see, Ben was really into the ideals of the French Revolution, one of which was that man could be perfected by discovering (through rigid observation of nature) the natural laws of the world and following them. It followed then that if man could be perfected, so could society. So it made sense that Ben would develop these resolutions or virtues. Who wouldn’t want to perfect themselves? He even took some of his virtues from the Bible. Here’s a few of them: Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. 

This seems like a good plan at first glance. But the problem with Franklin’s resolutions is that they are self-centered. Franklin wanted to glorify and perfect himself. He fell victim to the lies of prevailing philosophy at the time, as John warns against in 4:1 of his epistle when he says to check ourselves against the prevailing spirits of the time. The same goes for us: We do not find strength outside of ourselves in diets or investment bankers. In fact, resolutions made apart from relying on God’s sovereignty in our lives, and made to glorify the created rather than the creator a total waste of time and energy. In the end, resolutions, the holiday symbol strength and empowerment are really a guaranteed failure that ultimately serve to point us to God. Franklin got as far as acknowledging his failure saying, 

“I enter’d upon the execution of this plan for self-examination, and continu’d it with occasional intermissions for some time. I was surpris’d to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish….I mark’d my faults with a black-lead pencil, which marks I could easily wipe out with a wet sponge. After a while I went thro’ one course only in a year, and afterward only one in several years, till at length I omitted them entirely, being employ’d in voyages and business abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs that interfered; but I always carried my little book with me.” 

His faults might have diminished in his opinion, but they were never eradicated in the eyes of God, and Franklin died believing himself much improved merely for the experience of it. But more importantly, he never paused to consider his failure outside of himself. He accepted it for what it was, but not Who it pointed him to. That’s the worst kind of self complacency a person could have. 

As Christians, we know instinctively that resolutions should be Christo-centric. Does that mean we cant have our own personal goals? NO! We should make goals for our lives. Our bodies are the temple of the living God and the spirit of God dwells in us. We should feel free to lose weight, be better organized, and eliminate debt. But we should do those things not for our own satisfaction and of our own volition, but because He enables us to do so and for his own glory!These are the ways in which we carry out God’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves, to spread the gospel, and pursue godliness with all diligence. Healthy bodies, organized households and a good financial footing are all intrinsic to helping spread the good news of Jesus Christ among all people to the glory of God

So if we make resolutions at all, what should they be? Let’s take ours from the Bible: 

We should resolve that “our chief end is to glorify God and (or BY! Thanks, John Piper!) enjoying him forever.” We can do this by resolving that: 

*Godliness with contentment is great gain! (I Timothy 6:6) 

*Easting drinking and doing all to the Glory of God alone! (I Chor. 10:31) 

*We will with God’s help, cast out idols of the heart and give glory to no other! (I Chron. 16:29) 

*Submitting joyfully to our husbands, parents, and church leaders. 

*We will seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness! (Matthew 6:33) 

Resolve that by God’s grace you will pursue Him wholeheartedly in 2009. Let nothing hinder you this year.


9 Ways to Pray for Your Soul

January 2, 2009  |  By: John Piper 
Category: Commentary


Here are some ways to pray for yourself so that you’re praying in sync with the way God works.1. For the desire of my heart to be toward God and his Word.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain. (Psalm 119:36)

2. For the eyes of my heart to be opened.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18)

3. For my heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.” 

[I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18)

4. For my heart to be united, not divided, for God.

O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11)

5. For my heart to be satisfied with God and not with the world.

O satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

6. For strength in this joy, and endurance during the dark seasons.

[I pray that God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:16)

7. For visible good deeds and works of love to others.

[I pray that you] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…bearing fruit in every good work. (Colossians 1:10)

8. For God to be glorified.

Hallowed be thy name. (Matthew 6:9)

9. In Jesus’ name.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? (Romans 8:32)