Category Archives: Soul Food

Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed The World by Eric Metaxas — Including a Signed Copy Giveaway!

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NOVEMBER 15, 2017 UPDATE:  TODAY Melissa Macduff won the drawing for the signed copy! (Drawn through Random.org)

The best part — she is gifting this signed copy to her Pastor, who she says “is a big fan of Eric Metaxas!”  This is especially sweet for me knowing that this signed copy that I bought and had Metaxas sign will go to a Pastor in Washington state!  Hallelujah!  Congratulations Melissa!


Earlier this month in anticipation of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (Today!  October 31, 2017) of my favorite authors, Eric Metaxas, released his newest biography, Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed The World.  [Details how to win a free signed copy at the end of this post.]

Being born into a Protestant family in 1956 I have “heard of” Martin Luther. It is safe to sum up my understanding of Martin Luther, as Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer when he composed his “95 Theses,” which protested the Catholic churches sale of reprieves from penance, or indulgences.” The End.

Beyond that, my mind is an open book, so to speak, as I picked up Metaxas 446 page-turner (plus acknowledgments, notes, and indexes.)  Lucky for me my husband began reading the book just the day before me, and so our discussions quickly began to center around what we were reading.

While there is little mystery surrounding Luther today (although there are still a few unknowns and unanswered questions about him) this book is a page-turner because I had trouble putting it down! Reading this book will increase your vocabulary by thousands of new words. True story – when reading anything written by Eric Metaxas I have his book in one hand and the Dictionary app on my phone in the other. I do not want to get to the end of 446 pages and realize that I simply skipped over what I didn’t know or understand. Therefore, it is a slow read for me, but enjoyable every step of the way.

In my mind’s eye, I can see a gentle smirk on Eric’s face as he writes. Not unlike Martin Luther who, according to Metaxas, was an “intense and dourly over-pious monk but also had a raucous joke-and-insult-producing side”. In case you wonder how I can see this you simply need to read Metaxas Acknowledgments at the end of the book. He is very funny and his personality and humor only enhance the story of Martin Luther making this an educational and entertaining read.

Metaxas writes like a surgeon as he expertly wields his pen cutting through layers and layers of facts and fiction dissecting each to find the truth. Apparently, there has been a lot of fiction surrounding Martin Luther and Metaxas makes no bones about what he has found to be true and what is not.

Martin Luther’s storyline includes many other famous and infamous souls. Not only does Metaxas transport us back into life in the early 1500’s, but the bigger picture of the Protestant Reformation takes center stage when we realize even though there were other Reformers before Luther, the invention of the printing press and movable print type by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439 cleared the way for Luther’s writings to be distributed quickly.

[I can’t help but wonder what Martin Luther would think about the speed with which we share information today! I just read (on the internet, so it must be true!) that a one-kilobyte email travels at the speed of light, basically, so that’s close to 670 million MPH.  Let’s just say much faster than in 1517. ]  I digress.

One can hardly separate the Gospel of Jesus from Martin Luther and his search for God,  but my favorite part of Eric Metaxas telling of Martin Luther’s story is how he carefully, cleverly, and rightly shares the truth of the Gospel of Christ throughout this book.  It is when we understand that Eric cannot and does not write this biography without sharing the Gospel do we clearly see the heart of the author. Eric is a man who I believe walks closely with God and so when he writes, I read.

What I’ve learned is that Martin Luther didn’t set out to change the world.  But he did strive to change his world.   He was a German monk in the Roman Catholic Church that wanted to be sure he was right with God.  The reformation as we now know it directly descended through Luther’s struggle and strife and rediscovery of his own relationship to God.  Buy the book. The history, the research, the writing, and the subject has given me a great appreciation for the man who God chose to bring about the Protestant Reformation.  I believe you will also be affected by this biography by Metaxas.

I am thankful Eric has taken time to sign books across the land which included a stop in Tennessee! The line was long and his time was short so I only asked him to sign a copy for my friend Joan and my husband.

My own copy is a mess with yellow sticky notes, penciled notes, quotes highlighted and a few exclamation points!

Would you like your own signed copy? I bought a copy and asked Eric to it signed for one blessed (and lucky) reader!  See the details listed below on how to enter the drawing!

Eric Metaxas other works include:

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic
Campaign to End Slavery

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen,
and How They Can Change Your Life

7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness

If You Can Keep It:  The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty

Happy Reading!  Good Luck in the giveaway!
~Catherine

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, with the drawing to be held on November 15, 2017.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter this giveaway, just answer the following question in the comments section of this postHave you read a book by Eric Metaxas before, and if so which is your favorite?

ADDITIONAL (OPTIONAL) ENTRIES

To up your chances of winning, you can receive up to FOUR additional entries to win by doing the following (these are optional, not required):

1. Subscribe to My Daily Bread Body and Soul by email. Come back and let me know you’ve subscribed in an additional comment on this post.  See right-hand side of blog:    PLEASE JOIN US AND SUBSCRIBE TO PRAYCOOKBLOG VIA EMAIL

2. LIKE My Daily Bread Body and Soul on Facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.

3. Follow My Daily Bread Body and Soul on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.

4. Follow @praycookblog on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional comment on this post.

All giveaway drawings are done by Random.Org

Undeserved and Unmerited Favor

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David and Catherine, May 2016

In June, after a 2-year battle with cancer my ex-husband, David Anderson passed away.  David and I married one month after I graduated from high school.  For 14 years we were married and  blessed with 2 sons.

Divorce was unchartered territory in David’s family and mine.  Through the years we stayed in touch.  A catch-up phone call here and there.  A visit with his mom in Colorado.  Family events and gatherings brought our paths to cross occasionally.  However, we lived in different parts of the country, and since he lived part-time in Mexico, even in different countries!

When he passed away friends and family asked me what I was going to do.  Was I traveling to Colorado for his celebration of life service?  I didn’t know.  Lee, my husband of 26 years let me know that he supported any decision I made about attending the service.  I was so torn.  David and I have a history and a shared love.  We were given two sons together.   We shared our life together for 14 years.  What is proper under the circumstances?  I truly didn’t know what to do so I Googled looking for an etiquette answer.  (Don’t judge – I really wanted to do the right thing but didn’t know what that was.)


Then the call came from my oldest son, “Mom, we want you here.”  Google answers aside, that is all I needed to hear.  I would go.  I would be there to support my sons and their families.  I would sit at the back. I would fade into the wall.  No one needs to know who I am.  My presence would be for my children, who had just lost their father.  After all, David had a lifetime full of friends I didn’t know, adventures I didn’t share, and a woman who had stood beside him for many years cared for him throughout his illness and loved him unconditionally.

David, Cory, and Chris, 1983

Arriving in Colorado the day before the service gave me time to spend with my sons, their wives, and my grandchildren.  We had an evening reminiscing fun memories, telling tales, and really loving on each other well.  It was exactly what David would have wanted for us.

When we arrived at the service I helped carry in flowers.  This is where my plan went awry.  As soon as I walked into the room David’s beloved Diane greeted me with open arms.  We had met before but this time was different.

Diane & David

Her face was lovely as she smiled through the grief and sadness of saying goodbye to her beloved.  Then she swept me through the room introducing me to other women and men who loved David.  Each one shared with me how they had met David and how he had affected their lives.  The service hadn’t even begun and yet I was gently folded into the beautiful landscape of David’s life.
As more and more people arrived the room filled.  The service was about to start.  I headed for the back row.  That is when Davida, David’s friend through the church,  grabbed my hand and took me towards the front row.  She said, “we want you here with your family and especially because we planned for your to speak, I mean, if you want to.”

Speak?  Me?  Every person in this room could speak of their life with David.  Everyone in the room had a connection to him and had meant something to him.  Me?  Speak?  I said a prayer as I took my seat between our sons.

grace
noun
1.  (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Unmerited favor.  I received a huge dose of unmerited favor that day and the days that would follow.  I didn’t deserve any seat of honor at the Celebration of Life service.  I didn’t deserve to share stories of David’s early life and our time together.  I didn’t even really deserve to be there and yet I was.

When I shared about my life with David, I told of the early years, a time when David was a rock star of the radio in the small town where we lived in Nebraska.  I shocked his friends who knew nothing of his time as a radio announcer, program director, and golden voice of the Nebraska radio airwaves.
I shared The Dash and encouraged those of us attending to take an introspective look at our own lives and the legacy we may each want to leave behind.   As I write today I am once again moved by the love and grace, truly unmerited favor I received that day.  It changed me.  The memory of that day is now a reminder for me to extend that same kind of love and grace wherever I can whenever I can.  I walked into the Celebration of Life Service a stranger to most and yet when I left I had experienced a powerful love between friends, family, and God.
For a good part of my life, I have claimed Romans 8:28 as my “life verse”.  You know, the scripture quote that seems to speak to you directly – the one that holds a very personal meaning for you.

What an awesome God we serve who can turn all things to good.  Thank you, Diane and friends, who extended to me, such undeserved love.  You have left a lovely mark on me.

~Blessings, Catherine

Let The Little Children Come

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When is the last time you read a Facebook post that just took your breath away?    Or how about one that brought you to happy tears?  This is exactly what happened to me the other day when I saw a post by my niece, Jaeme.


Jaeme is a 30-something, wife, mother of three, business owner, Tough Mudder maniac, workout queen, she teaches the children at church on Wednesday night and is a disciple of Jesus Christ!

Jaeme & Ace

Jaeme tells me that each night she and her 5-year-old son, Ace, play a game about “who loves the other one more.” The “winner” loves the other one more!

ACE WINS!   It is no contest in my book when Ace told his mother:

“Mama, I love you just less than Jesus loves you and no one can love you as much as Jesus so there’s no way you can love me more than I love you.”   ❤️

Jaeme wrote on Facebook: “Not sure what I did to deserve this kid but I thank the Lord for him every day.”

I surely don’t have all the answers but I know this: children are little sponges and Ace is soaking up that which he is surrounded with – the love of Jesus!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14

I think raising children is hard.  Growing up I always saw myself as a wife and a mother.  It was my heart’s desire.  I love being a mother to my two sons and my four stepchildren, and grandmother to my 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  I thank God every day for those kids and my extraordinary Jesus-loving husband.   But I see the struggles of young people today and realize it is hard to live in a world that is pushing in on all sides.

Kudos Jaeme and Brian for modeling the love of Jesus to your children and all of us who know you!

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.  
Proverbs 22:6

Blessings, Catherine

Morning Prayer and Evening Dinner

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Recently I had the privilege of spending time with my friend Sharron and staying overnight in her lovely home on Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee!  After a wonderful night of sleep, I woke to this beautiful sunrise.  My iPhone didn’t take as good a picture as my camera would have but all-in-all not bad for a phone!

This Psalm sprung to mind as I thanked God for the beauty of His creation.


to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,”
Psalm 92:2(ESV)

As if this wasn’t enough of a lovely start to the day Sharron then gave me this Morning Prayer written by her friend Rachel Barrentine.

This is a copyrighted prayer and I have linked Rachel’s blog and website to the card.  Be sure to check them out for other writing she has done.

So, on top of the glorious sunrise, my day started with this prayer.  I have prayed this prayer many mornings since that time as Rachel really captured my morning thoughts.  I hope it is a blessing to you also.

Now ….

With today being Labor Day in the United States many families take the opportunity for the last cook out or picnic of the season.   I did “grill” a little this morning but only enough to put this pot roast together.  I mentioned pot roast the other day and my sous-chef dish-washing mom AND my Chief taste-tester’s eyes lit up as if to say “Oo-la-la let’s have pot roast!”

I like to cut the roast in individual serving pieces, grill on each side for 5 minutes and then layer in my crock pot.

I have several pot roast recipes on this blog but this is our favorite. I think the blending of the red wine and balsamic vinegar tenderizes the beef perfectly.  Click here or on either picture to link to the recipe.

The fragrance in the house right now is a sweet promise of what is to come for dinner!  For sure I will add garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, Roma green beans from the garden, and fried green tomatoes (a special request from the Chief!)

Wherever in the world, this may find you, bon appétit.

~Blessings, Catherine

 

 

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