Links, Books, and Things I Love – August 2017

Here are favorites from July and what I’m looking forward to in August. We share once a month at Leigh’s.

1 Second Everyday

[If you can’t see the 1 Second Everyday video, click here]

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Around the Web

Are You a Superstitious Christian?
by Scott Redd

“It can be hard to see our own superstitions. What objects, behaviors, and beliefs give us a false sense of control over our lives? What good-luck charms and theological talismans relieve us of the burden of true belief?”


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Push to Walk? – Don’t Bother
by Matt Rocheleau

Another worthless button? Sigh. I’ve been suspecting it. The pedestrian buttons at crosswalks are like the “Close Door” button on elevators. They don’t do anything.


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Almost 90% of Americans Don’t Know There’s Scientific Consensus on Global Warming
by Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna

Among climate scientists, at least 97% agree that human-caused global warming is happening. But most Americans don’t realize it.

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Why Cancer Is Not a War, Fight, or Battle
by Xeni Jardin

“If the chemotherapy and radiation and surgery and drugs don’t work, and I die, will people be disappointed in me for not fighting hard enough?


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Feeling poorly? 20 southern phrases to describe your ailments
by Kelly Kazek

Don’t y’all say these, too? Well, maybe not every one. Supposedly these are southern phrases. But which ones do you also use where you live?

  • Pastor Fred looks like he’s at death’s door.
  • Verna Jean is sick as a dawg.
  • I’m all stove up.


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Books, Blogs, and Podcasts

How to Retain More from the Books You Read in 5 Simple Steps
by Darius Foroux

“Don’t read more. Read smarter. . . .But here’s the thing: It’s not about how many books you read, it’s about how much you retain from what you read.”


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Podcast: The Bible for Normal People
Episode 15: Brian Zahnd – Violence in the Bible

On this episode, hosts Pete and Jared talk with Brian Zahnd about what to do with the violence in the Bible.


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The Liturgist Podcast
Episode: Pale Blue Dot

Science Mike and Michael Gungor talk about seeing Earth from space and about work from climate scientists. They conclude with practical steps we all can take to protect life on our planet.


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Cycleguy’s Spin Blog 
Series: 3 Feet Please
by Bill Grandi


Our blogging friend Bill is an avid bike rider. He suffered two accidents this past year due to encroaching automobiles. He did a great Safety Week series on his blog last week highlighting the 3 Feet Please campaign to educate us car drivers to avoid close calls with cyclists.


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• 4 Books I Recommend
Here are 4 books I enjoyed this month, including the Glory in the Ordinary by Courtney Reissig and Fuel Your Faith by our blogging friend Jean Wise.

4 Books I Recommend-July-2017_LisaNotes

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Books I’m Currently Reading

  1. The Nest
    by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  2. Reading People
    How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything
    by Anne Bogel
  3. The Turquoise Table
    Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard
    by Kristen Schell
  4. The Better Angels of Our Nature
    Why Violence Has Declined
    by Steven Pinker
  5. Small Victories
    Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
    by Anne Lamott
  6. The Happiness Prayer
    Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today
    by Evan Moffic
  7. The Power of Moments
    Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact
    by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

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Things I Love

Baby on the Way!

My oldest daughter Morgan is pregnant with our first grandchild! We’re very excited.



Morgan surprising her grandparents about their newest great-grandbaby on the way

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First Day of School

Today is my daughter Jenna’s first day teaching at a different school this year. She met her students yesterday and is very excited to begin a new year, this time in 1st grade. I look forward to meeting the students soon, too.


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For Life – Back to School Party

It’s like World Vision or Compassion, except For Life Ministries is within our local community. Last Saturday we helped with a Back to School Party for the sponsored families and got to spend time with our sponsored child, his mother, and several other families. They are no longer just a picture on our refrigerator.


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Brandon Heath Concert

It was just Brandon on his acoustic guitar and his bass player – so good! It benefited our local Huntsville Community Drumline. They’re a great extracurricular program for youth to learn drumming, but also respect and discipline. Brandon spoke so directly into their lives and they played together on his last song, “Give Me Your Eyes.”


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On the Blog

  • Does Work at Home Matter?
    “So, what do you do?” It can be an awkward question when you stay at home. I am still working on a good answer. Review of Glory in the Ordinary.
  • Homeless and Us – Survivors Together
    The world of the homeless camp feels brutally real. Sometimes I’m not sure whose world seems the most real one: theirs or ours.
  • Celebrate This First
    It’s discouraging to finally reach a goal, only to learn the bar is still higher. Celebrate THIS victory first.
  • Hear the Silence? The Deaf Movers
    The movers arrived. But didn’t speak. They were deaf. What do we do when we can’t hear?

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What was one of your highlights from July? What are you looking forward to in August? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

44 thoughts on “Links, Books, and Things I Love – August 2017

  1. Debby

    I listen to the Bible for Normal People podcast and have found it interesting and challenging. I’m also familiar with the phrase “eat up with” though it’s been ‘quite a spell’ since I’ve heard it. My paternal roots are in Arkansas and in the summers my brother’s legs would be eat up chiggers. 🙂

    I love these lists because we find out common interest and make new discoveries. My friend, Annie, is also reading the Anne Bogel book so that’s on my list and being partial to Anne Lamott looks like I’ll need to jot that one down.

    Lots of interesting things here, Lisa. Thanks for sharing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      ha. I totally get all your sayings, Debby. 🙂 I’ve been eaten up with chiggers too. ha. Anne Bogel’s book is really interesting if you like personality typing (which I do). I’m learning as I go. And Anne Lamott’s book is classic Anne: authentic stories with lots of honesty and grace!

  2. Michele Morin

    I’d be interested to know what you think of Anne Lamott’s new book. I’m hearing from others that it felt as if she rushed into it and it’s not as good as her others.

    And, regarding superstitious Christians, I was just listening to a sermon on Jeremiah 7 that quoted something funny from a tv show and I actually remembered it. I think it’s from The Office? Some character said, “I’m not superstitious. I’m just a little bit stitious.” Hmm . . maybe that’s us.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m enjoying Anne’s book so far. I don’t detect a particular theme though (maybe it’s not supposed to have one?). But the collection of stories is classic Anne. “Stitious” – ha. Haven’t heard that, but it makes sense. 🙂

  3. Bill (cycleguy)

    Thanks Lisa for highlighting my blog. As for reading my list now includes Awe (now completed); More by Greg Hawkins (current read); and two in the cue (Overcome by Clayton King and A Shelter in the time of Storm by Tripp). Thanks again for the link love.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad to share your blog here, Bill! Sure a good cause (and such a catchy way to remember it). I always like to hear what you’re reading too so thanks for sharing it. I have A Shelter in the Time of Storm on my “must keep” shelf. 🙂

  4. Patricia Krank

    Crosswalk buttons don’t work? How very tricky our cities are. It looks like you had a good month. I always love your month in review and tried to do it myself once but after about two days I forgot to take anymore videos.
    Blessings over your August my friend,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I was disappointed about the crosswalk buttons too. But I still think some of them work, surely! We can choose to believe anyway. 🙂 The everyday video does take awhile to get used to (even though I still have days that I forget). I have a reminder on my calendar to do it.

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I always appreciate your recommendations, and your doing all that scouting out work for your readers. I was on the Launch Team for The Turquoise Table. It’s really an excellent book on neighborhood outreach. So often we look beyond our own street for ministry, when there are needy neighbors right outside our front door. Congrats on that first grandchild. How wonderful, Lisa. I was really surprised, b/c you look too young!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve enjoyed reading The Turquoise Table. I’d heard such good things about it. I’m not sure I could pull off having a picnic table in my front yard. 🙂 But I know the concept goes far beyond that so I appreciate her ideas.
      I’m definitely old enough to have a grandchild, but thanks, Lynn!

      1. Lynn D. Morrissey

        Well, then, you are well preserved!! 🙂 And yes, our subdivision won’t allow the table, but it’s all her wonderful concepts that are so vital and life-changing! You have that same spirit!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m getting close to the end of The Turquoise Table (as far as I can tell on my Kindle anyway; I’m at about 75%). I’ve enjoyed it, but have been intimidated by it at the same time. 🙂

  6. Lori Ferguson

    WOW! This is my first visit to your site, and I’m intrigued by the treasures you’re highlighting in this post!

    And congratulations on your first grandbaby! It’s the best thing ever – and I can’t really put it into words but you’ll “get” it when they put that baby in your arms and you feel the weight of this newborn while looking at the face of the adult child *you* birthed/nurtured…

    Our first grandbaby is almost two and I (privately/silently) scoffed at these over-the-top grandparents who told me how wonderful it would be to be a grandparent… (after all, it’s just a pooping, crying little bundle, right?) Yeah. They were right. But in a way that’s completely unique and a challenge to describe. 😉 Anyway. Congratulations!

    I’m off to explore your links… Happy August!

  7. floyd

    Great month! Loved that one second video!

    I know all too well those southern quotes… didn’t realize how much I still use them…

    Bill’s bicycle safety week was great too. It would be great it everyone rode on the street just one time. That would change everything.

    What a wonderful family and blessed life! May God continue to guide and bless you and yours.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Even walking on the side of the street is enough to scare me, Floyd. 🙁 We don’t have many cyclists on our streets, but I can sense how dangerous it is for them because our motorists aren’t used to having to share the road. Until I read your post on Bill’s blog, I didn’t know your own story with this subject. I appreciated you sharing there.

  8. June

    The baby certainly steals the show, Lisa! So excited and LOVE that captured moment with Morgan surprising the Grands! Priceless! Interesting articles, as usual. I especially enjoyed the perspective of Xeni Jardin. While I think some will benefit and be inspired by the cancer fight talk, clearly it’s not for everyone.

    The global warming article didn’t surprise me. The fact that such a large percentage of scientists “say” they believe something, doesn’t make it true – especially when no one addresses the hidden agendas that are inherent to these issues. We see the same thing relating to intelligent design. Ben Stine’s documentary proved that scientists who admit they believe ID are blacklisted, etc. In this day and age it’s hard to know what and who to believe. The bottom line for me, whether global warming is being caused, or is the natural ebb and flow of our planet, or is simply our planet nearing the end as we know it, as a Christian I’m called to be a steward of this earth and everything in it. (sorry, probably more feedback than you wanted, lol )

    The 1st graders will be a lot of fun for Jenna this year, I’m sure. Praying for her Godly influence on their little lives – so exciting!

    We’re looking forward to a bit of break from the Texas heat next week as we head to Colorado for a few days. Happy August to you, friend and thanks for always sharing such thought provoking tidbits! Blessings on your week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I have to admit that the baby steals the show for me too, June. 🙂 We’ve finally begun taking action to clean up Morgan’s room and make space for a few toys and baby things. Step one was painting, so I’ve been doing that the past couple of weeks, and it’s my least favorite thing to do. ha.

      I love your bottom line on caring for our planet: regardless of where we stand on climate change, we can all agree that we’re called to be a steward of the earth. Hope you’ll enjoy that heat break when you head to Colorado next week! I know it can get hot there too, but hopefully not where you’ll be! Blessings to you, June.

  9. Jean Wise

    i always enjoy your lists, Lisa and am honored to be included this month. Thank you so much. I enjoyed the article about retaining what you read. I skim way too often and thought his tips were right on – if I remember them. LOL

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad to be able to include your writings, Jean! I needed that article on retention as well. I can skim with the best of them, and retain the least. ha. Especially online articles.

  10. Becky Hastings

    Wow! What a beautiful month! You have such a lovely list of things to check out. A few thoughts:
    -Baby! Yay! Baby news is so exciting!
    -New Classrooms are awesomely fun. It was my favorite part of teaching….the new pencils and markers and crayons and name plates…..ahhhhh!
    -The Turquoise Table looks so good. I heard her on the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast. How is it?
    -Small Victories. Anne Lammott is so good. I haven’t read many of her books, but I think I have this on my shelf to read!
    -For Life Ministires — What a beautiful way to help in your community! I would love to find more things like this that are local for my family to work with!

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring list!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Becky. I love school supplies, too, so it’s fun to have reason to still go down those aisles each August. The Turquoise Table is inspiring, but also a little intimidating to this introvert. ha. I won’t put a picnic table in my front yard, but hopefully I can find other ways to be intentional about community. We’ve been very blessed to be part of the For Life Ministries, thanks to a few other families and churches who have really gone all out to set it up and keep it going. I’m never good at starting things, but I can tag along once someone else sets them up. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad you can appreciate the southern sayings too, Alice. 🙂 Some of them made me laugh more than others. I remember the first time I heard someone say they were all stove up, and I had no idea what that meant. ha. But growing up in Alabama, I’ve heard almost all of them by now.

  11. Lesley

    I love how you always share so many interesting links and book recommendations, Lisa. For Life Ministries sounds amazing and I hope to check out the Bible podcast.
    I was also interested to see that some of the Southern phrases are ones that are also used in Scotland! At death’s door, under the weather, going downhill fast and sick as a dog are all phrases we might say here. My favourite Scottish one to add to the list would be if someone is looking pale we might say they’re looking a bit peely-wally!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Peely-Wally—that’s definitely a new one to me, Lesley! How interesting that we share many of these phrases with Scotland. Maybe that’s where some of them originated from. Of course some of them I can’t imagine everyone not using. ha. Hope you’re having a great week!

  12. Barbara H.

    I’ll have to come back to the one about violence in the Bible. That’s a challenging area. I was familiar with many of the Southern phrases. One I didn’t see was feeling peaked, with peaked pronounced as two distinct syllables.

  13. Horace Williams Jr.

    Lisa, forgot how much I enjoy visiting your site! It is like visiting the coolest store. You get so much when you visit, and yet don’t have to buy a thing. I absolutely love the 1 second videos. They are excellent brain exercises trying to identify everything and still keep up. I’m thankful that in July my health is improving g. Docs have not identified the cause but I’m trusting the Great Healer. I am currently using a new prayer journal filled with quotes from missionaries and Corrie Ten Boom. I love it! I just got a book on Abraham and his faith by Chuck Swindoll. Looking forward to celebrating my birthday in August along with 4 other family members. Sorry for rambling., i was excited to visit here again. Be well my friend, and may God bless you and yours.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s good to hear from you, Horace. I’m glad your health is improving! I know it can get frustrating when the doctors aren’t able to give us a diagnosis (and therefore, not able to help us heal as quickly as we’d like). Your new prayer journal sounds amazing. I’m sure it will be something that will be helpful not only in this season but in seasons to come as well. Hope you have a wonderful birthday this month!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I really enjoy Anne’s writing too. I’ve been reading her book today and so appreciating her use of words! She makes me pause and think at times, and other times laugh out loud.

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