5 Links, Books, and Things I Love—July 2020

Every month I share my list of favorite 5’s.

5 Things July 2020_pin

  • 5 interesting things online
  • 5 funny memes
  • 5 articles about words
  • 5 pictures of things I love
  • 5 things on the blog

What are you enjoying this month?

1 Second Everyday

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

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5 Things Around the Web

What You Should Know About My Empty Chair in Church

Is your church open in person yet? Ours opened up (but I still watch online only), then closed back down due to cases spiraling out of control in Alabama. (And unfortunately, we have at least one church staff member diagnosed with covid.)

‘I don’t see color’ and Other Things White People Must Stop Saying to Black People

Here are some things well-intentioned white people should avoid saying; they cause more harm than help.

15 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Cooking

My preference in the kitchen is a detailed recipe for every step. But that rarely happens. Here are some interesting tips.

Quarantine Has Changed Us—and It’s Not All Bad

Have you picked up any good habits during lockdown? Which one of these would you like to keep? Here are 8.

The Founder of Veggie-Tales Explains Systemic Racism

Have you seen this already? If not, it’s worth your time. “We need to talk about race. Why are people still angry? Let’s take a look at race in America.” 

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5 Things to Make You Smile

Here are 5 things that made me laugh.

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5 Things About Books

There’s a theme here. I’m all about getting educated on race matters so I can better understand what needs to change and how to change it.

The Anti-Racist Curriculum White Evangelicals Need

No book or film or article will give us THE answer. But together they can help point us in the right direction.

When Black People Are in Pain, White People Just Join Book Clubs

Yes, read. But also, do. “This isn’t the time to circle up with other white people and discuss black pain in the abstract; it’s the time to acknowledge and examine the pain they’ve personally caused.”

Amazon’s Best Sellers List Is Almost Entirely Books on Race

See this list of best sellers and find one for yourself to read. “Share books about racism with friends and family and discuss how oppression affects marginalized groups.”

More Ebooks Available Now: Community Read Program on Black Lives Matter

There is no waiting on these ebooks right now at your digital library! Check out a few while you can get them easily.

7 Books I Recommend

Here are short summaries of great books I finished reading in June. 

7 Books I Recommend

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5 Things I Love

Weekend at Granna’s

We got to keep our 2-year-old granddaughter for several nights at our house in June. And we had such fun! Looking forward to keeping both girls for several days in August. Hopefully we’re up to it. 🙂 

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Car Picnic

Since we’re still not eating inside restaurants, we had a picnic sitting in the car at our favorite burger joint, Dub’s, with Aunt Jenna and Uncle Trey.

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Hard at Work

Meanwhile, the baby got all her parents’ attention with big sis gone. Both girls like to visit Daddy on the job (he’s a landscaper) and to play on the big machines.

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Three Teeth

You can’t see it here, but the youngest now has a toothy grin instead of all gums.

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Fun Puzzle!

My daughter Morgan got a puzzle made for me from one of our photos. I had such fun putting it together over the weekend! I’ll do it again with the grands when they come to stay next month.

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5 Things on the Blog

My Brothers, This Is Personal—I Say Your Names

I see your faces and hear your voices and feel your hugs. Your life matters to me.

Recommended Reading on Racial Inequality 

To learn more, read more. Then do more. Here are 24 books I recommend on racial inequality.

It’s Way Past Time to Let Go, Change, and Celebrate

It’s way past time to make changes to end racial discrimination in America. See what else it’s past time for.

Feeling Down? Lift Every Voice and Sing–And the Story Behind the Hymn

If you’ve been hearing about the Black National Anthem on the news lately, read about its origins here and find 3 things you can do now to practice hope for your future from this classic hymn.

8 Reasons We Don’t Speak Up Against Racial Inequality—And Why We Should Anyway + Infographic

Here are 8 reasons we give for not speaking up against racial inequality. And why we should speak up anyway.


What did you enjoy in June? What are you looking forward to in July? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

38 thoughts on “5 Links, Books, and Things I Love—July 2020

  1. blankbill (cycleguy)

    The church was finally able to start meeting together. It has built over the month and we are averaging in the 90s now. I can bemoan the fact it is a long way from 180 or so but I’m excited I get to preach to some people and not an empty auditorium. We improved our online experience even more in June and will do more in July with a new computer for Jo to use. As for books: I just finished Dream Big by Bob Goff. I am getting ready to read I’ve Seen the End of You (I saw you picked it) and also Becoming a King by Morgan Snyder (from Wild at Heart). I also read two small books on Transgender theology and thought and The Motive by Patrick Lencioni. And lest I forget I saw my grandson play the first game of the season and will again this weekend. And I have had fantastic opportunities to ride my bike in the heat. I’m interested to see what July brings.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you’re able to look your folks in the eye as you preach now, Bill. I can only imagine how difficult that has been for pastors to preach to a camera. Our pastor is awaiting covid results today; it’s his wife that just tested positive. 🙁 We’re all praying for her. So far her symptoms have not been bad, from what they’ve posted publicly, so we’ve been happy about that.

      I’ll look forward to your thoughts on Dream Big. We heard Bob Goff speak in 2019 in Alabama and loved him, and were supposed to hear him again last April, but obviously that didn’t happen. I’m currently reading his daily devotional every morning, “Live in Grace, Walk in Love.” I want his loving nature to rub off deeply onto me.

      Enjoy your grandson’s game! Being able to be present, at such great cost, is a valuable gift of love!

  2. blankMartha Jane Orlando

    Such a blessing that you were able to keep your oldest granddaughter for several days. Hooray! I know you’re looking forward to having the other one with you, too, in August.
    As always, I loved your second-per-day video, Lisa.
    Blessings!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Martha. We definitely are looking forward to keeping both girls in August. I need to rest up for it now! 🙂 I often babysit them both during the day at their house when I go visit, but keeping them day and night for several days in a row will test my age. 😉

  3. blankLaurie

    Your granddaughters are growing so fast! How adorable. Our church is open for drive-in services only. No inside services, and that’s OK with me. The graphic about wearing a mask as a disguise made me laugh. I taught for 30+ years in the small town where I live and I am recognized everywhere. I would love to go to the store “ingognito” sometimes! 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m sure your previous students are excited when they spot you out “in the wild.” I remember thinking my teachers only had a life at the school building. 🙂

      I admit I was glad that our church went back to online-only because it didn’t feel safe to me how they were meeting. But I do hate the reason for it is because of actual cases among the staff. 🙁

  4. blankBarbara Harper

    Your youngest granddaughter is getting so big! What fun that you got to watch the oldest for a few days. So far we haven’t had Timothy overnight by himself. I know what you mean by wondering about being up to it. As dearly as I love him, I’m exhausted when he goes home.

    Loved the funnies, especially the Jetsons. What a neat idea the special puzzle was! And how fun to do it again with your granddaughters.

    There are just a handful of dishes I make without recipes. Most times I get the recipee out even if I’m pretty sure I know it by heart. I also appreciate when recipes add little notes like “Batter will be thick” or “Don’t worry if it looks horrible at this point.”

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I am exhausted after babysitting for long stretches, too, so keeping both girls for several days will be a true test of our stamina. The spirit is willing but the flesh is sometimes weak. lol.

      I like notes like that on recipes, too. My mother often wrote recipes with those kind of comments. I do wish all her recipes had precise measurements too though; she was a better cook at estimating amounts than I am. I am a big user of my measuring cups and spoons. 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Lesley. We think our granddaughters are quite adorable too. My stash of digital photos and videos is WAY out of control since they’ve been born. 🙂

  5. blankKaty

    Visiting from #happynowlinkup. I love that blogging allows us all to share our lives, learn, be open and be entertained. Such cute grandkids! And I enjoyed your book recommendations.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Sometimes I have to look a little harder than other times to uncover that joy. ha. 2020 has been throwing some crazy things at us. 🙂 But it’s always there to be found.

  6. blankBev @ Walking Well With God

    Lisa,
    Lots of stuff to love here! Your grands are adorable!! Love the puzzle…you need to mount that and keep it as a momento of this season. Cartoons are funny AND convicting, “Wear the dang mask!” I’ve had some great discussions with my friends of color. Book club isn’t the answer. Great pic of the picnic in the car. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  7. blankDeborah

    Thank you for sharing, Lisa. The cartoons made me chuckle, especially the ones about the masks. As a former teacher, I totally get the incognito business!!!! And, oh, your granddaughters are adorable. You can do the days and nights in August, just be sure to schedule in a couple of days rest and recovery immediately following! It’s a game changer. Visiting from InstaEncouragements!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for the great advice, Deborah. I’ll definitely pencil in some rest days after the grands come in August. (And maybe a few rest days before, just for good measure! ha)

  8. blankSharon Hazel

    So many notes here – you are way ahead of us in the ‘freedom’ stakes – still no church or even a date for opening….I have been doing lots of reading though, the current books are the Gift of Prophetic Encouragement by Debbie Kitterman, The Night the Angels Came by Chrissie Chapman – stories of protection and provision in Burundi, which has been very moving to read and the Practice of Resurrection Study Guide. Yes we are wearing the ‘masks’ when shopping….and you’ve reminded me that I love jigsaws and may even have a new one in the back of a cupboard somewhere 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Sounds like you’ve got lots of good mind and spirits books to read, Sharon. I have also read The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement by Debbie and gained a lot from it. She’s an incredible woman of faith.

      Hope you can uncover your jigsaw puzzle! 🙂 I have a new one waiting to be opened, but I’m trying to pace myself and leave it in the box for a few more days.

  9. blankJennifer Smith

    So much fun stuff in one post – I love it! That puzzle is too cute. What a great gift! How fun to have your little cutie with you for a few nights! I know you were living your best life!! The memes made me laugh. Ah, a good laugh (all by myself here in my office….oh, but I will share!!) Have a great week!!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Glad you had a good laugh with just yourself in your office. That’s often good laughter. 🙂 I hope to go visit my grands for a few days tomorrow so the rest of the week should be fun. Hope your week is good as well, Jennifer!

  10. blankMelissa

    Thank you for the smiles today – this is so beautiful and full of joy, and I’m grateful for the reminder to look around at all the blessings. It’s not all bad! It may be crazy and so different, but there’s so much to be grateful for, and He fills up my heart!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I love your attitude, Melissa. There definitely is much to thank God for; I have to remember that and consciously seek it out when my attitude starts to drift downward.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I had to explain to Riley what the phone was. It definitely is nothing she’s ever seen or imagined! 🙂 She probably still didn’t fully understand. lol.

  11. blankHorace Williams Jr

    Hey Lisa. Your five things blog posts are one of the most entertaining to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. You covered a lot of ground. I finally put some thoughts together about everything taking place and shared it on my podcast last month. For July, I’m hoping to begin pre-orders for my new book, The Furnace of Affliction: How God Uses Our Pain and Suffering for His Purpose. So, there has been a lot going on. Also, this July marks the tenth anniversary since the stroke. So, I’m doing a series this month on the podcasts on the things God continues to do in my life. Anyway, sorry to ramble, but you asked. Hehe. Have a blessed weekend, sister!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Always good to hear from you, Horace. Your testimony is a faithful reminder to me of God’s goodness. So glad you’re here to continue sharing your story of his work in the past 10 years since your stroke! May God keeping you as you bless others, friend.

  12. blankMichael & Donna Reidland

    I smiled when I read that you were looking forward to keeping both of your granddaughters in August and added, “I hope we’re up for it.” I love all of ours so much (we on great-grands now) but they are busy!!!

    Have a wonderful July!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      What a blessing to have great-grands! I can’t even imagine that yet. I just spent the past few days with my two grands and had a lovely time, but I am quite exhausted today. 🙂

  13. blankJean Wise

    I just want you to know how grateful I am to read your blog posts. – you are such a rich source of thought-provoking, God-honoring ideas and readings. Thank you for all you do!

  14. blankJerralea

    Always so much to look at here!

    I adore your one second videos!

    I just had my youngest grand girl last weekend for two nights. She is such a good girl – yet I’m exhausted when she goes home.

  15. blankApril J Harris

    I always enjoy these little glimpses into your life, Lisa, and I always learn something too! Our church isn’t open yet, but services are streamed online. I love the infographic on should you wear a mask – I’m so passionate about getting folks to wear them! How lovely you were able to spend time with your grandkids. We are now finally able to have our family stay over so that is a real blessing! Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Community. Take care and have a lovely week.

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