Board books: Bible Stories for Little Hearts. Sandra Magsamen. 2019. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy] First sentence: In seven days and seven nights, God made the darkness and the light. Bible Stories for Little Hearts is a rhyming story book for very ...
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29. Bible Stories for Little Hearts and more...


29. Bible Stories for Little Hearts


Board books: Bible Stories for Little Hearts. Sandra Magsamen. 2019. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: In seven days and seven nights, God made the darkness and the light. 

Bible Stories for Little Hearts is a rhyming story book for very young children. There are five Bible stories in all: the creation story, Jonah, the lost sheep, Noah, and the nativity. The order seems to be random and not chronological. Each story is a two-page spread. 

On the one hand, the book has a just-right size. I like the dimensions of it. I feel the pages are easy to turn. I could see this being a good book to read aloud with a kid--possibly squirmy--in your lap. I also like the length of the book for the target audience. 

On the other hand, the rhyming isn't all that great. It's not the absolute worst rhyming book ever. I wouldn't go to that extreme. It's just the rhythm is off. It isn't smooth; it is awkward in places. Still, I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker if you have a little one--toddler--to share it with.

The theology was weird in one of the stories. I get that the most important thing in the story was to keep it rhyming, but to conclude the Noah story by saying that "God sent a dove to show the way, believing that Noah would save the day." Like what does that even mean??? Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah obeyed God in all things--in the building of the ark, in gathering the animals, in entering the ark, in staying in the ark, in leaving the ark. Like when did Noah "save the day"???



© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible
    


April Reflections


2021 Bible Reading

  • In April I read Ruth thirty times
  • In April I read Psalms 27-41 thirty times
  • In April I finished the NASB Giant Print Reference Bible
  • In April I continued to use the ESV app to read the M'Cheyne reading plan
  • In April I completely redid how I organized the Horner bookmarks and switched from NASB (which I finished) to the NIV Readers Bible.
  • In April I received three new Bibles. (see below)
  • In April I was totally overwhelmed by the number of translations I had going at once: KJV, 1611 KJV (I finished 1 Samuel), NRSV, NIV, NASB Schuyler, LSB. I am reading a little here and there in all these translations. Because my reading is more scattered than not--although I am keeping lists--it's not easy to recall off the top of my head what books I've read in what translation. So I won't be sharing detailed lists in this post. 
  • In April I did start the Bible in 90 days plan (with modifications) using the NRSV translation. 

Books Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

22. Court of Swans (The Dericott Tales #1)Melanie Dickerson. 2021. [January] 328 pages. [Source: Review copy]
23. Castle of Refuge (The Dericott Tales #2)Melanie Dickerson. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]
24. My Dear Miss Dupré. Grace Hitchcock. 2021. [March] 364 pages. [Source: Review copy]
25. Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis. Scott David Allen. 2020. [September] 205 pages. [Source: Bought]
26. The Gold In These Hills. Joanne Bischof. 2021. [August] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]
27. A Piece of the Moon. Chris Fabry. 2021. [April] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]
28. A Lady in Attendance. Rachel Fordham. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Bibles Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible 

3. New American Standard Bible: Giant Print Reference Bible. God. 2004/1995. Foundation Publications. 2000 pages. [Best guess on page numbers] Source: Gift.  


© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible
    


28. A Lady in Attendance


A Lady in Attendance. Rachel Fordham. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The coarse gray fabric of Hazel’s newly donned uniform felt uncomfortable and foreign against her skin. She scratched her neck, trying in vain to force the itch away, but it was no use. These drab clothes would likely never feel comfortable, nor would these dark walls and tall fences ever feel like home.

Hazel McDowell hasn't had the easiest time finding a job--at least under her real name--but her luck is about to change. With just a few little white lies, she starts a new job as a lady in attendance. What is a lady in attendance--you may be wondering?!?! She acts as both assistant AND chaperone to her dentist employer, Dr. Gilbert Watts. (In particular, when his clients are female--she is acting chaperone.)

So. Hazel, our heroine, has a past, and she spends her spare time doing two things: a) hanging out with her new best friend, Ina, an old maid teacher and b) trying to find someone to help her clear her name and salvage her reputation. 

Though neither Hazel nor Gilbert (not Giblet) are looking for love, that may just be what they find.

It is set in New York in the 1890s. (1898 to be precise). 

I enjoyed this one. I did. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Ina. I did. I loved this side story so very much. I am so pleased it got so much time in the novel. I did like the main story--Gilbert and Hazel--but what I really enjoyed was the whole atmosphere of it--all the characters, all the little things. It was just an enjoyable story.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible
    


27. A Piece of the Moon


A Piece of the Moon. Chris Fabry. 2021. [April] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: LOVE, LIKE TREASURE, stays buried until somebody decides to dig. That’s what this story is about, along with life and death and a stammering tongue and a little radio station. It’s also about the power of an old country song.

A Piece of the Moon is set in the summer/autumn of 1981 in a small town in West Virginia. Many of the characters--though not all--work at an AM country station, Country 16. 

I loved, loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED, crazy loved this novel. It is a compelling, heart-warming, charming, thoroughly satisfying read. And quirky. Don't forget the quirky. 

It is one of those rare books that is both CHARACTER-DRIVEN and PLOT-DRIVEN. The plot starts off with a little melodrama to hook you. (It worked.) But soon even though the plot hadn't really slowed down--offering a mystery or two, plus a light romance--I found out that it was really ALL about the characters. 

It had the opportunity to be many things: a mystery, a comedy, a tragedy, a romance, a coming of age novel. But really it is more than any of those things. 

It is a Christian book. But don't let that put you off. Don't turn your nose up and say, well, then there's no way I could enjoy that. It is a layered read. One of those books that capture the many, many, many, many layers of being human. And, yes, one of those layers is faith-based--do I believe in God???--but it is not a flat, one-note story. 

I thought it was wonderfully written. Plenty of depth and substance. An abundance of heart. But this isn't one of those precious stories that is too sickly sweet. This novel is more a potluck--a good one--where every single dish adds something special and just right. It ends with a dessert table. But it isn't a cupcake of a novel from start to finish.

I think the characters will stay with me a long time. Yes, I know I just finished it. But already I'm thinking about how I will need to revisit this one again and again. Thinking about how this one NEEDS TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE. Or maybe even a limited series. It needs a SOUNDTRACK or at the very least a Spotify playlist. ETA: There is a PLAYLIST!  

I could gush about this one for hours--or days--mom may get tired of hearing about how awesome this one is!

Quotes:
  • A voice was like a good song. One could take you far, but it couldn’t keep you there.
  • Funny how grooves in an old record could bring back the pain. Words and chords and memories.
  • Sometimes love is less about what you say and more about what you don’t. He’d learned that lesson the hard way.
  • After the news at seven, TD asked Waite to play Bill Anderson’s “Double S,” a B side song used by DJs to take bathroom breaks because it lasted five minutes. Everybody had their favorite long tune, but Waite knew something was up.
  • He’d heard of stations that had countdown timers for song intros and that seemed like cheating. A timer could help you get out of the way of the first vocal, but it couldn’t bring the magic. And it seemed like the world was becoming less about magic and more about timers every day. 
  • There was a crossover controversy with the Oak Ridge Boys. They’d gone from gospel to country and paid a price with some. Waite had received the same criticism with his drive-time program. One letter, written in scrawled pencil, said, How can you play all those drinking and cheating songs and think a few gospel tunes on Sunday will wash away your sin? You’re a plastic Christian, Waite. The writer had signed her name and given a return address but he didn’t answer. All who wrestled in the mud got dirty. He’d learned that the hard way. He’d also learned that some people had the spiritual gift of discouragement. Wisdom said it was best not to indulge them. Next, he played Grandpa Jones singing “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” and he thought of his wife.
  • Waite turned the pot down on the finished record and hit the voice-over that said, “The best country in the country, this is Country 16.” Dolly Parton sang, “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene . . .” The Kid’s face said it all. It was like he had uncovered the secrets of the universe. Waite lifted the needle from George Jones and put the 45 back in the sleeve.
  • “Why are you treating me this way?” “I used to want to go out and save the world. God cured me of that.” “How?” “He showed me he could bring everybody I needed to help right here. And today that’s you.”
  • “I appreciate it, Pastor. I know Possum does, too.” “Do you know if he’s a believer?” “I asked about that when I hired him. He wasn’t ashamed to say he knew Jesus. Because of his weight, he stopped going to church. He broke a pew once and offered to pay for it as his tithe, but the church said they’d use insurance. He never went back.” “A lot of people feel self-conscious about one thing or another.”
  • After the Farm Report, Waite played two Statler Brothers’ songs back-to-back. That was another group that had started out gospel and veered toward mainstream country. Maybe it was the harmonies the men used that reminded Waite of four-part hymns. They counted flowers on the wall and watched Captain Kangaroo, then sang about the dreams and disappointments of the class of ’57. The line that always got him was about Janet who taught grade school “. . . and probably always will.” He thought about his life and his own “probably always will.”


© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible
    

Two Ribbon Bible in 90 Days Plan


Earlier today I posted a Bible in 90 days reading plan inspired by having a Bible with three ribbons. This is the two-ribbon version. The first ribbon remains the same. But I've included Psalms and Proverbs in with the New Testament readings for the second ribbon.

Ribbon OneRibbon Two
Day 1Genesis 1-8Matthew 1-4
Day 2Genesis 9-11Matthew 5-7
Day 3Genesis 12-26Matthew 8-11
Day 4Genesis 27-36Matthew 12-16
Day 5Genesis 37-50Matthew 17-20
Day 6Exodus 1-11Matthew 21-25
Day 7Exodus 12-19Matthew 26-28
Day 8Exodus 20-31Psalm 1-5
Day 9Exodus 32-40Psalm 6-11
Day 10Leviticus 1-15Psalm 12-18
Day 11Leviticus 16-27Psalm 19-23
Day 12Numbers 1-8Psalm 24-36
Day 13Numbers 9-21Psalm 37-41
Day 14Numbers 22-36Mark 1-4
Day 15Deuteronomy 1-8Mark 5-8
Day 16Deuteronomy 9-24Mark 9-12
Day 17Deuteronomy 25-34Mark 13-16
Day 18Joshua 1-12Mark 1-8
Day 19Joshua 13-24Mark 9-16
Day 20Judges 1-3Psalm 42-50
Day 21Judges 4-10Psalm 51-59
Day 22Judges 11-17Psalm 60-68
Day 23Judges 18-21Psalm 69-72
Day 24RuthLuke 1-9
Day 251 Samuel 1-8Luke 10-15
Day 261 Samuel 9-15Luke 16-19
Day 271 Samuel 16-31Luke 20-24
Day 282 Samuel 1-10Psalm 73-80
Day 292 Samuel 11-24Psalm 81-89
Day 301 Kings 1-11Acts 1-5
Day 311 Kings 12-22Acts 6-7
Day 322 Kings 1-13Acts 9-11
Day 332 Kings 14-25Acts 12-16
Day 341 Chronicles 1-12Acts 17-20
Day 351 Chronicles 13-29Acts 21-28
Day 362 Chronicles 1-9Proverbs 1-10
Day 372 Chronicles 10-23Proverbs 11-21
Day 382 Chronicles 24-36Proverbs 22-31
Day 39Ezra 1-10Romans 1-4
Day 40Nehemiah 1-13Romans 5-8
Day 41Esther 1-10Romans 9-11
Day 42Job 1-7Romans 12-16
Day 43Job 8-221 Corinthians 1-7
Day 44Job 23-421 Corinthians 8-11
Day 45Ecclesiastes 1-61 Corinthians 12-16
Day 46Ecclesiastes 7-122 Corinthians 1-7
Day 47Song of Songs 1-82 Corinthians 8-13
Day 48Isaiah 1-12John 1-4
Day 49Isaiah 13-24John 5-10
Day 50Isaiah 25-39John 11-13
Day 51Isaiah 40-53John 14-17
Day 52Isaiah 54-66John 18-21
Day 53Jeremiah 1-10Psalm 90-95
Day 54Jeremiah 11-23Psalm 96-100
Day 55Jeremiah 24-37Psalm 101-106
Day 56Jeremiah 28-36Psalm 107-118
Day 57Jeremiah 37-42Psalm 119
Day 58Jeremiah 43-52Psalm 120-126
Day 59LamentationsPsalm 127-136
Day 60Ezekiel 1-5Psalm 137-142
Day 61Ezekiel 6-10Psalm 143-150
Day 62Ezekiel 11-15Galatians
Day 63Ezekiel 16-23Ephesians
Day 64Ezekiel 24-28Philippians
Day 65Ezekiel 29-32Colossians
Day 66Ezekiel 33-341 Thessalonians
Day 67Ezekiel 35-372 Thessalonians
Day 68Ezekiel 38-391 Timothy
Day 69Ezekiel 40-422 Timothy
Day 70Ezekiel 43-44Titus
Day 71Ezekiel 45-46Philemon
Day 72Ezekiel 47-48Hebrews 1-3
Day 73Daniel 1-6Hebrew 4-6
Day 74Daniel 7-12Hebrews 7-9
Day 75Hosea 1-7Hebrews 10-11
Day 76Hosea 8-14Hebrews 12-13
Day 77JoelJames
Day 78Amos1 Peter
Day 79Obadiah2 Peter
Day 80Jonah1 John
Day 81Micah2 John, 3 John, Jude
Day 82NahumRevelation 1
Day 83HabakkukRevelation 2-3
Day 84ZephaniahRevelation 4-5
Day 85HaggaiRevelation 5-8
Day 86Zechariah 1-7Revelation 9-12
Day 87Zechariah 8-14Revelation 13-18
Day 88MalachiRevelation 19-22
Day 89Grace DayGrace Day
Day 90Grace DayGrace Day

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible
    

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