Monday, December 19, 2011

Review of December 1941

I read this book from cover to cover. I have read many books about World War II and was looking forward to reading this book. I was greatly disappointed. The author states at the beginning that he used the newspapers of the day to write the book, along with some previously undisclosed top secret documents. 

Each chapter is titled according to the day. There are 31 chapters. The first six chapters happen before Pearl Harbor, and though the author does reveal some information that the government had prior to Pearl Harbor day, he spends an inordinate amount of time and energy covering sporting events (70 year old football games, anyone?), entertainment news and other extraneous things that I am not interested in now, much less when they are so old. Many of the stars of the day that he reports on to the point of exhaustion are not even people I recognize and they certainly are not important to the story line he was trying to achieve.

When the author finally gets to Pearl Harbor day, I expected the pace to pick up, but this was not to be the case. I assume that he did it this way because he was following newspaper articles, but the one chapter that should be mesmerizing and gripping was boring and confusing. I know that Pearl Harbor day happened on December 7, but from the author's account it could have just as easily have happened on December 11th. It wasn't until December 11th that the author got around to revealing the seriousness of the attack. 

By Christmas day things were going badly for America in the new war, but the populace was strongly supportive. The author is still reporting on football scores and movies at the theaters. There is more war news, but often there are long lists of people involved in different aspects of government work, to the detriment of plot progression. Often, he jumps from one subject to another, without any cohesion. 
I didn't like this book. I wanted to like it, but I did not.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Summaries of Several Spurgeon Sermons about Isaiah 28:24 to 29

I love Spurgeon. I will just say that to begin with. There have been so many times in my life that a Spurgeon sermon was just the recipe for some need I was experiencing or scripture I was pondering.

I have recently read three of his sermons relating to the scripture Isaiah 28:24 to 29, which say 

         "When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick. Grain must be ground to make bread;so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it. All this comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom." 

This scripture has really been on my mind lately. I have been pondering it. And Spurgeon is just the ticket for carrying the pondering farther.

That's the background.

Now for only the highest highlights from my readings. I may come back and give more info on each sermon in another few posts.

From  The Ploughman (Remember, Spurgeon was British, so the spelling is British.)

  • The ploughman perseveres. He keeps at his work until it is done. 
  • When the Holy Spirit brings a man to the place he is downright earnest in his praying, it won't be long before he finds peace. 
  • Keep your hand to the gospel plough. Continue in well-doing.
  • Then, answer the question in negative. Ploughman doesn't only plough. He has other jobs.
From A Feast for Faith 
  • Prayer: Lord, work salvation in me. I will have nothing to do with my own merit or strength. I will be dead that Thou mayst live in me. I will be nothing. Be Thou my all in all.
  • Sitting at Jesus' feet with Mary is the very best preparation for doing the work of Martha without being cumbered by it.
  • Don't run ahead of the cloud that leads by day. Keep in pace with the Spirit.
  • When we are content to wait on God's plan, it opens to us very wonderfully.
  • When we do know God's plan, we must carry it out, for the same God who is "wonderful in counsel" is "excellent in working." (KJV).
  • When you resolve to carry out God's plan, expect His singular assistance.
  • Whenever there is the working of the sword of Joshua and the prayers of Moses, there will also be the almighty arm of God.
From The Principal Wheat
  • "The wisdom of earth is a reflection of the light of heaven."
  • God is the great teacher of agriculture and handicrafts.
  • If God instructs in gardening, will He not much more instruct us in the "tillage of our lives", if we ask? 
  • The farmer knows what is the most important crop to cultivate and makes it his own.
  • The farmer gives the principal thing the principal place.
  • The farmer selects the best seed for sowing, not accepting mealy, moldy seeds.
  • The farmer tends the principal crop with principal care. 
  • Do these things, because from your principal care you may expect your principal crop.

I would encourage you to read the entire sermons at the connecting link, if you get a chance. But even if you don't, I hope these notes will encourage and instruct you today.