Classical Conversations: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins (Review Crew)

The Conversation: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education - Home With Purpose

Y’all. I have been such a slacker this summer.

August is here, and I haven’t done a lick of preparation for the new school year! It’s kind of a big year too – Kaitlyn’s senior year and Kyle’s freshmen year, with Kendall and Kade in 4th and 1st. I’m not totally unprepared…I do have a general idea of what we’ll be doing and I have most (not all) of the materials we need, but I haven’t done any organizing or preparing. So, now you know how I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks, lol. [Read more…]

Questions Christians Ask: Can I really trust the Bible?


I’m always on the look out for solid, biblical resources on different theological topics to discuss with my teens.

The Questions Christian Ask series from The Good Book Company is just the kind of thing I’m looking for. These little books cover common questions about our faith like: “How will the world end?”, “How can I be sure?”, and “Why did Jesus have to die?”, thoughtfully, thoroughly, and biblically.

I just finished reading through the newest title, Can I really trust the Bible? and other questions about Scripture, truth and how God speaks, by Barry Cooper. This volume discusses the Bible’s claims about itself, how the Bible is unique compared to other ways God speaks to us, the consistency of the text, how we got the canon, and more.

Here’s the publisher’s description of the book: [Read more…]

1 Samuel For You by Tim Chester (Mom’s Bookshelf)

1 Samuel for You

The beginning of the school year, with its new routine,  is a great opportunity for fresh starts in other areas too.

I enjoy starting something new personally also, whether that be a Bible study, exercise routine, or something else. I’m actually doing both of those as we start this school year:

  • I’ve started walking a mile 4 or 5 mornings a week (which also offers me a chance to listen to podcasts and/or Bible studies uninterrupted for 30 minutes or so)
  • I’m working my way through 1 Samuel For You for personal study

1 Samuel for You by Tim Chester is part of the God’s Word For You series published by The Good Book Company. These books,written by Tim Chester, Tim Keller, and several others, are expository guides that take you verse by verse through a book of the Bible in a very accessible, practical way. They can be used for personal study and devotion, or as preparation for teaching others (to “read, feed, and lead”, as the series description puts it).

In this clip, Tim Keller explains a little bit about the series: [Read more…]

Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms (Review Crew)

Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms

It’s that time when many of us (myself included!) are deep in the throes of organizing and planning for the new homeschool year.

I’ve been a homeschool mom for well over a dozen years now, and I still haven’t outgrown the need for encouragement and support in juggling the many roles and responsibilities this job entails. Even the most seasoned homeschool mom can easily become discouraged and burned out if she’s not careful.

For a variety of reasons, life has been incredibly stressful for our family for the last year to year and a half. The effects have shown in my home management and our homeschool – it feels like we’ve basically been in “survival mode”. We’ve finally seen the end of some of the trying circumstances we were dealing with, and I’m really feeling the need to focus and get back on track as we move into fall. As part of that preparation, I’ve been working my way through Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms from Apologia Educational Ministries.

Flourish was written by Mary Jo Tate, a single mom who homeschools her four boys and also runs a successful home business. She wrote the book to encourage and equip exhausted, overloaded moms who feel like they’re barely getting by. By sharing the story of God’s faithfulness in her own life, she wants to give God glory and inspire hope in those who are struggling that they can not just survive, but flourish in the role God has given them! [Read more…]

Rachel: Wives of the Patriarchs (Mom’s Bookshelf)


 I’ve always found the wives of the biblical patriarchs intriguing.

I recently worked my way through author Jill Eileen Smith’s Wives of the Patriarchs series, beginning with Sarai, then Rebecca, and finally Rachel. These three women all had fascinating stories. The Bible simply narrates the events for us without any insight into what they were thinking or feeling as they lived through them. I think it can be interesting and instructive to speculate what it was like for them! When done well, with attention to historical detail, fictional books based on the Bible can really bring biblical figures and cultures alive, reminding us that these were real people who struggled with some of the the same things we do.

I really enjoyed this series. Rachel’s story was difficult to bear at times. It’s just so foreign to try to understand sharing your husband with your sister! It’s something I really can’t wrap my brain around. And yet, Ms. Smith did an excellent job of portraying just that, in the context of that time and culture. [Read more…]

Memorial: The Mystery of Mary of Bethany (Mom’s Bookshelf)

The Mystery of Mary of Bethany

I was intrigued by the title of this book when the review opportunity came through my email.

After all, in many ways, Mary of Bethany and her siblings Martha and Lazarus are rather mysterious figures in the Bible. We really have very little background information on them. How did they know Jesus? What was their livelihood? And so on.

Memorial: The Mystery of Mary of Bethany delves into the life of this unique biblical figure and draws out lessons we can apply in our own lives. Author Dolores Kimball writes in the Introduction:

I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Mary of Bethany. For years I’ve pondered the words of Jesus spoken as Mary anointed him for his burial: ‘Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her’ (Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9). What on earth, I’ve always wondered, could she possibly have done to merit such an extraordinary commendation from the Lord? The more I looked into it, and the more I learned of Mary, the more I came to believe that hers is an honest to goodness, read-between the lines mystery story, a mystery that revolves around Jesus’ tribute to her, a tribute unique in all of Scripture.

Did you realize that Mary is one of only four individuals in the Bible whom Jesus personally commended? The main goal of the book is to figure out what it was about her actions that were so unique as to merit such a tribute. But along the way, there’s much to learn from her life!  [Read more…]