April 23, 2012

Notes from the Night Stand

One reader left us a message asking: “What books are the two of you currently reading (or have read) that could be a blessing to other ministry wives?"  I'm glad she asked. . .

If you are a frequent referee for sibling arguments or teenage he-said-she-said, read The Young Peacemaker by Corlette Sande (for preschoolers-elementary aged kids) or The Peacemaker: Student Edition by Ken Sande (for teens.) You can look at my post about how these books apply Biblical principles to real-time conflicts. I have used the Young book with my own preschoolers and the Student Edition with a teen girls’ Bible study. From my perspective, Peacemaker has transformed my children’s

inevitable conflicts into opportunities for them to seek relationship-building resolution. Sometimes, I even get todrink my coffee while it’s still hot.
Sande, Corlette. The Young Peacemaker (ISBN 978-0966378696) Sande, Ken. The Peacemaker Student Edition: Handling Conflict without Fighting Back or Running Away (ISBN 978-0801045356)


If you are hosting Sunday lunch for 4 or 14, read Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson. Seven years ago, a friend introduced me to (pastor’s wife) Pam Anderson’s cookbooks, and I was instantly hooked. Anderson’s recipes are invariably delicious, and she also gives several variations and shortcuts for each recipe---which has more than once saved me an “oops” trip to the store. Anderson also gives schedule-friendly directions for making her recipes ahead. I’ve posted her Saucer-Sized Oatmeal Cookie recipe, from this cookbook.
Anderson, Pam. Perfect Recipes for Having People Over (ISBN 978-0618329724)

If you are taking a family road trip, read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. My husband and I find mystery novels consistent with a Christian worldview: a fallen world where sins are invariably exposed and justice is imminent. On car rides in years past, I would read aloud from P.D. James , Ruth Rendell, or Elizabeth George. Now, our children are getting bigger, and I can no longer edit sufficiently to preserve the plot while protecting their sweet dreams. Instead, we have begun to read McCall Smith’s detective series. His African mysteries are gentle, requiring less parental censorship, while still creating an intriguing world of wrongdoing, law and order.
McCall Smith, Alexander. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (ISBN 978-1400034772)

If the daily laundry is getting you down, read The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. Schaeffer is the widow of L’Abri founder and author, Francis Schaeffer. In this book, she takes the to-do list of household chores and reframes it as beautiful service unto the Lord. Not all of her practical suggestions were right for my home, but her encouragement to pursue excellence in otherwise mundane tasks is refreshing.
Schaeffer, Edith. The Hidden Art of Homemaking (ISBN 978-0842313988)

If you are teaching next quarter’s Bible study, read Turning on the Light: Discovering the Riches of God’s Word by Carol J. Ruvolo. This book is an accessible study of how to interpret and apply Scripture responsibly. Her method would probably be called “inductive,” but—fancy labels aside—it teaches readers to take seriously the perfect and clear Word of our holy God. You can read it to help you grow as a teacher or use it as the Bible study curriculum itself. It’s simple enough for novices but meaty enough for experts.
Ruvolo, Carol J. Turning on the Light: Discovering the Riches of God’s Word (ISBN 978-0875526263)

I’d love to revisit this topic in the future with more favorites.  In the meantime, leave a comment with your suggestions.


  1. I once heard that baking is science and cooking is art. I love baking and its exact measurements. To quote a friend, when a cooking recipe says "add salt and pepper to taste, I don't know what to do."

    To foster more interest in cooking, I turn to a magazine that treats cooking as science. Cook's Illustrated. Their extensive trial and error research results in exact measurements.

  2. What about blogs you read?

  3. Thanks for the list--My local library has the one on cooking and I'll probably be looking at the Hidden Art of Homemaking soon, too. I'm ALWAYS looking for more to read!

    1. I just picked up the cooking book from the library today and think I'll be making scones tomorrow! Thank you again for the excellent book recommendations.


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