Reviews by Michele Morin
On 11/5 Michele Morin wrote: Conversations about the laws that govern chemistry might be one of the most spiritual things going on this week at my dining room table. Homeschooling chemistry involves revisiting the Periodic Table of Elements with its jagged line separating the metals and the non-metals and the tiny numbers that define ... Beloved Differences Bring Us Together in Hope
On 8/7 Michele Morin wrote: A week of teaching children in a backyard Bible club can have a clarifying effect on one’s theology. Just exactly what is it that happened in Zaccheus’s heart when he changed from being a dirty rotten tax collector to a repentant and honorable Christ-follower? When Jesus spoke to Saul on the road ... Madeleine L'Engle and the Practice of Believing
On 6/24 Michele Morin wrote: Wendell Berry poured this wisdom into the mouth of one of his fictional characters: “Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.” (Jayber Crow) This is always the nature of story, and in Wounds Are Where ... Drawing Out a Handful of Light
On 6/24 Michele Morin wrote: After graduating from college, I moved to the biggest city in Maine for my first “real job,” bringing with me a wardrobe fashioned around college life south of the Mason-Dixon. Clearly, my flimsy sandals would not fit my new life as a ministry professional. However, it soon became apparent that my ... Correcting the Soundtrack in Your Head
On 10/23 Michele Morin wrote: When I learned in fifth grade that Helen Keller had graduated from college summa cum laude, I made it my goal to do the same. As it happened, those little Latin words that mean “with the highest distinction” did actually end up being embossed on the white parchment of my degree, thereby setting me ... The Beautiful Hidden Life
On 9/11 Michele Morin wrote: Somewhere within the first decade of our marriage, my husband and I began to notice a disturbing trend: marriages dissolving all around us. In the church we attended at that time, three couples went their separate ways in a single year. They were active, visible members — regular attenders. We ... Activate the Love Filter: 5 Principles to Safeguard Your Marriage
On 5/18 Michele Morin wrote: When we read about women in the Bible, there’s a tendency to flatten them out into cardboard characters, one-dimensional and distant. Kate Merrick was in that camp as well, intimidated by the fabulous woman of Proverbs 31, judging Bathsheba, missing the depth of Mary’s sacrifice in saying yes to ... Laughter on the Pathway of Lament
On 4/6 Michele Morin wrote: Wood stoves do not render their comforting warmth without regular tending. Fires must be coaxed along with frequent ministrations, and I never give this much thought — unless my good husband is away, for he miraculously tends to this important detail, and our house stays cozy and warm. Similarly, ... Your Marriage: From Disappointing to Delightful
On 2/28 Michele Morin wrote: It’s nearly time. Even two weeks ago, standing thigh-deep in snow beside the bush, I could see that the buds had begun to swell large, and so it won’t be long until I lop off some of the bush’s waywardness and then arrange the bare branches in a vase of water. I will begin watching every day for ... The Radical Simplicity of Looking Up
On 12/15 Michele Morin wrote: Because I’m a planner, I carry a planner, but the truth is that my planner carries me. All pristine and un-besmirched, the 2017 edition holds out the promise of glorious accomplishment and blessed organization in a life that often feels like spinning plates and chaos management. Shannan Martin started ... The Freedom is in the Falling
On 7/26 Michele Morin wrote: It must have seemed as if his life was over. At the age of fifteen, swept up in the aftermath of his country’s demise, in a series of cruel blows, he was enslaved, deported eight hundred miles — never to see his homeland again, stripped of his identity, and given a strange and foreign name. Severed ... Move Heaven. Change Nations
On 6/16 Michele Morin wrote: Christine unwrapped her sandwich, completely unaware of the scornful expressions on the faces of her Kindergarten classmates. “Mmmmm . . . feta cheese and olive,” she thought, taking that first delectable bite. “What’s that stinky stuff you’re eating,” wailed one boy, wrinkling his nose ... Shame-filled to Shame-free
On 5/12 Michele Morin wrote: Hanging laundry this morning to riotous birdsong, I carefully secured the corner of each bath towel, and then smiled, thinking of Nana. “You go out there, and you hang that laundry so it looks right.” I can’t remember — did we roll our eyes back in the seventies? “But it will dry just fine ... A Gracious Plenty
On 4/13 Michele Morin wrote: Ruth A. Tucker is a story teller. I have vivid and fond memories from my experience of reading her Dynamic Women of the Bible when it was released in 2014. As she unfurled and then analyzed the story of each Biblical woman, tiny shards of her own story would poke through the narrative fabric: an abusive ... No Sanction for Domestic Abuse
On 3/18 Michele Morin wrote: In a decision that somehow manages to seem both arbitrary and precise, the Council of Nicaea met in 325 A.D. and determined that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the first day of spring. Easter and spring are also holding hands in Anne Vittur ... Gifts of Easter
On 2/15 Michele Morin wrote: There are times when our kids surprise us — or even surpass us — with their insight. This was certainly the case with my youngest son: “It’s too much,” he said. “I’ve got all this music to learn for honors band. I’m buying a sheep. I want to work with Cyprus (his 4-H heifer). I’m ... Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy
On 1/29 Michele Morin wrote: In matters of relationship, a teaspoonful of doing is worth more than a bushel- basket full of knowing. We’ve all read Dobson and Chapman and Eggerichs until we’ve become so accountable before God with all our knowledge that we are clearly without excuse. So, while it’s become a tired cliché, ... 10 Words to Consider Before Becoming a Husband
On 12/28 Michele Morin wrote: Boy #4: What’s for breakfast in the morning? Me: Pancakes. Why? Boy #4: I just like knowing what I have to look forward to. Good Night. I was reminded of that conversation and my smile in the darkness of a little boy’s bedroom as I read Good Night, Little Love by Laura Neutzling. Her comforting ... A Safe Place to Say "Good Night"
On 12/18 Michele Morin wrote: What if every little person could grow up knowing that she is lovely because God loves her? What if everything in the sky and under the sky were suddenly revealed as mirrors, reflecting God’s huge “I LOVE YOU.” What if the Bible could be understood NOT as a book of rules or as a dusty collection ... Every Story Whispers His Name
On 11/18 Michele Morin wrote: With a huge garden, an apple tree that produced two pies this fall, and a rainbow of full canning jars in my basement, it is quite possible that my life approximates Rachel Macy Stafford’s day dreams in the Home Depot outdoor garden section. Or could it be that my brand of rural chaos demonstrates ... Remarkable Things Spoken
On 10/31 Michele Morin wrote: It’s Time! Sure, the angels told the shepherds that Jesus had been born, but when John said, “We beheld His glory,” it would seem that there’s an implicit invitation to use our imaginations a bit, and Sally Lloyd-Jones has accepted that invitation! Song of the Stars pictures the occasion ... It's Time!
On 10/12 Michele Morin wrote: Just this morning I penned gift number 4,013 into my gratitude journal where, for four years, I have been recording everyday blessings: candle light before dawn; everyone home for dinner; first apple pie from our very own tree. Eileen Spinelli has created a rhyming picture book that will set readers ... Everyday Blessings
On 9/19 Michele Morin wrote: The only thing better than a good biography is SEVEN good biographies, and that’s what Eric Metaxas offers in 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness. Through touching down at seven distinct historical and geographical points, my mind was coaxed beyond its tendency to “see everything in the dark ... 7 Women. 7 Virtues
On 8/19 Michele Morin wrote: How has Gary Thomas sold half a million copies of a book about marriage that does not promise readers a happier marriage? No promise of six steps to more intimate pillow talk. No descriptions of three tips for more zip. The fact is that Sacred Marriage – The Revised Edition talks about the challenges ... Marriage: A Spiritual Discipline?
On 8/17 Michele Morin wrote: Twenty-five years of marriage have flown by. In many ways, my husband and I are not the same people who walked down the aisle in that big, beautiful church with pipe organ music and the aroma of gardenias in the air. Everything in our lives has changed — except one thing. We are still working at ... Enduring and Beautiful Marriage
On 8/12 Michele Morin wrote: The beginning. The middle. The end. Every journey, every process has three stages. Beginnings are exciting and full of promise. Endings are satisfying and fulfilling. The Miracle in the Middle by Charlotte Gambill addresses the murky middle, the time between two shores when people lose interest, ... Managing Our Middle Moments
On 6/29 Michele Morin wrote: It’s a delightful alchemy that takes geography and the events of historical context, and then blends in the like-mindedness and the variations of two distinct personalities. Common enough, this is the science of friendship that is traced and recorded by Randy Petersen in The Printer and the Preacher ... Ben and George: The Friendship that Invented America
On 6/17 Michele Morin wrote: In the age of Twitter and of typing on micro-keyboards with one’s thumbs, we are a concise people, and we see this in the title of Jennie Allen’s book, Anything, about a one-word prayer that will change everything. Reading her heart in its pages, my mind was carried to the historical prayer of Betty ... Another Generation of "Anything"
On 6/3 Michele Morin wrote: Seventy years ago, on April 9, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis for his role in the German resistance movement against the Hitler regime. At age 39, he left behind a fiancée, his parents, and several siblings, but even more significant are his legacy of courage and his sound theological ... Bonhoeffer Remembered
On 5/1 Michele Morin wrote: We live the questions, holding one another’s feet to the fire. We raise our kids and pray for each other on those “I’m a Rotten Mom” Days. They know us at our worst, and they love us anyway! They are our Soul Friends: What Every Woman Needs to Grow in Her Faith. Dr. Leslie Parrot writes ... Soul Friends: A Book Review
On 4/17 Michele Morin wrote: We are a gulping people — A swallowing whole, planning the next mouthful before the bolus lands kind of people We’re that way with our food, too. Savor by Shauna Niequist is a daily flavor of the Word — A slow down and think about it experience of considering one verse, one concept at a time. Shauna ... Pay Attention
On 4/10 Michele Morin wrote: When my plans go awry and the unexpected happens, all the cracks in my theology show up. I like to believe that if I do “A,” then “B” will happen, and I might just have some teensy control issues, so Michele Cushatt’s memoir, Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life held me ... Unexpected Life
On 3/13 Michele Morin wrote: Loved Back to Life by Sheila Walsh is not a story about the good life, of God miraculously keeping His children from all difficulty. Like David’s psalms, it serves as a record of the dragon’s mouth, the flood’s torrent, and the God who does not abandon. Carried by faith through a difficult childhood, ... Journey of the Soul
On 2/23 Michele Morin wrote: Going into a job interview, I used to worry about over-selling myself. At some point, I decided that I would rather lose out on a job opportunity than to suffer the indignity — six months down the road — of wondering if my boss was wishing she could find that stellar employee she had thought she ... Intimacy 101
On 2/6 Michele Morin wrote: Even if Ben Carson’s mother had foreknown her son’s future as a neurosurgeon, she could hardly have come up with a more fitting rhetorical question to challenge him throughout his childhood: “Do you have a brain?” Mrs. Carson never doubted the affirmative response to that question, and the ... T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
On 1/26 Michele Morin wrote: As soon as he started talking about guidance, J.D. had my ear. You see, I am THAT Christian — the one who becomes paralyzed whenever there’s a big decision on the table, and even though I know that God is not interested in mindless robots (and truly, I’m not interested in becoming one), I still ... Beside Us to Guide Us -- and More!
On 1/9 Michele Morin wrote: Whether you enter every room mouth-first or just struggle with an angry outburst from time to time; Whether you habitually turn the prayer chain into a gossip group or just lapse occasionally into insecurity-fed flattery; Wherever you fall on the sliding continuum of the blab-o-meter, you’ve undoubtedly ... Zip It!
On 12/27 Michele Morin wrote: In order for Hannah More to be truly Hannah More, she had to challenge nearly every aspect of her cultural context. Fierce Convictions is richly historical and rooted deeply in the period straddling the 18th and 19th centuries, because it is impossible to appreciate the impact of Hannah More’s life ... An Exuberant Life
On 12/1 Michele Morin wrote: “Like a sudden thaw in the middle of winter . . .”: this is Philip Yancey’s descriptive metaphor for grace on this fallen planet. “It stops us short, catches the breath, disarms.” Vanishing Grace was written out of Yancey’s concern that the church is failing to demonstrate the warm and ... Permanent Freeze