Tag Archives: Bible reading habit

Review of Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Talk100_1293  about living in anxious times! Finding this wonderful book by this trusted Christian author was a real treat for me the other day. Many years ago, when I was a new wife and mother to be, a lady at our Bible Baptist church stood up at our young mother’s class and give a book review of another book by Linda Dillow. (That one was called Creative Counterpart,and it was my first taste of the concept of the wife’s role of godly submission to her husband.) Since then, I have been blessed to know other godly ladies who have helped teach me my Biblical role as wife and mother, and I view Mrs. Dillow as one of the pioneers of the movement.

Linda Dillow is a mother, a grandmother, the wife of a theologian (Dr. Jody Dillow- Grace School of Theology) and missionary who spent time behind the Iron Curtain with her husband and family when Communism was still the mode of government in Poland and Romania. She and her family risked their lives to teach people who had so little by American standards. But in many ways they were richer than us, because they knew that all they needed was Jesus.

I am guessing Linda Dillow wrote this book because she knew of our tendency as women to worry. If you know me, one of my biggest challenges in life is overcoming my tendency to worry and become anxious about things. The one thing about worry is that once you give in to one thing it seems to give way to five more things to worry and fret about. It can debilitate your entire life. It has mine at times in the past. That is why I am so glad that Scripture tells us in Philippians 4 that we don’t have to worry about even one thing. But the only way we can do that is if we get to know our God and how trustworthy and reliable He is, and bring every worry and concern to Him constantly.

This book gives practical encouragement from her own life and how God got her through many dangerous and tremendous trials with her children and facing dangers as a missionary, tests with misunderstandings with others, staying underground from the Communist government while ministering in Eastern Europe, etc. As I read the book, I felt like she was a friend chatting with me from her heart to mine. The book includes practical suggestions for dealing with “what if” thoughts and “if only” thoughts. Those are just the kind of thoughts that get me caught in the worry game.

My copy was originally published in 1998 but updated in 2007. There are 12 chapters in the book and at the end is a study guide that could be used for a small group of women. One thing I really liked about each chapter: at the conclusion of each she gave a character sketch of different women she met while ministering through the years. Some of these women’s testimonies were amazing.

For example, Mrs. Dillow described a woman named Eva from Communist Poland. This Christian woman was used to living practically as a gypsy with nothing wandering from place to place for years. She even washed her baby daughter’s diapers by hand. One day, she came to visit the missionary at her apartment and refused to use her modern conveniences when she did so. Eva said that Western women have “so many things that they don’t need God.” (page 84, Calm My Anxious Heart)

I felt deeply convicted after reading that. How easy to forget Him when we have everything. But through the trials we go through, He draws us back to Himself. This book offers wise counsel from an older woman to a younger woman (as in the verses in Titus 2:3-5) on how to grow close to God when situations come that tempt our hearts and minds to become anxious.

I highly recommend this book for women of all ages.

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Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, Bible instruction, family relationships, grandmothers, missionaries, mothers, overcoming worry, Titus 2:3-5

A Review of Christian Heroes: Then and Now: George Muller by Janet and Geoff Benge

This book on George Muller is part of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge

This book on George Muller is part of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge

Reading the book: George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans was amazing. I don’t know how learning of this man escaped my notice until reaching my late thirties. Muller was an incredible man with incredible faith. I bought this book as part of my son’s home-school program. I was doing Sonlight Curriculum at the time. They have some wonderful books selected for each year and my kids were delighted by many of them. This book I read aloud to my son, and as we did so, I kept saying, “Wow!”

George Muller never asked anyone to meet his needs for the charity work he started. Instead, he told God and waited for the answer. He trusted God would provide at the perfect time. He is mainly known for the orphanages he started in Bristol, England in the 19th century. Many children were homeless and ragged. He had compassion on them and was moved to start an orphanage for them. This was only the beginning. By the time he died near 1900, over ten thousand orphans had been served by his ministry.

The thing I liked best about George was that he never complained to others of his lack. Amy Carmichael, another missionary during the time, was moved by his example and trusted God in this same way to be the One to provide for her Dohnavur orphanage in India.

The book is written for upper elementary age students, but I enjoyed it just as much as my son. Janet and Geoff Benge, the authors, have a whole series for kids on Christian heroes. Others include Gladys Aylward, Eric Liddell, Hudson Taylor and many more.

The pressure is on when it comes to being a school-aged kid these days. So many things in our world scream for us to deny our faith. Christian parents can encourage through reading to their children, whose faith is shaken by our culture and the world system on a daily basis. Kids need to know that Jesus Christ is faithful in every need of their life, and George Muller’s example of childlike faith demonstrates to them how it can be done. George had a huge Bible reading habit. He read the Word nearly 200 times in his life. Because he knew the Scriptures, he had no problem trusting God. Knowing the Scriptures also made him a happy man. It reminds me of one of my friends who reads like George did. She is the most carefree person I know, and has great faith not in her abilities, but in what God can do.

After reading this, I went on to purchase the Autobiography of George Muller, and his other book, Answers to Prayer. Seeing that God was faithful to Muller gave me the confidence to become bolder in my prayer habits, and also to be more serious in taking the time every day to read His Word. Reading this book started me on another quest as well: to learn about more heroes of the faith. I am continually in awe by learning of what our brethren during different eras were able to accomplish by grace and through faith.

Even if homeschooling parents are not doing the Sonlight Curriculum, I would definitely recommend including this book in your program. In the back of the book, there are listed other materials by the authors including Unit Study Curriculum Guides. It was an easy read with larger type. The upper elementary child could read on his own, but I recommend it as a read aloud so that the parents faith also can be encouraged. Also included in this book is a brief bibliography for those who want to find out more.

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Filed under book lovers, heroes of the faith, homeschooling, parenting