Little Lamb

This poem was written by Willian Blake(1757-1827), English poet and painter.  It is part of a larger collection which was his most famous work, Songs of Innocence and Experience.  Consider this one of my English major moments!  The Lamb, of course, is Jesus.


                      Little Lamb who made thee

Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

For more on William Blake go to this post:

More Rest In Nature + English Major Moment!



The Quiet Crazy Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord–Book Review

This cute, sturdy board book would make a perfect addition to any toddler’s Easter basket (my copy will certainly go into granddaughter, Hailey’s).  Illustrated by Kelly Breemer, it includes colorful depictions of a host of familiar animals — rabbits, birds, wolves, fish, deer and yes, there are sheep– along with their appropriate sounds.  Humans are included, as well, as they rejoice by yelling and  shouting hurrah at the exciting news that Jesus has risen.  Words that denote sound or movement are highlighted in a variety of bright colors.

It includes a simple explanation of the resurrection which is suitable for young children– Jesus rose from the tomb to take our sins away;  He is still alive today and He hears us and loves us.

VERDICT:  I give this book 5 stars.  It would be great fun to read out loud with children, grandchildren, or a Sunday School class.                                                                                                                                    If you would like to purchase it, follow this link:

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

For review of another book by Jill Roman Lord, check out this post:

The Silent Noisy Night by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

the thank-you project by Nancy Davis Kho–Book Review

Upon turning 50, the author, Nancy Davis Kho, decides to write 50 letters of gratitude during the year.  Why?  Well, for one thing practicing thankfulness is good for you.  Here are some of the benefits studies have shown:

  • Gratitude “rewires” the brain to reward us for the positive perceptions we have of those around us;  this begets more gratitude and a feeling of “elevation” that makes us want to become morally better ourselves!
  • Negative emotions like fear or anger trigger increased heart rate, accelerated breathing and muscle tension == positive emotions like gratitude help us relax, feel safe and connected with others
  • There are many physical health benefits — better sleep, more energy, improved control of asthma

She also felt that the age of 50 (half-way or more through life), was a good time to look back and reflect on those who helped to mold you into the person you have become.

Nancy boils her letter-writing project down to three steps:  see, say, savorSee the people, places and things that have made your life meaningful.  Say something to acknowledge that impact.  Keep copies of all the letters to write so that you can reread them and savor the generosity that supports and surrounds you.

She suggests making a list of those you want to write to, and of course that list will include family, friends, and probably mentors– people you love and admire.  However, she has a thought-provoking idea — you may want to include people who have taught you hard lessons — the difficult relative, the ex-boyfriend, the unreasonable boss.  Even those people have taught you something you needed to know.  Even those people may call up some good memories, or have some good qualities to commemorate.  You may even choose to write a letter to certain places, passions or hobbies that have influenced you over the years!

Another point — you do not need to mail the letters, or at least all the letters.  There may be people you wish to thank who have died, or that you cannot locate.  It may seem inappropriate to contact some.  The personal benefits of acknowledging your gratitude will still accrue.

The book guides the reader through writing the letters.  For example, it is suggested that you begin with a brief explanation of why you are writing, so the person doesn’t feel “weirded out” or stalked by the letter.  Write to older people first — we never know how much time is left to express our thanks to them.  Also, keep the letters about the same length (Nancy chose one page) so that you don’t go overboard with a thousand “do you remember the time” examples.  When writing to several people in the same family –for example your siblings, or your children, you may want to send them all at the same time to avoid the appearance of favoritism.  Some of Nancy’s letters are included as well.

I don’t know if this qualifies as a Christian book, but the author is a Christian (Episcopalian) as one of the letters she writes is to her minister.  Gratitude is certainly a Christian quality, and one we should all cultivate.  How about writing a thank you letter to Jesus?  Anyway, I liked the idea and may try it. What about you, dear reader?  If you decide to embark on a thank-you project, let the Lutheran Ladies know how it goes.

For more on gratitude see these posts:

Practicing Gratitude

Giving Thanks for God’s Mercy

Are You Giving Thanks for the Right Things?

Looking for Lost Lambs

When my children were teenagers, they were highly annoyed that I always wanted to know where they were, who they were with and what they were doing.  I remember once our daughter, Kate, stayed after school for a club meeting without telling us.  When she didn’t come home on the bus, I called the school;  when there was no answer at the office, my husband drove there.  Her name was announced over the intercom and she came to the office, embarrassed and irate.  “Where did you think I would be?”  she asked.  “Well” we told her, “possibly abducted by a serial killer?”  We explained that although in that moment she found our concern irritating, it also assured her that if she had car trouble, got lost or truly  was abducted, her parents would not waste any time — we would be out looking for her and trying to make sure she was safe. Now, having become a mother herself, she understands.

Part of the Good News is that we all have a parent like that.  Jesus is our good shepherd and here’s what He tells us in one of the Parables:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  Luke 15:4-7

Maybe you feel you’ve strayed too far;  maybe you’re so lost you’re afraid you can’t find your way home;  maybe you think nobody cares.  That’s not true.  No matter where you are, now matter what you’ve done, the Good Shepherd cares and He’s out looking for you.  He loves you and so do I!


Overcomer–Movie Review

My husband and I watched this film together last night.  As the credits rolled, I turned to him and said, “What do you think?” His response was “a cross between a Hallmark movie and an after-school special.”

I have to agree.  The plot was formulaic and predictable.  The happy ending (although it does involve a death) tied everything up neatly.  People are reconciled, the underdog triumphs, conflicts are resolved, wrongs are made right.  This seldom happens in real life.  There is also some questionable theology for Lutherans, who do not believe a person can “decide” to follow Jesus.  God chooses us, we do not choose Him.

That being said, the film was uplifting and will raise your spirits.  Sometimes we all just need to be inspired and entertained.  It’s a movie you won’t be embarrassed to watch with your children or your Sunday School class.  No questionable language or nudity — hooray!  It raises plenty of issues to discuss with young people — things like forgiveness, prayer and Bible study.

The basis for the film is this Bible verse:

1 John 5:5 New International Version (NIV)

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Overall Verdict?  I give it three stars

For a related post see:

What’s So Wonderful About Webster? by Stephen and Alex Kendrick–Book Review

Go and Tell

Go Tell It On the Mountain is an African-American spiritual dating back to at least 1865.  It has been performed by many choirs and gospel singers over the years, and is usually considered a Christmas song because it centers around the birth of Jesus, and the first people to hear that good news — the shepherds.  It’s also been a favorite of my granddaughter, Katelyn, since she was a little girl.

For more about the shepherds in the Christmas story, go to these posts:

Why the Shepherds? Part 1

Why the Shepherds? Part 2


How Did He Know?

“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats ”

Charles Spurgeon

The Gospel According to Satan by Jared C. Wilson–Book Review

In this short book, Jared C. Wilson, assistant professor of pastoral ministry at Spurgeon College,  exposes eight lies about God that are often expressed.  They sound normal;  they sound reasonable;  they appeal to us;  the problem is, none of them are Biblical. They are:

  • God just wants you to be happy
  • You only live once
  • You need to live your truth
  • Your feelings are reality
  • Your life is what you make it
  • You need to let go and let God
  • The cross is not about wrath
  • God helps those who help themselves

Chances are you’ve heard these things without giving them much thought.  Wilson explains the heresy which underpins each statement, and by the end of the book you’ll have received a brief overview of Christian (reformation) doctrine.

Wilson affirms the need for all Christians to be well versed in the Bible and in correct doctrine so that he or she is able to “combat hellish lies with heavenly truth.”  Just as Jesus was able to refute the temptations of the devil in the wilderness, we will be able to discern false teaching and deny it with the simple phrase, “It is written.”

The book ends with a section that includes charts detailing our vulnerabilities and the doctrines that combat them, as well as a listing of each lie, the essential sin it appeals to and Bible verses from the book of Romans that point to the true gospel promises.

Verdict:  Well worth reading, especially if you would like adequate, scriptural responses to give when confronted with some common worldly and incorrect viewpoints.  I give it five stars.



Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Being a Good Shepherd

“The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren. Not in the former but in the latter is the lack. The Church will place its confidence only in the simple servant of the Word of Jesus Christ because it knows that then it will be guided, not according to human wisdom and human conceit, but by the Word of the Good Shepherd.


The question of trust, which is so closely related to that of authority, is determined by the faithfulness with which a man serves Jesus Christ, never by the extraordinary talents he possesses. Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, whom himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For more quotes by Dietrich Bonhoeffer see these posts:

Loyal to the End — A Quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Sin

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Waiting

The Good Shepherd

Years ago my husband gave a Via de Cristo retreat talk entitled Study.  He spoke about the many ways we study without even realizing it, and one of those ways is through art.  He said that when he was a boy there was a huge painting of Christ, the King on the church wall behind the altar.  He gazed at that picture week after week during worship and it’s now deeply engrained in his mind.  It has influenced the way he sees and thinks about Jesus.

I realized that he was not the only one to have that experience.  My childhood church had the same sort of design, but the picture I saw every week was Jesus, the Good Shepherd.  In it, Jesus carries a lamb, and there are other sheep around Him.  I have come to believe this is why, for me, the image of the Good Shepherd has deeply colored my experience and understanding of Christ.  When I imagine myself meeting Jesus, this is the image that comes to my mind.

Christ the King depicts Jesus in His glory, surrounded by clouds, a crown on His head, with upraised arms. This is Jesus as God.  As the Good Shepherd, Christ appears to be very gentle and approachable. This is Jesus the man.  One emphasizes power and holiness, the other love and compassion.  Both are equally valid and parts of the same person, but each can influence our emotions and understanding of Jesus.

So, I’m interested.  Readers and authors, what is your dominant image of our Lord?  Is there a picture in your mind?  Where does it come from?