Wherein I Narrate How I Watched a Movie and Cried

Setting: A handful of young men, my daughter and I, some pizza, wine and a good conversation.

Movies were being discussed and let me tell you that these guys know what a good story is, they love good stories, and especially those that carry the message of Redemption. They said I should watch Blood Diamond. So we did. It was not an easy movie to watch because it is definitely “gritty, gruesome, brutal, and cold.” But I kept on watching while my son would say, “Mom, you just have to wait.” And one of the other young men, a good friend,  insisted, “The scene, the powerful scene that encompasses the gospel message is coming.”

And it did come.

It was powerful.


The Father. The Son.

Hatred. Love.


We all cried.

Now it is my turn to recommend this movie to you. Again, it is not an easy to movie to watch. Endure the hell of the first part (it is essential to understand the redemptive story) and have some Kleenex ready for the second half. It is powerful.

You can read a more extensive review of Blood Diamond at The Film Dissectors (know that you’ll find some spoilers though).

Grateful for the Father’s love.



Lady Jane Grey, An Example of Faith -and a Giveaway-

Have you gone through hard providences? Were you raised by stiff parents who abused you emotionally and maybe even physically? Has you heart become hardened and bitter?

Today at Women of the Reformation, I share about Lady Jane Grey, a woman who suffered hard providences, and was raised by stiff parents who even abused her. However, she was grounded in the Word of God in such a way that she “stood firmly, facing death, not with a bitter heart against her earthly father, or against the Queen, but with her eyes fixed on Eternity, on Jesus Christ. Her heart had not been set on earthly treasures but on the things that are not from this world; and her hope did not rest in her actions, but on the saving work of Jesus Christ.”

Please, come over at Heavenly Springs with me, and be encouraged to “see how this woman understood that God is Sovereign over all circumstances, and how this understanding helped her to learn contentment while seeing God’s hand over her circumstances no matter how difficult they might be.”

I will be giving away a wonderful book, Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lyn Severance,   if you want your name “thrown in the hat”, please leave a comment (over at the original post at Heavenly Springs) to let me know that you are interested. International entries ok.  Winners will be announced next week at the conclusion of our series.

Have a most blessed Saturday, my friends,


Let Your Amen be Heartfelt

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This week I  studyed the little word Amen; and I came across four great articles that you might want to print and study before the Lord’s Day. I promise you, after considering this you will never say this word lightly again.

Here is a taste of each one of these articles:

“The saying of the corporate amen is a great covenant privilege, and has the force of a binding oath. We never want to take it lightly, or invoke it to no purpose, or, worst of all, to mumble it.” Douglas Wilson

Read Douglas Wilson’s article here.

“I think he would say that God is calling us out of our cocoons of emotional isolation and invisible, inaudible, unshared responsiveness. I think he would say, it’s God’s will that we echo the excellence of God in preaching and prayer – that we express our affirmation of the truth of God in the Word, and that we resonate verbally with Godward longings and yearnings in prayer.” John Piper

Read Piper’s article here.

“It doesn’t mean primarily, “YES, I have said all this prayer.” It means primarily, “YES, God has made all these promises.” AMEN means, YES, Lord, you can do it. It means, YES, Lord, you are powerful. YES, Lord, you are wise. YES, Lord, you are merciful. AMEN is like an exclamation point of faith in a prayer for help. Or an exclamation point of strong affirmation after a statement of God’s greatness.

As you come to the end of every prayer there are two AMEN’s, two YES’s. When you say, “In Jesus’ name,” that is God’s AMEN. All his promises are YES and AMEN in Jesus: Jesus Christ is God’s YES and AMEN at the end of your prayer. Then when you say, “AMEN,” this is your YES and AMEN back to God for his. AMEN is our YES to God for his YES to us in Jesus Christ.” John Piper

Read this article here.

“Worship in biblical terms is a corporate matter. The corporate body is made up of individuals, and when an individual sounds the “amen,” the individual is connecting to the corporate expression of worship and praise. However, we are told in the Scriptures that the truths of God are “yea” and “amen” (2 Cor. 1:20), which simply means that the Word of God is valid, it is certain, and it is binding. Therefore, the expression “amen” is not simply an acknowledgment of personal agreement with what has been stated; it is an expression of willingness to submit to the implications of that word, to indeed be bound by it, as if the Word of God would put ropes around us not to strangle or retard us but to hold us firmly in place.” R.C. Sproul

Read Sproul’s article here.

By His Grace, under His sun,


Friday: A Birthday Girl, an Invitation and Some Laughs.

Today 8 years ago, our little one came into our family an God blessed us with her existence. So today we will celebrate it, and for dinner we will be having, either green enchiladas at home or Chinese food at our favorite place. She is still undecided. But she knows she wants pumpkin pie. And we are very happy about that.

Are you wondering about her having a birthday party? Yes, of course; she will have one this weekend. Wait to see pictures on Monday!

Now an invitation. No, it is not to her birthday party but to another wonderful celebration.  (You know how fun it would be to have you over, right?)

October 31 we celebrate Reformation Day, and my dear friend Christina (whose birthday is also today!) will be hosting, starting that day, a wonderful series entitled Women of the Reformation.

“In this series, you will be introduced to twelve women of the Reformation by Reformed women passionate about, what Martin Luther called, “the true treasure of the church” — the Gospel.”

Please, join us. It will be a joy to learn along with you from these 12 wonderful, godly women.

And I also said I would like add some laughs to your weekend; well here you have it:

And this one is for my friend Elle, who has been thinking about chocolate lately. And of course, I now feel that I must recommend you all to read my post on How to Eat a Good Chocolate Bar in case you have not done so.

Have a most blessed weekend!


Good Books for Girls and Boys (8-11) -And a Giveaway-

Earlier this week I posted J.R. Miller’s exhortation about how we must be careful on which books we choose to read; and I am pretty sure that this is something we need to teach to our children pretty soon in life. We want them to be readers but wise readers. Readers that grow not only as independent readers but readers that love to read good books, books that challenge them to grow in virtue and character, and having this in mind let us look at these books.

My friend Hollie asked me which books I would recommend for her 9yo girl; so I thought I would share my answer with you all including books for both, boys and girls. But to make this list even richer, I asked some of my friends (most of them Classical educators) to list some their favorite ones, and they did add some good books to the list. Look at it, see what you think and why not, suggest few more in the comments.

The Long List:

Black Ships Before Troy (The Story of the Iliad) is a book that I really enjoyed reading with my girl. We found many good opportunities to talk about love, marriage, and faithfulness in the light of God’s Word. (VP Comprehension Guide)

and also the Iliad retold for children by the same author, In Search of a Homeland.

If you would like to read and enjoy a good book of Shakespeare stories for children, I would really recommend you the series by Leon Garfield (book I and book II). I love the style, and the illustrations. Just wonderful!

Charlotte’s Web (Isabel’s suggestion)

Chronicles of Narnia

The Hobbit (Literature Guide here) Santiago and Isabel read this book together, and it was so much fun to see them enjoying themselves.

From Dark to Dawn. A Tale of Martin Luther and the Reformation

Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History


These Books from Ligonier

This book is in our wish list; maybe to celebrate Reformation day…

Ligonier Shop

Or this one as a fun introduction to Church History:

See more here

This is a favorite one here:

Ligonier Shop

How important it is to introduce our children to the great biographies of men in the Church History, and Simonetta Carr has done an excellent job writing an amazing series for our children.

Monergism carries all her books.

Another favorite, a rare jewel is Divine and Moral Songs for Children by Isaac Watts, an excellent book for memorization projects, or just to read aloud and reflect on the words. (I wrote more about it here and here)

Elizabeth @ Finding the Motherlode recommends these:

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques,
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster,
The Trumpeter Swan by E.B. White,
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry

Elizabeth H. says “I love the historical fiction titles that Christian Focus Publications puts out.”

Brenda likes the American Girl series, and I have to say that Annie enjoyed reading those on her leisure time when she was little.

Amy recommends: The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson, and anything on Ambleside Online’s reading list!

Katy says, “In addition to the classics like RL Stevenson, Lewis, and Tolkien, we have enjoyed Donita K Paul, most everything by Edith Nesbit, and even the new Theodore Boone by Grisham.”

Norma likes:

Grandpa’s Box,(by Starr Meade, and I would like to mention here that she is one of my favorite contemporary authors for children, who writes from a solid Reformed Theology background. See more books of her here)
The Building on the Rock series (5 books)
The Squire and the Scroll
And some classics like, Where the Red Fern Grows.

Sue, whose children are now in a Liberal Arts college, says,  “My kids liked the Redwall series…over and over again.”

And Amy Lee said she liked, when she was that age, Grandma’s Attic books by Arleta Richardson and Childhood of Famous Americans books (available used or at many public libraries).

Lastly, I must say that I am decided to read more fiction books to my little one, like the ones N.D. Wilson has written. My oldest have read them and love them, so I am thinking that even though fantasy is not my favorite genre, I really want to feed Isabel’s soul with stories. (plus, I enjoyed reading Wilson’s book Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, his style is one that captures your attention fully.)

Looking through all these wonderful books, and because in October we celebrate The Reformation and my little girl’s birthday,  I thought I would host a giveaway. This time however, is for your little ones, which means the “rules” will be different.

Your child (8- 11 yo) must choose which book he or she would like to win (yes, call him and show him the options; or call your grandchildren on the phone -or Skype- and ask them which one will they want to read); then leave a comment with your child’s favorite option. If you have more than one child entering the drawing, please leave a separate comment for each one of them.

The options are:

1. The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by R.C. Sproul

2. Boys and Girls Playing by J.C. Ryle


3.  Trial and Triumph by Richard M. Hannula

4. The Prince’s Poison Cup by R.C. Sproul

The winner will be announced next Friday, October 21.

Please, feel free to share the goodness with your friends!

May your weekend be full of good books and family time,


>Two Giveaways. Two Books. Two facebook Pages.


I wish I would be here today

Isn’t this an amazing shot? I wish I could be there even now! I love Katie Lloyd ‘s Photography, she is very talented and I just love all the prints on her shop. You have seen her art featured here several times (and will still see it in the future), and I wish you to know that I have her permission to do so. Thanks Katie!

Our Friday looks pretty ordinary, with the exception that we are not eating home, but are planning to eat in a Mexican taco place that my children and their friends (our two hosts from the USA) really enjoy. And for those of you who doesn’t know, we live in Mexico, so when I say a Mexican restaurant please, forget about the stereotype you have in mind. I am talking about great food here.

I still have to finish ordering the books for the new school year, and cleaning our school room. Let’s see how much I can do today.  I really want to do this hanging book display for our little girl’s books; I just wished my mom were not in Canada, so she could help me! (Yes, I know it is easy, at least it looks easy, but I must admit that the needle, the sawing machine and things like that are not my friends. I love projets that involve fabric and glue. Sorry to disappoint you.)

Tutorial here

Well, now to the exciting part of this post: We (Diane @Theology for Girls and I) are hosting a fun giveaway on The Doctrines in the Kitchen Facebook page in which I am giving away one of my favorite books:

Read description at Monergism Books

and on the new Theology for Girls Facebook Page, Diane is giving away another excellent commentary, that has blessed my soul (actually the one I have, was a gift from her!). Plus, you will be excited to know that the book will be signed by Robert Bucknell (who happens to be Diane’s husband), the artist of the Spurgeon portrait on the cover.

Read more of the book here

OK, now the crazy part. How to enter? You must *Like* BOTH pages on Facebook and leave a comment under the one giveaway that interests you, saying that you would like to enter this giveaway. You can be interested in both, so feel free to leave a comment on both!

All this is fun, but I know that some of my faithful readers, friends, do not have a Facebook account, and I don’t feel it is fair to leave you out; so IF YOU DON’T HAVE A FB ACCOUNT, you can still enter the giveaway of The Commentary on Esther and Ruth. Just leave a comment on this post saying that you will like to enter, and I will gladly throw your name in the hat.

Winners will be announced next Friday, July 15.

Well, believe it or not I have not had coffee this morning so I will treat myself with some.

Under His sun and by His grace,