Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Story That Helped Shatter Racial Tensions (Book Review)

More Than Rivals is a book based on a true story by Ken Abraham.

My husband read it before I could. And you must know, my husband HATES to read. But he loves basketball, and this racially tense story is a good one. He couldn't put it down.

It's based on two basketball phenoms, Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon in the small town of Gallatin, TN in 1970, when racial tensions were high in the south and desegregation was forced upon the schools.

(As a white woman that has grown up in the south, I have seen and heard things that infuriate me. However, nothing like what occurred 40 years ago.  I can't imagine living in a time of such small mindedness and hate.)

More Than Rivals, is the story of Eddie and Bill who took a chance on friendship, bound by a love of basketball. Bill is the black boy that lives on the "black" side of town, while Eddie is the white kid who lives across the railroad tracks on the "white" side. They eventually are forced to go their separate ways, as Bill's mom moves them a few miles down the road. But in this small town where it was forbidden for blacks and whites to walk on the same side of the sidewalk together, much less play together, it might as well have been across the world.

They grow up on their respective sides of town and in their separate high schools, however it's not long before fate pushes them together for one last matchup that will not only change their lives, but those of their small town.

I enjoyed the book, but felt like it jumped around a lot between the characters, so there were times I had trouble following along. But overall a very impactful read.

About the book: More than Rivals, written by Ken Abraham.

An Inspiring True Story Set in the Midst of the Civil Rights Era

By 1970, racial tension was at a breaking point in the southern town of Gallatin, Tennessee. Desegregation had emotions running high. The town was a powder keg ready to erupt. But it was also on the verge of something incredible.

Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon were boys growing up on opposite sides of the tracks who shared a passion for basketball. They knew the barriers that divided them--some physical landmarks and some hidden in the heart--but those barriers melted away when the boys were on the court. After years of playing wherever they could find a hoop, Eddie and Bill entered the rigors of their respective high school teams. And at the end of the 1970 season, all-white Gallatin High and all-black Union High faced each other in a once-in-a-lifetime championship game. What happened that night would challenge Eddie and Bill--and transform their town.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wrapping Up The Calling All Men Series

Thank you for being here each week as we dove into this series. And thank you to each of the guest writers.

I struggled with how to wrap up this series. I almost left it with Valerie, but then decided, no, it needs a definite ending.

This is my attempt to put into words what I'm thinking and feeling. The heart behind the why of the Calling All Men series.

I've had friends over the years go through terrible divorces and lately it's even hit closer to home. I see men behaving badly even as adults and I wonder, why they do not see the potential in themselves to be so much more than the way they choose to live?

I see men all around me behaving like they did when they were young adults. Why aren't they growing up?

Can't they see they are called to be leaders in their home?

Now before you go thinking I'm bashing men, let me clarify, I know women can be disrespectful, critical, or overbearing. And not all blame falls on the men. But if you were to look around in the media, the news stories, listen to a friend's breaking heart while she tells you what really goes on behind the closed doors of her home...something is seriously amiss in our men.

We women, we got our issues too.

I'm not sure what the answer is. But I do know that it makes me more fervent and diligent in the raising on my own son in ensuring he grows up to be responsible and mature. Selfless in all he does, humble, and kind. This is my hope and daily prayer for him.

I think it's important for parents of boys to prepare them for family life. I feel like the "jobs" and expectations of a girl are laid out for her, she's taught to cook, clean, do laundry-but I wonder-how well do we prepare a boy for his future responsibilities as a husband and father?

How can we as a family unit do a better job of preparing our boys to become men?

Does he understand how stressful it can be and how important it is to love and lead well despite the pressures?

I know of too many men that turn to porn, gambling, alcohol. I also know too many men who do not have a good grip on healthy ways to deal with life. Instead they internalize their anger and stresses and it comes out in unhealthy ways in the home.

There is a song by Todd Smith, and it's called, Calling All Fathers, and I think it sums up well my agenda with this series:

Where are the leaders

Where are the teachers

Where are the keepers 

of every home

There's an emergency

Greater than any other

Where are the ones

Who fight for their own

(Email subscribers can watch the video here.)

It's a call to all fathers to step and take the lead in their home. Calling all men, calling all fathers, we need you.

This concludes the Calling All Men series, I hope you enjoyed it and learned from these amazing ladies as much as I have.

Did you miss a post? Don't worry I've listed them for you right here:
Post 1- Intro 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Embracing The Day The Lord Has Made

I’m in a season of change. And change is not something I do well. I’m more comfortable with sameness, in the sense that I like routine, I like to know what to expect.

Years ago, when my son began Kindergarten, I felt devastated inside. I knew once he started school the years were going to fly right on by, just like they had with my oldest daughter who was four years older than him.

I cried a little everyday leading up to his big day. And when the time came to get up and prepare my son for his first day of school, in the early morning hour of my quiet time, God laid one simple verse 
on my heart. “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

I stood at my front door and watched both kids hop onto the school bus with my eyes misted with tears and repeated the words, “This is the day the Lord has made…” over and over.

As a family we have moved eight times. (You would think I was accustomed to change with our life!) 

However, each move pushed me out of my comfort zone and I was forced to make a new home among strangers. My faith grew and stretched with each new transition. God went before me and more than provided and answered prayers. He brought new friends for the kids and myself. New church homes, Bible study groups. 

My social circle grew along with my faith and assuredness of His goodness. 

I'm over at (click here ==>) Kristin Hill Taylor's this week for her weekly Three Word Wed link up. Join me over there and meet some new friends?


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