Praise and Criticize the Books!
||Light From Heaven
Author: Christmas Carol Kauffman
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a father who did not love you? Who took every opportunity to mock
and ridicule you? To scorn and scoff your most precious thoughts and achievements, crushing every joy and hope? Imagine trying always to please him, always
striving to meet his demands upon you, struggling to do for him what he knows you cannot.
Where, in this situation, would you find your consolation? Light From Heaven is the well written, true story of
Joseph Armstrong, a remarkable young man in just such circumstances. As Joseph in the Bible, He found his comfort in knowing that the Lord would never leave him, forsake him or mistreat him. He also had a mother who prayed.
Mrs. Kauffman follows the life of Joseph and his family from the time of his birth, through his years of childhood and
youth, on into his adulthood. Time after time his faith is tried and tested, serving only to make him stronger and more resolved in his relationship with Christ.
Simply written, Light From Heaven is a very emotional and heartwarming story, perfect for personal or family reading. Other excellent titles by Christmas Carol Kauffman include Lucy Winchester, Unspoken Love and For One Moment.
-Crystal Rae Nelson - Fairbault, MN
by Christmas Carol Kauffman.
||For One Moment
This is a really good book. Christmas Carol Kauffman is the author of many wholesome Christian books. For One Moment is the story of Herbe Englehardt. It begins when Herbe is a young boy. His father
has been away in the war, and Herbe doesn’t remember much. Then the fateful letter comes, when the war is over, that changes his whole, carefree life. Go with him as he searches for some missing thing in his life that neither a school for learning the priesthood, nor joining Hitler’s party can satisfy. His bitter rebellion is comes to terms with in that one minute-long eternity against the wall.
This book can be obtained from: Christian Light Publications P.O. Box 1212 Harrisonburg, VA 22801
-Amanda Davis - Grand Prairie, TX
by Joyce Good
||Year of Doubt
I enjoyed reading the book, Year of Doubt, by Joyce Good. It is 275 pages long and is about $9.00. It is about a 14 year
old girl who had a lot of problems before she became a Christian. Even after becoming a Christian, she still had problems to deal with. She learned that she had God as her Refuge and Guide to help her along the rough way. I would recommend it greatly. The publisher’s name and address is: Rod and Staff publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 3, Hwy. 172 Crocket, Kentucky 41413
-Anna Howard - Woodbury, TN
Now on the book that inspired the title
for this magazine!.....
By: Elizabeth Prentiss Forward by Elizabeth Elliot
Stepping Heavenward is the journal of a girl named Katherine Mortimer. She struggles with very ordinary things like
you and me. Katy meets a young man who she loves & wants to marry but her mother is very much against their plans. Then Katy gets sick and she finds out just how much her fiancee’ really loved her! Then, there is pain and heartache over the broken engagement; sorrow that she had not listened to her mother.
But Katy’s life goes on through her marriage to a Godly man & motherhood and many tragedies. Her life is a constant struggle to “step heavenward”, and poor Katherine, like so many of us, takes 1 step forward - 2 steps backward. - Excellent!
This old book (newly reprinted) is available from: Keepers of the Faith P.O. Box 100 Ironwood, MI 49938-0100
-Hayley Weikert - Waterloo, IA
Sisters, Stepping Heavenward is an excellent book! It’s so honest and real to life that you’ll find it hard to believe that it’s not a real journal! We would deeply recommend every one of you
to read it if your parents permit.
There are a few little things in the book that we would disagree with, however, one of which is that our idea of courtship
and engagement would include much more parental involvement.
We are pleased to say, however, that courtship is not the focus of the book. Rather, learning to deny oneself is it’s
focus, and that is why we recommend it so highly.
Anyway, Stepping Heavenward is thoroughly edifying and encouraging, to say the least... Just so you can get a little
taste to see if you would like it, we have decided to print “Kate’s” first journal entry here in this section, as the book is not copyrighted. Also, we will be printing a short book report which is part of the forward by Elizabeth Elliot....
Summer and Mrs. Chapin
Forward by Elizabeth Elliot (Feb. 1992)
This charming journal of a nineteenth century girl takes us from her sixteenth birthday (“How dreadfully old I am getting!”) to her last entries when she was ill and in her forties, aware that she
had very little time left. It is a story of the shaping of a soul - of her learning day by day, in the seemingly insignificant little events of an ordinary life, that deep happiness is found, nor in seeking fulfillment for oneself, but in a glad and free self-offering for the sake of others.
We follow her maturing to womanhood, we learn of her narrow escape from commitment to the wrong man, and of her engagement and marriage to the right one. But there was not as much “honey” on the
honeymoon as her dreams had predicted. She had had no practice in giving up her own preferences in a day-to-day relationship with a man. She says to herself, at one point in her journal, “I would like to know if there is any reason on earth why a woman should learn self-forgetfulness which does not also apply to a man?”
When little Ernest is born she finds he has a passionate temper and a good deal of self-will, along with fine qualities.
“I wish he had a better mother. I am so impatient with him when he is wayward
and perverse!... Next to being a perfect wife I want to be a perfect mother.
How mortifying, how dreadful in all things to come short of one’s standards!”
Having in-laws living with the family is another opportunity to “step heavenward,” receiving grace to help as grace is continually needed.
This book is a treasure of godly and womanly wisdom, told with disarming candor and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s
desire to know God. We need such intimate accounts, need them desperately when the word commitment is so little understood and so seldom practiced. We need to see that love for the Lord really does make a difference, not merely on Sunday, but from Monday through Saturday. We need to be able to enter this woman’s life, her home, her kitchen, and see, as she so generously and honestly lets us do, just what the crucial difference is.
I have given a copy of Stepping Heavenward to my daughter and to a number of other young mothers. I do not hesitate
to recommend it to men, who need to try to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.
-Elizabeth Elliot - Magnolia, Mass.
January 15, 1831
How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen! Well, I don’t see as I can help it. There it is in the big Bible in father’s own writing: Katherine, born January 15, 1815
I meant to get up early this morning, but it
looked dismally cold out of doors, and felt delightfully warm in bed. So
I covered myself up, and made ever so many good resolutions.
I determined, in the first place, to begin this journal. To be sure, I have begun half a dozen, and gotten tired of them
after a while. Not tired of writing them, but disgusted with what I had to say about myself. But this time I mean to go on, in spite of everything. It will do me good to read it over, and see what a creature I am.
Then I resolved to do more to please Mother than I have done. And I determined to make one more effort to conquer my hasty temper. I thought, too, I would be self-denying this winter, like the people
one reads about in books. I fancied how surprised and pleased everybody would be to see me so improved!
Time passed quickly amid these agreeable thoughts, and I was quite startled to hear the bell ring for prayers. I jumped up in a great flurry and dressed as quickly as I could. Everything conspired together to plague me. I could not find a clean collar, or a handkerchief. It is always just so. Susan is forever poking my things into out-of-the-way places!
When at last I went down, they were all at breakfast.
“I hoped you would celebrate your birthday, dear, by coming down in good season,” said Mother.
I do hate to be found fault with, so I flared up in an instant.
“If people hide my things so that I can’t find them, of course I have to be late,” I said. And I rather think I said it
in a very cross way, for Mother sighed a little. I wish Mother wouldn’t sigh. I would rather be called names out and out.
The moment breakfast was over I had to hurry off to school. Just as I was going out Mother said, “Have you your overshoes, dear?
“Oh, Mother, don’t hinder me! I shall be late, I said. “and I don’t need overshoes.”
“It snowed all night, and I think you do need them,” Mother said.
“I don’t know where they are. I hate overshoes. Do let me go, Mother,” I cried.
“I do wish I could ever have my own way.”
“You shall have it now, my child,” Mother said, and went away.
Now what was the use of her calling me “my child” in such a tone, I would like to know.
I hurried off, and just as I got to the door of the schoolroom it flashed into my mind that I had not said my prayers!
A nice way to begin on one’s birthday, to be sure! Well, I had no time. And perhaps my good resolutions pleased God almost as much as one of my rambling stupid prayers could. For I must admit I can’t make good prayers. I can’t think of anything to say. I often wonder what Mother finds to say when she is shut up by the hour in her prayer closet.
I had a pretty good time at school. My teachers praised me, and Amelia seemed so fond of me! She brought me a birthday present of a purse that she had knit for me herself, and a net for my hair....
It will save a good deal of time my having this one. Instead of combing and combing and combing my old hair to get it glossy enough to suit Mother, I can just give it one twist and one squeeze and the whole thing will be settled for the day.
Amelia wrote me a dear little note, with her presents. I really do believe she loves me dearly. It is so nice to have
people love you!
When I got home Mother called me into her room. She looked sad if she had been crying. She said I gave her a great deal
of pain by my self-will and ill temper and conceit.
“Conceit!” I screamed out. “Oh Mother, if you only knew how horrid I think I am!”
Mother smiled a little. Then she went on with her list till she made me out to be the worst creature in the world. I
burst out crying, and was running off to my room, but she made me come back and hear the rest. She said my character would be essentially formed by the time I reached my twentieth year, and left it to me to say if I wished to be as a woman what I was now as a girl. I felt sulky, and would not answer. I was shocked to think I had only four years in which to improve, but after all a good deal could be done in that time. Of course I don’t want to be always exactly what I am now.
Mother went on to say that I had in me the elements of a fine character if I would only conquer some of my faults. “You are frank and truthful,” she said, “and in some things conscientious. I hope you are really a child of God, and are trying to please Him. And it is my daily prayer that you may become a lovely, loving, useful woman.”
I made no answer. I wanted to say something, but my tongue wouldn’t move. I was angry with Mother, and angry with myself.
At last everything came out all in a rush, mixed up with such floods of tears that I thought Mother’s heart would melt, and that she would take back what she had said.
“Amelia’s mother never talks to her this way!” I said. “She praises her, and tells her what a comfort she is to her. But
just as I am trying as hard as I can to be good, and making resolutions, and all that, you scold me and discourage me!”
Mother’s voice was very soft and gentle as she asked, “Do you call this ‘scolding,’ my child?”.
“And I don’t like to be called conceited,” I went on. “I know I am perfectly horrid, and I am just as unhappy as I can
“I am very sorry for you, dear,” Mother replied. “But you must bear with me. Other people will see your faults, but only
your mother will have the courage to speak of them. Now go to your own room, and wipe away the traces of your tears that the rest of the family may not know that you have been crying on your birthday.” She kissed me but I did not kiss her. I really believe Satan himself hindered me.
I ran across the hall to my room, slammed the door, and locked myself in. I was going to throw myself on the bed and
cry till I was sick. Then I would look pale and tired, and they would all pity me. I do like so to be pitied! But on the table, by the window, I saw a beautiful new desk in place of the old clumsy thing I had been spattering and spoiling so many years. A little note, full of love, said it was from Mother, and begged me to read and reflect every day of my life upon a few verses of a tastefully bound copy of the Bible which accompanied it. “A few verses,” she said, “carefully read and pondered, instead of a chapter
or two read for mere form’s sake.” I looked at my desk, which contained exactly what I wanted, plenty of paper, seals, wax and pens. I always use wax. Wafers are disgusting. Then I opened the Bible at random, and chanced upon these words: “Watch, therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42). There was nothing very cheering in that. I felt a real repugnance to be always on the watch, thinking I might die at any moment. I am sure I am not fit to die. Besides I want to have a good time, with nothing to worry me. I hope I shall live ever so long. Perhaps in the course of forty or fifty years I may get tired of this world and want to leave it. And I hope by that time I shall be a great deal better than I am now, and fit to go to heaven.
I wrote a note to Mother on my new desk, and thanked her for it. I told her she was the best mother in the world, and
that I was the worst daughter. When it was done I did not like it, and so I wrote another. Then I went down to dinner and felt better. We had such a nice dinner! Everything I liked best was on the table. Mother had not forgotten one of all the dainties I like. Amelia was there too. Mother had invited her to give me a little surprise. It is bedtime now, and I must say my prayers and go to bed. I have gotten all chilled through, writing her in the cold. I believe I will say my prayers in bed, just for this once. I do not feel sleepy, but I am sure I ought not to sit up another