August Round-Up


As we draw close to the end of another month, I’m joining Heather Gerwing and friends once again to Share Four Somethings, as well as linking up with some other blogs listed at the bottom of this post.

Something Loved

fringe 2

As I explained in my post on Friday, August in Edinburgh means the fun and mayhem of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!  Thousands of people from all over the world flock to our city for the world’s largest arts festival, and there are some amazing performances on offer!

There were two highlights for me.  One was a performance entitled I Am Mark, which was a retelling of the story of Jesus from Mark’s Gospel.  The performance I watched covered the first five chapters and then the final three, and it was one man with a chair and a small box of props, storytelling word for word from the Bible.  It was extremely powerful!

The other highlight was seeing a musical I had heard about and wanted to see for a while.  It’s The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and I’d highly recommend it.  It’s not the best-known musical, but it’s funny, it has great music, and the production I saw had a wonderful cast!  Here’s a little taste:

Something Said

“Often God’s blessings lie just outside your comfort zone.”

When I heard someone make this comment it really stuck with me.  I think there’s a lot of truth in it.  God wants to bless us.  He wants us to grow, and he wants to use us to build his kingdom, but so often that involves a step of faith, taking a risk, moving forward without certainty about the outcome.  It’s hard, but it’s how we see his faithfulness and learn to trust him.

I have seen it so many times and I experienced it again this month as this comment was just one of several things God used to prompt me to take a step out of my comfort zone to have a difficult, but significant, conversation.  (I won’t go into detail now but hope to share more as things unfold.)  It went better than I could ever have imagined and was definitely worth the risk!

Something Learned

This doubles as an extra “Something Read,” but one new thing I learned this month was about the horseback librarians of Kentucky.  Between 1935 and 1943, 200 women (often known as the “book women”) took on the role of travelling librarians, riding to bring books to 100,000 residents in rural Kentucky.  The aim was to increase literacy as a way of reducing poverty, and to take books to many who may not otherwise have had the chance to read.

giver of stars

The book that taught me about this fascinating period of history is “The Giver Of Stars” by Jojo Moyes.  She is best-known as the author of “Me Before You,” and while this new book is quite different, it has an equally compelling storyline and memorable characters.

It is a fictional tale featuring five of these travelling librarians, and there is something for everyone – action, mystery, romance… it’s a great read!

The Giver Of Stars will be released on October 3rd but in the meantime you can find out more here.

Something Read

Tying in with my “Something Said” about stepping out of your comfort zone, God has brought the same Bible passage up for me time and time again this month – the story of Peter walking on water.

It started with this post at (in)courage, and it continued to come up in talks, in blog posts, in songs, in the Bible reading plan I was following.  All of this prompted me to look back at a book I read several years ago, which remains one of the books that has the greatest influence on my Christian life.  It’s one of those books that has a title so great that it will bless and challenge you even if you don’t have time to read the book itself!  It is John Ortberg’s “If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat.”

if you want to walk on water
It breaks down the well-known story of Peter stepping out onto the water and helps us look at how it applies to our lives.  Where is God calling us to step out in faith?  Why do we cling to comfort and safety?  How can we be sure it really is God calling us?  What do we gain by stepping out?  What if we fail?

It was great to return to this book, remembering some of the ways it helped me and challenged me the first time round as well as being encouraged to continue stepping out in faith.

Here are a couple of my favourite quotes:

“Every time you walk on the water, each time you trust God and seek to discern and obey his calling on your life, your God will get bigger, and your worship will grow deeper, richer, and stronger.”

“Jesus is not finished yet.  He is still looking for people who will dare to trust him.  He is still looking for people who will refuse to allow fear to have the final word.  He is still looking for people who refuse to be deterred by failure.  He is still passing by.  And this is your one and only opportunity to answer his call.”

How was August for you?  I’d love it if you’d share a highlight in the comments!

I’m grateful to Michael Joseph and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of The Giver Of Stars.  This is my honest review and I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers.


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36 thoughts on “August Round-Up

  1. John Ortberg is one of my favorite Christian authors. Not sure if I’ve read that one, but he’s always good for a reread.

    And living just south of Kentucky, our histories are similar here. I definitely want to read that book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that quote, Lesley. Thank you for sharing it. It is perfect. So thought-provoking and yet so simple! It does give me just enough of a nudge to try stepping out of my comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leslie, I find it hard to step out of my comfort zone. John Ortberg’s book remains within my reach to revisit when I find myself being challenged. It is a wonderful read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There was a man in South Carolina who used to do spoken presentations of one of the gospels, but UI can’t remember whether or not it was Mark. I almost wondered if this was the same man, but it’s not. How neat to share God’s Word in that way!

    I looove my comfort zone. 🙂 But when God has pushed me out of it, He’s always taught me, cared for me, and shown Himself strong.

    Our biggest August highlight was last week: my oldest son, who lives in another state, was here for his birthday and mine. My husband took the week off as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Barbara! The man I saw do Mark’s Gospel was from England but it”s great that others are doing something similar as it is powerful!
      I’m glad you had a good week and got to spend time with your husband and son!


  5. I love that quote, Lesley. It brings me back to my last week’s post about jumping into the Jordan. The promised land was on the other side of that Jordan! 🙂 God has been nudging me more often lately to get outside of my comfort zone. Thank you for all the food for thought today and the encouragement to keep stepping out of the boat. Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy! Your words last week definitely tied in with all that God has been repeatedly saying to me this month! I’m glad it encourages you to keep stepping out too! Love and blessings!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Doesn’t that festival sound like so much fun!! (Loved the music from the play!) And I remember hearing so much about John Ortberg’s book…but never did actually read about it. Thanks for bringing it back to memory. I am going to download it now. Enjoyed your post – have a great week!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lesley, I always enjoy your wrap up posts. 🙂 JoJo Moyes seems to have a real gift with story. I have been wanting to pick up one of her books, but my TBR pile is a couple hundred deep. 😉 So, she’ll have to wait.

    Comfort zones . . . yes, God’s been speaking to me about this too. Learning to trust Him more, especially when the unexpected happens (like a boy getting a concussion…again) and when plans go awry. You know how much I love my plans. 😉

    Thanks for the reminder that the richest life comes from living in trust of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I know, there are just too many good books and not enough time to read them all!
      I agree, it is hard to let go of plans. It is an ongoing journey of learning to trust. And I’m sorry about your son’s concussion – hope he is on the mend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh, what a great quote: “Often God’s blessings lie just outside your comfort zone.” As one who doesn’t like to leave her comfort zone, I can take this as encouragement to at least step my toes out of my comfort zone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesley,
    Hmmm…my whole summer, unfortunately, has been a series of unwanted interruptions…not at all what I planned. But, I have found that God shows up in big ways when things don’t go OUR way. Love the quote about stepping outside our comfort zones. God has called me to do that with the whole starting of a Christian school in the Middle East – I never would have put that on my “bucket list”. If God calls us, He will equip us. Loved your August recap!
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bev! I’m glad you’ve known God with you even in the unwanted interruptions, and I love your example of stepping out in faith to start a Christian school!


  10. What an awesome quote: ““Often God’s blessings lie just outside your comfort zone.” I needed to read this today! I read the John Ortberg book years ago and needed to remember that message. (We have some ministry challenges ahead!)

    That is so cool about the August festival in Edinburgh. I love events like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my goodness, I want to see “I Am Mark!” The trailer was fantastic. So glad for everything else you’ve shared here too. Praise God. : ) One highlight of August for me- students are back on campus! I missed them!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. But the boat can be so comfortable. And safe. And known. (I’m not really whining, honest.)

    I know God has good things for us, miraculous things, if we just step out of the boat! Praying for the faith to do just that!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Fringe Festival sounds wonderful. I have heard someone else that lives here also do storytelling on different books of the Bible. It is a very powerful thing.

    One of the books that influenced me for my own devotional, Brave Faith, was John Ortberg’s book If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. It is such a good book. Thanks for sharing your month.

    Liked by 1 person

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