Book Review – Two Full Plates

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Two Full Plates Book Cover Two Full Plates
Little Books about the Magnitude of God
Fran Rogers
Christian Living
Father and Family Books
August 2, 2016
Paperback
92
Publisher's Description

Who would ever consider serving others as being the most fulfilling role in life?

Being a caregiver far outweighs other opportunities in this life and lays up treasures for us in heaven. When we think of how much the Lord gave for us, what more can we do than give all that we are for those we love. When we find ourselves in the place of service, the Lord gives the provisions that are needed. He does not call us, expecting that we can handle this role on our own, but it is a time to experience His presence, His wisdom, and His strength. As our needs draw us closer to Him, we not only see that we “do what we have to do,” but that we do more than we thought we could do. ~ TWO FULL PLATES

How does a woman with a selfish, rebellious, and domineering spirit, learn to handle adversities? When things don’t work as she plans the author of TWO FULL PLATES comes face to face, not only with her own failures and disabilities, but she encounters the God who planned and created all things, providing for all that she needs for herself and those she loves.

The author of TWO FULL PLATES had to learn how to deal with not just one full plate, but with two, and sometimes more. She found that in her own strength she was as handicapped as those for whom she had to care. In her life as a caregiver for her children, her grandchildren, her father as he was dying of cancer, her mother with Alzheimer’s disease, and her husband, who had to have a leg amputated, her whole life was changed, not just because she was the one on whom the responsibilities fell, but because she began to see that God had been preparing her for this as her main role in life

She has been enabled to see His hand at work throughout her life for the role as a caregiver ~ the work that has become the joy of her life. God has in the process revealed Himself as the great Caregiver, from whom she has learned to care for others. She witnesses of the power that Jesus Christ has given, that is beyond her own abilities. In this book she not only shares her experiences, but also encourages others who are faced with this role.

This book, the first in the series of Little Books About the Magnitude of God, is the foundation for the other books that witness to the presence and power of God in the daily life of a follower of Christ, whatever the circumstances. As the series expresses, this book and others in this series are longer than an article, but not as long as a regular length book; some could be read in one sitting.

The majority of the proceeds from this and other books by this author will be given to charity and missions under the ministry of Father and Family Books ~ Proclaiming the Legacy of God’s

Book Review – Two Full Plates

I have to be honest, I’ve been sitting on this review for some time. It has been ready to publish for a week now but I have delayed because I feel that so much more could be said about Two Full Plates and yet I just can’t seem to put my finger on what it is. So with that in mind, I want to present to you what I believe is the best book that I have read this year. I don’t say that flippantly. After all, I have read and reviewed close to 40 books in 2016 and still have a few books that I have completed but have not had a chance to sit down and write about. Despite being a short book,Two Full Plates is powerful and a book that I would recommend for anyone who wants to understand the effect that serving those who suffer has on our sanctification.

Two Full Plates was written by Fran Rogers, a 77 year old wife, mother, and grandmother from Georgia. Mrs. Rogers is first and foremost, a woman who is deeply passionate about the glory of God. Her acquaintance with suffering has clearly left an indelible mark upon her. Suffering has a way of doing this to people. However, Mrs. Roger’s response to suffering is anything but typical. She has truly learned (she would say she is still learning) that all these things work together for our good and for God’s glory. Two Full Plates is a book about learning to be a caregiver of those who are suffering. She writes not as a casual observer, but as one who has spent a good part of her life caring for the suffering; first of her mother who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease and now of her dear husband who, following an emergency bypass surgery on his leg, had to have his leg amputated. Those of you who who know me and are familiar with my own afflictions will recognize right away why this book appealed to me. Dear friends, if you learn one thing from your suffering in life let it be this: That God is a good God and that he brings trials into our lives so that we might be conformed to the image of his glorious son. If I can summarize what this book will teach you it would be just that.

Two Full Plates reads as if it is a letter from a dear friend recounting the many joys and trials which God has brought her through. In fact, as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but remember the letters we would receive from my grandmother when we were children. There is much to be learned from those who display the fruit of having walked with Jesus. I often found myself clinging to every word because I recognized the “aroma of Christ” in her words and didn’t want to read them too hastily. Read this book as you would read a letter from a precious saint who has learned what it means to walk with God. In many ways, her writing is reminiscent of Elizabeth Elliot, another dear sister who learned a passion for God’s glory through her encounters with suffering. Consider the first two paragraphs from the preface:

In God’s sovereignty and providence we see His plans for our creation. His plans are not always what we would have chosen for ourselves. Given the option we would most often disapprove of His choices. In our human nature we think our own thoughts and wish for ourselves the life that suits our inclinations. Even the regenerate man does not choose the role of the servant’s life. If God advertised for servants, He would get very few applicants.

Creation is not our heavenly Father’s only work, but as our Redeemer, He recreates us to reveal and fulfill His purpose in each of us. The Lord God gives us a new heart, and this heart has to be trained for the life He has planned for us. As a new creature in Christ, we are trained for the servant’s role.

From the very start of the book, Fran Rogers frames the discussion of suffering and caring for the suffering in light of God’s sovereignty and providence. She acknowledges the struggles our flesh has with God’s choices for us, and brings it back to God’s redeeming working of making us into new creations. This is deeply profound and I ask that you go back and re-read her quote if you rushed your way through it. Allow it to sink in. This is what the sum total of our lives is about. Submitting to God’s plans for us, however unpleasant they might seem, in order that he will be praised for His good work by learning to become a servant. Throughout the book, Mrs. Rogers is transparent about her mistakes in life. More importantly, she is quick to acknowledge God’s goodness as He graciously leads her in her journey of faith; sometimes chastising her and at other times lavishing His good gifts upon her. All of these are good gifts in the end, but it takes eyes of faith to see that even trials (such as the death of her mother) are indeed good gifts if you have the eternal perspective to recognize that God has set about to finish the good work he has begin in each of us.

Serving others, especially in their weakness, does not come naturally to us. Two Full Plates emphasizes this fact. It is something that is learned and it beings (as we might expect) in childhood with lessons such as washing the dishes right away instead of letting them sit around soaking. It’s these little details that made this book such a joy to read. Writing from the perspective of one who has learned many lessons in life, Fran Rogers identifies key experiences in her life as a child, mother, and as a grandmother which (in hindsight) were all experiences which God was using to prepare her to be a caregiver.

One of my favorite moments in Two Full Plates was near the end of the book in a section titled, Continuing to Follow the Master Caregiver. In here, Fran Rogers skillfully navigates through a number of passages in which we are exhorted to be a servant because Christ Himself was a servant.

A daily walk with Christ is required to continue in service where He wills us to be. The following are Scripture references that remind me of who I am as His servant. I must sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from Him if I am to serve Him. I must pray, not only for Jerry and me, but also for all saints and Christ’s church. I must participate in weekly worship, serving Him and His people.

 

If I am to fulfill His will for my creation and redemption ~ Christ’s dying for me ~ everything must be for His glory; the chief end ~ to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. (Shorter Catechism)The joy
comes as He is being glorified in me.

There is so much more that I can say about this short treasure of a book; but it would be much better for you to hear it from Fran Rogers herself.This is a book that I hope all Christians read. Most of us are caught unprepared when God brings suffering into our lives; our own suffering and the suffering of loved ones. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare Christians to serve one another in our afflictions, and I can’t think of a better book to start you on that journey than Two Full Plates by Fran Rogers.  This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions. Both versions are affordable and the profits are donated to missions (including my favorite missions organization, Heart Cry Missionary Society).

Where to purchase Two Full Plates

You can find Two Full Plates at Amazon or at the author’s website, God’s Grace, God’s Glory

About the Author

frFran Rogers is a 77-year-old wife/caregiver to Jerry, her husband of 55 years; mother of two, grandmother of six, a great-grandmother; musician and gardener; a writer for twenty-five years, now publishing; in her second childhood, and loving it!
All her books are about God’s grace and goodness, His power and glory, proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdom to His people. As a caregiver for her children, grandchildren, her dad with cancer, her mother with Alzeimer’s Disease, and her husband who is an amputee with heart disease, she challenges and encourages Christians to grow and to rejoice in their relationship with God through His Son, the Holy Spirit and His written word.
Profits are donated to missions, MTW and Heart Cry Missionary Society, Samaritans Purse and other missions and charities as the Lord leads.
Learn more about her ministry, and follow her blog posts at https://godsgracegodsglory.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Fran Rogers in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

16 thoughts on “Book Review – Two Full Plates

  1. Lenette

    Oh Aaron this book sounds so perfect! I took care of my own mother when she had dementia and I know the toll it takes on a person. I also know that it made me trust God in ways I never would have thought possible. I wish something like this was around back then.

    • Lenette, it’s good to hear from you! I’m sorry about your mother. I didn’t know that about you. Yes, it forces us to rely on Him and that is a good thing.

  2. Ryan Smith

    I’m going to have to check this out. It may be one that I keep a small stock of in case any of my congregants need it. This sounds solid.

    • Good idea Ryan. It’s always good to have something like this on hand.

  3. jenandreason

    “as our Redeemer, He recreates us to reveal and fulfill His purpose in each of us.”

    This is so true! I have to keep telling myself this. It gets to the point where I just want to be cared for instead of caregiving all day. Then I remember he is MY caregiver. He is molding me into something beautiful.

    • Great point Jen! Do not grow weary of doing good!

  4. Lorre

    Where are the ladies like this in my church? I long for a relationship with someone who has lived life and can impart wisdom to me. My church has a lot of young ladies trying to do this. In their 20s and 30s but that isn’t the same. They are just reliving all the mistakes the older women can help me avoid. We need more like this author who will take time to teach the younger ladies. Isn’t that what Paul told Titus ?

    • Isn’t that funny Lorre??!! Our older women have been silenced and replaced by 20-somethings who are eager to teach but don’t have the fruit of a life well lived yet. I suppose I’m generalizing but there really is something to be said for giving a greater weight to the words of those who have gained wisdom by experience.

    • Dear Lorre, May I address your comment? The words of Titus have taken on different meanings to different people. As we are encouraged to share our faith in the Christian community, everyone wants to teach. My experience was similar to what are saying. Where I would have been at a stage to teach the younger, the younger were teaching and did not see the need for an older woman. Not given this opportunity in the church we joined when we moved, and later being in the position of a caregiver, my calling was to continue writing what the Lord had been teaching me for over twenty-five years. My prayer and desire is that the legacy of my writings will be used for the witness of Christ and His kingdom when I am gone. I have two children and six grandchildren ~ one grandson, and five granddaughters, one great granddaughter, all of which are precious to me. My last experience of teaching was with my granddaughters.
      Technology is not the best means of reaching others, but it is a gift for those who use it for God’s glory. After blogging for six years and now publishing our books, we are meeting online many to whom we can minister. I want to know those who are open to my writing. Do you have a blog or are you on Facebook? If not, if it is the Lord’s will for us to know each other and to learn from each other (I am still learning) I am reaching out to see how I may minister to you even from a distance. God’s Word reaches beyond state borders, even as it does not return to Him void. Please let me know if you would like for us to be in touch. Pray to know the Lord’s will for us in this matter. Know that I am praying for you and other young women who earnestly desire to know God’s will and to share HIs blessings with others. In the love and care of Christ ~ Fran

  5. Dear Aaron,
    I am very humbled by your review. This is the first one for this book, and I continue to pray that I may receive any words in favor of what we have written with humility and praise to the Lord for His work. The special reference in these last months, not only for this book, but for all things, has been Psalm 90:17, “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands for us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Everything is His; our hands are His to do His work. We pray that this little book will serve to encourage us all to serve Him and others, while we wait for that glorious day when we sit at table with Him and enjoy Him forever. Thank you for your gracious time for reading and reviewing. I pray the Lord continue to bless your ministry. In the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ ~ Fran

    • And won’t that be a remarkable day?!! Until then, we honor our Lord by walking in the way he has shown us. Your book left a wonderful impression me and I can’t wait to read your other books!

  6. Christine

    My grandmother passed away from Alzeimers this summer. I was so hurt by it. We cared for her during the last year or so of her life. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I’m not to the point of being able to praise God for it. I’m confused and I’m bitter. But I do see God’s goodness in it. I’m much more compassionate than I used to be. I hated my lack of compassion. I’m more patient with those who used to upset me. I’ve grown through this experience but I sure wish I had Grannie back.

    • Christine, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I were more capable to help. There is so much that I know I don’t understand about this disease. Trust in God. He really is a good God. Perhaps you can reach out to someone like Fran Rogers who has walked this path? I know suffering quite well, but Alzeimer’s has so many unique experiences. I’ll be praying for you. I know the pain of loss and will pray for comfort.

    • Christine, my heart goes out to you. After caring for Mother for 4 1/2 years, God, our Father, had done a gracious work in me and Jerry. From my caring for my dad with cancer and then our caring for Mother, we were able to see how He brings us, worn and torn through the ages of this life, caring for us and carrying us. You were part of that caring for your grandmother. Through us, He gives the gift of grace to others. He enables us to praise Him in the middle of the confusion and to bring us past the bitterness. Your grandmother would want you to rejoice that she is with the Lord. She is now free from her bondage.
      You can experience this same joy with Him here. I pray that He will work in your heart and spirit, enabling you to remember her with joy and peace, that this will be His work in you to reach out to others who are hurting. 2 Corinthians 1 is a reminder of our Father, the God of all comfort, who comforts us, so that His Spirit in and through us enables us to comfort others. We experience the hurt in our own hearts and the hurt in others, and as He continues to bring us through this wilderness, to empathize and minister in His name ~ for HIs glory and for our joy. Your Grannie was blessed to have you to care for her. I pray the Lord’s blessings as He continues to displace your confusion with His presence and power.
      Christ in you ~ the hope of glory!
      Fran

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