Sunday, December 25th, 2011
“The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. A more lowly place of birth could not exist.”
“He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.”
“The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable.”
“How absurd to think that such nobility would go to such poverty to share such a treasure with such thankless souls. But he did. In fact, the only thing more absurd than the gift is our stubborn unwillingness to receive it.”
– excerpts from “God Came Near” by Max Lucado
Sunday, November 20th, 2011
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Facebook friends’ Month of Thanksgiving entries. I’m stealing this from one of them because it’s such a great one. I am so thankful to be able to read! (A special shout-out to my mom for reading to me as a wee one. )
Monday, September 19th, 2011
I was going to title this “Answered Prayers,” but sometimes the answer to a prayer is “No.” So I didn’t want to mislead God (or you) by saying ALL prayer answers are awesome, right? Because when I think about prayer, I often think like a lawyer. I make sure to include specifications and caveats and contingencies just in case God might misinterpret my prayer and give me the wrong answer. Ha!
Anyway… I hope no one else does that.
But today, I had an encouraging answer that I was able to see right away. My mom emailed me this morning to tell me she had lost her wedding ring. She had been looking for it for two days. “It’s not that it was an expensive ring,” she said, “but your Daddy bought it for me and it had been on my finger for over 36 years.” (Most precious quote ever.)
I’m reading “A Praying Life” right now, and this brought to mind an example that author Paul Miller uses of praying to find a dropped contact lens. The book sheds light on areas of life that we tend not to pray for – most likely because we assume we can handle them ourselves.
I started praying that my mom would find her ring. And I really and truly believed she would. I’m sure that sounds incredibly hokey, but that’s what happened.
About two hours later, she called me to tell me she had found it.
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Sometimes a writer captures something you’ve been trying to express, yet so much more succinctly and eloquently than the thought in your mind. I was thrilled to find the following quote that expresses the reasoning behind this blog far better than I have.
“Thankfulness isn’t a matter of forcing yourself to see the happy side of life. That would be like returning to naïve optimism. Thanking God restores the natural order of our dependence on God. It enables us to see life as it really is.”
– Paul Miller, “A Praying Life”
(Also, I HIGHLY recommend the book from which this quote came. I am reading it right now and it is amazing.)
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Yesterday I recommended a book to you. I have gotten some great recommendations from friends lately. After all, it was on recommendations that I took up “The Hunger Games.” Which I’m now nagging everyone to read.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
My Bible study recently read “Forgotten God.” I highly recommend it, as it will make you think about your concept of the Holy Spirit. Do you think of Him as a “ghost”? Have you ever felt definitively like you should pray for a certain person at a certain time? Having your mind wander toward specific needs is not necessarily random.
“…the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should…” Romans 8:26
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
My Bible study just finished going through “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. I didn’t realize that Chan is sort of popular. That’s probably an understatement, but I just didn’t know before we started the study. I highly recommend this book and the group study. It goes through what the Bible has to say about the Holy Spirit, and it asks a lot of questions of the reader – good and challenging questions.
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
I’ve mentioned my rediscovering of fiction, and lately I’ve been reading the Hunger Games trilogy. It amazes me how the author creates whole new worlds – complete with flora and fauna – not to mention characters I can care about. Without her imagination, there would be no story; without my imagination, the books would be doorstops.
Adults often lament losing their childhood imaginations – but just because we don’t play dress-up in our free time doesn’t mean our capacity for imagination goes away. I think that’s why these books have become so wildly popular, and fans of books are rarely satisfied with any movie version of their favorites. That’s how spectacular our imaginations are.
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
I’m reading a book about Iran-contra. It’s not the best-written book, but it’s not the worst, and I’m reading it because I want to learn about the subject. I can do that because someone who witnessed history recorded it for the rest of us.
Monday, May 16th, 2011
Word nerd alert: this is a post about dictionaries and style manuals. (I hang out with words during the day.)
I was always annoyed by those exercises in elementary school where you had to pick which page a word would fall on in the dictionary. They would have things like “AARD-ACUM” at the top of a page, and then you had to tell whether the word “accumulate” would be on that particular page. Or something.
Anyway, I enjoy looking up words in online dictionaries. It’s so much faster and easier. And don’t even get me started on The Chicago Manual of Style, which my editing department uses to answer life’s burning questions, such as, “Should there be a space before and/or after those ellipses?” (Actual conversation.) That book has the worst index ever. It’s nigh unto impossible to look stuff up. But now, we have the online edition, and we can search.
So I like my nerdery with shortcuts. And no, I did not look up “nerdery.”