Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learn It, Live It

A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

I'm going to try to let it go, now. Lord, help me live it.

Finished: Nemesis

Halfway through, I figured it out. Wa-hoo. Hopefully, that wahoo is not an indication that familiarity breeds contempt.

Nemesis, Agatha Christie

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Finished: Dances With Wolves

Kevin Costner ruined this book for me. I could have forgotten, because I don't think I ever saw the movie, but his face is plastered on the cover of the book. And every time he thought or spoke, all I could think of was whiny-nasal-monotone-voice-man, Kevin Costner.

There is a gem hidden within the custom of naming people. The names given to the Comanche people are all meaningful, based on what they have done or what their personalities display. Stands With a Fist, Kicking Bird, Wind in His Hair, Smiles a Lot, Dances With Wolves...

It causes me to consider my family: From Trial Comes Joy, Reads Forever, Deer Legs and Cheer-giver.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Why is it that Jack gets to be the star of all of the nursery rhymes?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Link It: The Pharmaceutical Umbrella

Vely Vely Intelesting.

An insightful line: Take away the profit motive, as government-run medicine often does by forcing drug companies to sell at discounted prices, and innovation will dry up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making Old Age Happy

Tim Challies has a beautiful excerpt up on his site reflecting on how to make our old age happy.

The important practical question is, How can we so live that our old age, when it comes, shall be beautiful and happy? It will not do to adjourn this question until the evening shadows are upon us. It will be too late then to consider it. Consciously or unconsciously, we are every day helping to settle the question whether our old age shall be sweet and peaceful or bitter and wretched. It is worth our while, then, to think a little how to make sure of a happy old age.

It's worth the read.

Finished: Crooked House

Another Agatha Christie completed. These books are great to read just before bed. They're interesting enough that you don't fall asleep on them, but not so interesting that you read until the wee hours of the morning just to see who done it. This one had an interesting psychology to it as well.

Crooked House, Agatha Christie

Monday, September 21, 2009

Excerpt: Speaking Truth In Love

I had read this some time ago, and was reminded of it in reading RB's blog. (I'd link you there, but if you're not one of the "in" folk, you'd just come up empty.) I thought an excerpt of what I had read would be timely.

From David Powlison, Speaking Truth in Love, Suffering and Psalm 119

How do you handle a sleepless night? You're lying awake; where do you go in your mind? How do you feel? It just so happens that Psalm 119 mentions being awake at night four times.

I remember your name in the night and keep your law....At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to you because of your righteous ordinances....I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on your word. (vv.55, 62, 147-148)

A sleepless night is not the harshest form of suffering. It brings you down by slow erosion, not devastating landslide. Sleeplessness is tiresome and tiring. That much is obvious.

Now to the less obvious. What do you think about when you lie awake at night? Does your mind run to tomorrow? Do you pre-solve every problem that might arise? Does your mind run to yesterday, brooding over your own failures? Do you replay the hurtful videotape of what someone else did or said?

Do you just run away, turning to escapist, feel-good fantasies? Do you lie awash in your hobbies, immorality, athletic dreams or vacation plans?

Or in the long night hours, do you cycle through anxieties: money, kids, terrorists, singleness, church problems, sickness, loneliness, and lots more? Do you sink into a pool of depressed resignation? Or do you attach all your hopes to some promise of sleep? If you pray, is the focus solely on your desire for sleep, based on Psalm 127:2?

Does Psalm 119 have anything to say about these parking places for the heart? It changes every one. Whether the hours are marked by tedium or swept into some dark frenzy, those hours are largely God-less. Psalm 119 describes hours full of God. It doesn't promise sleep (though rest is a good gift); it promises to change sleeplessness.

Still More Closely To Him Cling

I was trying to brush my daughter's hair. "It hurts!" she cries. She wraps her arms around my waist, shoving her face into my belly.

It's really hard to brush hair in that posture.

Not so with God. The more tightly we cling to Him, the more He can accomplish through us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finished: Going To Ground

Amy Blackmarr reflects quite poetically in this series of essays. Her stream-of-consciousness-like manner carries the mood of the essays well, and she has a pleasant manner of writing that is rather moving.

I had won this book, and was unsure of what was in store for me. It is a book that I would pick up again to soften me into a more thoughtful mood about what is going on around me. Her writing took me to a once upon a time vacation in Maine.

Going To Ground, Amy Blackmarr

Monday, September 14, 2009

Finished: Middlemarch

I really had to discipline myself to get through the first half of this book. I found not a character in it had that all-redeeming quality that I enjoy in a good read: honor.

By the second half, all of the dishonorable characters had been established and introduced, and what was left was to sort out what miserable strains they all needed to follow to bring the book to it's climax and end.

Now I have the DVD to watch, and it's one of those rare times that I'm hoping it's nothing like the book.

Middlemarch, George Eliot

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finished: George Washington Carver: The Man Who Overcame

Quite by accident, this book came into my hands. It wasn't on my list. In fact, I didn't even know it existed. But one day, while a friend stopped by to pick up a book to read, he just happened to have this in the front seat of his van. "Would you like to read it?" But of course!

George Washington Carver truly was the man who overcame. This book, in a very easy manner, relates his life story. His life made me cry. His life made me laugh. His life made me marvel at the way God can use even the weakest among us to do amazing things. I was moved by the humility of this man. I am so glad I learned more about his life.

George Washington Carver: The Man Who Overcame, Lawrence Elliot