Conflict and Hope

Romans 5:3-4 – More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. So I teach English, right? And in English, one of the “hot words” is conflict. Every story starts with a conflict, and that conflict drives the character through the plot “mountain”…

Contend: Defending the Fatih in a Fallen World

Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World by Aaron Armstrong (Cruciform Press, 2012) offers a manageable and concise look at what really matters when contending for the faith. Far from accusatory, Armstrong’s descriptive writing style weaves together fundamental doctrines with the need for grace and love. This small book begins by highlighting changes within…

Looking into His Eyes

I am in the process of re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. In doing so, I have been re-enamored with Lewis’ depiction of Aslan, the allegorical depiction of Christ. It is fascinating to read how each character reacts to Aslan in a different way throughout the series. I think of Digory, Polly, and the…

Now Reading…

I’ve been reading a fair amount lately, as being a teacher gives me more free time in the summer than previous compilations of part-time jobs have. Some of the books I’ve read (or am currently reading) include: King’s Cross, by Tim Keller This book is EXCELLENT! It is a look at Christ through the eyes of…

Relapse

Last night, I nearly wrote a post entitled, “Status Update: Insecure.” Over the past few weeks, I have been struggling with insecurity, fear, anger, and depression. Even the things I enjoy the most are shadowed and discolored by the cloud hanging over my soul. Anyone who knows me, realizes that I love bright colors. When…

Uncrucified Affections

I received an e-mail from a dear friend who is serving in Papua New Guinea last night. In it, I discovered this beautiful quote she had copied from a book by Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China. “The difficult lessons of 1942 taught me to fear leaning heavily on human props. I had surrendered husband, child,…

A History of Tragedy: Macbeth, Hazael, and Idolatry

Tragedies are, by definition, tragic. They involve tragic heroes who have tragic flaws. By some vital failure within the hero, he is gradually isolated from society and experiences consequences that typically lead to his death. Macbeth, the classic Shakespearean example of a tragic hero, finds companionship with the little-known servant of 1 Kings 8:7-15, Hazael….

Gratefulness

I’m not a naturally grateful person. I don’t know if anyone is. Perhaps there are a few people out there blessed with a natural affinity for gratefulness, but if there are, I am definitely not one of them. By nature, I am quite content to blame God and others for my problems, and be sure…

Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, by Timothy Keller Idolatry is defined as taking an incomplete joy of the world and making it the centrality of your world. Rampant in mainstream and Christian culture today, people everywhere are bowing down and offering sacrifice to their…

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, Tim Keller This is a book not about one prodigal son, but about two sons and a prodigal God. Tim Keller begins by defining prodigal as “recklessly spendthrift.” Simply, to be prodigal is to spend until you have nothing left. It is within this context…