Category Archives: books

Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 5: Online Devotionals

godsbooklover-gravatar991Each Wednesday during Lent, I am suggesting some resource or activity which can assist the Christian in his or her spiritual growth. We’ve looked at a news magazine, a collection of prayers, several excellent books, and some recording artists. This week, I want to acknowledge my own tremendous debt to a variety of online resources, all of which are free.

If you would like a daily devotional delivered to your inbox, the choices are vast. Here are a few I’ve used in the past couple of years:

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 3: Books for Spiritual Formation

godsbooklover-gravatar991This Lenten season, I’m taking a moment in this mid-week slot to recommend resources for spiritual growth. Previous suggestions have included a news periodical with a Christian worldview, and a collection of prayers written hundreds of years ago.

Today I turn to my favorite medium, books–real, hold-in-your-hand books. I have three from my personal library in front of me; each offers a somewhat different approach to spiritual formation.

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me-i-want-to-be-coverThe most recent addition is by an author I have enjoyed in the past, John Ortberg. His 2010 book, The Me I Want To Be, is written with his signature blend of pithy anecdote, biblical insight and practical teaching points, complete with helpful call-out frames (or whole pages) which provide overview or outline of his main points. Its design is eye-catching and its format makes it very readable.

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L I A R

open bookNo, this is not a post about our president, and I’m not calling anyone names. The title of this post is an acronym, and I’m preaching this sermon to myself. It’s one I’ve thought about dozens of times over the years.

…And then promptly forgot about, again:

Low. Information. Action. Ratio.

“Huh?” you say. Bear with me. I will explain.

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May the Advent-ure Continue!

five Advent candlesThe Advent season has come and gone…we waited for the arrival, it came and went. Odd, isn’t it? A season which is named for a Coming is about waiting…and by the time we actually celebrate the arrival, the season of Advent is official over.

That’s probably why for years I assumed–unthinkingly–that Advent must mean waiting. Because that’s what Advent has meant to me, a time of great anticipation for a momentous occasion. Continue reading

Education and Character: Learning to See Clearly, part 2

SONY DSCIn part 1 of this series, I quoted C.S. Lewis’ essay, “Meditation in a Toolshed,” which illustrated the different between looking AT something and looking ALONG it to its source. There is flexibility and discernment required here. In some sense, it is the difference between objective and subjective seeing, or the difference between analysis and philosophy.

To understand anything–any subject in the natural world–fully,  we ask not only “What is it?” but “What can I infer from it?” and “Where did it come from?” and “What is its purpose?”

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Education and Character: Learning to See Clearly (part 1)

IBR-1113189“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen.

Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

–C.S. Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry?”(1945)

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My years are beginning to show. I am facing the fact that I can no longer read most print without a pair of reading glasses. A cloudiness in my right eye suggests something more ominous, but I’m ignoring that for the moment.

Unlike the floaters I see in the air, which only appear when I stare at a blank surface, I am seeing connecting threads between many different things I’ve been reading in a variety of rich sources lately. Most of these ideas boil down to truths about learning, about character and about perspective, how we look at the world and how that looking affects us. Continue reading

Sitting On My Asset?

VARIOUSI’m sitting here staring at my laptop, willing a blog-worthy topic to jump out at me from the plethora of open articles on my taskbar. I’m also getting progressively colder. At some point I have taken off my sweater …probably upstairs when I was giving Lucy her bath and had the space heater on. Down here it’s quite chilly.

Sigh. Guess I’ll trudge upstairs and get my sweater.

Upstairs, I grab my devotional and a shawl…where did I put that sweater?...and head back down to my computer.  There on the chair is the discarded sweater.

I’d been sitting on it.

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Is God Color-Blind? Should He Be?

heart tree goodFor the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appear-ancebut the Lord looks on the heart

–see I Samuel 16:7

I have a number of good friends who have adopted one or more children from a different ethnic background (three couples adopted internationally, two domestically). These children will never by any stretch of the imagination be mistaken for their biological children. And all of them are loved and cared for, well-adjusted and happy. I’ve never heard a disparaging remark about any of these families.  Continue reading