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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Rich Young Ruler

There is a story in the gospels that has always bothered me. It is the story about the rich young ruler who asks Jesus what he needs to do to have eternal life. I’ve been bothered by this story primarily because at the end of it Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:23b). In Luke he says, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:24). How disturbing is that! I consider myself to be wealthy. I’ve been told by pastors and educators that I’m wealthy. And I don’t specifically mean me but Americans in general. I’ve been told that America is one of the richest nations in the world, and that our poor still live better than most of the world’s population.  So I start worrying that I need to sell all my possessions and live in a cardboard box because my wealth is going to somehow disqualify me from heaven. Plus, I've found several aspects about this story puzzling.

To the Intellectual

May being intellectually relevant   not lure you away from elementary truths. May this adult diet not assume superiority over the milk on which you first believed. May you not regard the basics as irrelevant   now that you have advanced to higher levels of thinking. Rather, may you work out how the verses of infancy   sustain a grown man with grown-up troubles. May the melding of belief to behavior   continually compel you to consider your beginnings. May the instances of unmet expectations   and offending words and perceived injustices crack and split the calcifying skins of yesterday’s faith, and produce a faith for today’s letdowns and slights and fears. May those simple creeds said by philosopher and layman alike— “complete in the fullness of Christ,”   “cast off the sinful flesh,”   and “gift of God, not by works”—   do battle with the discord in your heart,   which seeps in from the world and the flesh and the devil. May the faith you

Character Study: Judy Maynard

Mantra:  “Always remember: you are not alone, you are infinitely valuable, and you make the world a better place by just being you.” Jewelry She Never Takes Off:  Her wedding and engagement ring Everyday Shoe:  Little black flats by Anesha for going out, and Keen sandals for hiking (1) (1) Favorite Purse:  100% Nylon convertible hiking pants from REI. They have four deep pockets, one of which is big enough for a map. Unfortunately, REI doesn't make them anymore. She collects:  "I try not to." Secret Weapon: Therapy. "It can be life-changing. And it's not just a last resort. It can be a powerful tool for personal sanctification." She's willing to talk about her experience and provide names of quality therapists if you'd like. HER SPACE Every Home Should Have:  Candles Oldest Possession: Her mother's Bible and an Eastern Orthodox prayer book from her grandmother (2) Most Repeated Recipe: Chili

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

I just finished reading  How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk  by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And because I best retain information by regurgitating what I've read, here's a summary of the book. I must, however, note that while this book has some great advice, I wouldn't use it as a primary foundation for parenting for two reasons. One: I get the impression that Faber and Mazlish don't believe people are born selfish. And two: I get the impression that Faber and Mazlish are uncomfortable with the idea of authority, submission, and respect. I believe  our views of authority  and  our propensity to selfishness can greatly affect our parenting philosophy.  So here's my report on How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk   with a grain of salt. Faber and Mazlish argue that "When kids feel right, they behave right" (1). Listening and accepting children's feeling helps them process their daily frustrati

I Shall Not Pass This Way Again

I shall not pass this way again—with a five and three-year-old in tow and another growing inside, no larger than a lemon. And the children spending the hours in play while I sit with my feet propped up and my energy gone at 9 am. I know that the nausea and exhaustion will eventually pass, and that the time spent napping while the children talk to themselves in their quiet times is time well spent.   There is a contentment in the now even though I’ve stopped cleaning and my brain has turned to mush and I can hardly stomach the scent of the dinners I make. There is still a contentment because this moment shall soon be gone.   There shall never be another now. It has already passed. And yet, neither its departure nor the knowledge that all time is fleeting has soured the enjoyment of this: the daily having of moments. It nourishes and feeds like food, more so when I don’t scarf it down but savor the bite of white cheddar or the tartness of strawberries, when I see the steam risin