“One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters.”
This past weekend I did something I never thought I would do: I got a tattoo (my first and most-likely last!). My daughter has quite a few, and we had talked for a couple of years about getting one together as a mother-daughter thing, but we couldn’t decide on a picture or graphic to use that we both liked. To be honest, we don’t have a lot in common when it comes to interests, music, hobbies, etc., but The Lord of the Rings is something that she and I, in fact our whole family, are big fans of: both the books and the movies. And that ended up being the inspiration for our twin tattoos.
The Lord of the Rings story, while a fantasy set in an alternate world and reality, contains so many themes and Biblical principles about life and what is true. We witness how power can corrupt one’s values and perspective. We see the threat of evil and those who are willing to risk everything to defeat it. We observe the loyalty and dependability of friends who have sworn to stick by each other no matter what, and fight side by side towards a common goal. We watch as characters from different cultures and backgrounds set aside their differences and learn to value one another as individuals and appreciate their uniqueness and worth. We read of normal, inconsequential people achieving greatness simply by being courageous, faithful, and determined to do what is right.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Although I enjoy reading fiction and read a fair amount of it (I earned my degree in English, after all), I recommend more non-fiction here on my site because for the most part, non-fiction tends to be more profitable to the mind and soul. However, I do feel there is merit to reading good fiction, which unfortunately is becoming more difficult to come by in this day and age. I find the most worthwhile fictional works were published before the 20th century, and certainly before about 1950. If you haven’t already checked it out, you can see my current list of fiction I believe every Christian should read, which I continue to add to as titles come to mind or are brought to my attention. After reading a review of Animal Farm by a fellow Goodreads member, Natalie Vellacott, I realized that it was a novel that I should add to my list of recommended fiction. Now there have only been a couple of times that I have posted or reblogged a review that I did not write myself. And Natalie’s great review was so on-point that I figured, Why invent the wheel? I asked Natalie’s permission to share her review here, and she graciously agreed.
“…it did not occur to them that this twelve-year-old boy might be as gifted at peace as he was at war.”
Well, I’m not a huge Sci-Fi reader, but I had seen the movie Ender’s Game and decided to give the book a try, and I’m so glad I did! One of my rules is that typically I won’t watch a movie until I’ve read the book first, but this was one of those cases where I didn’t know about the book (which was published in 1985) until after seeing the film. I still hold to my theory that the book is always better than the movie, but I am going to watch the movie again, now having read the book. This may not be the greatest science fiction novel – I don’t read that much sci-fi so I may not be the best judge – but I liked it. Continue reading “Understanding – the First Step Towards Compassion: Ender’s Game”→
“He to whom only the outward and physical evil is laid open, knoweth, oftentimes, but half the evil which he is called upon to cure. A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part.”
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a classic work of American literature and undoubtedly the author’s best-known book. It appears on many high school reading lists, and unfortunately many students seem to find it dreary and boring, but I feel it’s one that every student and Christian should familiarize themselves with, as it’s a valuable and memorable story that teaches much about human nature and the consequences of sin.
“ I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-9).
And now for something completely different…
One of my original purposes for creating this site was to introduce and recommend books that I believe every Christian should read. My lists of non-fiction, fiction, history and biographies are works in progress to which I add as I discover new books that I feel are worthy to be included. On the other hand, there are some books that are not worth anyone’s time and energy to read, regardless of personal taste and preference, and that includes, unfortunately, books that are written by and for Christians. In this three-part series I would like to focus on eight such books, and believe me, I know there are many more where these came from! (One writer states, “A dump truck would not be large enough to haul all of the heresy out of a typical Christian Booksellers Convention.” I’m afraid I might agree.)
“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,’ but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.”
It’s been said that “Literature is the Handmaid of History.” By this statement, the late Mrs. Rosalie Slater meant that literature is a useful tool for teaching and learning history, for seeing how God has worked through the ages in different times and places, and for showing how men thought and acted in those settings. Of course we can see how this applies to works of history and biography, but it is also true of fiction. The writer Henry James defined the novel as a “personal, direct impression of life.” James pointed out that although fictional works are stories of “make-believe,” it is just as much the job of the novelist to convey truth as it is the historian’s. While a fictional story itself may be “made up” and largely a product of the writer’s imagination, it also conveys something about his or her experiences and impressions of life; the characters, ideas, and principles actually exist in the real world. Continue reading “Is Huckleberry Finn Racist?”→