“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”→
“Who can listen to objections regarding such a book as this? It seems to me a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness.” – William M. Thackeray on A Christmas Carol
It seems an appropriate time to reshare my thoughts on this well-known story, mainly because it’s an opportunity to talk about a book by one of my favorite authors. I know Dickens isn’t for everyone; he can be rather wordy, and many of his novels are REALLY long (like, 600+ pages). His stories always have complex plot lines with lots of characters and interesting twists, and he has created some of the most interesting and memorable characters in all of literature, Ebenezer Scrooge being one of them. Continue reading “‘Tis the Season – to Try a Little Dickens!”→
“And they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
Is gift giving a joy or a stress for you? Why is gift giving many times so stressful, especially during the holiday season? We may find ourselves worrying about things like: “Who should I buy presents for this year? What should I get them? When am I going to have time for shopping? How much should I spend? How can I afford this??” One reason I believe gift-giving can be so stressful is that our materialistic, commercialized culture imposes so many expectations upon us. The Bible provides many examples of gift giving and gives us some ideas about the proper motives and attitudes of giving. Some of these may be helpful towards making the giving of gifts more of a pleasure than a burden.
Matthew’s gospel account of the Christmas story tells of wise men, or magi, who came from somewhere in the East (possibly Persia, Arabia or India) to see the Christ child and offered Him gifts. In this account we can see several things about the wise men and observe some lessons about gift giving: Continue reading “Tips for Joyful Gift Giving”→
“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.