“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
Posted in Children's Fantasy/Sci Fi, Children's Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Tagged Bob Cratchit, british literature, Christmas Carol, Christmas story, Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas, Jacob Marley
“God brought Adam into a covenantal relationship with Him at his creation… But he violated God’s covenant. He sinned. He transgressed God’s law…[as a result] Adam got kicked out of God’s house. Now he’s sinful, is a terrible image of God, a covenant breaker, and no longer the keeper of God’s garden-temple. What will God do now?”
Pastor Richard Barcellos’ book Better than the Beginning is the result of a sermon series he preached on creation. The purpose of his book is to show the importance of understanding the Biblical teachings on creation and how the doctrine of creation is directly related to the doctrine of redemption. He submits that it is of utmost importance to know not only who the Creator is, but His purpose for His creation and His ultimate goals for it. He explains,
God’s story [recorded for us in the Bible] tells us that He created, what He created in the first place, why He created man and what man’s supposed to do, why there’s so much trouble on the earth, and where history is heading.
“In this precious volume…is told the noble, simple story ‘of Plimoth Plantation.’ In the midst of suffering and privation and anxiety the pious hand of William Bradford here set down in ample detail the history of the enterprise from its inception to the year 1647. From him we may learn ‘that all great and honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages.'” (Roger Wolcott, Governor of Mass., 1897)
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”
What American isn’t familiar with the story of the Pilgrims? Well, I think MANY Americans don’t know the whole story, and some people nowadays talk as if it’s nothing but a legend or exaggeration of what really happened. Of Plymouth Plantation is an account that should be required reading in every American high school, as well as one that every American Christian should be familiar with.
There are only two primary sources which give firsthand accounts of the landing of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving: Bradford’s History (written in 1647) and Mourt’s Relation, attributed to Edward Winslow (published in 1622). Mourt’s Relation (named after the publisher) describes only the events of the first year, from the landing at Cape Cod in November 1620 until the following November. It’s interesting to look at this comparison of the two accounts we have of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth. Continue reading
“Just as Luther spoke truth to power in his day, the contemporary church needs courageous spokespeople to identify specific abuses and offer positive solutions now to transform the church of today.”
It’s amazing to think that 500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, a simple German monk unwittingly turned the world upside-down when he took some initiative and boldly posted a list of concerns he had about the church, 95 to be exact. David Steele‘s brief book entitled Bold Reformer looks back to the life and example of Martin Luther, whom God used to reform a corrupt and unbiblical religious system. The author contacted me through Goodreads and asked me if I’d read and review his book, sending me a free copy when I agreed. I initially thought Bold Reformer was a biography of Martin Luther, which it really isn’t. Continue reading
I’m not sentimental —
This skin and bones is a rental,
And no one makes it out alive. – Jon Foreman of Switchfoot
How can we set our hearts on Heaven when we have an impoverished theology of Heaven? How can we expect our children to be excited about Heaven – or to stay excited about it when they grow up? Why do we talk so little about Heaven? And why is the little we have to say so vague and lifeless?
Most of us have experienced the excitement of planning or anticipating a big event. Maybe it’s a vacation we’ve been looking forward to, the birth of a baby, or the wedding of a child. As the big event gets closer, we can’t help but think and talk about it. We ask questions – What’s it going to be like? What do I need to have or bring with me? Who else will be there? We proceed to make the necessary preparations, such as gathering information or obtaining whatever materials or supplies we may need for this imminent event.
Death is the one certain imminent event that we all face. Randy Alcorn begins his book Heaven by talking about death, because let’s face it, that’s the way most of us will likely arrive there. Continue reading