Monthly Archives: February 2015
C. S. Lewis is well known for writing on loss and pain. He lost his mom when he was only 10 years old and wrote a book entitled The Problem of Pain. Lewis knew a lot about loss and pain.
In 1953 a woman by the name of Phyllis Elinor Sandeman suddenly knew a lot about loss and pain as well when her husband passed away. Out of her grief and confusion she wrote Lewis seeking his counsel. He begins his letter, Continue reading
It has become something of a conundrum. Which is worse, the weather or hearing about the weather? Television, newspaper, radio, the web, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram. Take your pick: “Biblical Storm Batters New England,” “Winter Storm Update,” “Thundersnow,” “Record snows and record lows.” And it does little good to turn everything off. Sooner or later you talk to someone and the first (and only) thing mentioned is, well, you know. Continue reading
One of the lesser known but most interesting passages of scripture is a few verses where the apostle Paul appears to say he went to heaven.
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.” – 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
Now that is curious. Continue reading
Occasionally it all becomes too much. The job, the obligations, the weather, feeling “under the weather.” We all pass through a slough of despondency, lose our focus, feel disoriented. What to do?
For most of us it’s a time to turn on the TV, go for a walk, take a “day-cation.” For others it’s riskier. They are reminded of struggles with alcohol, drugs, and running away. Is there a profitable way to waste a little time? Continue reading
When meeting someone for the first time it’s hard to know how much to tell them about yourself. You want them to like you but you also want them to like you. Do you tell them you don’t ______ or that you find __________ offensive? If they make a comment on a controversial subject such as religion, politics, or these days, gender, do you let it pass and give the impression of agreement or do you respond and run the risk of turning an otherwise innocent remark into a point of contention with someone you just met? It can be tricky. Continue reading
I once heard a speaker say he wants to be “refreshingly abrasive.” Nice phrase. His desire was to be honest, brutally so, but not offensive. He achieved his goal.
In September 1959 C. S. Lewis found himself in the middle of a disagreement between longtime correspondent Mary Van Deusen and an acquaintance of hers by the name of Genia. Though the specifics are unknown it’s clear Ms. Van Deusen is concerned about how Genia represented her opinions on the matters being discussed. Continue reading
My ancestry is Scottish. I even spent time visiting Scotland and in particular Menzies Castle.1 Over there the name is pronounced Mengis (emphasis on the g). Takes a little getting used to.
But being Scottish also means hearing a lot about being cheap (i.e. frugal): Continue reading
Eugene Peterson knows something about the pastorate. He has written over thirty books on related topics including the Gold Medallion Book Award winner, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Peterson earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. [Bachelor of Sacred Theology] from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. In 1962 he founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before becoming Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.
Peterson once observed, “Pastoral work is the aspect of Christian living which specializes in the ordinary.” How true. Continue reading
It’s funny to see what amuses little children. You buy them a gift and they are more interested in the wrapping and box. They will ignore an adult who wants their attention to pay more attention to an adult who is ignoring them.
In December 1935 C. S. Lewis and his brother Warnie had a family visiting with them. Evidently their stay was not pleasant. Lewis opens a paragraph of a letter to his friend Arthur Greeves with this admission, “The only member of the visiting family whose society we like is the boy, Michael, about 5.” Continue reading
Athletes refer to a “sweet spot.” This is the location at which an object being struck absorbs the maximum amount of forward momentum and rebounds with a greater velocity than if struck at any other point on the bat. Or so I’m told.
The concept of the sweet spot has moved out of the sports realm and into everyday conversation. It’s not uncommon to hear someone receive good news and respond with “Oh yea, sweet!” We know what they mean. Continue reading