Monthly Archives: June 2015
Every day we have things to do that are important. Waking up on time, getting the kids to school, getting to work, making that phone call, answering that e-mail. Each one is significant and needs to be done today.
But every once in a while something comes along that is more than important. It’s crucial. Locating a child, getting the test results from the doctor, paying the mortgage. While the other matters are important, you get a second chance. With these issues it’s all or nothing and nothing else matters. Continue reading
Few of us get through life without losing a loved one. What we anticipate is that the oldest people we know will pass away before our contemporaries or those younger, though it does not always happen this way. But irrespective of age or relationship, losing someone we love and respect is painful.
While all loss is sad, and some losses can be devastating, many fall somewhere between the two. The deceased wasn’t a parent or spouse, but he was more than an acquaintance. He was someone we grew to love. And yet even in this loss, we know there is hope. Continue reading
We all say it sooner or later. Usually later. “I’m fine until I sit down. Once down, I’m not getting up.”
You need to realize that the person uttering that confession is not lazy. Just the opposite. If you listen carefully, the people who use that phrase are some of the busiest people you will meet. They are usually the ones not sitting down. Continue reading
Francis Warner was a supervisor in English Literature at St. Catherine’s College. Shortly before that, C. S. Lewis began supervising him for his postgraduate thesis in July 1959.
In a letter dated July 15, 1959, C. S. Lewis sends Mr. Warner a little under 20 corrections, or as Lewis describes them, “expressions I wd. like you to reconsider in the type script you sent me.” None of the corrections are major. Most have to do with simple word change.
At the end of the list, with a reference to author William Cobbett and Scottish philosopher David Hume, Lewis adds this explanation, Continue reading
I don’t always attend the refreshment time following a funeral. As the “clergy,” I stand out from an audience of family and friends of the deceased. It’s obvious some people are uncomfortable striking up a conversation.
But because I pastor in the community where I grew up, I am often among people who know me and are comfortable visiting. I often learn something new if I listen carefully. Continue reading
When I lived in the South, we used to comment on the slower pace of life by saying, “When it’s this hot and humid you have to slow down!” Difficulties too have a way of slowing down one’s pace. New priorities take over and you want to cherish each moment.
In a letter dated July 7, 1959, C. S. Lewis responds to a note from Mrs. Mary Van Deusen. In her previous note, Mrs. Van Deusen shared with Lewis that she was making progress with some health concerns. Lewis, no stranger to such challenges, responds with this bit of advice, Continue reading
Depending on whether you are winning or losing, rules can appear to be a blessing or curse. But as everyone knows, winning and losing doesn’t change the rules, only our attitude toward the rules.
This applies to the Christian life as well. The “rules,” the way God rules and reigns in our life sometimes results in our joy and sometimes in our sorrow. But as everyone knows, our reactions do not affect God’s control. He does what he does because he is who he is. Continue reading
It’s sad as well as awkward. A parent dies and the remaining parent, out of grief, shares their sorrow with their child. One can understand how this will happen. The child is the only other person who knew the deceased intimately. Who better to share the good times as well as the bad?
On the other hand, a young child isn’t equipped to sort out and handle the tragedy in his own life, let alone that of his mom or dad. There is something both natural and unnatural about it.
In his book A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis shares the challenge of speaking about the passing of his wife, Joy, to his stepsons, Continue reading
Someone was once quoted as saying, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” An observation well worth thinking about. Reminds me of that little ditty attributed to Gandhi,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” Continue reading
Because I pastor a church, every once in a while someone will ask me about the afterlife. I guess pastors are supposed to know all about stuff like that. Do I believe in heaven and hell? What do I think they are like? What do people do there?
And along with the questions come opinions. Seems everyone has an opinion. Some people have the idea that in hell you join your friends and spend all your time gambling (you always lose!), or getting drunk (even better, you are always hungover). Meanwhile, the folks in heaven spend all their time staring off into space and playing harps. Continue reading